Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trip Log: Algonquin Park: Lake of Two Rivers, August 1-3, 2011

This was my parents first camping trip in years, probably since I was 6 or 7.  We'd been so excited after our first trip to Algonquin a few weeks previous that my mum, who has always loved camping, decided we should go again. We went online and booked one of the last sites available for the dates we wanted to go. Chris was helping his parents move north of Huntsville, so we planned for him to join us for the second night. 

We arrived at 2 and got our permit, then went straight to the Visitor's centre for lunch.  I guess that was kind of a cheat, but mum loves going to the cafe there.  It's gotten now, so that the ladies that work there will take a break and chat, but that's not part of this trip.

Once we got back to our site we set up and immediately realized we'd forgotten some things.  Mum and the kids biked to the Two River's Store to get a foot pump so we could blow up the air mattresses while dad and I set up the tents and screen tent.  Our site wasn't great, but we weren't expecting it to be.  It was the monday of a holiday weekend and there wasn't much available.  It was at the point where two roads meet up, so it had little privacy.  

Pumping up the mattresses didn't take long, so we biked down to the lake and had a swim, then came back and made dinner.  The kids had chicken drumsticks, while dad and I had foil wrapped chicken with potatoes, carrots, and mum used ground beef instead of chicken.  We also made brussels sprouts with butter in foil and caesar salad.  The little BBQ mum had bought didn't work very well, and burned through a lot of propane making just that meal.

Usually, up until now, Chris had done all the cooking because I didn't know how to hook up the stove, but on this trip, I did most of it.  It was kind of an aha moment for me, knowing I could take the kids camping myself and handle all the stuff that needs to be done.  Of course, looking back, it was the beginning of me doing ALL the cooking when it's just the four of us, and I haven't managed to convince anyone that the cook shouldn't  have to do the dishes.

We biked to the store for ice cream, then mum, dad and the kids played crazy eights.   Once it got dark we had a fire, toasted some marshmallows and went to bed.

It was cold sleeping on the air mattress.  To save space I had brought my backpacking sleeping bag and I wasn't warm at all.  Bubbie and I got up at 7 and went for a walk.  When we got up, the others were starting to stir.  

Breakfast was bacon, eggs and maple baked beans for the adults and chocolate Cheerios for the kids.  After cleaning up, we headed out on our bikes and did about 3km of the Old Rail Trail.  The blueberries in the old air field were plentiful and people were everywhere filling little bowls with them.

After we got back to camp, we had a snack then went for a swim, then had lunch of hot dogs.  Dad had a bit of a headache so we let him sleep and walked down to the Two River's Interpretive Trail.  There were hardly any bugs but after all our biking our legs were pretty sore.  It was also pretty hot so as soon as we got back we went for another swim.

We had spaghetti for dinner.  Chris got there just before nine, having gotten a little lost in the campground trying to find the site in the dark.  Immediately, the kids asked him to make Jiffy Pop.  We got a good fire going, with wood that was actually dry (if you've camped in an Ontario Park you'll know that's practically a miracle.)  Everyone else went to bed shortly after that.  Squatch actually fell asleep on the picnic table and had to be carried to bed.  Chris and I stayed up and talked for a bit.  It was pretty noisy both nights.  Lots of radios, guys playing horseshoes until 11pm, dogs barking.  At one point the first day, someone's dog almost peed on our tent before the guy came and grabbed it.

We woke to light rain so we just headed to the Two River's store for coffee and hot chocolate.  Bubbie ended up puking hers up when we later went to the visitor's centre for lunch.  The kids got to do the children's program for the first time, which was a lecture on bear safety.

Despite a few issues (like making multiple runs to the store for things we forgot - air pump, washing bin, soap etc) the experience was good.  Mum and Dad had a great time, and if you've read any of the newer trip logs on this site, you'll see we go camping with them often.  Mum gets just as giddy as me about booking a trip.

As you can see, I'm trying to write up old trip logs.  Some I have notes for, some I can't remember more than the basics so I might not bother writing anything for them.  I'll have to see.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find pictures from these older trips.  I'll publish the write up and then add in pictures later when I figure out which computer/cd/thumbdrive they are hiding on.

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