After scoping out all the possible trips we could do in Algonquin where we could stay on an access lake, or only one portage in, we quickly realized there weren't a lot of sites available that met those requirements, or the portage would be a long one, at which the kids again put their foot down.
Finally we decided to do two nights of Boler camping, then leave the kids to visit my parents, and Chris and I would do two nights of canoe camping...again, not having an actual destination in mind. At about midnight, we decided to check out Oastler Lake Provincial Park, since there was one waterfront site available and it wasn't ridiculously far to drive (read previous trip logs to hear more about our misadventures towing the Boler over longer distances.)
Packing for two trips, with radically different needs was a bit of a struggle but we were out of the driveway by about 1:30pm, surprisingly in good spirits. This whole last minute packing for a trip always makes me crabby but I managed to stay up beat this time. We weren't in a big rush, we had a site booked, and we would be exploring a new park. All good things.
There was a few minutes of concern as we went through Bala. There is a place where you turn left and immediately go over some railroad tracks. In the gap between the tracks, the road has sunk and the trailer hitch bottomed out and sounded like it might have been damaged. Chris got out and checked it out and all was fine. This, coincidently, is where the whole hitch ripped off the frame on one side on our aborted trip to Grundy Lake last year. Once we made it past the little park by the police station, where we'd stopped before and realized the state of the hitch, we all relaxed a little bit.
|table with a view: Oastler Lake Provincial Park|
Dinner that night was veggie burgers and salad, which we ate on our table with a view. The sunset wasn't spectacular, but the stars were bright and many. After the kids went to bed, Chris and I went down and just enjoyed the peace...I saw a shooting star.
Unfortunately, peace at Oastler Lake is a fleeting thing. While the campground was surprisingly quiet given how close together the sites were, the trains going by all day and night was anything but tranquil. For Chris, who had lived for a few months in a town where trains went by that frequently, it was extremely annoying. For me and the kids, it was kind of a novelty...that made it hard to get a good night's sleep.
Oastler lake has no hiking trails, and with the wind up, we didn't feel like canoeing so we pretty much just relaxed all the next day. Chris took a nap, played ukulele, and the kids read and drew. I woke up that morning with a doozy of a cold, so I was quite content to lay in a chair with my feet up and just do nothing. That worked for a while, but we somehow are down to only two chairs...and guess who also really likes to sit in them and relax...
|Can you tell who has pull in this family?|
|water snake just off shore at our site|
We actually contemplated staying for another day, but in the end, Chris and I decided we did want to go canoe camping, and so the next morning, after coffee and bagels, we packed up and headed to my parents house to drop off the kids and the Boler.
Our feelings on this trip were a bit mixed. The park itself was nice, though the sites were small and lacking in privacy. The trains kept everyone from sleeping, but then again, so did Biscuit. The comfort stations were great, and there really isn't anywhere that you aren't close to them (maybe the river side lots?)
Some of the river side lots were better for privacy, but calling the little creek a river was stretching it a bit.
I think, over all it was a good trip. And I think I could convince Chris to go back again, provided he got some ear plugs.