It’s not all fun and games: Our worst camping moments

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that my son accused me of always focusing on the positive aspects of camping while consistently ignoring everything that ever goes wrong. And he is not the only one who has charged me with practicing “joy-washing” as I called it. My friend says that whenever she asks about a trip, my answer is always: “It was great!”

Well, I’ve never denied that camping involves certain hardships and inconveniences but to me they are insignificant compared to all the joys that every trip brings.

However, in the spirit of total disclosure, I decided to pull together some stories when things didn’t exactly go as planned starting with…

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Thanksgiving Weekend Camping at Grundy Lake

There was a lot to be thankful for this past weekend. Beautiful sunny weather. Deep blue skies and incredible fall colours. Being with family and friends. Having an opportunity to leave the city and be in nature.

fall colours

swan lake trail

We headed to Grundy Lake Provincial Park for the Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving used to be the last camping trip of the year before we started going camping in the winter. However, since we usually stay in cabins and yurts in the winter, it is still the last camping trip in a tent. That is until we pluck up the courage to try winter tenting.

We visited Grundy Lake a few times in the past but that was a few years ago and mostly in the spring and summer. I had my doubts whether it was the best choice to see fall colours since I remembered lots of pines. It turned out I had nothing to worry about. We booked a campsite at the Poplar campground. When I got out of the tent on Saturday morning, I was bathed in the golden glow of the forest around. The ground had a thick carpet of foliage; the trees were all decked up in their best colours; and beautiful leaves twirled around in the breeze. Kids had lots of fun jumping and rolling in  piles of leaves and showering them over each other.

site 324 at Poplar campground Grundy Lake   child throwing fall leaves in the air

fall leaf bruning in the fire

Since our son was still getting over the remains of his cold, we decided to take it easy this time. We spent a lot of time by the campfire and cooked the most delicious food: gnocchi with vegetables, veggie burgers, lentil stew, mushroom and barley soup, and roasted root vegetables (by some universal camping law food always tastes so much better on a camping trip).

child reading by the campfire   child reading in a campchair

root vegetables roasting over the campfire   gnocchi over campfire

We took bike rides through the forest and hit a couple of easy short trails: Swan Lake and Gut Lake. Both trails looked spectacular – smooth rocks, whispering marshes and gurgling brooks framed by interlaced green pines and multicoloured maples, birches and aspens. For more pictures of the beautiful fall forest, visit my Random Pix blog.

ruffed grouse

gut lake trail at Gruncy Lake

GrundyLake-95   child climbing

Gut lake trail

inukshuk   GrundyLake-96

By another universal camping law, time always flies so much faster out in the woods. Before we knew it, it was time to go back home. On our way back, I enjoyed the beautiful fall landscape flashing by and started planning next year’s trips.  Where should we go next?