COM0014 – Blog #1: Are we there yet?

Day one
We were on the road by one, hoping Little C would nap most of the way… well that didn’t happen. It’s a toddler’s idea of torture, being trapped in a car seat for three hours when all you want to do is run and play. “We’re almost there buddy!” exclaimed my husband as we drove down the steep hills of Georgian Bluffs. When we pulled up to the cottage we were greeted by our hosts and invited to join them for a quick swim – although Little C was more interested in throwing rocks. Typically the waters of Georgian Bay are frigid in August. We got lucky, the temperature was just right. After our swim, we fired up the barbecue and enjoyed a melt-in-your-mouth steak dinner as the sun set over the water. Our night ended catching up with friends over the flickering glow of the campfire.

A toddler throwing rocks into the water.
Little C throwing rocks in the water – one of his favourite activities at the cottage

Day two
“Wake Mommy!” At six a.m., our little guy was rested and ready to go. That’s more than I could say for myself after “sleeping” with a toddler. To avoid waking everyone, we quietly put on our shoes and set off on an early morning stroll to explore nature’s little treasures.

Back at the cottage the smell of bacon and eggs was calling our names. After filling our bellies, we drove down the road to Big Bay for some swimming and snorkelling fun. Known as the “skipping stone capital of Canada”, the crystal clear waters are lined with rounded stones ideal for skipping on calm water – which we did!

Snorkelling at Big Bay.
Snorkelling at Big Bay

We returned to the cottage mid-afternoon for Little C to have his nap. The group went out in the “party boat” while I caught up on my reading. When the crew arrived back at the cottage we all pitched in with dinner prep. We feasted on barbecued chicken, sausages, marinated veggies and fresh salad. The night continued by the campfire where we played trivia games and ate “spider dogs”.

Day three
We began the day inhaling a delicious cinnamon raisin french toast breakfast, you should try it… yum-my! As we relaxed on the couch, Little C happily played with some of my favourite vintage Fisher Price toys. We cleaned up our room and packed up the car with one more stop before we headed home, Sauble Beach. After an hour drive we made our way to the beach. We got on our gear, put on our sunscreen – and filled up our water guns. We swam, built sand castles and buried Little C! After a few fun-filled hours, we had to hit the road.

Water guns at the beach.
Watching and waiting for innocent bystanders

Three days away may not seem like much, but it was a nice break from reality. We shared new experiences, enjoyed beautiful views, soaked up some vitamin D, consumed too many calories and created lasting memories. This mini-vacation was short but sweet!

Do you have any location suggestions for our next Ontario vacation?

References:

Give it love. (n.d.). Hilarious Co-Sleeping Fails That Sleep-Deprived Parents Can Relate To [Blog post]. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://www.giveitlove.com/hilarious-co-sleeping-fails-that-sleep-deprived-parents-can-relate-to/?chrome=1&D4c=1&D_4_6cALL=1&D_4_6_10cALL=1

Official Tourism Website of Wiarton, Ontario. (n.d) Big Bay – Stone Skipping Capital of Canada. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://visitwiarton.ca/profile/big-bay/2025/

Camping with Gus. (n.d.) Campfire Hot Dog Spiders. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://campingwithgus.com/2013/08/10/campfire-hot-dog-spiders/

For the love of cooking. (n.d.) Cinnamon Raisin Bread French Toast. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2009/05/cinnamon-raisin-bread-french-toast.html

Welcome to Sauble Beach. (n.d.) Sauble Beach Main Beach. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://visitsaublebeach.ca/things-to-do/beaches/

COM0014 – Blog #1: Micro Adventure for One

Micro Adventure for One

The stress was mounting!  

I have been working a full time job and running a home based business for more than three years with out a break. I needed a getaway. These days, my husband and sons are really happiest at home, hanging around with friends and sleeping until 2 pm  on weekends. None of them showed any interest in camping anymore. So I planned to go on my own.

Once I decided to go kayaking into backwoods Ontario, the rest was easy.

I booked a campsite, rented a kayak and said I was going away for a few days.  My family was surprised and wondered why.  Some of my friends said, “You can’t go by yourself, its dangerous.” I did it anyway.

Kayaking on Round Schooner Lake

This is the view from my kayak.

While I have been camping for years, including many trips into the back country, I usually had a canoe and fellow paddlers.  As a family, when we all went together, we took two canoes. Compared to my kayak, canoes seem big and roomy with lots of space for gear.

How do you pack a kayak? I really had no idea.  Before the trip, I spent time on the internet. Of course, online videos were great. Typically back country gear goes into dry bags; fancy water proof sacs with fold over tops that keep the contents dry if they end up in the lake.

Kayak packing means loading all your gear into dry bags that are small enough to fit through the front and back hatches of the kayak. The key to getting them back out again is the long cords that are tied to each one and looped back to a spot where you can reach them. Otherwise I’d be flipping my boat upside down and shaking the stuff out.

The trip in was a two hour drive on bumpy roads and it took about four hours of paddling to get to where I was going. The weather was fine and the conditions were good. After all, I was on my own and didn’t need to co-ordinate with other people. I could take my time and enjoy the day.

Site 5 on Round Schooner Lake turned out to be beautiful; sun shining through leafy trees, a nice smooth rock shore with a little sand beach off to one side, and a nice easy place to land the kayak.  Made it!

There was a breeze rustling the trees and little waves lapping on the shore. I stayed there for 2 nights and 3 days. I went swimming, did some yoga on the beach, watched the sunrise, went for hikes and lazed around my campsite. In the evenings, I looked at the stars, drank a little wine and ate some nice, simple food. The fire on the beach topped off my awesome days.

Have you been on your own in the wilderness?

IMG_2571

Rock art on the beach

I am definitely ready to do it again and stay away longer!

 

http://www.northfrontenacparklands.com