I have found my favorite place. Last week we decided to do a spur of the moment camping trip because we haven’t done any camping yet this summer. Sean had a meeting in Hinton on Thursday, so we decided to head in that direction and stay at the campground while he was in his meeting and for a day or two afterwards. So, on Wednesday night, after randomness of hurried packing, we headed out. (One advantage to pastor’s work is that time off is completely flexible, so instead of fighting weekend crowds, he can work weekends and take time off during the week…also fits in great with unschooling.)
We only forgot a couple of key items (like blankets and one of our airbeds, and our airbed pump), but were able to pick those up in Hinton before we got to the campground.
We headed up into William A. Switzer Provincial Park, and was it ever beautiful. On the way in we saw a doe and her still spotted fawn and a moose and her babe as well. We lucked out to find a campsite at Gregg Lake (one of five lakes in the park), and set up camp. Finishing set-up just before 11, we all climbed into our tent together and cozied up to sleep with the loons call as our lullabye. Slept until 9, with only a wee bit of cold (we also forgot toques, which I believe necessary for camping, although the littles can’t see why I want them to wear toques to bed in the middle of July.)
Anyway, the rest is best shared in pics, so here goes.
The kids spent an hour building fairy houses at the playground. India’s is above, but when I asked her how her house was coming, she informed me it was not a house, but a dump. Where fairies could poop.
This is Elijah’s fairy house. You see here the sandbox, as well as him putting the finishing touches on the couch and the tv. He was quite sad that we couldn’t bring all of the fairy house materials home, so we had to have the talk about saving the wilderness at the park for other people to enjoy.
The kids with their butterfly nets from the interpretive center. The center has 6 different backpacks you can sign out, each complete with different activities and ways of exploring the ecology in the area (bugs, wetland creatures, bird, flowers, trees, etc). I’m finding so much joy in exploring these things with the littles, and really finding my own passions for being outside and experiencing the healing/rejuvenating power of creation.
The bridge we crossed on our hike. On our left is Kelly’s Bathtub, and on our right, Jarvis lake. There are five lakes in the park, all interconnected by the same stream. Jarvis Lake is fed from below, and the gravel the water comes through filters the water. It is very clear as the water doesn’t support the growth of much algae.
The biggest collection of pinecones we’ve ever found on one branch. The forest has incredible ways of rejuvenating itself, each species of plant having it’s own method of survival.
India found a wild strawberry along the path and was quite excited to be the one to make a discovery. She often misses seeing animals and such as we’re driving along the road, and gets quite upset when everyone else sees them and she doesn’t, so it was great for her to find her own treat that was hers and hers alone.
How lucky am I to have Mr. Man to come camping with us?
Another amazing view from the path of our hiking adventure.
Playing on the beach at Kelly’s Bathtub.
Walking in the evening, this was the view down the road. We can’t wait to go back.