Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Camping

The past four days I have been MIA because I was camping in Awenda with my best girls! Maybe I shouldn't write all about it today because I am still exhausted from getting home (I will explain that one later), but I DO want to remember how much fun we had before everything went wrong. Actually, we had fun after that too. Camping disasters are always better with good friends!!

We took off on Friday and got to the park (after the obligatory stops at Giant Tiger, the LCBO, and the Beer Store!). The weather was great so we quickly set up camp and headed to the beach in time for the late afternoon. I should mention we have the world's most giant tent so setting it up does take a little more time than a little pop-up tent. But hey- it fits 3-4 double air mattresses, and has a foyer. A foyer!

Awenda has four beaches, with only two being near parking. The other two are about a 20+ minute walk. As it was already late in the day, we went to beach one- it was rocky in the water, but the sand was beautiful. I would recommend water shoes if you want to go swimming at this beach.

Friday night we made sandwiches in our cast iron pizza pocket makers (yes, we are the most awesome campers ever) and went to bed early. We always think we are going to stay up late drinking beers, but I swear we never make it to 10pm!

Saturday morning we were up early and made some bacon!! We don't use a camp stove because it broke one year and we had too much fun cooking on the fire- so we just never replaced the stove! That means bacon takes about 2 hrs, but it is sooooo good when done. Lisa tried to cook one on a skewer- it actually worked and was delish and crispy!

After filling our bellies with bacon and eggs, we went to explore the beaches! We ended up a small beach just before beach 3 (we called it beach 2.5). It was rocky in the water, but there was a perfect sand path in the water that led out to sandy waters. We couldn't get over how clear and clean the water was! We had an air mattress with a hole so we turned it into a raft :) The weather on Saturday was beyond perfect- warm and sunny!

Saturday night we meant to go into town for ice cream, but we were just so tired and relaxed from the beach that we hung around and made a good dinner (butter chicken and baked potatoes with banana boats and smores for dessert).

I got stuck in the truck whilst trying to find beer

Sunday we woke up to a more overcast, but still very nice, day. It was a free-for-all for brekkie so I made french toast on the fire. Super yummy!! Then we headed to beach 1, since we just couldn't take the long walk to beach 3&4 with our cooler and beach stuff. We ended up having so much fun at beach one! We wore our water shoes, which helped. Beach one is fairly shallow, so it is warmer, and it is ALL rocks, except they turn into HUGE rocks the farther out you get, and sometimes the water would be 7 feet deep but you are sitting completely out of the water on a rock. We must have been swimming for over an hour, going from rock to rock.

Soon after we came in from swimming it started to spit a bit so we packed up and went back to the site. Oh, and there were wasps. What is it with camping in August and having wasps attack you day and night? Every time we went to pick up our pop we were like:

(after this I am out of photos so I am just gonna GIF it up)

After securing everything and moving the chairs and wood into the tent foyer to stay dry, we went into town. We walked around in the rain and found a really awesome book store run by the most hilarious lady. Then we went to lunch at an irish pub (not very good...) and got some custome milkshakes (very good, but overpriced). We got back to camp and the rain had stopped so we made a fire and relaxed a bit. However, the relaxation was short lived because a thunderstorm rolled in, causing us to spend the rest of the night in the tent! Thunderstorms are much less scary with a beer and a sandwich in a tent ;)

Unfortunately, the thunderstorm lasted ALL night. I swear I fell asleep for only an hour or so because it was SO loud. At some point in the morning it stopped for an hour and almost seemed sunny, but I foolishly used that time to finally sleep instead of insisting we pack up and go home. Of course, when we woke up later it was thunderstorming again. We decided to call it a day and pretty much just threw everything into the back of the truck- even the muddy, unfolded tent (you need to set it up and air it out at home anyway, if it gets wet). We rolled out around 11am- completely muddy and wet, but we changed into dry clothes for the ride home at least.

We only made it about 30-45 minutes before we ran into problems. I started to smell syrup and not 30 seconds after mentioning it, there was a noise from the engine. Ginny pulled over and right then steam started POURING from the engine! Of course, it is still raining. And of course the car charger stopped working the day before so we had NO working cell phones.

We ended up flagging down a car so we could borrow their phone to call for help- but the car we pulled over was the nicest couple and the guy spent at least an hour in the rain trying to fix our engine. He finally gave up and promised to drive into town and get a mechanic for us. I seriously wish I had their name so I could thank them all over again!

30 minutes later the mechanic shows up and tells us that the car cannot be fixed (we thought the belt had just fallen off, but the problem ran deeper than that!). So Ginny drove off with the mechanics to get help from the service station. Her and a tow truck showed up about 30-60 minutes later. I think we sat by the side of that country road for 3 hours!! He towed us the short 5km to the service station (why couldn't the engine have held off longer?). The owner of the truck (we had borrowed it) wanted to come up and try and repair it himself so we waited over an hour for Ginny's girlfriend to come get us with her minivan! Luckily, with these girls, we always find ways to stay entertained.

Of course not everything from the truck could fit in the van, so we packed up the coolers and all critical items (like luggage) and left the poor truck full of muddy tent at the station. Yes, I have some photos from this time, but no, you will not see them because we look exhausted. After 7 hours I made it home to a hot shower!

So yes, the end of trip was an absolute disaster. However, Ginny and Lisa and myself have been friends for about 15 years and it takes a lot more than a night and morning of thunderstorms, or packing in the rain, or being stranded for 5 hours, to discourage us! We actually had a lot of fun and were laughing and smiling for about 90% of the time. It will definitely be a story for years to come!!

And Gin and Lis...this one is for you:


  1. Wow Casey - what a story. Hilarious pics! Did your Mom tell you about OUR camping trip....perfect weather, no wasps, sandy beach, ...Sorry - now you'll hate us. Hahaha. Our food, drinking, and tent were all comparable to your trip though! Glad you made it back safely! xo GAS Sheila

  2. I'm going to Awenda for the first time this weekend! I hope my trip is as good as your days 1 and 2!! Everyone has said how nice the beaches are there so I'm excited to actually bust out my swim suit for once. I always pack it and never use it!

    1. Yes, the water was a little cold (darn Canada), but very nice once you are in! and soooo clear!! Let me know how beach 4 is...we never made it that far!

  3. And that raft idea is pure genius!

  4. You need a vacation to recover from your vacation! At least you ladies laughed through the nonsense! :)


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