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Little Campsite on the Prairie

I spent the September long weekend (what the Canadians call the Labour Day holiday) camping at Blue Lakes with C, J, B, L, and the kids (6 of ’em in all!). It had it’s ups and downs, but overall I had a great time.

We got off to a slightly late start on Friday afternoon after having to run a few errands in town. The campsite is about 100km north of Dauphin or about an hour’s drive. We were camping on Manitoba’s only mountain that I saw in the distance on my train ride up. Part of the drive up involves a dirt road! I was once again fascinated watching the scenery out the window. The prairies that just never end and the endless blue sky.

B, L, and their kids had an adjoining campsite to ours, so we set up to cook and eat at our site. Unfortunately, the campsite had rules about the number of adults allowed to sleep on a site, so we couldn’t all sleep on one site. I borrowed a small tent from C, and with her help, put it up, and then we even managed to put up the large tent for C, J, and Baby C (J wasn’t joining us until later, as he had to work). L lent me an air mattress so I didn’t have to sleep directly on the ground, for which I was quite grateful. We finally got everything set up and got a campfire going for dinner.

We really were roughing it – Latreens for bathroom facilities, no showers (there were facilities, but it was a loonie for 5 minutes), and cooking over an open flame.

Friday night I noticed a lot of stars when I looked up….more than I’ve ever seen before. C suggested I walk out away from the campfire to see more, and K2 (B & L’s second oldest) came with me. We sat on a picnic table at an unused site and just looked up at the sky. We saw the milky way and all sorts of constellations I had only seen in books before. K1 and K2 (and B!) tried to convince me there were aliens and spaceships and when there was a moving star would say “hey look! aliens!”, but I’m not sure I buy that. I also saw several shooting stars that first night. Friday overnight was really cold and it rained. Unfortunately, I had to leave the warmth of my tent to find my way to the bathrooms around three in the morning.

Saturday morning was chilly, but fortunately it warmed up enough for us to go to the lake in the afternoon and go swimming. I had fun in the water with K1 & K2, playing catch and swimming. The kids discovered “sink sand” spots on the beach, and had fun getting sucked in up to their ankles in the sand before hopping out and then running into the lake to rinse off the sand.

Saturday overnight was chilly again. I was rolled in two blankets and I still was cold. Fortunately, I managed to get to the bathroom between rainstorms so I avoided getting wet.

Sunday, B & J took the kids fishing, so L, C, and I played Yahtzee and had a late lunch of blueberry pancakes. The kids came back in the afternoon because they got cold, and then in the late afternoon I learned how to play Canasta. I was partnered with B, and I didn’t know he was a card hoarder and we wound up losing because I went out while he was holding high cards! Whoops. Shortly after dinner, the downpour started. C, L, the babies, and I hightailed it into C & J’s tent where we all piled onto the bed and got under blankets to stay warm. I went and retrieved most of my belongings out of my tent in case it leaked, and for a while we thought I might have to sleep in their tent. The rain finally let up around 10:30, so I headed into my own tent and read by flashlight until I was tired enough to sleep.

Monday was miserable. It was pouring, and we had to do tear down! Of course, since most of us fled the screen tents the night before, everything had been left out overnight so we had to first clean up Sunday’s dinner. Taking down tents in the rain is no fun. Several times I got hit with water that had pooled on the top of one of the tents or tarps. We were all so cold and miserable, but we had to pack up! We finally had everything in the car and headed back to Dauphin.

I had to do four loads of laundry last night when I got home because I had to wash everything I had taken with me including my backpack and other bags because everything smelled like campfire. Then, I needed to wash the towel I used when I took my after-camp shower because it was gross and I added in some of the kitchen towels and the bathmats to make it a full load. Then, I was getting ready to re-make the bed and I discovered one of the cats had gotten sick all over one of the pillows and the sheets, so I had to wash the sheets AND a pillow.

I took a bath when I got home, figuring it was the best way to warm my body up and the best way to make sure I was clean. The bathwater was grey when I got out! EW! I made some soup for dinner, and then got into bed.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffed nose, and now I have a headache. 🙁 But more soup, some zicam, some tylenol and a nap and I’ll be good as new.

Camping was fun, minus the rain. I think I’d probably be willing to go camping again…but only if we knew it wasn’t going to rain, and maybe with someone to share a tent with for warmth at night!

Photos:



My home for the weekend!


Blue Lake


Wildflowers. I love the purple centered daisies!

To see the rest of my photos from camping, check out my gallery:http://photos.beccajanestclair.com/winnipeg-manitoba-august-2008/camping-at-blue-lakes

And in other great news, my birthday package from my mom arrived and in it was my Nokia N810! She needs a name other than N810, so leave your comments with suggestions. It’s worth noting that my laptop is named Gwen, my external Owen, and my iPod is Tosh. I’m considering renaming the iPod Ianto though so I can name the N810 Tosh ;). This time, the package was never even opened by customs, so I have no idea why it took so long to get here.

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2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Melissa September 2nd, 2008 17:53

    So you plug your Owen into your Gwen? I’m not saying a word, mate . . .

    It sounds like you had an interesting time, if nothing else! Although maybe, if you want someone to share your tent at night for warmth, you should consider roping Tim into a camping trip next time . . ?

  2. lmmosm September 2nd, 2008 23:13

    I say it should be Dr. Who or Captain Jack

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