Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sandbanks in the Fall

The outdoor activities that we do seem to come to a grinding halt after Labour Day. This is not because of the weather (we had an unbelievably nice September this year) nor is it entirely about school starting. Obviously with school starting we have much less time to get outdoors, but with the start of the school year comes the start of so many other activities.

The kids had a P.A. Day on the last Friday in September. This seemed like a great opportunity to for a camping trip. We decided to book a site at Sandbanks Provincial Park from Thursday to Saturday (a birthday party kept us from staying the entire weekend).

We arrived to an absolutely stunning evening. The sun was warm, the sand soft and it felt as if we had stepped out of the rat race and back into summer. By the time we had arrived at the park the office was closed so we would have to check-in the following day. We headed to our campsite and got setup. Our site was so close to the beach that it was covered in sand. The kids had a great time playing as we got things organized. By the time we were done the sun was about to set so we walked the 30 metres to the beach to take it all in. The kids had a blast playing in the sand, running up and down the beach and taking pictures of the beautiful sunset. Much to our amazement was only one other group on the entire beach.

Playing on the Beach at Sunset
Once we were done at the beach we had a lot of fun getting settled into our tent. It was an adventure to prepare for bed. Everyone found their warm clothes and got bundled up in anticipation of the cold night ahead. We read some stories then settled in for the night. I love that we're all still in the same tent. Bedtime is such a precious time for us to be together.

I awoke early the next morning in order to get to work. Somehow it seems like less of a chore getting ready for work when you're in such a picturesque location. I also felt as though we were cheating the system. We were camping on a week night in September. Score! I went to work and found myself thinking a lot about what the rest of the family was doing all day. As you might imagine they spent a lot of time playing on the beach, splashing in the water and even doing some swimming.

Beautiful Day for a Swim
Sand Castles
Out for a Swim
It was great to return to the park and see everyone having a great time. We played on the beach some more then headed back to our site. The kids played at the site while we prepared dinner. The food was delicious, as it always seems to be when cooked over a fire.

After dinner we cleaned up and headed to the beach. There were a lot more people on the beach this time around. Perhaps a result of the stunning sunset.

Picnic Table at Sunset
We headed back in the dark and got the kids settled in for the night. Once they were asleep I headed out to get some night shots. It felt like I had been gone for a long time but when I returned to the tent I realized it was only 9:30. The early fall sunsets sure make it seem much later.

The Beach at Night
The next day we decided to spend some time paddling up the Outlet River. The wind was really blowing but it was from the North East so there were no waves on the beach. We paddle to the mouth of the river but the combination of strong current and shallow water meant that we had to line the canoe through the shallow section. We paddled the length of the river and made it to East Lake. When we got to the river the wind and the waves were coming right across the lake at us. We made our way back to the shelter of the river.

Great Looking Site on the River
We paddled back to our site, had some lunch, packed up and headed for the birthday party. We had such a great time and need to do this more often. I'm hoping we can sneak in another fall trip this season.

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