Sunday, May 28, 2017

Victoria Day at Bon Echo

We don't make a habit of getting away for the long weekend in May but this year we decided to head to Bon Echo Provincial Park. The kids love it there and we always have a great time when we visit. It's also fairly close which meant we could get there early Friday night.

Large Saddle Shaped Rock at the Gate House
 We checked in and made our way to our site. Upon arriving we decided that we needed more clothes since there were a lot of bugs. We setup our site and had some delicious chicken sandwiches for dinner. We then went for a walk around the campground and to the boat launch to get a look at the rock.

All Setup
 Upon returning to our site we got all bundled up and settled in for the night. The low for the night was forecast to be in the low single digits. Although it was cold we all seemed quite comfortable.

The morning sun made it easy to get out of our tents and get moving the next morning. We cooked up some oatmeal then headed for the High Pines Trail. The trail is a nice trail and at 1.7 km almost all of use could do it quite comfortably. The four year old did catch a short ride a couple of times but other than that she was fine. The highlight of the hike was seeing a small deer trying to cross the trail, only to realize we were on the trail. It stopped and watched us a bit then took off. A few hundred metres up the trail, as we stopped for a rest we could hear the deer coming towards us. It crossed the trail about 30 metres behind us. What a great reward!

Heading Up the High Pines Trail
After the hike we headed back to our site for lunch. As we were eating the cousins and family showed up, followed shortly by the grandparents. It was a beautiful day so we carried the canoes to the water and headed for the rock. We paddled right along the rock to see the amazing pictographs.

This View Never Gets Old

As an added bonus we were able to see some rock climbers.

Sunday was a bit wet with showers on and off for the morning and the first part of the afternoon. We made hiked to the visitor centre and gift shop. Although there was no scheduled show at the amphitheatre some of the kids decided to put on their own show.

We Even Pack the Entertainment
We had planned to cook fajitas over the fire but as dinner time neared the rain grew stronger. We debated about cooking over the fire or using the stove instead. It's hard to pass up a delicious meal cooked over the fire so that is what we opted for. We had decided before the trip that we would work on our bushcraft skills a bit. We wanted to try starting all of our fires with a fire steel and we were successful. It was fairly easy to do given that we had paper and our wood had been under cover all day. Now to work on that skill a bit more for the backcountry.

Fajita Time
We headed for bed with the sound of rain pounding the tent and cars leaving the park. I spoke with one of the park staff the following morning and she said there was a steady stream of traffic leaving the park Sunday night.

When we awoke on Monday the rain had stopped and we were all mostly dry. It was very cloudy and it looked like it might rain on and off throughout the day. The weather didn't bother the kids at all they were happy to be outside, playing. The girls wanted to play at the water so we headed to the boat launch where we were greeted by this cool fog/mist/low clouds. We stayed for a bit then headed back to the site to start the packing up process.

 We packed up some stuff, had lunch, packed up the rest of our stuff and left the site at 2:00. The girls really wanted to play at the beach so that's where we headed. They didn't seem to mind that it was sprinkling. They had the entire beach to themselves.

Deserted Beach
We had an amazing time. You can have a lot of fun outside in what many people would typically call bad weather. The right attitude and a bit of planning go a long way.

Where are you headed next?

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