Camping part two was a little different of an excursion than the first time. We decided against going up on Friday due to the massive thunderstorms that were forecasted and the fact that I was completely unprepared to leave! I spend the Friday shopping for fishing supplies, food etc. and trying to get everything we needed into the garage. The weather got steadily worse and the thought of being in a cabin for the night with no prospect of a fire or in fact anything remotely warm or comfortable was just not floating my boat so to speak. So Nicole came back from work and we spent the night on our warm couch watching the non existent storm out of the window!
Saturday came and we left fairly early to grab coffees and get on the road. The drive was not too bad, the place is only about 90 mins away and since it is on Rice Lake, the same lake as 2 weeks ago, we knew where we were going. Despite the fact that Gill took us a completely different way than last time we arrived with the dew still fresh on the ground.
The site was a place I recognized because we had been to a family reunion there last year. We were not staying in our tent this time, but rather in an Eco-cabin which loosely translates to an unfinished shed with a hole in to the ground for a toilet. The cabin had a small table with 4 chairs, a loft which was barely big enough for a double mattress (covered in a thick plastic – eww!) and 2 futons in the main room which folded out into reasonable sized beds. The day was already getting hot and we decided to go for a stroll around the park to see who was about. The other 4 cabins were occupied, however there were about 10 tents in the entire camp! Last year we recall that there were tents all along the opposite side of the road from the cabins. This year, not a single one. This could have been a direct result of the alcohol ban which was put into effect this year meaning no drunk teenagers and college students throwing up on each other.
We wandered around the park, did a spot of fishing, however this side of the lake is the lee side and therefore gets all the weeds and crap blown against it. The other side where Golden Beach is fairs much better in the fishing aspect. We set up our stuff, had some lunch and eventually some dinner. I went to get some firewood, an exercise I would repeat later since their idea of a bundle of firewood is more like a handful of kindling! As the light faded we started the fire and settled in for a quiet evening with our new friends the neighbours.
Yes, the neighbours, who could have sworn that they recognized us from somewhere and it didn’t take long for us to figure out that they had kids at Vaughan Gymnastics on Thursdays and had seen us coaching many evenings. Yes, it is indeed a small world but don’t try walking around it!
So we gave our camping a real try, but as the evening passed into night the sound of rain and thunder gave notice that our trip was to be a shortened one. We quickly realized however that the sound that we thought was thunder was actually raccoons who had waited until we went to bed to come up onto the porch and open the garbage can. I went out and locked the lid and as I did I saw a little raccoon head poke out from between the steps as if checking for a clear coast. I have to say, the one raccoon who actually came up onto the porch was the fattest raccoon I have ever seen, he was seriously the size of a dog, although much shorter and as he tried to rush down the stairs he actually wobbled like a furry American making his way down the steps to the $3.99 Vegas Prime Rub buffet.
It was not much longer after this that the thunder and lightning arrived and as we rose in the morning we were greeted with torrential downpour that had turned the road in front of the cabins into a shallow stream. There really was nothing else to do but pack the car, rescue the waterlogged chairs and head to Peterborough for breakfast. We went to the Piccadilly restaurant and I will spare you the gory details. Suffice to say that it was only marginally better than the camp food we had the day before and after the morning that I had, burned toast and frozen potato squares were just fine. Any other day and you would be reading a rampaging diatribe about the pathetic service, the disgusting furniture and the smell of burning bacon. The only saving grace was a really cool bathroom sink. Not enough to warrant a return however. I had already managed to take a chunk out of my leg on the car door and run over the fire pit with the truck which in turn made the whole car vibrate all the way home. I am assuming the tire is unbalanced, we shall see. If not, there may be some suspension work in my future.
So we arrived home early, to a very wet and grey day but with another camping rip under our belt. Thank God we had not been tenting it since the winds were incredible during the night. I guess it really pays to pick your weekends (and your fishing spots) when camping around here.