First Camping Trip of the Season
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
As I mentioned earlier, our first camping trip of the season got off to a bit of a rough start...
Dan and I, since we started dating, have always loved going camping. Our first camping trip was real spur of the moment. We packed some beer, hot dogs, ketchup, buns, a tent, sleeping bags, flash light, 2 chairs and headed out. We totally forgot to bring pillows, and ended up sleeping with our heads on a change of clothes, and the camp ground was practically an open field, but it was so much fun. After that, each summer, we've made a point of randomly heading out every few weeks...
This year has been tough to get away because Ohhh Lulu has been so busy and I am working a lot, but we finally got out for our first night last weekend. We headed up to Georgian Bay for one night at one of our favourite parks. We got there around mid-afternoon, set up the tent and realized that we had forgotten to pack a lantern or any flash lights. So, while Dan went out to get flash lights at the park store, I introduced Oliver to the tent. I guess, to him, it looked like a big bouncy castle, because as I laid down for a little rest and relaxation, Oliver started bouncing off the walls, and ended up kicking me in the face. Dan came back to find me with a fat lip! Something you should know about my "pug..." He's not like any pug you will ever see. He is a mixed breed, and absolutely gigantic - between 30-35lbs and very tall and very long. That dog packs a punch.
After getting kicked in the face, I decided we had to head out and do some hiking. I wanted to explore the Homestead Trail, which featured the ruins of a farmhouse and barn. We headed out, not realizing quite how hot it was outside. We finally made it to the homestead, which was very small and very neat, and a few steps up from that was the remains of the barn. We stood there, surveyed what was left, read the plaque, and started hearing footsteps coming up behind us. The trail was really over-grown, and didn't look like it had been travelled much, so I immediately thought the chances of coming upon another hiker, in the rather empty park, was pretty slim. We heard more branches cracking, twigs snapping, leaves rustling through the otherwise silent forest. Immediately, I though "THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE DAY I MEET BIGFOOT!" (or Sasquatch as we call him in Canada). My second thought was, "It's the ghost of one of the farmers coming back to protect his property!" Then I thought, "I watch way too many horror movies for my own good..."
I glanced through the forest towards the sound and saw a big, hulking, black form way too close for comfort. We walked up the trail a small way, until I got too chicken and worried that my little dog would become Black Bear Food, so we hustled back to camp.
Normally, a bear wouldn't freak me out too much. After all, they are more afraid of us than we are of them, right? But, bears are hungry this time of year, and it was making very little effort to get away from us scary humans, who were actually making quite a bit of noise... It's not even the first time I've seen a bear camping or hiking, but it is the first time that I've ran into a bear in such an isolated area.
We ended up back at camp, hot and exhausted. We took Oliver down to the dog beach later in the afternoon, and he played with some other dogs and we chatted with another couple and watched the sun set, which was nice. Dan captured it beautifully on camera. We had a camp fire, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs, and talked until midnight...
I guess overall it was pretty good, and will certainly be the most memorable. It's funny now, how scared I was at the bear - which I guess is some kind of primal, human, evolutionary fear. It's definitely a camping trip we will remember.