There was zero cell reception in Algonquin. It was delicious. I swear I didn’t want to come back. Our last night there, we got some pretty heavy rainfall and I can likely attribute my inability to sleep that night to the rain and the humidity but I think another culprit was simply the fact that I simply didn’t want our camping trip to end. I had been doing well at managing my stress levels before I went away, or so I thought. It wasn’t until I was forced to really disconnect that I realized just how badly I was failing at it. The night I returned, and the morning after were the most productive I have been in a very long time. I am also surprised to learn that I had made a decision about something really important without actively thinking about it too much. [vagueness] Of course I’m terrified at the thought of informing the person this decision pertains to, but it’s something I need and I know that they would be the first to encourage me to take care of numero uno1. [/end vagueness]
My family and I are getting really good at this camping thing too. It has been five years so I guess we’ve learned a thing or two. Mind you, the night it rained I don’t know why we thought we would be okay leaving our coolers in the food tent, stacked and seemingly-secure. We were wrong. As I was lying in bed, unable to sleep2 I heard a noise that sounded like something trying to get into either the middle or the bottom cooler. I grabbed my flash-light and shone it into the food tent through a meshed window in our tent. I couldn’t see very well, but I definitely saw eyes. I put on my pants, sweater, socks and shoes, grabbed my flashlight and angrily stomped towards them. I finally saw that they were raccoons when I stepped out of the tent, which was a few metres away from our tent. I yelled, ‘get out!’ but only once. I didn’t want to yell more than that as it was almost 1am. By the time I reached the food tent, they were gone. I tried to wake up my snoring father but was unsuccessful, so I put everything into the car myself. It wasn’t difficult, I was merely thinking it would be faster with two people.
You would think I’d be able to sleep after coming down from that adrenaline rush, but I didn’t actually fall asleep for another hour. Waking up 6 hours later wasn’t as difficult as you might think either. It was needed though, we were only packed and driving out of the campsite right on time3.
Stargazing, smelling like campfire, playing with fire, canoeing, swimming in clear4 lake water, walking/running/playing with Drogo5, playing badminton with my Dad, cooking our dinners, making bbq sauce from random sauce packets/and other ingredients we had instead of buying some, and enjoying yummy coffee every morning6 were some of the highlights of this camping trip7. The one that I imagine will be unique to this year’s trip was that we got to hang out with so much wildlife – all of the chipmunks8, blue jays, brewer’s blackbirds, and fireflies9.
I wasn’t able to catch as many sunsets nor sunrises10 at this campsite, and since we decided against renting or bringing bikes this year and it was difficult for me to drive either car11, but it was still one of the most wonderful trips I could have ever asked to go on this year. I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to go on at least two more trips this year. Another thing I would definitely have changed was how close we were to Highway 60 (which goes through Algonquin), as the sound of cars whizzing by was a mild distraction. Not enough of a distraction to make a huge difference but the absence of that sound would have been made exponential improvement on the quality of our trip. Next time.
Silent Lake Provincial Park (SLPP) may just have some competition as far as the Sy Family’s favourite park12. I’d be curious to stay at some of the other campgrounds to canoe and swim in those lakes, so we might just have to put our original plan of alternating between a new campsite and SLPP until we’ve completely explored Algonquin. We’ll see.
I’ve only been back for 3 days13, and I’ve already lost a little of the zen I found. It’s related to something I don’t have complete control over14, and is something I simply have to deal with but I do enjoy that it’s easier to let things go, breathe and focus on the parts of my life that do bring me joy.
Including being able to go away on a day trip to Elora Gorge with some awesome people. I’ll have to save that story for next time though.
- but not stressing about it – thankfully[↩]
- before 2pm[↩]
- my brother’s dog, a black lab/german shepherd/akita mix[↩]
- thanks to a friend who loaned me his aeropress[↩]
- and most camping trips[↩]
- just kidding, there only were 5 or 6[↩]
- my favourite![↩]
- even though I was certainly up early enough some days[↩]
- one had a trailer stuck to it, and the other has standard transmission – which I don’t know how to drive yet[↩]
- but Silent Lake will always have a special place in my heart[↩]
- 4 if you count today[↩]
- because it involves someone else[↩]
- just look at Drogo (our dog) being a good boy and leaving the chipmunk alone[↩]
- still talking about the dog[↩]