Monday, April 5, 2010

First camp of the year

So there we were, Friday morning, just as eastern Vancouver Island was under a severe weather warning, hitching up the trailer for a long weekend up-island.

Barking mad? Maybe. But, heck, we'd planned this Easter break, made a reservation at a good campground, spent hours over the last couple of weeks getting the trailer ready to roll, and we were darned if we were going to let a little bit of wind and rain put us off.

Even when friends of ours who were already up at the same campground phoned to say "don't hurry, the power's out."

So off we went.

Slowly, to avoid swaying on exposed sections of highway.

And we had a good time.

OK, so we didn't get to cook over an open fire like we enjoy doing in the summer. In fact, we only had one campfire in the three nights there. And it rained every night.

We were thankful that we'd retro-fitted an adjustable arm on the awning. Last year we found water pooling when it rained so we had to bring the awning in. This time, with a proper run-off, it stayed out without a problem and gave us welcome shelter.

But, despite all that, the days were good.

We started with our traditional first night meal of pasta - warm & filling after the traveling and setting-up, and quick & easy to prepare.

There was an Easter egg hunt on Sunday, and we visited a couple of our favourite spots: Englishman River, and the market at Coombs. Megan and Mathew browsed happily under watchful adult supervision, and spent most of their pocket money on toys and trinkets.

The highlight for me was our visit on Saturday to WildPlay, just outside Nanaimo. Ali had taken the kids there with Guides last year, and more recently they went to the new facility in Langford. Both children enjoyed the kids' course, but Megan wanted to have a go at the adult course. For that, she needed an adult to accompany her. That would be me, while Ali supervised Matthew from the ground.

This was all new to me, and I can be nervous about heights at times, but I was soon fully absorbed in the routine of clipping and unclipping safety lines and navigating the range of aerial obstacles.

The ziplines were the best. Climbing up to one of the longest ones, Megan was a bit nervous at first. Soon, the quiet afternoon was disturbed by a long, drawn-out shriek followed by a scream of "That was...AWESOME!"

At the end of the course, my feet firmly on the ground once more, I had to persuade my hands not to reflexively reach for the safety clips and orange lines.

Persuading my face to drop the inane grin took a little longer.


  1. Looks like fun! I'm going to have to try that one of these days.

  2. If they have anything like this in your part of the world, then yes, do! It was terrific fun, not to mention hard work. After two hours or so up in the trees I knew I'd had a serious workout.


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