Well we did it! We went camping in the fall and we survived!
Every year Sebastian's grandparents go fall camping and have always seemed to have beautiful fall weather so we figured we'd give it a try this year.
We started off by leaving early Friday afternoon for our destination - Awenda Provincial Park. This is one of my favourite provincial parks. From the moment we turn into the park and drive down the long road to the Park Entrance I am amongst the trees and in my element. I absolutely love it!
When we left home it was about 15 degrees Celcius and the sun was shining. It was cold but manageable and after setting up camp and having dinner we got the fire roaring. The first thing we noticed about camping at this time of year is the quiet. Usually Awenda is packed, however, in early October there was maybe 7 of us throughout the entire campsite and it was blissfully quiet.
As it was darker much earlier than in the summer it was somewhat strange for us to be having a fire at 7 p.m., but it was also nice not having to wait so long for the sun to set. Most nights we'd have the fire roaring by 7 and we'd all be in bed by 9 p.m., with me nestled in with my book and a little light while the boys slumbered on. As it was quite chilly at night, although warm once snuggled in, the 3 of us slept in our toques. In fact, I don't think my toque came off of my head the entire time we were camping! Sebastian was much more brave and ran around most days without his toque, despite my many attempts to keep it on his head!
We decided to go into town on our first full day and do some exploring along the Harbour. We enjoyed sitting on the dock and watching the boats and started heading back to camp just as the rain started around 2 p.m. As we had a dinner date with a former co-worker of mine who has a cottage in the vicinity Seb and I hung out in the car playing games and keeping dry from the rain when we returned to the campsite. I was worried about letting the dampness set in as I know once you feel damp while camping it's hard to get rid of that feeling. While we played Jamie lied down in the tent to have a nap.
I must say, I was so thankful for having these dinner plans as it continued to rain throughout the entire night and it would have been miserable if we were stuck at our campsite! We had a wonderful dinner with our friends and Sebastian absolutely loved snuggling on the couch with their dogs. The joke was that if it continued to rain into Sunday we were going to show up at their door step first thing in the morning for breakfast!
Lucky for us (and perhaps our friends!), after having rained 12 hours straight (and not a single drop in our new tent!) we awoke to the beautiful sunshine! It still wasn't very warm, with a high of about 10 degrees Celcius, but it's amazing what a difference the sun makes! We spent the day hiking and playing at our campsite while Sebastian entertaining himself by collecting acorns and various other items he could find around our site.
In the afternoon we went to Wye Marsh, where we have visited each time we have been to Awenda, and arrived as their Birds of Prey show was happening. Sebastian even got to feed a falcon! After the show the handler, as we had arrived late, asked Sebastian if he wanted to help her feed the other birds so he did. The birds, which consisted of hawks, falcons and owls were fed a variety of chicken, quail and rat. Some of the food was whole, some was torn apart, but you could definitely tell what they were and unlike me, Sebastian didn't seem to have any qualms with feeding this to the birds!
The last night, being Sunday, was especially quiet. Everyone else had left the campsite except for one other couple that we couldn't even see from our site. It was so quiet and peaceful and the next morning while eating our breakfast a hawk came and sat in our site quietly, blessing us with his presence. To me, seeing the hawk made the cold and rain worth it. The hawk was absolutely beautiful and the 3 of us just sat there in silence watching him.
Fall camping was definitely an experience. And although I can't say for certain that we'll be doing it again (heat is a wonderful thing!) anytime soon, I am glad we can say that we've done it!
(pictures to follow when I eventually get them uploaded to the computer!)