We got back from camping. I had my gymnastics end of year BBQ. And I got to play with my cousin Marshall this week!
This week’s post, brings us to the end of our first week-long camping trip of the year. We went a full two weeks ahead of last year’s trip because of some adjusting I needed to do at work to ensure we didn’t have all the managers off the same week. At first we were a little worried being out two weeks sooner as it can mean potentially colder weather as well as more rain. And add to that that we would need to pull Emelia out of school near the end of her school year when all the potential fun stuff was happening and we were unsure the success it would be.
As we approached the week the weather forecast dispelled our colder temperatures worries as the week was calling for sunny days for pretty much every day, and the temperatures were in the mid to high twenties all week – actually warmer than we had last year, two weeks later in July. But school became a bit of a panic as Emelia had her air band competition that she had been practicing for since January. And then there was her year-end field trip. It turned out that the air band competition was the week before so that crisis was averted. However the year end field trip – a trip to the movies and bowling – was in fact while we were away. We were really worried that she was going to be upset about it, but when we broke the news, she literally said, “I don’t care, they’re just going bowling and to the movies“. Crisis #2 averted.
So, last week’s post had us just being at Arrowhead really for the first day. We had a tiny bit of rain on Saturday evening and that was really it save for a little sprinkle as we packed up yesterday morning. In between we had a whole week of sunny skies and beautiful weather. We’ve really come to love Arrowhead for one of our week-long destinations as it puts us 25 minutes away from Charlie, Todd and Marshall which allows for lots of visiting. And then, we’re in the heart of cottage country and 10 minutes from Huntsville – a beautiful little town that gives us supplies if we need them and a little bit of window shopping and puttering around when and if we want it.
This year we managed to find the Oxbow Lake overlook that we knew about last year when booking but completely forgot to find the entire week we were there. We got in plenty of hikes, swimming and even lots of bike rides. Despite it not being full open season and all the programs up and running, there was still plenty to do. Stubbs Falls was something we got to almost daily as it was a pretty beautiful site and something Emelia loved to take pictures at.
The only really downside to the week was that the mosquitos were pretty unbearable at times. Most notably in the mornings when I loved to sit out under the awning and enjoy my coffee, but also in the evening when we like to have a camp fire. We spent a few more nights indoors than we liked, but man were we happy to have the space do that, thanks to Wolfie Too. And eventually with the sun and temperatures consistently warming up the park, we were able to get three nights out at the camp fire to enjoy that as well.
Compared to our trip there last year, when had just gotten Wolfie Too and then found ourselves spending a lot of time back and forth to Huntsville getting things we forgot we would need with the new trailer, this year was way more relaxed. This year there were days where spent almost the entire day in the confines of the campground with a large portion of that relaxing on the site. And Emelia a year older, is a lot more self contained and able to entertain herself which was nice to not have the pressure of creating a day’s worth agenda amenable to a 10 year old. This year the 11 year old found many moments to entertain herself.
We were able to do a lot more filming for some new Bonne Fires videos which will allow me to get the trip recap for our trip to KOA a month ago put together and posted, as well as starting to put together one for this trip too. But, then the exciting news is in three weeks time we have two back to back 3 and 4 day weekend trips planned where we’re going with friends. One will be to a local private campground with 14 of us total representing 5 families total! And the second will be back to the Port Huron KOA with our friends the Sherwood’s. I am really excited about the month of July that we’re managing to slip in two trips instead of the just one we had planned.
We’re definitely grown a fondness for camping at Arrowhead but for sure would like that week to be back in July. With Charlie, Todd and Marshall being nearby it makes for a perfect week of camping and family time. Plus the park and area is just stunningly beautiful and really the epicentre for camping for most people in Ontario. As it stands right now, I am not two bummed (or bored of) the two major camping locations right now being Arrowhead and Bon Echo.
While normally the idea of putting the trailer back in storage tomorrow morning would a bit of a sour note, the fact that in three short weeks we’re due for two trips back to back takes the cut out of that sour. And then we still have our week long trip in August to Bon Echo with the Jornitz’s! There is so much camping still to do this year and I am pretty damned happy about that!
This week was just perfection. It was the perfect balance of nature, family, relaxation and camping. It could not have been better – well a bit better would have been 50% less mosquitoes so we could have done a bit more hiking and been out for the early mornings and mid evenings. But once the sun came out the bugs moved away and we were able to enjoy the massive campsite.
We have really come to enjoy Arrowhead as our July destination, the park is beautiful and, the sites are massive and private. The location in the heart of the Muskokas is just breathtaking. We choose this campground a year ago because it would put us close to my sister and her family and we returned for the same reason. We love this park and the amazing things around, this year we chose not to drive over to Algonquin but it is an hour ride away, we are only 10 minutes for Huntsville where there is a ton to do, 30 minutes from my sisters place and this gave us so much time together. It was the amazing lazy pace that we could take the week and just spend as much time as possible together.
By early week we had chatted with Charlie and Todd about camping together, our site was so huge that we were able to have our trailer, two picnic tables, their 2 room tent, hammock, fire pit, both vehicles, all our bikes and still had room for the kids to play. We spent hours together, hiking, playing in the waters of Arrowhead Lake and time around the fire. Honestly it could have not been more perfect.
By Saturday we had to start packing up and say our good-byes. A few years ago we started changing our camping weeks to wrap on the Saturday to give us Sunday to get life back in order. It gives me time to scrub the trailer and prep it for the next trip, do the mountain of laundry, get errands done and basically get ready for the work week.
This trip it was even more important we returned to London on Saturday this year. This year the day after our return it was Emelia’s annual gymnastics elite team BBQ and year end awards. This is an annual tradition that the girls and parents look forward to all year. It is a celebration of everything the girls have achieved and all the work they put into training. Emelia was able to say her good-byes to her teammates and her coach as most of the girls are being moved to different teams or moving on to different interests. Emelia in two weeks will move to a different team with a different coach and new challenges. She is beyond excited and so are we. It is going to be a busy and amazing summer for her.
Tomorrow John and I return to work and Emelia returns to school to wrap up her last week in grade 5. Although we are sad to return to our normal life we already have our next camping trip to look forward to, in three short weeks we will be camping again and we cannot wait!