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Camping Trips Past

January 1, 2016
Lake Superior Trip

Thru my childhood I spent a lot of my time in the outdoors.  My parents would take us camping, canoeing, hiking and cross country skiing all over Ontario and we would spend weeks every summer at the cottage with no tech at all, not even a phone.   I have had the luck of being the son of an IBM’er and was exposed to computers when I was 10 years old when my dad brought home a Commodore VIC20.  All thru my childhood I had access to tech that most of my friends did not, I also had a father that had more exposure to tech than most other friends fathers so I was always able to talk tech at the dinner table.

However despite having exposure to tech from an early age (which was unusual for Generation-X) many of my strongest memories of childhood do not involve tech at all.  They all involve camping.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo is an amazing park to see and it is a must to bring or rent a canoe while you are there.  The park has a huge sheer rock wall on the far side of Mazinaw Lake, which is one of the deepest lakes in Ontario.  The 300′ sheer rock wall itself it the thing to see and the way to see it is by Canoe.  The one memory that sticks out the most is paddling in my mothers green Peterborough Cedar Strip canoe to the rock wall and seeing the native pictographs painted on the rock face.

Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney is an amazing park and has lots of inland lakes and back country camping.  It has a long history with the Group of Seven painters, owing its existence to them.  The white quartz hills is what makes the park so amazing, they are a lot like the Appalachians but a little shorter and bright white, but you can still see the Inco smoke stacks all the way in Sudbury on a clear day.  When I went there as a child, it was in the height of Acid Rain damage due to the Nickle smelters in Sudbury.  Many of the lakes were badly damaged due to Acid Rain.  It was especially eerie seeing how clear and dead George Lake looked.  However the canoeing into the inland lakes and the hiking to the top of the white quartz hills to see the amazing views is what sticks out the most in my mind.

Lake Superior Loop

When I was around 10 my parents upgraded from the traditional heavy canvas tent to a primitive tent trailer.  This is nothing like the tent trailers of today, compared to a tent this trailer provided two beds off the ground and storage for longer trips.  There was no fridge or stove, no lights, no AC or heat.  One of the trips we used it for was a loop of the Canadian side of Lake Superior.  This was a trip of a lifetime and we saw some of the most amazing parks up in the real north.  We stopped at Chutes, Grundy, Lake Superior, Sibbly (now Sleeping Giant), Pancake Bay and Rainbow Falls Provincial Parks.  It was one of the longest trips we had ever taken as the farthest park Sibbly was almost as far away from home as Disney World.  I still have many memories of this trip but Lake Superior Provincial Park stands out as the most vivid and is still on the bucket list for a revisit some day.  There is a rock face facing the waters of superior that has petroglyphs that you have to hike down a deep crevice to get to.  The Agawa Bay campground is right on Superior, with amazing sunset views right from your site.  The wind from the lake would keep the mosquitos away but was also quite strong at times.  There were many unpopulated pebble beaches hidden in coves that were awaiting over the next rocky outcrop to explore.

East Coast

Our east coast trip was probably the trip that sticks out the most in my mind for good and for bad.  Again this trip was shortly after we got the tent trailer and I do not recall everything about the trip.  The trip started going thru the Adirondacks to Bar Harbor ME, taking the ferry across to Yarmouth NS (which no longer runs), going thru the Cabot trail, taking a ferry to PEI (before the confederation bridge), and heading back thru Quebec.  Although one of my most vivid memories was of the the car breaking down in a rain storm near Riviere-du-Loup PQ, there are many things that stand out on this trip like the ferry rides and particularly all the memories of PEI, the red sand beaches, the red bluffs, Charlottetown.  This trip was a bucket list trip for both my wife and I and the first year we got our trailer, we redid this trip as our first big trip with the trailer.

Now days it is very hard to completely eliminate tech, people want to bring their iPhone to keep in touch, Digital Camera for pictures, their GoPro to document their trip, their Garmin GPS to map where they are going, their GoalZero Solar Charger to top up the batteries of their devices, or their Spot Sat Phone emergency transmitter to call in a rescue in an emergency and their laptop and cell hotspot to blog about the trip.  Don’t get me wrong, I take more tech than most with me when we travel, as do the family, but our way of going tech free means spending more time outside by the fire, more time talking and more time hiking.  If it means we need to use some tech to do it, I am ok with that because it results in more quality time than when in the city.   There is a quote from a Podcast on YouTube that I watch called Tekthing.  They end every episode with “… every once in a while put down your tech and do something analog”.

From → Outdoor, RV Travel

One Comment
  1. I love bow you put technology and outdoors into perspective. Somethings have made camping much easier but when I see the kids pull out their phones at the fire I am not a happy camper

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