Friday, September 18, 2009

Camping Adventures

We still consider ourselves rookies when it comes to camping. Many people have gone for years. We just started to cross the list of places we'd like to see and visit each year. Our first excursion in the wilderness was memorable. I must confess we were inexperienced, and ill-prepared campers. We bought a brand new tent but no sleeping bags. Only blankets and foam padding for our bedding. We brought food and water but little did we know it would run out so quickly. J.P surprised us with his growing appetite! However, we did have a great deal of enthusiasm, and the kids' excitement was contagious. Although, we only stayed for two nights, we discovered how quick the weather can change. The first night in Balsam Lake, there was a wicked thunderstorm. We endured heavy rain, winds, lightening and thunder. It was probably the first storm I experienced outdoors, and it was certainly one I'll never forget! The thunderstorm lasted a few hours early in the morning; and I couldn't believe how brave my two young boys were. They were the ones comforting me, and reassuring me that the storm would soon be over. We also endured cold nights, it's hard to believe that temperatures could drop to 4 degrees Celsius in the middle of August but it's true! We ended up getting sleeping bags to keep warm and not suffer from hypothermia. There is so much to learn when camping, and I realized it's important to teach our kids outdoor survival skills. It may prove useful in the future when they grow up. So teaching them the basic skills - how to set up camp, build a fire, have water and food; learn to be bear wise, and be careful of poison ivy are all educational and important to know. They also get to see nature up close and to appreciate its beauty. I'd rather take them camping then go to a zoo. My kids see and experience wildlife firsthand. I'm so glad we took them camping; and it has now become a tradition every summer to enjoy the great outdoors!

The summer of 2009 wasn't exactly picture perfect. It rained almost every weekend especially in the month of July. My husband's family planned a camping trip in the first week of August near Algonquin region but I was disappointed with the campground and the facilities. It was also the long weekend, and I was hoping family members would stay longer, more than one night. I guess camping is just not for everyone. There are plenty of challenges, and if you don't adapt quickly, you will definitely have a miserable time. Our boys have surprised and impressed us each time we go camping. They can handle the outdoors, and have never complained about anything. It is better to start them young so they can get use to camping. The highlight of our summer was our week long stay in Bon Echo. Once again, our young boys proved they are real troopers. It was so nice to getaway from the city, and enjoy nature at its finest. No computers, no video games, no television, and no distractions! I loved waking up in the morning, and seeing the sun stream through the trees. Hear the birds chirping, or even hear the faint cry of a loon, or see frogs and chipmunks moving in the forest. Where can you see that in the big city? I never had opportunities like that before. Our boys are so lucky to see all this beauty while they're still young. I hope they'll always remember these summer trips. I can only imagine what they'd be like when they grow up. Our hope is that they become nature lovers like so many others; just like us.

~ As you can see, I love taking black and white photographs, and I also love landscape photography. I hope to feature more of my pictures soon. These two are some of my favorites from our week long trip. ~

No comments: