The Ovens Natural Park. July 1st-July 3rd, 2017.
In attendance: Jeremy, Olive, Maaike, Deedee Morris; Sam, Wade, Hannah, Gracie, Jacob and Abby Gullison
Weather: Mostly shitty. Cold, raining, fog. And then a splash of sun.
All things considered, this could have been a disasterous 1st camping trip to take twin 19 month old babies who are ridiculously active and hate confined spaces more than anything they have ever been subjected to in their tiny lives. It poured rain the entire morning we were packing up to leave for the trip, all the way there and then stopped. Miraculously. It was freezing, but at least it wasn’t raining. We forgot to smuggle in our own dry firewood and didn’t want to make another stop along the way for fear of waking the girls from their nap earlier than they needed. So our fire wasn’t very fire-ey. More smokey than full on crackling campfire. Although, it served well for the perfect gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate for smores.
Our campsite was part of the field of RV;s and trailers that many privately owned campsites conveniently place the trailered campers. This is something I feared and loathed. Camping to me is trees and forest, not field and too loud rock music from your too close drunk neighbour. It tends to feel a bit more like a trailer park instead of a campsite, but in truth, it wasn’t horrible. And everyone deserves to get a little drunk on Canada day weekend. Honestly, If I didn’t have kids that were more interested in the playground and the little petting zoo, I would have left, but since I do and they weren’t concerned in the least, I sucked in my pride and made do.
Day 2: 4am. Woken up by the sound of rain hitting our trailer so hard I thought it might penetrate and wind strong enough to feel as though our awning was going to be swept up and take us with it. This continued for most of the morning. We discussed with the other members of our crew and Jeremy looked up the weather on the radar, discovering it would end in minutes. It did. Thank the good lord. The girls were starting to go batty in the trailer, needing outside distraction and stimulation of any sort that didn’t involve learning memory games with the only game I thought to bring: a deck of cards. We ate breakfast at the cafe which I fully anticipated to be a divey diner, re: greasy eggs, and bacon fat soaked everything. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a greasy spoon. What I didn’t anticipate was homemade bread from LaHave Bakery, homemade jam, and INSANELY delicious food! RECOMMEND! If you plan on camping at the Ovens, plan on at least having a breakfast there. It was sooo good.
After breakfast, the rain was holding off and we even saw a glimmer of sun, so we decided to hike the trail to see the caves. This is where the campground shines. The trail is beautiful. Its not wheelchair or stroller accessible (we have an all terrain stroller) due to roots, rocks and many many stairs, but its not a hard trail to manage. Ok, but seriously, the rocks were so freaking cool. I think I took like 50 photos of the rocks. I’m not actually someone who normally gushes over rocks, but these were really cool (see photos below). The sea caves were really interesting and probably would have been even more so had we chosen or been able (tough one with two babes) to sea kayak into them. On our way back we stopped at the beach where there were a couple of families panning for gold, to throw rocks into the sea. I don’t think the families found any gold, but it supposedly does exist.
In the end, regardless of the tick I found crawling up my pant leg, regardless of Ollie falling out of bed once, regardless of being cold 80% of the time, and regardless of the rain, it was a great trip. I was able to catch up with great sister friend Sam and her family and take some up to date portraits of my god babies. My babies got to bond with Sam et al; and best of all? The girls went to bed and were asleep by 8pm and SLEPT UNTIL 7AM!!!! Winning!