Saturday, August 22, 2009


Well, its my last weekend before I am back to work. We decided to go camping, since the summer has breezed by without one camping weekend, although we don't usually go camping until later in the summer anyway, due to too much rain and too many bugs.

After a few google searches of the provincial parks around our end of the province, we decided to try out Porter's Lake Provincial park for several reasons. First, it was on a peninsula of a nice deep lake, so we can take the Kayaks along. Secondly, it's fairly close for Scott and Michelle to join us as they are not fully equipped for camping and we invited them to come along with us for there first camping weekend.

As much as I love to camp, I hate to get ready for camping. It takes a full day of prep work to plan and pack everything you need to eat, bath, walk, sit, sleep, socialize and swat (bugs) in the great outdoors and you need to be prepared for all elements as well... rain, hot sun, wind, mist, cloud etc.

Last fall we purchased a brand new tent when our old faithful tent of 26 years died on a fun but rainy camp weekend with Jill and Donna. The new tent is exactly like the Griff's and we were soooo impressed with it, that Jill bought one and so did another friend Heather. We ordered them from Overtons and they were shipped to us just after Thanksgiving. Everyone else has tried out their tents and we were anxious to get a weekend in it. We set it up twice, to check out things and figure out how to put it together.

By Friday afternoon, the trailer was packed, the kayaks were loaded, the food, suitcases and luxuries were also piled into the car. The cats were fed and babysitting arranged and we hit the road for our 2 hour drive (scooping up Scott and Michelle with their car full along the way).

Weather reports were predicting Hurricane Bill was coming up our way possibly and the warnings were not really warnings, just be prepared sort of talk... I knew we might be in trouble when I suddenly got a phone call on my cell, half way to Porter's Lake from my friend Jill who was on her way home from Halifax and spotted the idiots driving towards the hurricane landing site with kayaks on top and utility trailer dragging behind. When I answered, she said "ARE YOU NUTS"!!! We chuckled for a few minutes and when I hung up, I said to Terry, I wonder what the city is saying about "BILL", since the valley wasn't really hopped up about it. But we forged on. Michelle and Scott were ready and we headed to Porter's Lake and arrived there around 7:30.
The campground was sort of treeless for the most part, with high to medium bushes around most of the sites and it was soooo foggy when we arrived we couldn't see the lake. The picture is not our site, but a pic of one we saw the next day that had a terrific view of the lake. You can see the limited trees on the site.
Our site was fairly small but certainly big enough for our two tents and two cars with a small sitting area.
We began the task of putting together our two tents, being only the third time for our tent and the second time for theirs, it went a little slower than expected. At the same time, Michelle was making our supper, chopping the meat, and tending to the rice on the camp stove and I hauled camping supplies, and dug through them for dishes etc.
The Fog was bearing down hard on us and as the darkness crept in, the lamps got lit and you could see that not only was there fog but it was a heavy mist coating everything. By 9pm, the tents were up, all supplies stashed away, and supper was served. We had to eat in our tent around a small table because everything was so covered in heavy mist (actually it had turned to light rain) we felt better going under shelter to eat. And that was our evening. We sat inside, chatting and planning the rest of the weekend and then we all crashed fairly early.
We didn't really mention Hurricane Bill much.

The morning arrived with fog but no mist. After wiping all the wet off of everything, we spent a leisurely morning, coffee, big breakfast and a long walk around the campground. Lucy adjusted terrifically to this whole camping scene, and since we don't know what her past experiences were before Michelle and Scott, we wonder if she has gone camping in the past. She seemed very relaxed and enjoyed the wilderness channel, staring off into the bushes for long periods of time, prompting us to stare as well, wondering what she saw.We learned that Porter's Lake used to have a lot more sites and a lot more trees but Hurricane Juan took down so many trees they had to close the park and bulldoze down almost all the trees, and re do the whole park. It took over a year to complete. After our tour around the park, the kids got our their iPhones and checked the weather. It looked pretty grime, and even if "Bill" didn't strike, it was predicting nothing but rain and wind for the next few days... we were contemplating packing it all up when Mr. Park Ranger drove up in is Storm Trooper hat and told us we needed to pack up because they were evacuating the park. They didn't quite know if Bill was coming but after such a horrible experience with Hurricane Juan (and at the time, there was no warning, or we all just ignored it as a "tropical Storm" approached) the Provincial Park headquarters didn't want to take any risks.

So there it was... our decision was made for us. We started packing up... stopping long enough to have a quick lunch of BBQ'd hotdogs...We were camping on Porter's Lake for less than 18 hours... ugh. So much work.. so much hot and humid weather... When we drove 30 minutes into Dartmouth to Scott and Michelle's place, the weather was sunny, steamy and windy. Terry checked the computer weather, plus the weather network.. and still they were wishywashy about Bill.. but very definite about the winds that were coming... so we decided to head right home since wind is the enemy of a kayak plus trailer laden car.

And that was our trip to Porter's Lake. Love the camp ground. Totally will be going back.. the Lake looks awesome and the sites were so pretty. On our walk around, we chose several sites that we would request the next time. Even a beautiful walk in cluster of three sites, that look so wonderful for a group of friends to camp in....


GailM. said...

We didn't much of Bill's winds or rain here in NB today. Too bad your camping trip was cut short.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the weather we had in August and the one weekend you plan to camp, a Hurricane rolls by us! What rotten luck! At least you didn't have to pack up your site in the rain. When are we going to start walking again? I miss early morning walk & talk...:-(