I can't tell you how much I love Keji. I haven't camped at Keji in a couple of years, although we have visited the park at least twice a year for the day, hiking and most recently kayaking.
This weekend started with a frantic cooking, planning, finding, packing and hauling all our stuff on Thursday night into boxes, tubs, coolers, baskets and suitcases. I had to arrange for kitties to be babysat and make two suppers and a lunch.
Work on Friday was good, things are getting into a routine.. and I was determined to leave work at 4, so I could get home and finish all the car and cooler packing and hit the road by 5:00. I didn't exactly get out of work on time, but I made up for it at home, doing the speedy pack moves, like a madwoman, on a mission. We hit the road and after a quick phone call to Mel to let them know we were on our way.... I lost cell coverage for the weekend (Thanks Rogers!)
The park was full of tall scrubby trees, wood smoke and every type of camper and tent imaginable. We arrived at 6:30 as scheduled and had supper going and the camp being unpacked with help from Jill and Mel. We were sitting down to a big camp chowdown by 8:00 and sitting around the camp fire by nine! I am not going to give you a blow by blow of the weekend but I want you to imagine what laying in your comfy "bed in a bag" at 11:30 at night, the temperatures dipped to 10 degrees. You are snuggled under a winter sleeping bag, and one of Nanny's extra warm quilts on top. Wearing jogging pants, long sleeve tees shirt and a hoodie. The "just past" full moon is lighting up the whole tent. The loons are talking to each other way off in the distance. Then the owls... sing to each other. Every call to each other gets closer and closer to us until there is a medley of 3 to 4 owls hooting their loud haunti
ng songs right over us. Along with the owls, an ambitious raccoon sits on Jill and Mel's table and noisily finishes off a small bowl of peanuts and then makes his way over to our utility trailer and hops in. His heavy body lands on our coleman stove and the metal vibrates loudly in the amazing quiet (except the owls) and he rummages through our stuff trying all the containers and bags for some goodies. He scrapes his way out of the trailer and moves on to the next campers. The owls stop.. the loons quiet and the raccoon leaves.... and the quiet returns. Terry and I just exhale and say wow.... Keji is full of those magic moments.
We spent the weekend with Jill and Mel, and Tabatha and her family. We shared meals, shared fires and some great laughs. We taught the Durling family the game of Dice and the night ended in screams of laughter and a round of high 5's from Logan who ended the game quick and painless with a 1 and a 5!!!! What a blast.
Jill, Mel, Terry and I got up early this morning and packed up our gear and headed out by nine o'clock and stopped for breakfast at the M & W Restaurant that is located right outside the entrance to Keji. We had a round of "Tent Travelers" Breakfasts which was 2 eggs, toast, hash browns and your choice of ham, bacon or bologna. Well, our token newfie HAD to have the bologna and when Marilyn (the owner and cook) told him she had none, it started a whole lot of bantering and laughing, and before breakfast was served, we had made fast friends with our cook. She cooked our breakfasts and chatted to us over the stove, and when we drained the coffee pot, she allowed me to go behind the counter and make a new pot. When breakfast was served, we noticed that the "boys" got ham AND bacon AND some sort of salami on their plates, along with all the other stuff. She felt bad for not having the bologna. We chatted amongst ourselves while she was busy with a few others in the restaurant (family, I think) we laughed about the idea of having Thanksgiving Dinner here, when we all come to Keji for Thanksgiving. When we asked if she served dinner that day and she said she did, and it was a packed event. She told us if we wanted to reserve, she would put together a buffet spread for our gang of 12 or so.... how fun would that be. We are still planning that weekend but Marilyn gave us her phone number to call and reserve! I think when I go back there, I will bring her a big bag of valley apples for her family.
The weekend is over.... and it was a spectacular weekend.... hiked a 2 km trail that the book failed to mention was mostly UPHILL.... we kayaked the Lake all the way from the Meadows to the Pete's Point and back (2 hours). We paddled amongst 8 loons who seemed to show off a little while we watched in awe.... We ate Hodge podge... breakfast sandwiches.... shishkabobs and jambalaya... I napped, knitted and read recipe books. We ate too much, and it was way too cold at night....
I think I am ready to start the week now, and I revel in the fact that its only 4 days long!