Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Ups and Downs of camping!

This summer has been filled with summer time activities for me. Some that I haven't done in awhile.  One of which is to pack up the car with kayaks and tent... and go on an outdoor adventure.  We hadn't planned on going camping actually but Terry had a couple of days to burn up on vacation stuff so we made some plans to stay fairly close (within an hour from home) but to explore a part of Nova Scotia that we barely know.
So off we headed for Smiley's Campground in Brooklyn.  What a beautiful spot we found. Quiet, peaceful with large camp sites and clean bathrooms.  Always a bonus when camping.
Our site was a little tucked in site that protected us from the sun and heat (and rain).    We set up our campsite and then hit the road to explore the area and look for somewhere to put the kayaks in.

We found a cool paddling site in  St. Croix. Not by chance, though, as Terry pours over maps and websites looking for locations.  He remembered something about a NS Power Dam project he read about, so off we go.. up hills, over dirt roads, on windy paths way up in the deep of the forest.  I was a little nervous but when we finally got to the top of the dirt road, we came upon a beautiful man made HUGE lake, perfect for paddling.

The lake is over 30 km long and was made over 60 years ago using two dams.  It was a beautiful calm paddle and we discovered a little waterfall, a few beautiful cottages and some very cool deadwood trees.  Can you believe that this huge lake empties at the bottom of the hill into this quaint and bubbly river at St. Croix. (pictured below)  We only paddled for two hours but we do plan on making a longer day of it, with some friends and a picnic lunch.  There were lots of places to pull ashore.

We spent 4 days at Smileys and shared our campsite with Kim, Caleigh and Bella for a couple of those nights.  We had the most terrifying rain/wind storm I have ever experienced in a tent on the third night there... and I don't want to have that experience again.  We were tucked safely in the woods but it didn't help any in the middle of the night when all we could hear was the deafening sounds of rain and wind against the tent!

Jack and Michelle came to visit one afternoon and we had a great time taking him to the little river just down from our tent. We enjoyed the cool water and the flat smooth round rocks too. Great for throwing and even painting. 
Saturday morning, Jack and his mom and dad arrived just on time for a late morning camp breakfast.  We were all so tired from lying awake most of the night in the rain/wind storm that we took our time getting up that morning.  It was great to spend the morning with them.

Our last night at the campground was quiet, relaxing and just perfect.  We spent the evening playing "hangman" on the iPad while gazing into the fire.  The downfall of camping in the "rurals" of Nova Scotia is the lack of cell coverage, and no ability to charge ones' technology!  I must say, I felt very disconnected from the world, and at times lost when I needed to know how to do something (no YouTube and no Google).  What have I become!  

The "UP" of camping, I must say, I loved being out in nature, enjoying the trees, the sounds, the water.  The DOWNS of camping .....I didn't enjoy the "No See Ums"... which ate my legs to bits and resulted in many large red welts which I am now treating with cortisone.  I have learned, though,  that Deep Woods Off is my new favourite cologne!


Sandra Perkison said...

There's just something about that spot. I must have come back to look at this blog 10 times today. One day I want to go camping there (one night Donna, nothing crazy) and I'd love to kayak there too. Almost something magical in those pictures.

Thanks for sharing!!


Heather said...

Hi Donna! I'm Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question regarding your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)