Nearly an island

Since last year’s camping excursion went so well we decided to take another crack at it this year. So, last weekend Nellie and I booked a campsite way in advance for the relatively bug-free end-of-August.

There was, however, a bit of a snafu with the rental car reservation. And by “snafu” I mean that I completely bollocksed it up and reserved it for the wrong weekend. Trying to book a rental car 12 hours before you need leads to some predictably ridiculous prices, so once again it was Autoshare to the rescue. We knew we’d have a bit of a mileage penalty, but there was a car nearby and available, so we jumped on it. Crisis: narrowly avoided. Hooray for choice!

The drive to the park was much, much shorter than our drive to Algonquin last year. Presqu’ile is only about two hours away, and since we left Saturday (and came back Monday) we were more or less problem-free on the roads. Our campsite was fantastic too…lots of room, good privacy (relatively speaking…it was a very busy campground) and literally steps to the shore of Lake Ontario. Nellie’s early planning had paid off in a great site. We even had a second picnic table where we could do all our storage and prep!

Because we were so close to the lake, we decided to cool down from all the setup by jumping in the lake. You can’t quite tell from that picture, but trust me…the lake was right there. By the time we got back  in, dried off and changed it was time to make dinner. The first night’s meal was pulled pork (from Cumbrae’s) on hot dog buns, along with corn on the cob. It was amazing.

We tried to pair it with a Fielding Riesling, which didn’t really work at all, but whatever — we had beer. We stuffed ourselves silly, drank our wine by the fire and enjoyed the warm evening. The clouds blocked out any view of the stars, but we couldn’t really complain. We crashed hard that night and slept like the dead.

We slept in the next morning, rousing ourselves mainly at the knowledge of what was for breakfast: bacon, eggs, fresh blueberries…and leftover pulled pork. That gave us the energy for one of the short walks in the park — walk, not hike. A little boring, I guess, but that’s the tradeoff for the proximity to Toronto. And our little walk was fairly rewarding in terms of flora and especially fauna — butterflies, snakes, frogs and plenty of birds.

We got back to our campsite just in time to cool down with another dip in the lake before the first rain shower of the day began. We hid in the tent until it passed, came out and had lunch. Shortly after we finished cleaning up the real rain started. It was hard for us to know how hard the rain was since we were under tree canopy and strong fly, and we certainly didn’t know that the storm had spawned tornadoes elsewhere in Ontario. To us it actually sounded kind of nice…Nellie fell asleep in the tent while I read, and a couple of hours later it was all over. Our site was pretty wet, but the view from our tent of the sky over the lake was incredible.

We sat on the beach and had a beer, marveling at how calm the lake had become and at the clear skies we could see emerging on the horizon. We relaxed a while longer, then got to work cooking dinner. Evening #2 was centered around plowman’s lunch and a Southbrook Syrah. We ate, cleaning up and spent the evening sitting by the fire, drinking wine and whisky and staring at stars.

When we went to sleep the lake was as calm as a plane of glass, but around 4:30 something — the wind, I suppose — whipped it into a crazy froth; the crashing waves woke us, and kept us awake for hours. We managed to get back to sleep, but were still pretty groggy when the sun came up. We decided not to stick around much longer, instead having some oatmeal and breaking down the site (even with much of our equipment still wet) and jumping in the car. We made it back to Toronto in no time, had a nice long shower, dropped the car off and spent the afternoon on a patio soaking up what remained of the day’s sun.

Not a bad weekend at all.

2 responses to “Nearly an island

  1. Pingback: 2011 annual report: evolution – Skirl | Dan Dickinson·

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