A week and a half ago we got a Facebook message from our friends Geoff and Nicki. They were suddenly desperate to go camping and wanted to go to Darlington Provincial Park, which is about five minutes from their house. We were suspicious. I turned to Duncan, “Do you think they have something to show us?” “Ya”, he said. “I was wondering that too.” Sure enough, they rolled into Darlington late that Monday afternoon hauling a monster Jayco trailer. They’ve joined the club. It’s a nice one, with a bump out dinette, indoor/outdoor speaker system and air-conditioning.
The funny thing about Darlington Provincial Park is; it’s so close to us, we’ve never been there. There are some beautiful sites by the lake but, because none of us knew much about the park, we ended up in a pair of sites in the Hilltop campground where we were stuck listening to a 24 hour rendition of Ode to the 401 with frequent interjections of freight train. Oh well, we’ll know better next time. The size of the campsite was fantastic! Ours was possibly the biggest campsite we’ve had yet. It was grassy and sunny and surrounded by trees, which gave us privacy and room to play.
Liam was glad to have Geoff and Nicki’s son Nathan to play with. This was their first of what will be many childhood camping trips together. On this first adventure they played tag and hide-and-seek, had sword fights with sticks, went for walks, played at the playground, wrestled like baby bears in the woods and learned to use nature’s toilet.
Tuesday afternoon Duncan had to leave the park for a doctor’s appointment and Geoff and Nicki went shopping for trailer supplies. That left me and Liam to entertain ourselves. I decided to take him to the Log Cabin
Information Centre to Meet the Naturalist and Roxy Foxy. A young naturalist gave a presentation on foxes and answered questions. She showed us pictures of foxes and let us see and feel a fox pelt. Liam and I learned quite a bit from the presentation. It turns out that I didn’t know very much about foxes at all. The log cabin was interesting to see too. It’s full of a combination of animal exhibits and pioneer artifacts. The home originated in Sunderland, ON and was moved to the park in 1967.
We had a lot of fun around the campfire on this trip; chatting, toasting marshmallows and having a few drinks. Duncan has just discovered The Publican House Brewery from Peterborough and gave all the adults a taste from his “growler” of their Square Nail Pale Ale. Duncan enjoyed it but it was a bit too strong tasting for the rest of us.
At one point on Tuesday evening, Liam became frustrated with waiting for a toasted marshmallow and decided to take matters into his own hands. He found a giant tree branch, which was meant to be broken down for the fire, stuck a marshmallow on the end and, under supervision of course, lowered it into the fire. Nathan thought it was absolutely the most ridiculous thing he’d ever seen and he’s been kicking around for nearly five years.
We got a lot of good pictures on this trip, thanks to the posing of Rocky the Raccoon. He invaded our space both nights looking for food. The first night we were a little unnerved by him, but the second night we turned into paparazzi. Adorable isn’t he?
I really feel wild animals are usually better off when people leave them alone. I’m not a fan of feeding wild animals…and here’s why.
Rocky’s so used to being fed, or finding food on campsites, that the brazen hussy strolled right out of the woods and pretty much put his hand out and asked for chips.
It was a good camping trip. We all had a lot of fun and, apart from a noisy campsite, nothing went wrong. It’s fun to camp with friends and share the cooking and the campfires. I’ll update the Campfire Cookin’ link as soon as I can. We made something interesting for lunch on Tuesday and I’m excited to tell you all about it. Check back soon!