Camping From A To Z

imageApril has arrived and with it brings the start of the A to Z challenge. This challenge means I will publish a blog each day, except Sundays, for the month of April. This will be challenging because I have not camped since the fall and I have nothing booked for this year. Not to fear: this challenge, and the sunshine of April, will revitalize me. It is the point that I really start to think of summer and dream of getting away for weekends.  This challenge will help me refocus  and remind me how much I enjoy getting out in our trailer to enjoy some relaxation time with my family and friends.

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Cariboo Bonanza Resort – A Gem In The Cariboo!

Cariboo Bonanza Resort on Horse Lake, BC

Our morning coffee view.

Another big group camping trip is in the books. The memories, laughter and stories will live on forever, only improving with time.  We received an email to advise the campground we pre-booked for 2015, Moondance Bay Resort, was closing.  It was difficult to find another campground that could give 7 families totalling 26 people lake front sites without a year’s notice. After calling several resorts I stumbled upon Cariboo Bonanza Resort which is also in BC’s Interlakes area.  We were so happy they could offer us 5 lakefront sites with 2 more just behind.

Skip directly to my thought on the campground!

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This week was so full of stories and events that I will break it down to a few posts and focus this one solely on the campground. Cariboo Bonanza Resort is located less than 15 minutes from 100 Mile House on Horse Lake. It is best known as a fishing lake but big enough for swimming and boating activities.

Here are my thoughts on the campground.

If you plan to camp at Bonanza remember it is a private campground and the layout is that of an RV park. The sites are very close together and offer no real privacy, but we sought this type of layout for our large group.

Recommended Sites: here is the campground map

  • We were in sites 39 to 43, which are lake front sites with fantastic views. FYI, we have booked them for 2016. There are some considerations for these sites along with site 44: they are only 15 amp power, and are quite short and narrow, so won’t work for bigger units
  • If you are traveling as a group or wanted a more treed private environment then head to the back of the campground in sites 2-6. They back onto the forest and are grouped in a small cul-de-sac area.
  • Sites 29-32 are also lakefront but overlook the tent sites so do not offer the same lake view feel as 39-45. They are a bit wider and, I believe, offer 30 amp power which might be a consideration.
  • There is an overflow camping area which offers full hookups. It is an open field areas so keep that in mind if you select this area. Large units fit nicely in these large spaces
  • The campground offers several cute cabins. I did not look inside any of them but several are right on the lake and a few along the creek. They were fully booked during our stay so I have a feeling they are hard to get.
Rustic cabins

A local told us that one cabin was built for Prince Andrew and Fergie’s honeymoon, although we found nothing on the internet to verify. Bonanza’s owner, Bruno Sprecher, was the Royal Family’s ski guide who once saved Prince Charles’ and other’s lives in a deadly avalanche.

Campground Highlights:

  • The Management/Owners: These people were so friendly and really set the tone for this trip. As soon as we arrived we could feel the hospitality. The sites we were in had a narrow entrance road and right away they offered their tractor to park the RV’s in the site.
  • IMG_2307The campground was spotlessly well maintained
  • Clean washrooms, shower house and laundry room
  • Lakefront sites and access
  • Full hook up options
  • Onsite activities including fun archery targets, and a very impressive children’s playground
  • Several docks & a boat launch
  • Basic supply store

Campground Lowlights:

  • IMG_2108Limited privacy, no different than what you expect in most RV parks
  • Showers were nice and clean but all of us felt they lasted less than their advertised 2 minutes, perhaps because even the cold shut off without warning making it impossible to rinse off.
  • Bathrooms only have 1 toilet so people have to wait occasionally.
  • Power and water on every second site so cords and hoses had to be run across on some sites
  • Forest trail behind the campground leads to a smelly sanitation pond.

Things to do:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming and boating activities
  • Kayak, paddle boat and pontoon boat rentals
  • Volleyball, bike ramps, a dock slide and a large playing field.


A Summary of my A to Z Challenge!

imageFor the month of April I took on the A to Z Challenge.  I wrote a post each day (except Sunday’s) that corresponded with each letter of the alphabet. This was a fun and challenging task. I thought I would take a page out of Travels With Choppy’s blog and do a summary list with links to each of my post.

A – Alice Lake

B – Beaches, Top 5 Beach Campgrounds

C – Camping Coffee – The Best Time of the Day

D – Down with Dogs!

E – Post Secondary Education, the Stress!

F – Favourite Family Attractions When Camping in BC

G – Golden, BC

H – 5 Hammock Styles for your next camping trip!

I – Ice Cream

J – Julie the Cruise Director

K – Kelowna’s Kettle Valley Railroad, BC

L – 5 Top Lakes to Camp at in BC

M – Motion – The Face Of Emotion.

N – Nehalem Bay State Park, Manzanita, Oregon

O – Outdoors, get out there and enjoy it!

P – Playoffs, enough said!

Q – Quality Time with your Family

R – Recipes for Camping.

S – Seaquest State Park, Castle Rock, Washington

T – Travel: The Three Stages Of.

U – Camping in the USA

V – Versatile Blogger Award

W – Westerbay Marine Village – Victoria, BC

X – X – Marks the Spot!

Y – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Z – Zzzzzzzzzz – I’m done

Thank you to the organizers of the A to Z Challenge for putting together such a great event. I had a fantastic time, learnt a lot and found many great blogs to follow and learn from. Now I need to find another challenge to help me stay motivated and focused.

WPC -Motion, The Face of Emotion.

This week the Weekly Photo Challenge is Motion and just by coincidence the one letter I skipped on the A to Z Challenge was M so today I can cover off two themes with one post.

Over the years our family has spent countless hours at the ball field and the soccer pitch. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching your children participate in something they enjoy. Here is my view of motion.

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 Q – Quality time with your family

QThis was the perfect spring weekend. The forecast was for sun, we had a family birthday and our kids had room in their busy schedules. For all these reasons it only seemed fitting to make “Quality Time” the only topic for the “Q” in the A to Z Challenge.


Boundary Bay Regional Park

Saturday we headed to Tsawwassen to watch our son play baseball. If you have kids in sports you can appreciate that when they have to get there an hour ahead of game time, it means you have time to burn.  We just bought new bikes so this seemed like the perfect place to break them in. From the baseball field it was just a 10 minute ride to Boundary Bay Park. It’s a beautiful ocean-front park with cycling and walking trails that boast incredible views of the mountains and Vancouver’s skyline. We stopped for a latte on the park bench before heading back to watch the ball game.

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Bike Path at Boundary Bay


Crescent Beach

Sunday was my husband, Blair’s, birthday and  our kids were free from sports, work and any other scheduled events that normally keep us heading in all directions. A quick check of the tide tables determined it was low tide at 1:00, perfect timing for an afternoon at the beach. It was like the stars were aligned for a perfect family day!  We are about a 30 minute drive from Crescent Beach which is a beautiful ocean-front community in South Surrey. With the tide out it feels like you could walk for hours and although the town was semi-busy it felt like we were the only ones out on the sand. We took our 2 dogs who love to run along the beach.  As we walked bare foot through the tide pools, stepping over shells and crabs, we wondered why we don’t do this more often.

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Ice Cream – My top pick of places to stop!

Two favorite summertime activities are camping and eating ice cream so its no wonder that many of us campers love to ‘hike’ to a nearby parlor.  I won’t say these are the 5 ‘best’…all ice cream is great ice cream…but these stand out as a “To Do”  list activities when you’re in these areas. Continue reading

Golden, BC

Check out Camp That Site‘s banner photo above.  It’s such a fantastic mountain view from a private woodsy campsite that, to me, it epitomizes the perfect British Columbian camping getaway.  Problem is, we can’t remember what campground this is so I haven’t been able to do a review!  If anyone recognizes this place, please let me know.

Here is what we do remember about this campground

  • it was just east of Golden on the south side of the TransCanada Hwy.  Or maybe it was just outside Revelstoke?  Or maybe it was Canyon Springs??
  • it was an older, private campground
  • on the south/west side of the campground, was this gorgeous mountain view with a nearby town down in the valley
  • in August, down the slope lives a herd of big horn sheep
  • it was 2008 when we visited, so the place may have closed down since then.  We can’t locate such a place or find similar images on Google.

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D – Down with Dogs!

D = dogs, so for the A to Z Challenge I have decided to make my D post about camping with dogs.

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Go to any RV Park or campground and you will  find a variety of campers from young couples, to families and often empty nesters enjoying their freedom but in all cases you will likely find a dog in most units. Yes we campers love our four legged friends and all the work that goes along with them.image For that reason I am always surprised at how pet unfriendly many campgrounds are. It seems hotels are more accommodating to dogs than campgrounds. Hotels often offer dog bones and beds at check in, maps to dog parks and dog daycare services. It’s time that campgrounds took note and started adding pet services to their list of facilities.


What should you look for in a campground when you are traveling with dogs.

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1. An off leash option: I agree all dogs should be required to be on a leash at all time but campgrounds would do well to offer an off leash area for dogs to run. If there is no room for an off leash area then provide a map to where the nearest off leash area is.

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2. A dog friendly beach: Dogs love the water as much as people, we always check to see if a campground has a dog beach. It is a much more relaxing day  if we don’t have to worry about our pets sitting in a hot trailer.

3. Reasonable dog fees: An extra buck or two each night is the average rate for your four legged friend. If a campground wants more, it is likely they don’t want your dog at all, so make another choice.

4. I have never seen this but a doggie daycare service would be great. We would pay a premium if we could find a campground that offered this service. It would be great for those days that you were heading off white water rafting or to an amusement park for an extended period. The dog and your neighbours would both appreciate.

What should you take if you are camping with a dog.

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Recently I did a blog, Great Camping Items For Fido, and it gave some cool gadgets for your pet but here are a few more tips and options.

1. Vaccination records, always have this on hand. You never know when your dog may need to be taken to a local vet but also if you decide to put your dog in a day care for some reason, they will require this information.

2. Extra leashes, one for the RV, one for the truck and then one for good measure. We arrived in Leavenworth one year only to discover the leashes were packed in the back of our tent trailer. It seemed easier to buy a new set even if we were paying tourist prices.


3. A radio or a fan – if you have to leave your dog in the trailer for the day put on the radio or a small fan. The white noise will help drown out the outside noise reducing unnecessary stress for Fido.

4. Stainless steel dog bowls – stainless steel cleans better and does not absorb food odors. You should always bring your pet bowls in each night or when you leave the site.  Even the smell of an empty dog bowl in your tent can lure unwanted visitors.

Dogs are part of the family and with the right research and planning your camping trip can be enjoyable for all of you.