I consider myself very lucky, 16 years ago my parents started their dream by selling their home and moving aboard a 52 foot cabin cruiser. We spent many great summer holidays on the boat, but as the kids got older there just was not enough room for all of us to sleep. That is where the camping came in. We would head over to Montague Harbour Provincial Campground and set up our sleeping spots. The trip to Montague starts with a short ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Galiano Island. This camping trip was a bit different because we were tenting. The cost of taking the trailer on the ferry was just too high, and because we planned to spend most of our time on the boat it was not necessary to bring it over. With only 28 sites in the park reservation are recommended during peak season and it does fill up early. There is an overflow field for tenting and this area does have a couple of hidden gem. The park does not have hook ups, it only offers pit toilets and half the sites are walk ins but if you make the trip you will not be disappointed.
We have only been lucky enough to book into this campground once. It is likely the most popular provincial campground there is and if you want a site you will have to get up before 8:00, 3 months before the date you want to camp and start trying to book it, even then you are lucky if you get in. We were able to get the site because I logged on about the same time as someone was cancelling their reservation and I scooped it up. Otherwise, good luck! Continue reading
I finally had a chance to use the set of Skyhooks that were sent to me in early August. I first introduced this product back in January when I found it online while doing research for my blog. It has since been my most searched post reaching over 7,000 viewers to date. With those kind of number I knew I really needed to try this product out and write a follow up review. Continue reading
Sometimes a break is in order and I found that the case this October. I got caught up in planning a dream vacation which is almost as much fun as the vacation. Next summer we will take a 2+ week vacation to Croatia and I am so excited. We have been talking about this destination for a few years now and finally all our stars aligned.
Our traveling companions are 3 other couples that we normally camp with so finding accommodations was a challenge. Villas for 8 with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms is not common place in this historic country but after many hours on the various booking sites we found it. Who knew how complicated it would be to book trips outside of Expedia. Wire transfers and PayPal are new to us but I think we have managed.
I can now get back to my blog but not before asking if any of you have visited or live in Croatia, I would love to hear from you. Any tips, tricks or recommendations are very welcome. We will only be there a short time and want to see as much as possible.
I hope to hear from you but for now back to camping!
The A to Z Challenge now brings me to E. I had originally planned to do a “Camping at Easter” blog but after a family dinner last night, I decided to move to a topic very current in my life.
In June my daughter, niece and their friends will complete grade 12 and start the next phase of their lives. For the past several months I have watched as these bright young people have planned, applied and stress over their post high school education. They have prepared applications, volunteered at various locations, played on sports teams, studied for hours and held down part time jobs. Yes, they have done most of this based on their love of: the sport, the society or the cause but it is also expected!
In order for these young people to get into the school or program of their choice they had to excel in all these areas. They needed to prove they are “academic”, “well rounded” and “engaged in their community”. I agree with the idea but I think we have forgotten that they are only 17. Yes, they have been accepted, but at what cost!
These kids are busier than I have ever been in my life and they are stressed out by the high achievement that is expected of them. To top it off, after they have spent the endless hours completing all of these requirements, they must worry if the committee on the other end will “select them”. Leaving their future in the hands of strangers who do not know or understand the emotion, time and passion that has been given to the choices these kids have made.
They must endure family gathering knowing the questions of “What school are you going to next year?” or “What career are you planning to go into?” are certain to come up.
Stress and anxiety is at an all time high with our young people and after watching this group go through this process I can understand why. Yes, they need to be responsible, but I think this has gone too far. The group I know is more responsible than many adults. They have an entire life to “be a grown up”, let’s let them enjoy their graduation before taking on the weight of the world!
Campthatsite has been up and running for almost 3 months now. About 2 months longer than most of my friends and family thought it would last. I talked about doing a blog for over a year before I actually started it up. Each trip, while making our campground notes, I would ramble on about how it would be great to write a camping blog. Finally, in December 2014, I took the leap. I think what kick started me was a friend from work had a popular parenting blog, “Discovering Parenthood” and after watching her for a few months I felt inspired. She was also there to provide support and answer questions while I got started. Thanks Tamara! Now after 3 months of blogging I have leared a lot, both about blogging and the unexpected benefits.
When I started out I thought it would be great to share my notes and experiences with other campers. I was hoping other campers would email me or comment about site number they like or campgrounds they have been to. That has happened a bit but not as much as I had thought. In BC it is very difficult to get a good campground during the peak summer season and my thought was to help others get the perfect site on their first trip. I also hoped that if my blog became popular I might have an easier time booking a site of my own. The campground would benefit from a review and I would benefit by being able to book a site. At this time I am still working on building my blog so I have not tried to use it as a booking advantage but maybe some day.
What I Have Learned
It’s a small world after all! I would say the coolest thing about doing this blog is seeing how many countries you can reach without ever leaving your front door. To date this blog has reached readers in over 40 counties and all the continents. Starting a blog has also forced me to learn, link and navigate many of the social media tools out there. I have set up a Twitter account, Facebook page, email address, Instagram account, WordPress blog and then linked them all together. This part has been a steep but fun learning curve. I started with 1 lonely Twitter follower, thanks to my daughter, and have watched it grow to over 600. My kids have had many good laughs as they have watched me log on and off several times each day, checking as my followers and views grew. It has been interesting to learn what people like to read, who opts to follow me and what they respond to. I have been surprised how the “personal blogs” have been some of the most popular posts I have done, followed by cool gadgets and tips.
The Unexpected Benefits
Both my husband and I have loved reliving our 12+ years of camping trips. This blog has given all our memories a permanent scrapbook to share with our family and friends. We have laughed at the photos and memories that were filed away in albums collecting dust or stored in computer files rarely being looked at. The kids have liked hearing camping stories from years they could not remembered and laughing at the crazy thing we have done together as we learned how to become “campers”. It has also renewed my interest in camping, that along with the new 20 foot trailer we bought.
I have also been surprised by the sheer number of fellow bloggers out there. It has been great getting to know other campers. I have loved reading and learning about their experiences as well as communicating with people from so many different places and walks of life. Blogging is a world I never knew existed and have enjoyed learning about. I will keep posting as long as I am camping and I hope to hear from fellow campers as I continue this journey.
Otter Lake Provincial Park is located about 30 minutes northwest of Princeton and is well marked. It is a paved road but is has lots of twist and turns and when the signs say, “watch for rocks on road” or “no stopping due to falling rocks” they are not kidding. Watch for wildlife too; we have seen deer and bears along the way. Although it is not the greatest road once there it is worth the trip. The lake is pristine clear and the campground is truly a get away.
This summer our family and 6 other families are booked for a week at Bonanza Resort near 100 Mile House in BC. It is right on a great fishing and swimming lake and we were lucky enough to get lake front sites. I can’t wait for camping season to start. I will write a review but here is the link if you want to check it out. Let me. Know if you have stayed there and if you have any tips.
Located about 45 kilometers down a rural, sometimes bumpy road, east of Chilliwack lies Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park. Due to its remoteness, and its beautiful mountain valley location, its a true “Beautiful BC” provincial park camping experience. Most sites cannot be reserved ahead of time, which means they don’t fill-up 3 months in advance like nearby Cultus Lake Provincial Park. This makes Chilliwack Lake often the only option for spontaneous camping trips for summer weekends. Continue reading