The summer of 2019 Blair and I had our first 2 week road trip to the northern portion of Vancouver Island. We intended to arrive in Nanaimo and head north to the more remote areas of the island. Of course, BC Ferries had other plans and landed us in Victoria due to cancellations and other unfortunate events, but that’s another story. After our rough start, and a much longer drive, we arrived at Miracle Beach.
We chose this campground for a few reasons:
Its endless sandy beach and world famous beach combing.
Its proximity to Campbell River and the expected fresh seafood that comes with the area.
Its central location to several hikes in the area.
During our stay we wanted to spend time in Campbell River, a
day on the beach and a couple of days hiking.
After 20+ years of camping with family and friends Blair and I took our first 2 week camping trip ALONE. Sure we had done a few nights alone but this was our first extended trip on our own. We figured we had practiced enough over the years and now we were ready to go it alone. Some may question our decision but we have had some recent achievements so we believed we could do it! Here are some of our proud milestones:
We usually back the trailer up without bickering or ending in hours of silence. Go Us!!!!
We have not lost keys in the last 3 trips. Those who travel with us realize this is a big accomplishment.
We have remembered to fill the water tanks on 3 of the last 5 trips, without being reminded!
We have found common ground on our “gas war”. Blair likes to see how long we can travel after the gas light comes on and I go into panic mode once we get below half a tank.
With that kind of success, how could we not feel ready? We decided to make our first trip to Northern Vancouver Island. We did this for a few reason:
It is beautiful with lots of opportunity to hike and kayak, two of our favorite things.
It is remote – no one will witness our bickering if it does occur!
We are on an island – if we decided to bail on the trip it is not easy or cheap to get home giving us a better chance of sticking it out.
In 2017 we camped at Blue Lake Resort with 4 other families. To entice our teenagers to join us, we needed an exciting activity. It had to be thrilling enough for the young and young at heart and safe enough for those who didn’t want to admit they weren’t either of those. After much research we agreed river rafting fit the bill. Safety was a key factor, we had some nervous swimmers and some even more nervous moms, so we needed to go with a reputable company. Based on location and company reviews we decided to go with REO River Rafting.
The summer of 2017 our annual group camping trip brought us to Blue Lake Resort. For previous 4 years we had camped in the Cariboo but all of our kids are now working full time or going to school so we needed to find a location within a couple hours of Vancouver. We also required 5 campsites, with at least a couple being lakefront, one cabin and, oh yeah, we all wanted to be together. We knew this would be a tough order so when the folks at Blue Lake Resort said they could accommodate all our needs we were thrilled and confirmed our reservation.
This unique and challenging 9 hole course is worth an afternoon of golf. We were camping at OK Falls Provincial Park and planned to golf each morning and hit wineries in the afternoon. After a round at WOW Golf I think we might have been smarter to hit the wineries before the golf course.
After not posting for 20 months I am starting up again. In August of 2017 I had run out of campgrounds to write about and unique stories to tell. I didn’t want the site to become filled with posts not relevant to the topic so I just put it on hold until I could gather new material and feel inspired.
The older I get, the more conveniences I seem to acquire and a portable ice maker is just another example. We are social campers, meaning, we mostly camp with other families and are often in private campgrounds with hook ups. It also means we go through a lot of beverages!
Regardless of our camp set up we like to keep our beverages in a cooler packed with ice. Nothing says camping like digging around in freezing water and being rewarded with a cold beer. Keeping that cooler full of ice during a hot summer trip is really the only stress we have camping so we decided to buy a portable ice maker. I do agree, if this is our biggest stress, then life is great!
Regardless of where or when we camp there are a few common traditions that occur each trip. One starts each morning around 9:00 am as campers emerge from tents and trailers everywhere. The smell begins to waft in the air as bacon starts to sizzle on camp stoves and grill throughout the park. Fellow campers begin preparation for the ritual of breakfast, a ritual that only exits at the campground. We rarely cook bacon on any other occasion, but when we camp it is a standard item on the grocery list, one that is expected in the same way as smore’s and spider dogs.