Bear Creek Provincial Park – Kelowna, BC

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Bear Ck 2b

When our kids were young we kicked off summer by heading to Bear Creek Provincial Park for the Canada Day long weekend. It felt like the official start of summer and you could almost be guaranteed to have good weather. Kelowna has a great Canada Day Festival in town with lots to do for the entire family and even without Canada Day you will most certainly be able to find something fun to do. The last time we were at Bear Creek was in 2004, this is largely due to the fact the park is hard to reserve, but these notes are based on those trips so the next time I am in Kelowna I will go back to check it out again.

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Married 20+ Years, 2 Weeks Camping Alone For The First Time!

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:

  1. We usually back the trailer up without bickering or ending in hours of silence. Go Us!!!!
  2. We have not lost keys in the last 3 trips. Those who travel with us realize this is a big accomplishment.
  3. We have remembered to fill the water tanks on 3 of the last 5 trips, without being reminded!
  4. 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.

Our Route

We planned to take the ferry to Duke Point and driving to Miracle Beach for our first 3 nights. Miracle Beach has plenty of hikes within a short drive, great beaches to walk along and Campbell River is just a short drive if we have forgotten items and or want a dinner out.

From there we head to Port McNeil. This made a great home base to explore the north. We planned to spend a day at Telegraph Cove kayaking, a day in Port Hardy checking out the town and driving/hiking to Cape Scott, a day around Port Alice to kayak and explore the area, a day visiting Alert Bay, and a couple days around our site just relaxing and enjoying the oceanfront views.

After the northern segment, we headed to the popular and remote campground on Loveland Bay. This was to be the beach portion of our vacation and chance to relax, read and swim.

We ended the trip at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Here we planned a cave tour, some kayaking and a hike before heading back to the ferry at Duke Point and home. ­­­

It was an ambitious trip with lots of packing up and changing of locations but it gave us lots of opportunity to review several campground. I am currently finalizing all the reviews and the summary of how we made out. Spoiler alert, we came home together and lasted the full 2 week without any issues!

Porteau Cove Provincial Park – Squamish, BC Campground Review

WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!! That is really the best way to describe this campground. I can see why it is near impossible to get a reservation here!!!! We stayed at Porteau Cove Provincial Park for the first time in mid August 2017. Somehow my sister managed to get a double ocean front site and she invited us to share it with her. All I can say is LUCKY US. This is, without a doubt, the most amazing campground.

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Shannon Falls Provincial Park- Squamish, BC – Hike Review

Hiking has become one of our favorite activities while camping and Squamish is the perfect hiking destination. We recently camped at Porteau Cove Provincial Park and while there we took a morning hike to Shannon Falls Provincial Park. This is a very popular park in part due to it convenient location, 60 km north of Vancouver and right off of Highway 99, and because of the number of hikes that can be accessed from this park. There is a public parking lot but it fills up fast. If you are planning on visiting on the weekend you are best to arrive early.

Shannon Falls is the center piece of this park and the trails provide spectacular views from a variety of levels. The trails are in great shape and very well maintained but each year climbers irresponsibly venture off the trail to get closer access to the Falls. Unfortunately many do not appreciate the danger of the falls and the results are sometimes fatal.

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Blue Lake Resort: Boston Bar – Campground Review

View of the lake from our hike

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.

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Come to the Island – 7 great reasons to float on an island.

As you know we are social campers, not back country hard core campers. We love to gather with friends and family at a lake and hope for sun. This usually involves several women blowing up individual flotation bed and paddling several feet into the lake. I realize this sound terribly laborious and you must marvel at all the obstacles we have endured.img_5004

  1. How can so many women chat while continuing to floating away from each other?
  2. How can your drinks still be full by the time you reach your destination?
  3. Doesn’t the lake keep pushing us back to shore, resulting in constant paddling.

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Okanagan Falls Provincial Park, OK Falls BC

okanagan-falls-campground-signOkanagan Falls Provincial Park is a small park made up of only 25 unserviced sites which are 100% reservable. The park is now officially called  sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Park, and is located in the small town of Okanagan Falls. The park lies  below the outlet of Skaha Lake on the Okanagan River. 

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No Mess Individual French Fry Packets

I am always looking for easy recipes to  make while camping. I often find lots of meat recipes but am looking for an option to roasted potatoes. This option would be much higher in calories but my kids would love it and it looks like an easy clean up.

Grilled Foil Packed Cheesy Fries

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Ingredients

1 bag (14 oz) frozen crinkle-cut french fries
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup grated cheese
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)
2 tablespoons cooked real bacon bits
  • Heat grill to medium-high heat. Toss frozen French fries with melted butter.
  • Tear off 2 (12-inch) lengths of  Heavy Duty Foil to make foil boats. Place half of the fries in a single layer in the center of 1 piece of foil. Loosely fold foil around edges to form a boat, leaving large hole at top to allow steam to escape; repeat with remaining fries and foil.
  • Place foil packets on grill over indirect heat. Cover grill; cook 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until fries are crispy and baked through. Top each packet with grated cheese; cook about 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and bacon bits just before serving.