I’ve never been that dog who leaps into water after a stick. Mind you, I’ve never been that dog who chases a stick on land. When Logan was around, I’d compete for whatever was being thrown for him to fetch, but with him went any fetch inclination I possessed.
I’m also not a big swimmer. I can swim. I will swim. But I don’t go into the water just to paddle around. Water is for cooling off. The hotter I am, the deeper I’ll go and the longer I’ll stay.
But I do love water. These days I get thirsty more quickly when walking or on a warm day, so it’s become key to my comfort, but even in my youth I was drawn to the cool, refreshing effect of water. I’d stand in it, lie in it, slurp it up, and swim if conditions warranted.
So, whenever we go camping or road tripping, I always cast my vote for somewhere with a river, lake, or stream, and this past week’s adventure didn’t disappoint.
We started off at a little provincial recreation area called Maycroft. The name doesn’t tell you much. It could be just about anything anywhere, but is actually a small campground right next to the Oldman River. It was mid-twenties Celsius when we arrived, so I was initially disappointed to find we’d be perched far above the river. But no matter how steep the bank, there’s always a trail to water. T and Nollind spent the evening playing music for the Oldman, and I curled up in the soft, new, green grass. It’s so luxurious at this time of year.
After one perfect night, we were on our way to our intended destination, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park. You might remember we visited this same place last fall, spent Canadian Thanksgiving there. The coloured leaves are gone, but in their place are flowers, lots of them. Mostly carpets of these little yellow guys called Trout Lilies, but also some crocuses, shooting stars, and sunflowers. I’m not really a flower guy, but T sure likes them and had her big camera out taking pictures.
Me, I like the walking and the water. On Monday, our first full day at Beauvais, we did the trail that circuits the entire lake. It was a warm morning, and the trail is ten kilometres, so I was pretty happy to have the lake right there to drink from and dip into over the course of our three-hour hike.
On Tuesday, we ventured into Castle Provincial Park and found more water. A lake called Beaver Mines, and a river called Castle. There are a bunch of places to camp in this park and a long list of hiking trails so we definitely plan to return. If any of you have visited, I’d love to hear about your favourite campgrounds and trails.
We were scheduled to travel home on Thursday, but a bright red banner showed up on the Environment Canada website Wednesday morning causing T and Nollind to reconsider.
I know how they hate to give up a paid-for night of camping, and also hate being chased by weather, but they decided to leave a day early and avoid travelling in snow. Me, I was fine with the decision. I love water less when it’s falling from the sky, preferring to get wet on my own terms.
So, camping adventure number two for the season is in the book (literally … there’s a book). Three nights at Dinosaur, one at Maycroft, and three at Beauvais make seven nights I’ve claimed my space on the people bed. They used to have me up for evening cuddles before sending me to my own bed, but aging has its perks. And I’ve learned to keep to my space, not move around too much, and not freak T out by trying to get down in the middle of the night and crashing (yes, it happened).
As for where we’ll go next? Well, your guess is as good as mine. As long as there’s water and a space on the bed for me, I’m game for just about anywhere.