Bonus S’mores

enjoying the beach

This past long weekend saw myself, Sue, Yoshi, and Digger travel to Long Beach to camp with Steve, Rhae, T, and Steve’s sister Gina and her husband Stuart. We also took Digger with us for company for Yoshi. The Green Point campground has a “bare” policy (which means everything except your sleeping necessities must be kept in a vehicle when you are not in your campsite or are sleeping). As a result of this policy, we asked K if we could borrow her van for the dogs to sleep in, and she readily agreed. I admit that having it was a very big bonus for the trip, but Sue and I both agree that it is better to borrow than to own! 🙂

The weather didn’t really pan out like it was supposed to. The reports leading up to the trip indicated it would be sunny and warm (up to 26C), but really it was foggy almost the whole time, and not exactly hot. IT was interesting how each night the fog would clear away for about 3 hours or so, just enough for us to see the sunset.

Pics are here.

Sue and I headed up on Saturday, then came back on Monday. While there we walked the dogs on the beaches a few times, flew the kite a bit (including extreme kite flying with Steve), visited with everyone, and kicked back with a few drinks each night. The really nice thing about Long Beach is that although it is always quite wet there, this means that campfires are usually permitted. This weekend was no exception. Camping just isn’t the same without a campfire.

Other notables from the weekend: T is a real cutie. Naked babies wandering the beach are quite funny. Specially when they squat and pee in the middle of the blanket! :O

While sitting around the fire Sunday night, Steve decided to make some s’mores. He had been having trouble cooking all day, and this was no exception. His first attempt ended up with two wasted marshmallows. I saw him throw one away, but the other one had disappeared. Steve went about making some more that were much more successful. While he was enjoying the fruits of his labour, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something whitish moving. I glanced over, and saw a shadow dart away. I grabbed flashlight just in time to see a mouse stealing the marshmallow that Steve had dropped on the ground! Cute little guy with huge ears! That would have been one huuuge sugar rush for him though; the marshmallow was as big as his body.

Monday morning we learned that Gina had fallen ill in the night. She spent most of the night in the bathroom, and it wasn’t a good scene. Her husband took her to the hospital to get checked out, and the doctors there felt she will be just fine. Scary for a little bit, but we know she will be fine in the end.

Our last walk on the beach was after Sue and I had torn down camp, and packed the van. We drove to Wickaninish to walk them. They went nuts as soon as we let them go. They were running as fast as they could down the beach, right towards a trio of people. They were watching the dogs head straight for them, and you could see them tense up. At the last moment the dogs seperated, and split off in two directions, passing within a few feet of the people. Sue and I were worried that they were going to take them out! Later Digger beatled off into the logs, and was scampering along them. At first we thought he was looking for a place to relieve himself, but we quickly learned what he was doing as soon as he started rub his shoulder against a log. Yelling at Digger, he jumped up and stopped after a couple of good rubs over a dead seal. Yep, that wasn’t a log, but a rotting corpse instead. Dogs are disgusting. Luckily the dead seal was pretty new, and wasn’t horribly stinky. Sue took Yoshi on leash away from me and Digger, I picked an enticing stick, and took him to the surf for a quick dip. I managed to get the stick and digger together right as a wave broke a couple times. It was funny to watch his reaction to a wave breaking over his head! In the end he was a little “fishy” smelling, but not too bad.

The drive home was pretty uneventful, but the lunch at Coombs was awesome! The OCM burger at the Old Country Market is wickedly good! That was our weekend, the next one is almost upons us!

Rathtrevor Sillines

This long weekend was a lot of fun. A large group of our friends went camping to Rathtrevor in Parksville. Most of us arrived Wednesday evening, only to discover that a campfire ban was going into effect at midnight. At least we got one campfire in.

our allowed campfire

On Thursday, the kids played themselves out,

so tired

and adults set up the camp.

setting up the right way

It was also prep time for dinner. What a fine West Coast feast it was!

mmmm, dinner west coast style

When it was bedtime, not everyone wanted to go to sleep.

who is the kid here?

Friday it was off to the beach.

the dogs leading the way

The dogs played while Little E got busy making us some mud pies.

Yoshi and Digger playing

making mud pies

We even found wildlife on the beach!

Rathtrevor wild life

Rathtrevor wild life

Unfotunately there was a wardrobe malfunction at the beach. 🙁

wardrobe malfunction

Back at camp there was some silliness, some snacks for dogs, and some napping.


 dog snacks

 nap time

All too soon the families had to pack up and go home!

 paking up the kidlets

It was a very fun weekend, but I didn’t relax as much as I have in past camping trips. Something about helping to tend to 3 dogs, 6 kids, and 9 adults that can be a lot of work. Enjoyable, but not necessarily relaxing. I look forward to doing it all again next year!

Other notes from the weekend:

– we could hear the Parksville fireworks from the campground, but couldn’t see any of them at all. we could also hear the crowd cheer after the finale
– some people drive way too fast in a campground that has lots of children.
– kids “sleeping” in tents still need supervision lest they find the makeup bag
digger really does live up to his name
– every kid deserves a wagon. I think every single kid we went camping with enjoyed the little red wagon that K brought with her

All the pics I took are here. There are a lot of them too!

Appropriate Misty Vibrating Beach

making tracks
Friday we left town on time. Sunday we returned a day early. The reason in a word: rain.

Rain normally isn’t that bad when camping, if you are prepared for it. Unfortunately for Sue and I, we weren’t very smart in our packing. We didn’t take appropriate clothing, nor did we take enough clothing. This lead us to come home a day early. We still had a great time while there, and I ended up taking more pictures than I thought I would.

Skip to the pictures.

The story in full:

We left town on Friday around 10am. We headed up to Old Country Market in Coombs for lunch. We poked around there for a bit, I bought a kite, then we continued our drive.

On the drive we saw two black bears at the side of the road. Very cool, but we didn’t stop to watch or take pics. It would have been cool to get a picture, but I didn’t want to disturb them at all.

After we got to Green Point, we set up camp, then headed down to the beach for a walk. Yoshi loved it soooo much.

run yoshi run!

He would run away from us as fast as he could, but never in a straight line. He would then skid to a stop, then come bombing back to us in a straight line. It was hilarious just to watch him romp along the sand and through the ocean.

We went back to camp, made some dinner, and started our camp fire (yes they were allowed there, the campsite was even selling wood).

a camp fire in BC???

Saturday after breakfast, we decided to go down to the beach again. We flew the kite, and waled for a while.

the kitethe flyer

We tried to do a group shot, but Yoshi wouldn’t sit still.

me and sueYoshi Jumping

Long Beach is just so scenic, it is hard to take it all in.


It was pretty misty down on the beach, so we headed back to camp thoroughly soaked. Then the rain started.

lots of rain

It rained, and rained, and rained. Tofino took care of us when we headed in there for more clothes. We each got better socks, and I picked up a paiur of long underwear. We also stopped at the Common Loaf for a couple Hot Chocolates. Yum!

Back in the tent we were pretty cozy as we cozied up as best we could, and played Scrabble, Yahtzee, and contract rummy. The noise inside was almost deafening.

yoshi in the tent

We put our wet clothes back on to go outside and cook dinner. Eww, cold, wet cotton is no fun!

Saturday night we had Yoshi sleep in the tent. He woke up sometime while it was still dark, and the poor guy was just vibrating he was so cold. Sue lifted the covers, and he readily climbed into bed, and slept solidly under the covers with us. Normally when we let him sleep with us (which very rarely) he is on top of the cover. He usually moves around so much, and tries to push us off the bed, we have to kick him out. Not Saturday night. He slept soundly, and did not move at all. He even slept in past his normal waking time. He must have been really tired, and really cold.

Sunday morning there was actually Sun peaking out!

sun on treessun on trees

We had already decided to head back home since everything we brought was damp, if not soaking wet. We were quite the sight while eating breakfast.

dressed for successdressed for successdressed for success

We went for one last walk on the beach, packed the truck, then headed home.

beach imagebeach imagebeach image
beach imagebeach imagebeach image
beach imagebeach image

We had dinner with my mom and sister in Nanaimo, stopped at my sisters new house, then drove home. We each had Monday off, so we took the day to dry out all our gear, do a large pile of laundry, catch up on sleep, and relax a bit before going back to work.

In all, the trip was lots of fun, and I don’t regret a single second of it. I just wish I had packed a lot smarter than I did. 1 Pair of cotton pants is not enough for a place the is always wet. :grr:

Remaining Wood

oh sunny day

The truck is packed and we are ready to go! Long beach here we come. We have a couple stops on the way out of town to pick up the remaining supplies, but after that it is clear ailing until we get to Coombs where we will stop for lunch.

The weather in Tofino is still a little suspect, but we are hoping for the best. We also talked to someone who said that there is no fire ban there. Interesting. It seems weird to pack wood so we can have a camp fire, yet the rest of BC is still so dry that many parks are closed, and there is a general back country ban in effect.

Considerable Vegging

I am back. Back at work. Hmm, it seems to me that when going away for the weekend, I always need an extra day to destress from travelling. Anyone else feel that?

It was a good weekend though. Friday I took half the day off to get the final prep done for the trip. I picked up Sue’s friend Holly, and we made our way to the campground. Leaving Victoria, the traffic was a bit of a nightmare, but, once past Goldstream it quickly thinned out.

We got to the campsite, started to unload, and I quickly cracked an ice cold beer. Mmmm, camping and beer is such a wicked combination. After setting up camp it was time to sit by the fire (and have a couple more beer).

Our camping group consisted of about 14 adults, 6 kids, 5 dogs, and 2 salmon (which were later barbequed), all spread across 4 campsites. Lots of legs running about the whole weekend.

Saturday was a scorcher. After relaxing around camp for half the day, a bunch of us headed down to the river. Jason and I each went for a dip, and Digger and Yoshi each spent considerable time in the water.

Saturday night after eating dinner (the salmon cooked over a fire), Sue and I prepared for Sunday. After prepping, doing dishes, and some campsite cleaning, it was time to relax and sit by the fire (and drink some beer). Sunday morning we had to get up, tear down camp, and be on the road by 8:45. I am proud to day, that we did it with no major hiccups! Amazing.

Sunday was Sue’s race, and she did great! She had an excellent swim (I saw her pass everyone in her lane except for one person), her bike was decent, but her run was pretty fast. To top it off this was her first triathlon where she placed in the top 50% of her race category. Congratulations Sue!

After the triathlon we had lunch in Qualicum Beach at Lefty’s, then it was time to drive home to Victoria. After arriving home I unloaded the truck, dumping bags any place I found room, then spent some quality time vegging on the couch. It was good to be home!

Alarm Maintenance

logsI started today off nicely. I set the alarm for 6:30, got up, made some coffee, then took Yoshi down to the local park for an off leash romp before work. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was already up, perfect blue sky, air warm enough to only wear a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. A half hour walk before doing anything else is quite nice. I don’t think I want to do it every day, but it certainly is a nice treat once in a while.

Tomorrow I head up island to go camping. Yippee! Unfortunately I still have a ton (or is that tonne) of things to do before I can leave. The least of which is take my truck in for its 90,000 km maintenance. I have groceries to buy, dog supplies to buy, a bike to retrieve from the shop, and the truck to pack.

Have I ever mentioned that I love packing my truck with stuff. I like the challenge of taking a large pile of objects, and trying to get them all into a limited amount of space. I like to think that I am good at it too. Enough blabbering for now. I need to get some work done, then do some running around at lunch preparing for the trip.

Camping Triathlon

falls!This weekend is my first time camping this year! Woohoo! Sue is heading up to Qualicum to do the Qualicum Beach Triathlon, so we are camping at Englishman River Falls. This place is one of my most favorite on this earth. The river is so amazing.

There is a ton of things to get done this week before we leave. Unfortunately Sue is also heading to Vancouver for a requirements training course. Hmm, that leaves me and Yoshi to play the roles of bachelor for a few days! Party time!