I woke up in Grundy Lake Provincial Park but I was slow to move out of my sleeping bag.
Maybe this camping thing was wearing off. I wasn’t sure that I could deal with another night like last night. The thought of a mosquito buzzing in my ear made me pull my sleeping bag tighter around my neck.
The kids were still sleeping and I watched them for a bit. So quiet, so cute. Super campers, really. They hadn’t once complained about being on the road. Trust me, they weren’t perfect, there was enough bickering to last me an eternity, but as far as the trip went, they never once told me they were bored. That was a win, right? But today, I wasn’t psyched to pull out the stove, find the kettle, and move some bins to get my coffee maker for my much needed morning brew. It seemed like a lot of work. This morning, I longed for pushing the button on my drip coffee maker at home and kicking my feet up on the sofa.
I could hear people starting to rise at other campsites surrounding ours. The kids stirred but didn’t wake. I quietly got out of my sleeping bag and started my daily routine. Wiggle out of sleeping bag, grab sweater, put hat on, slip on boots, unzip tent, get out of tent, zip tent. It’s amazing how much noise a tent zipper makes when you have three sleeping kids inside it. I went ever so slowly and carefully along the seam so that maybe they would sleep long enough for me to pull a chair out and enjoy a few minutes of ‘me-time’ before they said they were hungry. I turned toward Black Betty.
I forgot the keys in the tent. Another round of slowly unzipping the tent to salvage whatever little bit of slumber these kids had left in them.
Ellie rolled over and said, “good morning mom.”
So much for slow tent zipping.
I got the keys and started my coffee routine. While I was waiting for the water to boil, I sent Matt a text: Today I’m tired. And sick of the buzzing in my ears.
With my first sip of coffee, I started to feel better.
The kids wanted to go swimming so I started getting us ready for the day. I decided to pull out our paddleboard because the lake looked perfectly calm and there was an island, not too far out, I was certain we could kill time over there. We loaded up the kids’ fishing nets and a picnic. I tied their boogie boards to the paddleboard and all four of us climbed on. Off we went.
On our little island adventure, we met a lovely family of four that beached their kayaks next to our board. Ben made instant conversation with them, especially drawn to their son, Noah, who was about the same age. Noah had a yellow kayak and he was kind enough to let Ben try it out. Ben, being a wild water child, fell head over heels for this kayak. He loved it. By the time we left them, he was sure he needed to save his money to buy one of his own. Today, he is still focused on buying a yellow kayak just like Noah’s (See title photo).
We spent hours in and out of the water. They chased frogs and minnows with their little nets. We found frogs, toads, crayfish, minnows, and turtles. The kids were beyond themselves with excitement over all the little critters. Just that morning, I’d been deflated by the previous night’s chaos, but now we were having a blast. It was so fun to watch the kids go crazy over the frog. Come to think of it, this was the first frog these city-slicker-kids had ever seen.
After a wonderful day, I prepared an early dinner to avoid the madness of the previous night. We lit a fire and talked about our trip so far. What were our favorite things, how we dealt with the rainy days, and how the hotel with a pool was a nice treat. Then we turned to the important business of the day, our next stop. Were we going for Bobcaygeon or not?
We looked more closely at our options. Ben wasn’t willing to give up PEI and confederation bridge, though he was disappointed that we would miss Bobcaygeon and Kingston, we agreed that someday we would roadtrip there. Besides, Ben was also excited for Québec. We figured we could make it to Québec and spend a few days at La Mauricie National Park, hunting for red chairs. So the next day, I got up early and loaded us up.
Instead of heading south to Bobcaygeon, we pointed Black Betty north so that we could pick up the highway east from North Bay.