Adam House Camping 2.0

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Aiden, Tim, and I planned another camping trip with the Adam House Community since the trip last year was such a success. Aiden could not make it in the end, but we also had Jocky and David join us as volunteers. We had planned for there to be 24 people on the trip, but unfortunately many people cancelled in the few weeks before the trip. They missed out though because we had another great weekend! This time we went to Grundy Lake Provincial Park. I picked it because I knew there would be some easy trails with nice views, and that we would be able to enjoy the rocky ridges of the Canadian Shield. We drove up on Saturday morning and had smooth sailing. We arrived with plenty of sunlight left and so we went to the beach after setting up camp. The beach was shallow and sandy and so Hani tried swimming for the first time. There was also an area for volleyball and so we played several matches with some other young people. When the sun started going down we decided to drive to Clear Lake and watch the sun set. There was a shallow smooth peninsula rock that went into the water, and Ali discovered that if you took a picture of someone sitting or crouching near the end of that rock, it looked like they were on a high cliff overlooking an abyss of sky. This is because the colours of the clouds and setting sun were reflected like a mirror into the still water. I guess the name “Clear lake” is appropriate! We had a lot of fun after that with various individual poses and selfies! After the sun set we returned to the campsite and made pasta for dinner. We ended up making far too much than we needed and had a lot of leftovers! We enjoyed a nice fire while we swapped embarrassing moment stories and roasted marshmallows.

It rained hard overnight but our tents were good and we managed to stay dry. I was thankful that the rain didn’t start until after we went to bed and stopped by the time we got up. I started setting up a tarp just in case it rained again, and Elchin and David soon came to help me. I was very impressed with how well we were able to hang it! We tied the rope to a rock and threw it over some branches to get it higher. It was cooler and overcast and so we took the morning slow and then decided to go for a hike along the French River in the afternoon. We drove to the French River Visitors Centre and took the 1.5km path to go and see the falls. The forest was beautiful! The falls were small in height but powerful with a lot of water! I liked how the water started like little tendrils that got thicker towards the falls. The guys found a thick styrofoam block and started to play around with it. I hoped they wouldn’t do anything reckless with it and they didn’t. They did decide to bring it back to Grundy Lake with us though to use as a swim toy back at the beach! Another site we saw was a large snake, probably the largest that I’ve seen in Canada, that we think was a Massassauga Rattlesnake. At first we thought it was dead, but when David prodded it with the tripod it moved. The poor thing probably just wanted to be left alone! After the hike we went to the Visitors Centre, which was in a well designed building that I thought fit well in the landscape (I found out later that it was designed by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects). We also went to check out the nearby suspension bridge that was built primarily for snowmobiles. On the way back to camp, I convinced my car to go get ice-cream from the Grundy Lake Outpost. The others were too far ahead and so we went without them. I thought I might remember something of the place from my childhood, but it all felt different!

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We decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach and I proposed that we go to the Red Maple beach instead. As we were getting in the cars, Lana told me that Elchin had run off saying he would beat us there. When we got to the beach he was nowhere to be found. While Lana went looking for him I introduced the others to the slippery rock. It was just as slippery as I remember from my childhood. The water was warmer than the air at this point, and so we didn’t swim for very long. Lana didn’t succeed in finding Elchin and so we drove to the main beach because we thought maybe he had ended up there from a miscommunication. We were right! The sun returned and we played a few more games of volleyball. Those of us less interested in playing left early to go watch the sun set from the lookout point near Red Maple beach. We found a nice peaceful spot with a beautiful view of Grundy Lake. Over the course of an hour we watched the sun and clouds go through several transformations. The others joined us right after the sun had dipped below the horizon. They had brought chips and salsa and so we snacked while continuing to watch the final changing hues of the sky. The next morning it was raining like crazy! We knew that it was not going to subside and so we had to pack up camp wet. Yuck! Everyone were great sports though and we were so efficient that we were on the road shortly after 10! The ride home confirmed that we had made the right decision in not trying to wait it out. We drove through three more intense downpours before the sky cleared almost two hours later! Even though it meant that I had to take an extra day off of work to dry the tents out (although I ended up using it as an E4C day), I was glad that the rain happened at the end of the trip instead of during it! I’m so thankful to my friends and family who all lent me their various camping equipment! This trip could not have happened without them! I’m so glad that we have started a tradition with this trip!

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