2007 Trips: 17 places | 42 nights | 5629 km
Murphys Point Provincial Park
Park | 8/10
May 11 to 13, Hogg Bay CG, Site 65. We returned to Murphys Point for our spring shakedown cruise. We took advantage of some scouting I did during our final trip in 2006 and booked site 65, and were very pleased with it. Furnace troubles kept us awake for a lot of the night but the trip was otherwise excellent.
Higley Flow State Park
May 18 to 21, Loop C, Site 56. Our trip to Higley Flow was our first MFCC gathering, but it certainly won't be our last! It was our pleasure to camp with these helpful and friendly folks in beautiful Higley Flow with its towering conifers and nicely paved loops and pads. Furnace troubles fixed, we spent our nights in comfort.
Murphys Point Provincial Park
Park | 6/10
June 8 to 10, Hogg Bay CG, Site 68. We wouldn't choose site 68 again. It's a tempting shortcut for beachgoers, directly under power lines and too close to the vault toilets for olfactory comfort. We brought our bikes, though, and that was nice.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
June 15 to 18, Outlet River CG, Site 15. A friend had this marvellous site booked and had to cancel, so we reaped the benefits. Right on the beach, nice breezes and enough trees that a spot of shade could always be found. Unfortunately the folks across the road were celebrating too much and had to be asked to keep it down.
Sandbanks is set in picturesque Prince Edward county and is an excellent base for touring. D has been camping there since the age of three and we still love to get there when we can.
Wellesley Island State Park
June 18 to 21. This was not our best outing... I caught a cold and we didn't really enjoy the trip. We ended up relocating from our fully exposed site to another in the shade. Most of this park is full exposure and we probably wouldn't camp here again without A/C or a booking for one of the shady sites. There are lots of skunks about but not a whiff of scent so they must get along pretty well with their human neighbours.
Of interest are the osprey nests topping two of the light poles at the park entrance. These birds are large raptors and make huge nests. We spotted them in and out.
Watkins Glen State Park
June 21 to 24, Mohawk CG. This was our first time to this annual event, titled G@FL'07 (Gathering at Finger Lakes 2007) this year. The loop with the electric sites was packed full of PUX campers and we had a blast. We visited the stunning gorge next to the park entrance, spent too much money at the Famous Brands Outlet Store and had a great time with the folks present, including a massive potluck feast.
Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
June 30 to July 2, Babawasse CG. This was our first time to Sam de C and we had a great time. We stayed in the Babawasse Campground in an electrical site and although many of the nearby sites were wide open we had good privacy. The area is beautiful and we look forward to returning.
By coincidence, there were plenty of MFCC folks at the park that weekend. We met up frequently.
Voyageur Provincial Park
July 13 to 15, Portage CG, Site 412. This was our first time back after our ill-fated first PUP trip (see bottom of page), and our luck was no better. This time we took our niece and for the first night and most of the first full day we had a good time. Our site (412 in the Portage Campground) backed onto the comfort station behind a good stand of trees. The L-shape of the site looked daunting at first but turned out to be an excellent arrangement once the PUP was backed around the corner. Unfortunately D fell ill with what was later diagnosed as Strep Throat and had to be rushed home in the early morning hours of what was to be our last full day. I had to return to pack up the trailer and bring the rig home.
Last Duel Municipal Park
August 2 to 5. Last Duel is so named after the last fatal duel fought in Ontario, between law students John Wilson and Robert Lyon. Lyon was shot twice and killed and is interred at the Old Burying Grounds on nearby Cole street.
Perth itself is an historic and beautiful town well worth exploring. Be sure to take a walk along the business section of Gore street and to visit Stewart Park. Good eating can be found at The Courtyard Tea Room and at The Market Grill. Try White Mountain for delicious homemade ice cream.
The park is located along the Tay river. We could and did canoe upstream to the Tay River basin, which is located in the downtown area of Perth. The park is small with a variety of site choices from full exposure to partial shade. Some of the sites are hard to identify, with markers missing from several. Electrical and city water hookups are available... apparently some of the sites had problems with electrical hookups, but not us.
Bookings are handled by the town hall and tracked by a clerk there on a hand-drawn map of the park. We got a copy as we came into town and although we were booked in one place there was no problem changing our site after we found another we preferred. We were well shaded and had a view of the water.
Most of the river sites are occupied by seasonal campers. A couple of the sites are unkempt but for the most part they're quite presentable. The atmosphere is quiet and most of the campers respect that.
There's no real beach - it's more of a sandy path that leads to a shallow part in the river beside a small island. The water was warm but still refreshing. The river at this point is fairly narrow and boat traffic is slow. And the squeamish take note - there are leeches in the river.
Firewood is not sold at the park but the stores in the area and some of the nearby farms sell it. There is a single comfort station with bathrooms and showers.
The first night I could swear we were camped right beside the train tracks, although they were almost a kilometre away. I counted seven freight trains by noise and none of the engineers were shy about using the air horn. By the third night I slept through it.
Trains, leeches and all, we'll go back. It was nice and quiet with plenty of time to sit around... perfect camping!
Long Sault Parkway
August 10 to 12, Woodlands CG, Site 145. Long Sault parkway is a series of ten islands connected by causeways and bridges along a ten km stretch of two-lane, 55-km/h highway. The islands were hilltops at one time but in 1958 ten villages were flooded and lost to allow the establishment of hydroelectric dams and to create a navigable channel through the Long Sault rapids.
Entrance to the park is possible through either the west gate (near Ingleside) or the east gate (near Long Sault). Registering campers must use the east gate to check in, but may pass through either after that.
There are three campgrounds along the parkway: Mille Roche, Woodlands and McLaren, all named for the islands on which they're situated. We stayed at Woodlands. The campsites are mostly exposed, though some shade is available. 145, ours, had a mild bidirectional slope , but nothing we couldn't handle. It also had 30A and water hookups, which was nice.
This was our first experience with our new Carrier AirV air conditioner and we had a few frustrating moments until we realized that we had to plug it in. After that it was chilly air and happiness. It was also the first time using my shower hose extension mod and it was nice to have that extra 25' of reach.
There were lots of groups camping at Woodlands. The row in which our site was located was fairly quiet - all trailers and families. Around the corner, however, a group of six twenty-something guys set up a single tent, turned on their radio and started to make some noise. A short time later a park official came by, told them to quiet down and we didn't hear anything from them after that. The only further hint of their presence was a certain sweet-smelling smoke in the air after dark one night.
The park has a lot of activities and we took in some crafts with Emily and watched a reptile show. We checked out an RV display at one end of the park and Dawn and Emily went swimming while I chopped wood and set up the fire. Apparently the beach was very nice but the water was a little murky.
A two-night stay was too short for us. With all the activities to do and all the islands to explore, we'll probably make our next trip a longer one.
Murphys Point Provincial Park
August 17 to 19, Hogg Bay CG. Back at the Point again! This was a nice trip that started with a harrowing experience.
When we arrived at the park and found our site it was dusk and raining heavily. We got the road side of the PUP confused with the curb side and figured we had to come into the pull-through site from the other end. We got turned around and tried to do that, but the approach was a very steep gravel road and about ten feet from the top the van lost traction. The mirrors weren't much good in the rain so Dawn braved the wet, leaned out the window and guided me... backwards... down the hill and over the several hundred metres of road until we could turn around.
We soon realized that our original approach to the site was correct, and there was much slapping of foreheads. Once we got back to the entrance of the campground we tried again and there was no problem. We set a personal record for setting up and were soon inside, warming and changed into dry clothes.
The campground was pretty full and the weather was good. Friends came and joined us on the second day and stayed the rest of the trip. A nice, relaxing weekend.
Presqu'ile Provincial Park
August 31 to September 1, Pines CG. This was our first time at Presqu'ile - we booked a single night to break up the seven-hour trip to Rock Point PP on Lake Erie's north shore.
After passing through the park entrance we filled up the tank with water and drove the several kilometres to the registration office. Checked in, we headed for the Pines campground and upon arrival were greeted with a foul smell. Turns out that lots of algae is forming along the shores of Lake Ontario. The wind shifted later and we were fine.
It was meant to be a quick and efficient stopover, and it was. No dinette, no cooking and no campfire. After our cold dinner our neighbour took pity on us and invited us to sit at her fire. Beers were offered and gratefully accepted.
As we were packing up after our cereal breakfast the next morning, our across-the-road neighbour and fellow MFCCr offered and brought us coffee - how nice! The folks all around us were very friendly, and we really liked the park. We'll be back.
Rock Point Provincial Park
September 1 to 8, West CG. This was our first time back since our trip last summer, and it's the longest we've ever camped in one place with the PUP.
Rock Point is a really nice park, and nicely isolated from outside sources of noise and light pollution. At night, it was easy to see the stars and to hear the Lake Erie surf and the wind in the trees.
The beach is a combination of rocks and sand and the water is very nice, so we went swimming on more than one occasion. There are lots of fossils imbedded into the rock on the point, and many stones just lying around contain fossils as well.
Attractions, for us, included Niagara Falls, the Welland Canal, the wineries, and just touring around. While doing so we found a pristine 1975 Ford F-250 that we very nearly bought as a new tow vehicle. Nearby Dunnville has a Canadian Tire and a Sobeys, so camping food and supplies are always close at hand.
A great stay. We'll be back!
Presqu'ile Provincial Park
September 8 to 9, Pines CG. Once again we had a very nice stopover at this gem of a park. We had a fire this time and the kindling we purchased from the park office was so good that I used it sparingly and kept the rest for future trips.
Again, we had a very nice spot in the Pines loop and were surrounded by friendly folks. We'll definitely be back, and hopefully for a longer trip.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
September 14 to 16, Woodlands CG, Site 647. The 14th was our twelfth anniversary and we celebrated by going camping. How else?
Our second time in the newer Woodlands campground and once again it was very nice. Unfortunately there was a loud group across the road, but they couldn't ruin a great trip.
It was certainly an interesting weekend. As we were setting up I was interrupted by a loud pop. Acorns were falling on the awning and bouncing off, but one didn't - because it pierced the canvas! It did have a particularly sharp point, but the aim of the tree was unerring. Believe it or not - the proof is in the photos link above.
We love to swim at Sandbanks but it was a little chilly for that, so we did a lot of touring around. In nearby Bloomfield we cam across an antique store with a unique name - "Dead People's Stuff". What a riot! It's in the photos.
Sandbanks is located on Quinte's Isle in Prince Edward County, and the scenery is breathtaking in places. It's Ontario newest growth area for vineyards and new wineries are opening every year.
There's lots on the island, which it technically is since the completion of the Murray Canal in 1889. Lots of small towns and quaint shops to visit, lots of sights to see. In addition to the large number of private campgrounds on the island there are actually three Provincial Parks, though two of them - North Shore and Lake On The Mountain - are day-use only.
When we pulled out on Sunday afternoon we noticed, in the site next to ours, the curb-side tension bar for a Reese Mini 350 weight distribution system just like ours. Wasn't ours, though. It belonged to a couple who were camping nearby in an orange-and-white T@B trailer. I dropped it off at the gate office and filled out a detailed description form for the lost and found. Hopefully it got back to them.
Sandbanks stays are like pizza. Some are better than others, but they're just about all good. This one was very good.
Voyageur Provincial Park
September 21 to 23, Portage CG Site 415. After two aborted camping trips to Voyageur we were leery about returning but if the third time really is the charm, we proved it on this trip.
As before we were at the Portage campground, this time with a group of folks from the MFCC. Although the forecasts were not stellar we ended up with outstanding weather - warm and sunny during the day, with nice cool nights perfect for sleeping. The beautiful fall colours with the red of the prolific sumacs were a pleasure to behold. It was so nice at the park that for the first time in memory our van didn't move off our huge site once.
As with many MFCC gatherings, a potluck was planned. We offered to host it on our site and it was a lot of fun. Afterwards we had a big community fire... also lots of fun.
The final day was a leisurely one with more good weather and lots of time to chat before packing up and heading for home.
October 14 to 16. Another great MFCC outing at a nice KOA, and our last trip of the season. Cardinal KOA is a little off the beaten path but all the nicer for that. In the park we were still very close to our neighbours' sites but since we know and like them that wasn't a problem. The place is nicely treed and well managed. There's an ice cream social on weekends and they have a giant, inflatable jumping pillow out front, like a big trampoline that lots of kids can play on at once.
During the day we assembled a massive production line for the creation of campfire starters. We made hundreds and everyone got to take some home.
Once again we had a delicious MFCC potluck and the KOA folks were kind enough to grant us space, chairs and tables indoors for our gathering. After the potluck there was a round of trick-or-treating and all the kids had a great time. We sat around a nearby campfire for a while before sacking out.