I have had a little bit of writers block lately. I have put together bits and pieces of ideas that I just haven’t been able to turn into a full-length blog post.
So, here is a little snipit of what I have been up to lately in the outdoors, keeping a focus on the good life and taking care of my mental health.
Last weekend I camped for two nights at Birds Hill Provincial Park, a short twenty minute drive from my literal backyard to Winnipeg’s giant backyard. I came home during the day to help my husband landscape our yard. I craved the cool night air that sleeping outside brings and I wanted to have coffee with the birds in the morning. With a non-functional backyard, Birds Hill was the next best option.
I booked a camp site on the inner loop of the playground so my daughter could bounce back and forth and I could relax knowing she was in eye and ear shot of me.
As I sat at the picnic table journaling with my head down, I heard a little voice ask if I knew how to set up a tent. “You bet I do!” I responded.
The family behind our site was camping for the very first time and I had seen that they had been trying to set up their tent without any luck. Most of their camping gear was fresh and still in original packaging with the stove still wrapped in plastic.
The tent was a massive 8-person tent for the 4 of them. We have a large 8-person base camping tent as well for 3 of us plus the two dogs. We definitely don’t need to fight for space in that tent. I am of the opinion that all tents, especially large should be colour coded for ease of the set up. I found the instructions to be somewhat complex so I can only imagine how they felt. Once we got on a roll and a couple of errors were corrected it went up in no time.
The mom of the group was a delight to chat with. She joked that someone told her that camping with her husband would test their marriage. How true that statement is! You learn a lot about someone when you set up and maintain camp whether in a giant back yard or in the back country.
The children visited my site often and asked handfuls of questions about camping, from the screen tent to my sleeping tent to how I was going to cook dinner. I enjoy having kids around when I camp, especially when they are eager to learn and help. I love teaching inquisitive minds in the outdoors.
Fast forward to Friday night…there has been a ban on backcountry camping in southern Manitoba due to forest fires. I originally had a two and a half day trip planned in Spruce Woods Provincial Park but with the ban, I changed my plans for Friday night. As I later learned, the ban was lifted Saturday morning!
On Friday evening, I hiked approximately 15 km along the Duff Roblin Parkway to Bird’s Hill Provincial Park, plus a few extra kilometers once inside the park towards the campground. It was getting dark on the way to the campground so my friend who had driven in came to pick me up on South Drive. My trail angel!
We hiked around the park on Saturday morning for another 15km. Bird’s Hill isn’t in the backcountry and doesn’t have challenging terrain, but it served the purpose of being able to hike with a fully loaded pack in preparation for my Appalachian Trail hike. Trekking my own path to success!