I feel like I blinked and summer was over. I still want to get a few more camping adventures in, so when I checked out the weather for the weekend and saw that it was expected to be nice and warm, I booked myself a campsite.
I have driven up to Douglas Provincial Park for the day many times to explore the sand dunes, but I had never spent a night. When I was booking my site I saw that they have four ‘walk-in’ campsite options about 250 metres away from the rest of the campground and I decided to give one of them a try,
The walk in sites are located on a small, well kept walking trail and have a standing fire pit, a picnic table, and plenty of space. It looks a lot more remote than most campgrounds, but you can hear the chatter and noises of the nearby sites, and people are often using the walking trail. This was totally fine by me as I still get a little nervous sleeping alone in a tent.
After a few trips back and forth to the car, camp was finally set up for the night.
Before settling in, I had some high energy dogs that had been patiently waiting for a walk all day. We did a quick loop through the campground and then on to the walking trail that circled our camp. The trail made its way to the edge of Deifenbaker Lake, and I let the dogs off for a quick swim. It was a hot September day, and the dogs enjoyed every moment in the water.
After a lovely swim, my soggy dogs and I headed back to camp for dinner. They enjoyed their kibble while I got a fire started and threw two hot dogs and a wheel of Brie cheese on to the grill.
Much to the pups delight, one of the hot dogs rolled off of the grill and was divided fairly between them after it had cooled off. I was most excited about the cheese anyways.
After enjoying some dinner, we settled in to camp for the evening. I almost always have a feeling of guilt in the back of my mind for not reading enough books. I never seem to find the time or the patience to sit down and read unless I’m camping. I took full advantage of the evening and spent a few hours listening to an audiobook before switching over to my kindle.
The sunset was gorgeous, and we went for a quick walk through the nearby campground to appreciate it. The best part of fall camping has got to be the colors.
As soon as the sun started to set ,and our campsite grew darker, the small rustles and noises in the trees became more apparent. The dogs jumped and barked at them, which didn’t exactly help my nerves. But I threw a few more logs on the fire and did my best to ignore them.
It was finally time to settle in for the night. The pups and I snuggled up in the tent, Piper at my feet and June as close as she could possibly get to me. I continued reading for a while and was amazed at just how quiet everything around us was. It stayed that way for a few hours until the coyotes started yipping in the distance. Piper snoozed through it without a care, after sleeping outside for most of her life there isn’t much that worries her when she’s in a tent. June, on the other hand, woke me up a few times throughout the night to let me know that she did not like those noises. She snuggled in closer and I assured her that they were far away.
Eventually morning came (without any coyote problems, much to Junes delight). Piper was stretched out, taking up half of the two person tent while June and I squished together on the other side. It had cooled down significantly over the night, and I shivered while I broke the tent down.
I packed up the car and fed the dogs their breakfast. Even though it was chilly I figured we should get one more walk in before we headed home. We made our way back down the path, and I was planning on getting to the beach to let the dogs off for a quick jaunt.
As we walked along the dogs were excited about something. They darted side to side on the trail trying to pin point what it was exactly. We rounded a corner and I saw a big porcupine waddling along the trail ahead of us. I snapped a quick photo, but you can barely see the dot that it the porcupine between the branches. He realized he was being followed and started to waddle along even faster. My dogs had the scent, but they hadn’t seen him yet. So I slowly walked behind, waiting for the porcupine to round each corner before I proceeded. Eventually I rounded a bend and he was gone, finally making his way off into the trees.
The last thing I wanted after our skunk encounter a few weeks ago was dogs filled with porcupine quills. So I decided that an off-leash run was not in the cards for us today. We continued along and I heard a loud crashing noise through the trees. A moose appeared ahead of us, almost as startled as we were. My dogs strained at their leashes, and I decided then that it would be best for us to turn around and let the wildlife enjoy the trail for the morning. We still got a bit of a walk in, and then piled in to the warm car for the drive home.
My first night camping at Douglas Provincial Park was a success. If you ever have the chance, spend a night there!