Day 11 (July 8): On the Road Again
Yesterday, we capped off the Canada part of our trip with a relaxing day. After enjoying a slow, big breakfast at camp, we went for a hike nearby. We enjoyed more outstanding scenery, and the weather was perfect.
We roasted hot dogs over the fire for lunch, then walked down to the beach where the kids swam and Craig and I read/napped.
I cannot say enough good things about Golden Ears. I would absolutely come back in a heartbeat!
At some point (Saturday night?), Craig and I realized we were both thinking the same thing — that it was time to start heading home. The kids overheard us talking about it, and they enthusiastically agreed. We have been having SUCH a good time, but we miss the dog… miss the comforts of home… and sleeping in a tent does get old! So, we decided to head home Monday instead of Tuesday. This meant skipping the whitewater rafting, but we will just save that adventure for another time!
Today, we got up early and were on the road by 8:00 A.M. We drove about 8 ½ hours and got to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We got a room at the Best Western, here, and the kids are in heaven; this hotel has a swimming pool AND a restaurant! (They are so easily pleased.)
The rest of our trip will likely be the same — hard driving to get home with some hotel stops along the way. So, this will likely be my last blog for this trip.
This has been an awesome, memorable vacation. The kids, 13 and 9.5, are at good ages for traveling and adventure. Craig said the only problem with this trip is that all future vacations may pale in comparison. 😉
Honestly, I think I enjoyed the long-term camping and roughing it as much as I enjoyed seeing the sights at the different locations. I know that sounds weird… I doubt I can explain it convincingly. But, it was just really cool to get all that “stuff” together for camping and then to really, REALLLLLLY use it all and need it all.
I put a LOT of forethought into the meals we took. I tried to plan meals incorporating non-perishable type foods so they would last a long time. The kids’ favorite was the Frito Pie (they had never had that before). I also looked up lots of “camp friendly” meals, and looked for stuff I figured would be easy and include ingredients that would last a long time in the cooler. My favorite was something I found online called “Camp Hash”: potatoes cut in bite-size pieces (I pre-bake the potatoes when we camp), sliced kielbasa (turkey for us), a chopped onion, some minced garlic, a can of corn, and a can of green chilies. You cook the onion in some oil, then add the rest of the ingredients. It was an easy and very satisfying camp meal. I actually ate the leftovers (with some shredded cheese on top — oh yeah!) the following night when the rest of the family had pancakes for dinner (in the Bisquick shake and pour container).
Other helpful/awesome equipment we had:
– Craig’s sister, Cathy, loaned us her camp kitchen. It sets up in less than 5 minutes, and allows you to keep your “kitchen” (water, wash tub, soap and hand towel, camp stove, bins, etc.) away from the eating (picnic table) area. I loved it SO much, I really don’t want to have to go camping again without the camp kitchen. 🙂
– The good old reliable Coleman camp stove. For this trip, Craig added a hose attachment that allowed us to use a full-size tank of propane (instead of the smaller propane canisters). It lasted the whole trip. We cooked almost everything on the camp stove.
– New tent — The Kelty Hula House 6. The tent worked out great. Our weather was perfect, so we got to enjoy several nights without the rainfly… amazing view of the stars!!! Wow. I know, though, from prior experience, that the tent does stay bone-dry in the pouring rain. It takes 2 people about 10 minutes to set up the tent. We are really happy with this purchase.
– Folding chairs that recline. These chairs are just what the doctor ordered after a long day of driving. At $50 each, they are worth every penny. We use them at home all the time, too.
– A snack bag and drink cooler in the car. I took lots of snacks and changed up what “appeared” in the snack bag from day to day. The kids were in heaven. We took the drink cooler with us on sightseeing days, too, and were very grateful to have access to cold water after all the walking/exploring on those sunny and hot days.
I’m ready for a good sleep in a real bed, so I will wrap this up… ‘til next time!