long weekend camping!

Aug 6, 2014

In the 5 years that we've been a couple, Ryan and I have spent a bit of every summer camping. We've stayed in many places with guests from all corners of world, but one thing has remained constant... every night has been spent in a small tent that accommodates a maximum of 3 people.  After our last camping trip with Aaralee it was evident that we could use a bit more space. She may be small, but that baby takes up a heck of a lot of space and her tossing and turning makes bed sharing impossible.. at least if we plan on sleeping at all during the night.  We briefly contemplated plunging into the world of trailers or tent trailers before coming to the conclusion that we are tenters at heart... at least for now.  With a long weekend looming on the horizon we splurged on a mansion of a tent.  A room divider allowed for a separate space for Aaralee in a playpen with plenty of room to spare for us on our queen sized air mattress.  There was even room for me to stand up to get dressed!  Oh the luxury!

The weekend approached and it was time to take our new home for its very first camping trip.   We headed west to meet Ryan's parents for another weekend in the beautiful mountains.
We arrived at the campground after a long day of driving. While I fed and entertained the baby, Ryan and his dad set out to assemble our tent.  The finished product was big, beautiful, and made me excited for bed time.  After dinner I tucked Aaralee into bed and she fell right asleep.  Apparently I wasn't the only one that loved the new tent.  After a few games it was time for the grownups to go to bed as well.  We were so cozy that it barely felt like camping... except for the lack of toilet for my 3 am urge to pee.  The curses of a small bladder.  
After a successful first night we woke to a beautiful day.  We had some breakfast cooked over the fire and then packed up the site for a day of hiking. We've been on many hikes in the past, but this would be our first time attempting it with a baby.  We chose the Parker Ridge trail... familiar, absolutely beautiful, and not too challenging.

 I wrapped Aaralee on my back and off we went. She enjoyed taking in the views as I did all of the hard work.  It was certainly a bit tiring carrying an extra person up the sometimes steep trail, but I managed.  Our fur baby Niko kept up the entire time, occasionally veering off the path to chase squirrels. 

 At the top we rested and enjoyed a picnic overlooking the Saskatchewan Glacier.  Have I ever mentioned how beautiful our mountains are?! It doesn't matter how often I visit, I'm always thankful to live so close to such incredible places.  

Aaralee slept most of the trek back down the mountain, and we returned to the campsite for a well deserved dinner.  I watched as my baby played on the ground, staining her clothes and tempting me to follow her every step with a washcloth. I resisted and let her get dirty. She was so darn happy to crawl across the dirt and play with rocks and sticks.  I bathed her before bed, and we all settled in for a much anticipated sleep following our long day.

Sunday arrived, making us extra thankful that it happened to be a long weekend! While we'd normally be packing up to head home, we were planning out the day's hike. We settled on the Bow Glacier Falls trail, and I was excited to walk alongside the almost impossibly blue lake. 

 The guidebooks made the trail out to sound suitable for a stroller. Ryan pushed Aaralee and his camera equipment along until it was evident that we needed to abandon our stroller in favour of the wrap. 

 Thank goodness we did, because we'd soon find ourselves stepping over huge tree roots, hopping over washed out areas and climbing what seemed like a million stairs.  It was a long journey, but we made it the viewpoint, took some photos, had some lunch, and turned around.  As we drove back towards the campground the skies opened up and rain poured down. Our timing couldn't have been much better.  It continued raining on and off throughout the night, but we were warm and dry in our now proven to be waterproof tent.
The next morning we ate breakfast and began the process of packing up the car.  It had been a great weekend but I yearned for a shower and unlimited access to flushing toilets.  We said goodbye to Ryan's parents and hit the road.  It was a long, long drive with a not-so-happy baby, but we made it home and I enjoyed a long, glorious hot shower.  Is there anything in life more refreshing than showering after camping?! I certainly don't think so.  And so, another successful camping trip down.  Summer, why must you go by so fast? We've only just begun having fun.  


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