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The Joy of Camping

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It all starts with our summer bedroom, or more commonly known as our tent.  Every summer my husband, daughter, our friends and I   pack up our tents, stoves, sleeping bags, clothing, good food and  coffee and we head out on some kind of adventure.  Spending days and days outside is one of the reasons that we vacation this way .  There is something very rejuvenating and inspiring about having a lot of time in nature.  Taking only the very basics and living simply is good for the soul.  I love having everything I need to survive in a pack that I carry on my back.   Some of our greatest family memories are  sitting around a campfire at night,  and we feel  especially lucky  when there is a bright moon.  I enjoy being hunkered in the tent in a torrential rain storm when I’m dry and can just nap or cozy up with a good book.  All year long I look forward to simplifying my life and being able to fully listen and enjoy what is around me when I camp.  We just got home from our vacation this summer and were lucky to spend 17 days in our summer bedroom.   3 of those days were spent on the shore of the St. Lawrence, just north of Tadoussac, Quebec.  The place we camped at is all about being there to watch the whales who swim by on a regular basis -  mostly  Minkes, some Belugas and lots of seals and porpoises. Extra lucky campers/ kayakers get to see Humpbacks, Fin  and Blue Whales.  It is a magical spot that has several kilometers of rocky shore where  we spend hours sitting, or exploring as we watch  and wait  for a whale to surface.    This campground  is home to a really divine café that sells hot chocolate, coffee, soup, chili and homemade goodies.  It is a treat, especially on a cold, rainy day or to just enjoy while sitting and watching for whales.   Every campground has it’s own culture.  This particular campground is dedicated to the whales.  No one is playing music (except maybe a guitar or fiddle) because people are waiting and listening to the sounds of the Minkes as they surface to breathe through their blow holes making a gentle sound .  On our last evening we noticed everyone moving down to the rocks and could hear cheering, and we discovered that there were two  Minke whales jumping again and again.  People stood in silence for hours listening and watching.  I have to say, as a mother, that I love these kind of experiences for my daughter.  We had no cell phone, lap top or any other technology.  Our life was very simple and all about appreciating these huge creatures that live in our oceans.  And it was beautiful to watch everyone around us doing the same thing.  I am always amazed how I love the simplest things in life and yet I regularly make things complicated.  The time spent in my summer bedroom this year  has reminded me of what is important in my life and what my priorities are for this fall.  Now that’s a good vacation!

The above picture was taken by Thom Lambert, Singing Dog Studio, while on our trip this summer.  Sue Shikaze says “this campsite is in our top 10 list.”

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