2013 Trip 7: hard to get better than this...

Driftwood PP - Aug 2013

Heading to Driftwood PP, what may very well be now our favorite place to camp. If you can snag a site on the water, it is indeed an idyllic place. Luckily, we have done just that. Our site is awesome, with the perfect combination of sun, shade and trees, as well as a great view.

There are a handfull of sites along this stretch, in reality, any of them would be perfect.

It was a long trek out of the city. We were able to get away a tad early, but it still took us a good 45 minutes to get anywhere near the outskirts of Ottawa. After that, the traffic was reasonable.  It did take us about 3 hours to get here, but as long as it is still light, it's all good. The evenings are getting noticeably shorter, a factor now in trying to get to the park and set up before dark. Not that setting up in the dark is a big deal, it's just another variable to deal with.

We love this park. When the dam at Rolphton was built, the river water that got held back helped create a large area of the bay where the park is situated. Across the bay, it is simply uninhabited forest, thick with trees on rolling hills. The sites we like along the water are level, reasonably private, and right next to a narrow sandy beach on the Ottawa River. There is nothing like a sandy beach with hard gradual sand bottom. Rollins Pond is great for water sites, but here with the sheer expanse of beach front with water access and sunnier sites is amazing. We are seriously thinking about spending a week here next year, which would be awesome. A first week at Sandbanks, with all that there is to do in the County, followed by a week of just relaxing here would be marvelous.

We set up quick, pulled out our chairs, cracked a beer, then just settled in and watched the sun set.
how classic is this image?

where there are pine trees, there will be sand
Barley is with us this trip, and he hung out with us a while outside. So much new for him to explore, at times he seems to get a little overwhelmed. We keep an eye on him and when he starts to get antsy, we move him in. He is much more comfortable in the Alto now, relaxing more, rather than spending his time finding a place to hide.
aware of everything

The theme this weekend is 'relaxing', and based on the amount of time we spent this morning drinking coffee and reading the paper, we have adopted the theme quite easily.  We have had some busy weekends so this weekend we are doing nothing, a nice change of pace. A little cool last night, which we could feel rolling in before we headed inside. Got down to 49F overnight, but surprisingly, with having sun on our site it started to warm up quickly and at temperatures like this we are glad that we switched out the smaller furnace for the larger one, which heats up the Alto much easier and quicker. We have now changed our coffee making routine. We have started making coffee using a portable Melita drip that sits on top of our insulated bottles. We started this last time out, as an alternative to the expresso stove top method. First attempt at this we found our coffee was ground too fine, which ended up literally turning into a paste, which caused the water to not be able to flow through easily. This time out I ground the coffee coarser, and this did the trick. A nice strong cup of coffee which stays hot much longer than our other method, and only takes little more time to make.

Finally ventured out into the day. A lovely temperature with a mix of sun and cloud, kinda sounding like a weatherman there.  Moved our chairs down to the shore, propped our feet on a big log that clearly had drifted in long ago, and relaxed.

neighbours had a cool zodiac, and a gorgeous hand made cedar strip canoe. literally a work of art
As per the park's name, the beach is lined with driftwood, a result of the Ottawa River being a logging boom river up to the mid-1900's.  Pretty full house here this weekend, but that just means lots of activity and stuff to watch. Lots of kayaks, canoes and fishing boats, everyone enjoying the water in their favorite way. After a bit we headed in for a swim. Swim is a bit of an exaggeration, more along the lines of effortlessly floating with our noddles...all very mellow. Water temp was nice as well, much warmer than the water at Sandbanks last weekend. More lounging on the shoreline finished off the afternoon, all very relaxing. This weekend is all about simply recharging the batteries. Sometimes it feels like a guilty pleasure to me (not to Dale), but I get over that, and it is well worth it. The kids next door have made some neat driftwood structures, very apropos for the park.

Dinner is a nice salad and a couple of rib steaks with roquefort butter. Decadent. I suspect our eyes may have been bigger than our stomachs so we just shared one steak.

very true, and it did not disappoint
A nice couple dropped by, Allan & Jocelynne, who asked us about the Alto. They are at the early stages of thinking about getting a trailer, and have been looking at what is on the market. Like us, they are only interested in smaller trailers, wanting only enough room that they really need. They certainly seemed very keen by the Alto and will look it up on the web site.

Watched the sun set, and it was amazing how fast it started to cool off, specially being only mid August. It has been an odd weather summer. Finished off the last couple of episodes of Mad Men. The first season has perked our interest enough to continue watching. There was a big fireworks display across the river, which went on for about 10 minutes. Some nice bursts and lots of colour. It was interesting how the sound was ever so slightly delayed reaching us across the water, seeing the exposion, but only hearing it a tad later. The
echo effect was neat as well.

Another nice day shaping up, the sun will warm up the day just like yesterday. It did not seem as cold last night, even though it dropped down to almost the same temp. After breakfast Dale wanted to get a last swim in before we start to pack up which we did. We took it slow packing up since leaving on a perfect sunny day is hard to do. Had a classic summer treat on our way out by stopping in Deep River at the classic 'Laurentian View Dairy' for an ice cream cone.  Laurentian View Diary which goes back to 1945 is the quintessential dairy and a destination landmark which has remained unchanged.
Good drive home, sitting satisfied after eating our massive ice cream cones.


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