2016 Trip 8: The Hip...Canada's band

Sharbot Lake PP - Aug 2016

Let's just start by saying that our little blurb about camping this weekend pales in comparison to what happened Saturday evening in Kingston...the end of The Tragically Hip's tour, and the last concert they will ever play.  An emotional tour for both the band and its fans, who were stunned by the announcement  in May that Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. A poignant end to a 30 year musical journey that over the years created a soundtrack of Canadiana. It was an amazing and emotionally charged evening, the entire country watching, enjoying, and saying thanks for being Canada's band for so many years.

Headed out after work, the traffic is surprisingly light for a summer Friday evening. Made great time to the Park, got registered and then made our way to the site. We were able to reserve what may be the nicest waterfront site in the Park. It is a good size, level, and with lots of privacy. Well tucked in from the road, and although a bit of a challenge with a sharp downward turn from the road, once again, going slow and taking your time proves we can place the Alto pretty much anywhere.







Got set up with the outdoor mat and our chairs, including Barley's, cracked a beer and immediately plucked ourselves down to gaze out over the water and chill. Barley once again quickly settled into the new open door policy, wandering his little area, checking out all the forest activity around him, then finally hopping up into his chair. He has lots to look at, as there is more stuff going on here than in many of our previous sites. There is quite the gang of what I think are cowbirds. They walk all around the edges of the site, and use their beaks to overturn leaves, hunting for tasty morsels to snack on. We also have a resident red squirrel who has discovered Barleys presence. Numerous times in his scurries around the site, he stops in the closest cedar tree and just wails right at Barley. It is an odd mixture of chatter and high pitched squeal. This goes on for about a minute, then he is gone in a flash.

We sat out until the stars became bright and clear, the temperature was lovely, and the mosquitos seemed to have departed for the summer.  A nice full moon rose up beyond the far shoreline, illuminating a sparkling band of light across the water. Turned in after a quick Olympic update, like most everyone, we were following Usain Bolts quest for a triple triple. What a spectacular talent he is.


feeding...the male dove for this food after watching from above

very muted colouring



The morning brought a nice sunrise, but this was soon followed by a mix of wispy, then thick pillowy clouds. Hopefully the rain forecasted will hold off till tomorrow.





perhaps a little reflection crazy this morning...


Coffee and the paper started the day, and we were able to get in a nice power walk around the campsite.
enough with the pictures...get the coffee going!


A fair number of campers here, but the park does have a bunch of empty sites. We had a nice swim/float after our walk, and the water felt wonderful. We drifted out a fair distance on our noodles and were rewarded with a great view of the park shoreline. Lots of canoeists are out and about the lake. It does sort of feel that the summer is coming to a close though.

Another shore lunch for us, and we had some nice chats with people drifting by on the water.

hard to resist a Hawkin's cheese

Mostly relaxed in the afternoon, then we headed over to Helen & Paul's cottage for the rest of the afternoon and dinner.



seriously pisses me off when campers cannot clean up after themselves. 

look what your look what your laziness can result in. over the years I have cut a ton of cord out of trees on our sites...come on!

Paul and I went out to fish for a couple of hours, and I was lucky to catch a nice 3 lb smallmouth bass. Good fight in it and it jumped a few times before it shed the hook. Now that's an easy catch & release.

Helen did up a nice marinated flank steak on the Q, we sat under the gazebo and ate our meal and chatted. We moved inside for dessert, and watched the Hip concert being broadcast live from Kingston. In fact, it was the only thing you would have found on CBC, via any media, it was that significant.


The Hip, as they are affectionately known as in Canada.  I'm sure we are like most Canadians who will always remember 'where we were' when they watched the last Hip concert.  It was a very emotional show for them, their lead singer Gord Downie, and their fans. This is a band that truly wrote and sang the essence of Canada. A band blessed with a superb writer and poet, weaving in  people, places and stories, and then put into play by a very tight group of musicians. Listen closely and there is much to learn, a history class within the music. We have seen them live a number of times and every performance was awesome. Few bands can match the energy they put out, and the energy their fans flood back. If you are reading this and do not know The Hip, take a moment, look them up, and have a listen.  You will be glad you did!


Awoke to a rainy overcast morning. Dale heard the rain start around 6:00am, so we scooted out and put away the mat, chairs and any other little items around. Getting the mat away before it gets wet and muddy is well worth the effort. Back inside we caught a few extra zzz's before the lure of morning coffee settled into our brains. The rain came down, at times heavy, and as we were in no rush to leave, we settled in with the paper. We decided that when the rain stopped or let up, we would make the final moves to head out.

Bit is a juggling act getting out of this site, and not unexpected, as getting in was the same. It was a great site, and worth the Alto gymnastics to get positioned. Rained most of the way home, but otherwise a smooth drive...and in a matter of days, we are off on the second part of our summer vacation...sweet.

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