Fall camping is my favourite type of camping. Besides the gorgeous colours it’s so comfy to wrap up in a big blanket around the fire in the evening or enjoy a hot coffee on a crispy, cold morning. A couple weeks ago the boys and I borrowed my Aunt’s camper van and set off to Police Outpost Provincial Park. It’s one of the only parks within an hour of us that is open for fall camping.
The colours took my breath away when we pulled in! This park is such a jewel because you’re driving along in the prairie, cattle fields as far as the eye can see and BAM! A riot of gorgeous yellow and orange trees.
The views of Chief Mountain are awesome at this park.
Campsites at this park are unserviced ($24) and first come first serve. I was expecting an empty campground but the place was packed with other foliage lovers.
We picked a site next to the lakeside trail which made it easy for frequent walks throughout the day.
In addition to the basics such as outhouses and garbage bins, this site also has a playground which is nice.
l think Payne Lake may have just met its match.
There are a series of walking trails in this park, including a long loop I would like to go back and check out. The boys and I spent most of our time walking these trails collecting leaves, playing tag, and hitting the lake to throw rocks.
Next time, I’ll bring Ty’s strider bike and let him go crazy. The trails go all the way to the day use area that has a gorgeous bridge extending to a little lake island. We didn’t wind up getting there to check it out, so we’ll head back as soon as possible.
A Disastrous Night
Now that I’ve recapped the incredible, picture perfect day, let’s recap the nightmare of a night.
After an early evening fire, the boys and I settled into bed watching a cartoon to wind down and get ready for bed. By 8:30 p.m. Logan was snoring away and Ty and I were cuddled up and nodding off.
Around 9:30 Logan woke up crying and he basically didn’t stop for the rest of the night! He usually sleeps through the night so this was a shock, but then to deal with it while in the back of a van was even tougher.
At one point both Ty and I were crying and begging Logi to go to sleep. Ty was saying “Baby shut up! Baby go night night!”
Finally, I decided I couldn’t take another moment and we had to go home. I checked the time and it was 6am. Though I was really looking forward to another day of exploring, I knew that all three of us were going to be tired and cranky and wouldn’t really enjoy the day.
No regrets because we were home by 8 a.m and all three of us were grouches the entire day.
Focused on the End Game
Many moms have told me they would never take their kids camping alone because of how challenging it is. Let’s be real, I’ve had my challenges this year (remember the storm that collapsed the tent on us?)
I don’t do it to feel like super mom, I do it because I love camping and hiking and I want to raise my kids to be my adventure buddies.
The more they do it, the more normal it will be. My goal in life is to do long through hikes like the East Coast Trail with my boys when they’re older. Suffering through tough hikes and camping nights will help us get closer to making that goal a reality.
Have you taken your babies camping?