Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Holidays

We're back from our summer holidays now. A great trip down to the Oregon coast. I had been hoping for some freakish unseasonably hot weather, but alas no, it was regular Oregon coast weather.

On the last night before arriving home, we stopped in Jasper. By the time morning rolled around we were ready to be home (why delay the inevitable), but still had a 4 hour drive ahead of us. The kids hadn't slept all that well, and the blames lies solely with me.

We have a little hybrid trailer.  A hard top, but the ends pop out into beds not unlike a tent trailer. I quite like the canvas. You can pretend to sleep outdoors in a tent, but can hop out of bed on a cold morning and be in the warm trailer.  However, I'm not so fond sleeping under canvas in bear country.

In case you're wondering, this is not Jasper, but Vancouver.

I try not to freak out, and did a great job this year as we put the kids to bed: one in each canvas-topped end. Then, as I tidied the accumulated stuff on the table, I noticed the back of the campground handout had a whole lot of info on bears.  I tried to put it down, but my eyes couldn't help but scan the words: "No storing food in a tent trailer".  

Technically we're not a tent trailer, but are those canvas ends enough to make us more like a tent trailer than a trailer if you're a bear? 

So, all the food that wasn't in the fridge went into the van. Is the food ok in the fridge? In my imagination, no, but I wasn't going to haul all that out either.

It didn't help that there weren't any tents or tent trailers right around us.  Hard sided RVs everywhere I could see.  So, one of my life's coping mechanisms failed me.  I always think there's bound to be at least two people who are worse than me or haven't followed the rules as well as me, etc, thereby ensuring that I'm ok.  Looking around, I appeared to be the one others were looking at as saving them.  Drat.

So, we moved the kids out of their beds into the trailer on the table bed.  Neither woke up then, but they were both wide awake before 5am.  That reminded me why they don't get to sleep together.  

Two over tired kids and a too early morning led to not very pleasant mood all round and moments I'd rather not remember.

Then Kerry heard some heavy breathing outside our beds confirming that all my preparations the night before were not done by some crazed lunatic with a wild imagination.  I just wish the heavy breathing had come before I hauled all the food back into the trailer; now, I thought, the bear has something to eat.

Kerry opened the "window" in the canvas... to see a pair of elk antlers right outside our trailer!

Half a dozen elk wandered around the area where our trailer was.  As we were eating breakfast inside, one came over and parked himself a few yards from our van.  Fabulously exciting.  I jumped out and took a bunch of photos.  We watched with quiet delight and told ourselves that we made no mistake staying in Jasper (a bit different from the tune I sang the night before). Then the kids became bored and then stir crazy because we couldn't let them out to run off some steam. Fortunately, our breakfast company did not seem bothered by the bursts of noise or screams emanating from our trailer.

Our breakfast companion
A view of our trailer and breakfast companion

Just before he decided to wander off.  Again, that's our van and trailer behind him.
A bit like "Where's Waldo".  There are four elk in among the trees in the
spot just beyond our campsite.
The highs and lows of the family holiday. Isn't it fun when they both occur within minutes of each other?

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