The First #mywildCanada Camp Out/Fundraiser
The first #mywildCanada camp out/fundraiser took place on the most beautiful weekend in #mywildCanada’s Algonquin Park! We could not have asked for a nicer weekend for a Twitter meet up.
The weather could not have been more perfect for this camping trip! It was sunny and warm outside all weekend. The fall colours were at their peak, this trip was a photographer’s dream come true.
Our adventure began the minute we left the off grid cabin – we enjoyed the long drive (659 kms – 409 mi), made even longer by the numerous construction delays and by the large number of motorists out and about enjoying the absolutely gorgeous fall day. Our drive up ended up being 11 hours long.
Here are some of the beautiful shots we took on our drive down to Algonquin Park from North Eastern Ontario:
We left at 9 o’clock on Friday morning and drove into to Canisbay Lake Campground in Algonquin Park at 8 o’clock that evening in the dark – and guess what? There was actually a line up to check in – the campground was packed solid! We had had a paddle in site booked but due to the lateness of the hour, we camped at one of the campgrounds the park had previously shut down and reopened earlier that day. It was 1 a.m. when we went to bed, completed exhausted but way too excited about the next day and meeting all the new friends we had made on Twitter. Sleep was slow to come.
The next morning we woke up to Algonquin Park’s amazing beauty, the birds were singing and the sun was shining. And we were hungry!
Breakfast consisted of potatoes, bacon and eggs with rye bread with campfire coffee, of course! A little Baileys and Kahlua to top it off.
Exhausted and exhilarated we started our day bright and early – we soaked it all in, soon we would go find @Some_Eventful who was already camped in the park, while the others would be arriving throughout the day, it would soon be discovered that we were not the only one who met up with traffic delays…
@Some_Eventful must have been out enjoying the sights as they were not at their camper when we drove by their sites on the way to the showers and then to meet up with the others at site 124!
This was something special we were doing; something we had never done before, a brand new experience. We had no idea what to expect – we’d only been on Twitter for about six months, the chat was only 3 months old – we were about to meet the people behind the Twitter handles. We were a little nervous to say the least, but excitement got the better of us and we drove up to meet our first #mywildCanada camper – @levacas and her husband Nick who were just setting up when we drove up to the site. Soon the ice was broken and as we set up, we chatted, compared gear and enjoyed the amazing day as it unfolded. @levacas had brought Fingal their lab/collie mix and he wanted to check out the beach, as we continued to set up.
The next people we met were @tnk_canoe the latest to find out about #mywildCanada – they just happened to be camped out at Mew Lake Campground in Algonquin Park, which is right next to Cansibay Lake and accepted the open invitation to join us. We were really glad they did, we really hit it off with Tony and Cathy – they might be joining us on the winter camp out we have started talking about with other #mywildCanada crew. Many of the campers we met that weekend also wanted to come on the next camp out. We also loved meeting @DiscoverHockley – we had lots in common and really hit it off. We loved meeting everyone. We made lots of new friends – we met lots of great people.
@LegendaryAdven was the next to arrive – she had gotten stuck in a line up on the other side of the entrance to Canisbay Lake for over an hour, due to the huge amount of people coming out to enjoy Algonquin Park. @man_camping who was camped at the site right next to ours, site 125 arrived later in the afternoon after encountering much of the same problems as the others – long waits to get into the park. Even those who had made arrangements ahead of time were stuck in line ups with no way to get around them. The unusually gorgeous fall weather was bringing people outside in droves to enjoy the last warmth of the season.
We invited the neighbours at the campground to join us and they just happened to be Tom Thomson fans and were very happy to be included, we saw they had been getting a little nervous as more and more people arrived. After supper @Some_Eventful and @Paddle_In who was camped in the park with friends joined us, his friends also joined us – bringing our crowd to 24.
And I am very happy to report we only had ONE noise complaint!! (And we call ourselves mywildCanada???)
All this was in response to a tweet – a simple question was asked… Who wants to go camping?
We had door prizes for everyone – folding knives, multi tools, first aid kits, arts and crafts for the kids – no one walked away empty handed. The look of surprise on the faces of everyone when we passed out the loot was priceless. We wanted to thank everyone for joining us for this first event.
The highlight of the evening was the campfire reading from our special guest = @TTLastSpring – the ghost of Tom Thomson. He joined us and read stories to the group by the campfire; stories from 100 years ago, when the famous Canadian artist mysteriously disappeared in Algonquin Park. Here is a link to his video recordings of the night:
We had the privilege of being in the Park around a campfire for this reading – the perfect setting – the perfect theater for this amazing performance. It really was something special.
After the reading, the crowd stayed and gathered into smaller groups and continued to mingle. It was a really great night. We can definitely call this #mywildCanada evening a huge success!
Another part to the camp out was a fundraiser that we were invited to join by Mountain Equipment Coop – MEC. All proceeds to our fundraising event went to @CPAWS – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society to help protect Canada’s wild spaces. We raised $230 dollars for this great cause. Even though we fell short of our goal to raise $1000 we are still very pleased with being able to donate – we raised much awareness and we had lots of fun in the process. As part of our fundraising efforts we offered autographed photos of us in Speedos in exchange for a donation.
It was all in the name of a good cause – and no one got hurt – seriously anyway. That speedo was a little tight…..
As this was a first, we learned so much in the process. One of the first things we all agreed on is that next time – we will meet in the interior. Campgrounds are great – but #mywildCanada cannot be contained – we need space – we are adventurers. Even before we drove home from this one, talks have already begun to plan the next #mywildCanada meet up.
Winter camping in #mywildCanada is next. So, who wants to go camping?
Posted on October 2, 2014, in Fundraisers, Photos of Canada, Places to go, Things to do, Twitterchat Highlights, Wilderness adventures and tagged #getoutside, #mywildCanada, #mywildCanada #chat, adventure, Algonquin Park, BigWildChallenge, camping, Canada, canoe, CPAWS, Event T-shirt, fundraiser, ghost of Tom Thomson. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.