It was an early start for me this damp Tuesday morning, as I had to drive back into town for an appointment at the Goodwill Career Centre.
Prior to leaving, though, the hound and I splashed around the puddles on the campground and marveled at the hardy people who'd slept in tents overnight. Most tents here are not made to withstand any proper rain, with flimsy half-cover flysheets and groundsheets that don't extend up more than an inch. Lots of people rig big sheets of plastic up between the trees, making a rain-free area not only over their tents but their cooking and eating areas, too. Known as "Tarps" (short for tarpaulin I suppose), some are impressive in their coverage but a many are not hauled tight, gather huge amounts of water in them and sag all over the place. Much easier to have a proper waterproof tent and fly-sheet, but they don't come cheap.
The weather was closing in as I headed back to town and sure enough, the lightning, rain and hail was in full swing by the time I arrived home; typical camping weather I think.
Business concluded, I made my way back with some resumes and cover letters to write, arriving at the campground just in time for lunch and a little bit of sunshine. The forecast wasn't looking good but I set to, writing my (job) begging letters and relishing being outside whilst doing it, albeit under the awning.
Now the sun was out properly and folks were heading off to the beach, with no sign of the thunderstorms that had been promised. We hit the dog beach and, skirting around the newly fenced "Fowler's Toad" conservation area (a place very dear to our Toad hearts), we let the hound run free. She jumped into the waves (yes, the lake has waves), rubbed her neck on the beach-bound fish carcasses and generally went loopy. We had a paddle in the warm, if muddy looking, water as well. The peninsular, and the beach area, is 14 Km long and the dog beach is about half-way down it. Even on a busy day you'd be hard pressed to see more than a handful of people this far south and it's in this relative solitude that we love to let the hound run as we amble along the shoreline with just the birds (and toads) for company. It's idyllic is what it is.
Mrs Toad actually caught sight of one of the aforementioned Fowler's Toads, and it had strayed from its compound, too. It soon retreated to it's safety zone but it was good to see something that's high on the endangered list, clearly thriving behind its fence; let's hope that none of the birds of prey circling about caught sight of it.
The campground was about half full and it being midweek in August, there were plenty of kids and plenty of grandparents to be seen. There were lots of older trailers around, the sort borrowed from family members, the sort that make only a few trips out a year. I always wonder what those things are like inside; musty smelling and dark I imagine, but as they're always bursting with excited kids they're obviously great places to be!
It was only day two and already we were slipping in to camping mode; watch a video and doze, then go to bed early. That's early by our standards, which is still late for most people in these parts; when I walk the dog at around midnight, the campground is silent and mostly dark. As I slip into sleep, I can't help thinking how lucky we are to be here, enjoying the park and wishing that our little trip was longer.
More tomorrow, folks.
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog