Winter Camping at its Best!

It was so good to be back at Valens Conservation Area camping again this past weekend! Our last weekend out in January turned out to be the best yet!

I arrived around 11am on Saturday to find no power in the park. They were doing maintenance on some overhead power lines and shut everything down for safety. I started the furnace promptly to try to get some heat in the trailer while I unloaded the truck. With no other source of heat to augment the furnace it took quite awhile to get it warm enough. Fortunately it wasn’t as cold a day as it could have been! I did learn how a furnace performs on battery power as opposed to AC and, well, it’s not the greatest. Not much warm air being blown out the vents. While I waited for the power to be restored, I unloaded the wood from the truck and started a nice warm campfire! Our wood pile is growing nicely! By 4pm the hydro was back on and the fifth wheel warmed up nicely.  The temperature seemed to moderate a bit as the day progressed. The skies were pretty clear which gave us a wonderful view of the starry night sky! Here are some photos from Friday. You’ll see the difference in snow cover over the weekend.

Friday night we were finally treated to the sound of coyotes! I heard them once just before Dave got home from work, then we heard them again twice while enjoying a campfire with  friends. What a wonderful, haunting sound! I walked the campground loop after dark and was just blown away by the amazing night sky. My beverage of choice was a mixture of hot chocolate and Vanilla Baileys! Yum!

Saturday we awoke to no rain (big surprise) and warmer temperatures. I think it’s the time of year and how late it stays dark, but we seem to sleep in a lot later in the winter. It’s become a habit now and I rather like it! When we finally did get out of bed, we enjoyed a bacon and egg breakfast and watched a couple fishing shows. Then it was outside to enjoy the beautiful day and get some work accomplished!

First task of the day was to put up our cell signal booster. It doesn’t work exceptionally well, but it does give me an extra bar on my phone. This site we’re in this year seems to be a little better all around for cell reception. At last years site, I had one bar to no service with no service being the norm. At this site, I seem to have a consistent one with two sometimes with the signal booster working. Here’s the set up we use for the signal booster.

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We were going to try to put our satellite dish up as well, but we found no suitable place for it on the roof. Due to all the trees in the campground, it would have to go on the roof for a good line of sight. So, no satellite TV while at Valens! That’s ok though, I think we do pretty well getting about eight stations off the antenna. After the chores were done, we went for a nice walk around the park. The day was simply marvelous! No winter hat required and no snowpants required!

After our lovely walk it was back to camp to relax around the campfire. Dave went inside to relax for a bit and I stayed outside keeping the fire going. I decided late afternoon to go for another hike through the woods and an adjoining campground I hadn’t yet walked through. The sites were much too small for our fifth wheel and a lot were on a slope, but it would be a pretty area for smaller units. The sky was fantastic!

Saturday night we listened for the coyotes, but they must have moved on. It was an early night for us as I had came off a night shift on Friday morning and still hadn’t recovered sleep wise.

Sunday it was still pretty warm. At least 6C or more by the time we packed up for home after lunch. We were up earlier on Sunday but decided to lounge and spend a little more time than usual at camp. I had an assortment of birds at my feeders this time around! Cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers and many chickadees and sparrows. Not so many squirrels for some reason. It was a wonderful weekend! I’d have to say our favourite so far! We enjoyed a campfire with some great winter camping friends that are also at Valens for the winter program. We ate very well and enjoyed some wonderful weather! Hearing the coyotes and having a clear night for star gazing was a bonus! We made many wonderful memories this past weekend!

Can’t wait for the next time away, which will be Family Day weekend!

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