Our first weekend in April was excellent! The weather was spectacular and Spring was absolutely in the air!
I arrived on Friday morning to a cold, damp wet campsite after a day of heavy rains and wet snow. We didn’t get as much at Valens as at home, just a ground covering. I quickly got the fiver opened up and the heat on. Our fireplace seemed to work great for a change and in no time I had the truck unloaded and was putting things away. By noon the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining! The temperature was up to 6C by around 3pm. Lovely and it only got better over the weekend! After Dave arrived at camp, we decided to have a Friday night campfire. We don’t often do that when we’re winter camping because by the time he arrives after work on a Friday – it’s usually dark. Thank you daylight savings time! 😉
Our Friday night campfire was amazing! The temperature wasn’t too bad and we heard the coyotes finally! The night sky was clear and the stars so bright. Incredible! Our time was reminiscent of summer and how we become so engrossed in the campfire and talking that we forget what time it is! We went to bed late and enjoyed a sound sleep with the windows open a crack to let the smell of the Spring forest in!
Saturday we woke up and found so many birds and animals feasting at our feeders! We had blue jays and cardinals, two types of woodpeckers, sparrows and chickadees, red winged blackbirds and a pair of doves! The robins sang to us early in the morning and the blue jays sang a song of discontentment as the squirrels emptied the feeders. The bunnies were back as well enjoying birdseed the squirrels spilled on the ground. The woods behind our campsite are so beautiful!
Dave and I took some time to walk around the different campgrounds and were amazed at the flooding at some campsites. It was obvious there had been a lot of rain before we arrived on Friday! We’re very fortunate in our campground – Ironwood that the sites are so dry!
I hiked the Boardwalk Trail around the lake on my own while Dave did some camp chores and noted how much higher the water level was in the lake. Not sure where the swans went, but there was no sign of them. One thing that thrilled me was hearing the frogs in the various ponds along the trail. I stopped a few times to listen to their songs. What a beautiful reminder of Spring! Everything in the woods is looking so much greener now! 🙂 Here are some photos of my hike:
And here are some photos of beautiful Valens Lake!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy hiking the trails at Valens. The beauty is just phenomenal! I have hiked through the fall leaves, through winter’s snow and now Spring’s mud! There is so much beauty to see during all seasons at this park. The quiet and solitude of winter and Spring can’t be matched in my opinion, but if you don’t winter camp, don’t let that stop you! Come for the day and see for yourself how pretty it is!
After my hike, I returned to camp to find a roaring campfire going. I helped Dave clean out the front pass thru compartment and gather some winter camping supplies to take home. With only one trip left in the winter program, we have to start taking things home now. We also drained our black and grey tank one last time. Our water system has been working like a charm since Dave fixed it a couple weekends ago. The plan is to start our last weekend at Valens with empty tanks, then when we come back to pull the fiver out, we’ll empty and flush the tanks at our next stop – Fifty Point.
The rest of the day we kept the fire going and burnt one of the skids from our wood pile. It might look bad in the photo, but we let it burn whole and as it burned put the pieces back in the fire. The temperature had reached at least 18C and by Saturday mid day, we had our shorts and T-shirts on! It was so warm sitting in the sunshine!
It was a wonderful Spring weekend! We enjoyed warm, sunny weather, campfires, great hiking, beautiful scenery and each other’s company. I’m really looking forward to our last weekend at Valens next week. In a way, I’m sorry to see the winter program end. It seemed to go by so fast this year! Every year I hope that Hamilton Conservation Authority will offer it again. I cannot imagine us not taking part in it. Winter at Valens is so awesome and we’re so glad to spend January, February, March and April at such a beautiful place! Thanks to this program, we’re able to use our fiver every month except December and enjoy camping in every season! If you haven’t tried winter camping – I encourage you to try it!
HAPPY WINTER CAMPING and CHEERS!!!