Friday, September 14, 2007

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 1 - the Dog Beach

After dinner, Laura and I went for a walk.

I know Laura is making a lot of sacrifices on this trip for me because it is my first time and I'm not ready for REAL CAMPING yet, but one thing Laura is not willing to sacrifice is water. REAL CAMPING, Laura says, must be done on a lakeshore.

Well, Rondeau Provincial Park is on a big peninsula. It is surrounded on three sides by water -- but the camp sites are all in the middle of the peninsula, away from the water! We can hear the waves on Lake Erie from our camp, but we cannot see them. No matter, Laura said, the water is still close by. We can walk to it everyday to sit by it.

The people who make the rules here are mean though. They built many paths to access the waterfront, but they don't allow dogs to go down any of them but one.

Laura says some people are just silly. Dogs are nice. We are friendly and we like to play with our families and some dogs like to swim in the water. And we know not to do our business on your beach towel.

Babies don't know that. They pee in the water and poop in their own clothing, yet they are allowed on the beach and sweet little doggies like me are not!

In all of Rondeau Park there is only one place where dogs are allowed to go with their families to the water's edge, so Laura and I set out to find the "dog beach".

The dog beach is far away from the camp ground. It is 6km from our camp site. It was not marked on any of the park maps and the park staff who we met could not show us where it was and the only signage on the park roads was totally unhelpful. (There is one sign near the entrance to the park which directs people straight down Rondeau Road -- but the dog beach isn't on Rondeau Road and there is no additional signage at any of the places where you would need to turn to get from Rondeau Road to the beach.)

Because the only signage was wrong, Laura and I had to walk 8km to get to the beach. It was dark by the time we got there and it was raining (which made Laura happy, as I'm sure you have guessed) but we made it to the beach! We dipped our paws in Lake Erie and we listened to the waves crashing on the shore.

There were no stars out on account of the rain, so all we could see were the white caps of the breaking waves, but Laura got to have her visit with the lake.

Now that we knew where the dog beach was, we took the direct route - 6km - back to our campsite and went to bed. With our hike to the beach, plus the firewood gathering expedition, we hiked 15km today!

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