Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Camping with Modo

Cramming the last few things into the Modo Kia minivan

Helpful children being helpful while setting up the tents 
Home sweet home for a couple nights

Playing with some lake foam, which our resident biology teacher told us is due to naturally ocurring phosphates

Camping fashion in full effect! 
Hello! How was your summer? Clearly, from the dearth of posting around hereabouts, mine was a bit busy. Hoping to get back into the swing of things once both kids settle into their school routines (OMG, I might actually have a few hours a week where both children are at school & I'm not working & I have time to do stuff. Like write. OMG)

The last week of August we decided to squeeze the last of the good out of summer & tried out something new with Modo: a camping trip with two families in one vehicle. Yep, that's four adults & four kids who all require carseats/boosters.

We'd reserved a couple of nights at North Beach campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park--it wasn't too busy Sunday/Monday night. We booked a Modo eight passenger minivan & crossed our fingers that we'd fit ourselves & all our camping gear inside.

Okay, crossing our fingers was a bit of an exaggeration... Last summer we bike camped with the same friends--Four Kids, For Adults, Four Bikes, Four Days--so we all had experience packing fairly light for eight people. We use relatively compact & light gear--thin foam mats, thermarests, fairly light tents & sleeping bags, small backpacking stoves--so I wasn't seriously worried about fitting in the essentials, but we also threw in a few extras, like two hammocks & folding camping chairs, a cooler full of beer & a lot of tarps.
Someone found the Kool Aid packet

Sunday the weather was a bit iffy & it actually did rain quite a bit shortly after we arrived, but we'd just set up a large tarp over the picnic table. Setup had been pretty quick--two MEC Camper 4 tents, unrolling the sleeping mats & bags inside, unfolding a few chairs & stringing up a tarp between the many trees. Et, voila! Base camp for two nights.

Golden Ears Provincial Park, if you didn't know, has three different campgrounds--pretty standard provincial park setups, though ours only had one water source, which was a hand pump that spewed out urine coloured water. Since nobody mentioned the water being a problem to drink, we didn't worry. However, when we discovered a tap with cleaner looking H2O on our hike the next day, we refilled the water jug there.

Day two we went on a great hike--only about 7 km round trip, but that took us about five hours including lunch at the viewpoint as well as many many stops for each of the small children to pee, etc.

Potty breaks were basically the theme of the hike, with children calling for them at least a dozen times altogether. I wish I was kidding or exaggerating on this. But hey, considering they're 6, 4.5, almost 3, & 2, they did very well.

Linny loves his MEC turtle headlamp
I brought my Nordic poles & my hip held out quite well on the hike--I ended up with more pain in my foot, unfortunately. It was great to get out into the woods with the kids--Linnaeus hiked the whole thing without complaint & Bronte did about half of it, the rest of the time riding in the Beco carrier on Oliver.

On the last day, after we packed up, we headed to a different beach on Alouette Lake, accidentally ending up too far south & going to the one near the dam. The weather was breezy & not too warm, plus it was a Tuesday, so the beach was not busy at all. We ate our lunch at one of the many picnic tables there & I went for a short swim in the lake. I can't even remember the last time I actually swam in a lake.

Our two littlest campers rock chucking at North Beach on Alouette Lake
Though it's a bit squishy to fit four adults & four children (all requiring car seats or boosters) in a minivan, the drive was only an hour each way. I'd definitely do it again--it's fun to all be together in one vehicle & it saves some money--two separate Modo bookings would cost more than the premium vehicle cost.

Gorgeous spot for lunch from the viewpoint we hiked to

The final highlight of the trip was taking the van through the Shine automatic car wash on our way home. I shot a little video of the experience--a first for all the kids & a long time since the adults had been through one. Maybe car washes aren't a big deal to you, but for car free kids they're apparently AMAZING. (PS--Modo members: did you know if you get the Modo vehicle washed, you can get reimbursed plus earn a free hour of driving time?)

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