Family Summer Vacation

Jun 30 2014

Family Summer Vacation

Summer is here!  Many are starting to get the final details worked out for their annual family vacation, quite
possibly with a positive anticipation that it will be the best family vacation ever!  For our family, summer vacation planning starts with figuring out the destination, where we are going to camp (our favourite type of summer vacation), and which family or friends we can meet up with along the way or at our final destination. 

It’s a “road trip” really and we love it!  It’s not the adrenaline pumping road trip of our young adult years, but instead frequent washroom breaks for the kids and pets, loud sing-a-long stints, travel games, hurried roadside snack breaks so we stay on schedule, and yes the inevitable poke fight break up between the kids and drying of tears.  It may not sound like the road trip of a new parent’s dreams but brings back many fond memories for my family.

One of our fondest summer vacation memories is of a trip to Barkerville.  It started out much the same as our usual road trip, towing our seventeen foot 1972 Triple E trailer, the kids buckled in the back seat, dog in the very back whining as though we were only minutes away from our destination, and the anticipation of meeting up with family who were traveling to meet us from Vanderhoof.  It went as well as family road trips usually go and we arrived in Barkerville in about twelve hours … to what we could only describe as a torrential downpour.

We quickly learned that Barkerville normally has about 320 days a year of precipitation and we were told that by the looks of things the downpour wouldn’t be letting up for some time.  For our small family in our little trailer the rain wouldn’t be too bad, but for the family of five we were camping with their “summer tent” (that’s a tent with no fly for humidity protection) it was looking like it was going to be a soggy problem. Had we done a little more research we would have been better prepared, but instead we spent many hours in the pouring rain setting up a camp that we hoped we could stay dry in for the next couple of days.   

We went to the nearest town, stocked up on rain coats, tarps, and fire starter, dug trenches around our campsite, hung the tarps from the trees, found the perfects spot for the campfire, and set up all the kids in the trailer to play games.  Whew!  Finally we were able to go into Barkerville and soak up the history of the historic gold rush town.  Barkerville is set up for wet weather and we were able to go from site to site, event to event and still stay reasonably dry.

So why was this wet adventure one of our fondest summer vacation memories … it wasn’t the trips into Barkerville … it was the time we spent at camp in the pouring rain at the end of our nearly exhausting days.  Two families together, hunkered under tarps, keeping the fire going strong, scrambling to get dinner cooked before the kids “starved to death”, and finally at the end of the day, with fatigued laughter, goofy games, recounting the day’s activities around the campfire.  This is what made the trip for us … the precious family vacation memory.

May the Lord bless you and your family on your travels this summer and wherever your road trip takes you this year, whether you get soaked, sunburned, swarmed by mosquitos, or whatever you may run into … stay together … keep smiling and do your best to recognize those precious moments.  

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