Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Our Camping Trip

Please make sure you read the previous post...

So we had a wonderful camping trip. We camped in Silverton and went to the Suzuki Valhalla Institute in New Denver. Kaetlyn, Drew, Rhiannon and I loaded up and headed out on Sunday. Dean was with Redfish playing in Pincher Creek, Alberta. I picked him up on Monday after the first day of classes at the Galena Bay ferry, about an hour and a half from where we were camping.

Its actually the first time that we have camped all together as a family (without Erin of course). We borrowed a friend's large tent and Dean, Rhiannon and I slept in that one and Kaetlyn and Drew slept in our little tent. We had a great time cooking together, hanging out without phone, computer or xbox. We were in the 'Creekside Overflow' campground - a small campground.

Everyone in the campsite was also attending the 'institute' and we were there with 3 other families from Vernon. The kids quickly made friends and ran around playing together. Kaetlyn and Drew switched back and forth between hanging out with the adults and the kids. (seen here in Dave's motorcycle and sidecar - a very popular attraction that we all got rides in...) We brought Jodi with us and she behaved very well and was also very popular with the kids who walked her for hours around the campsite and tried to get her to howl.

We had sunshine until Wednesday evening when we got some of the most dramatic thunder storms that I have ever been in. We kept snug and dry inside our tents although I got a little wet cooking spaghetti in the pouring rain... Drew had positioned the tarp entirely over their little tent and the cooking/eating area was not covered at all.... It took 3 days for my hoodie sleeves to dry that were sticking out of the gargage bag I was wearing... Thursday night it also poured but it was our night to go out to dinner with our friends. So we sat snug and warm (if not a little grubby) in the Silverton Country Inn eating warm food while it poured outside.

The lake was incredibly beautiful. Both Silverton and New Denver (which are only 5 km's apart) are on Slocan Lake - a long, very deep lake bordered by steep, majestic mountains. The water is clear and cool. There were no showers at our campground so I bathed in the lake every other morning. Even on the cool mornings after the rain. I loved it. The lake gets deep very quickly which probably made it easier to bathe in - you didn't have to wade way out there to do it, getting colder by the minute - it was just a few steps and you were up to your neck. Dean, Drew and Kaetlyn went for a couple of midnight swims in the moonlight.

What really captured my imagination for the week was the fact that New Denver was my grandfather's first teaching position after he got his teaching certificate and they (my mother's family) lived there from 1951 - 1955. These are pictues of the house that they lived in and the view they had from the front of their house. I imagined my young mother walking along the dusty roads. They moved there when she was 8 and left when she was 12. The school where the institute was held is built on the same grounds as the school my grandfather taught and and my mother attended (he taught in the highschool which was situated right beside the elementary school). There was a very old backstop and I wondered if that was the spot where she got her tooth knocked out playing back catcher during PE.

My lasting impressions:
- how incredibly much Rhiannon learned. I am really impressed witht he Suzuki method! Their immersion theory is based on how we acquire language and it is truly amazing just how much Rhiannon learned simply by being exposed and immersed in violin music for the week.
-the wonderful, relaxed feeling of camping together as a family
-the breathless and indescribable beauty of the West Kootenays, Slocan Lake
-the sleepy, stopped-in-time, everyone-knows-everyone feeling of a tiny community of only 609 people


Mary-Sue said...

mmmm. what a delight to read. your trip seems perfectly magical. i'm so glad your entire family could go (sans Erin) and so neat that you have some family history there as well! i'm eager to be part of violin immersion week some year!!

sarah said...

Sounds like you had lots of fun. I yearn to go camping- and swimming. I've only been once and very briefly this summer.

bum.by.the.sea said...

I can make your comments work, and I am able to make it here more often then bethany--so if you just send me your username and password, I can fix it alll up for ya!

Chick said...

Thanks, Amy, I sent you the info!