Last year at this time, I had not winter camped all season. I had not winter camped at all. By April I was dying to get outdoors and into my tent. With May long weekend coming up, I had a chat with mom to see if she’d want to go on a little trip, and then went onto the Ontario Parks site to find somewhere to go!
We had never been to Restoule, but I have a friend who has a cottage there and had visited the area last year and loved it. They had what looked like some great sites still open,so I booked site 430. It is a hydro site so we could bring a small space heater for the tent in case it got really cold at night (my mom is 70 afterall! ) There was a bathroom nearby and the pics on the ontario parks site led me to believe there was access to the water for my kayak.
We did our usual super early morning drive up as the site wasn’t booked the night before, and arrived around 10am. The forecast wasn’t so good, lots of rain expected, but we supposed to have one nice day with decent temperatures, but very cool at night.
We got everything set up quite quickly and had some lunch. Then we decided to go check out a trail and see if we could find some wildlife.
Angels Point Wildlife Trail was close to our site so we walked to the trailhead and were on our way!
Everywhere there were signs of spring and new life popping up all around. The new plants and leaves that had just began popping out were the greenest of greens and just brilliant!
We also found all kinds of spring flowers beginning to bloom all around. They were so pretty and I was very happy that we were here exploring at this time of year. It was the earliest I’d ever been camping in the season and I was really happy I decided to come.
We stopped for a snack along the trail. I asked my mom to get something out of my bag and when she turned towards me to face beside us and not in front of us, she saw a red fox. I turned quickly to look and saw him as well and was elated as I never see anything when I am out and about. He stood briefly as I attempted to grab the camera, then he snapped his hear away from us, and trotted off into the forest. All I have is the picture below of where he was, but in my mind, I can still see him there.
After our hike we headed back to our campsite, both excited about the fox we saw, chattering happily. We sat by the fire for a while and warmed up and then got dinner started. We weren’t having anything major, just some Oktoberfest sausages and salad, but it was pretty delicious regardless.
After dinner, I decided to go for an evening paddle. I had my kayak sitting in a bit of a weird spot and when I went to get into my boat, I thumped in it pretty hard. I looked over and noticed that my jacket was outside the boat and in the water and in my pocket, was my iPhone!!!!! OMG!!!
I pulled the pocket out of the lake as fast as I could and grabbed my phone. It was soaked!!! I tried to dry it and it was still working but after a few minutes I got the striped screen (if you’ve ever gotten your phone seriously wet, you know what this looks like and the impending doom it implies!!!). I needed to go for a paddle now more than ever to get a bit of calmness into my system. I had a ziploc in my pocket, funnily enough, I just hadn’t put my phone in it as yet. DUMB DUMB DUMB! I put the phone in it with a big wad of tissues I had. Grabbed my camera from my other pocket (which was waterproof of course, but perfectly dry) and set off on my paddle in hopes my phone would be alright.
I took some nice sunset pics and enjoyed the paddle somewhat, but couldn’t stop worrying about my phone. It had shut off by this time and wouldn’t turn back on and I knew from past experience that I should just leave it off. So I did and tried not to think about it. I returned back to the site and mom and I enjoyed a the campfire and a beverage. Restoule is one of the few parks that does not have an alcohol ban on during the May long weekend, part of why we chose it to be perfectly honest! We headed to bed around 1130 and were both very happy we had the space heater. It went down to zero that night but inside our tent it was cozy warm and wonderful!
I woke the next morning and checked my phone. I had laid it in front of the heater before going to sleep to try and dry it out. It would turn on but wouldn’t do much else so I shut if off. As the heater would be off all day, I had to find some way to continue the drying process. I had no rice and wasn’t about to drive to find a store to get some. I did have access to some feminine products so I wrapped my phone with them and put them back in the ziploc hoping it would help.
I went for a quick morning paddle and when I got back we had some breakfast, and enjoyed sitting in our bug free screen tent. So far the bugs weren’t too bad, but on our hike yesterday where there was no wind in the forest, they were surrounding us big time. They weren’t biting too much as we had spray on, but they were circling our heads and being super annoying so it was nice to be away from them for a bit.
We found another trail that looked nice and decided to head off to explore it after breakfast. We parked and started on our way, finding this very cool section of trees that were all in rows. After walking for a bit, we realized we weren’t on the part of the trail we had seen in the Restoule newsletter and went back to the car. We drove just a small ways down the road and found the proper trailhead we wanted and after walking over this pretty bridge, found the sign.
We made our way onto the Restoule River Trail. It was a beautiful spring day with lots of sunshine, but there was still a cool breeze and with no sun in the forest, we were putting layers on and off for the first hour or so.
After we finished the trail we found a nice open area nearby with benches where we sat and had a snack, letting the sun warm us.
Shortly after we headed back to where we parked and back to the campsite. It was getting warmer by the minute and I was a happy girl! We had some lunch and then I went out for an early afternoon paddle to check out the beach via the water and see if there was a good place we could go and sit in the sun for a few hours later that afternoon.
I found the perfect spot. I returned back to the site and changed into my bikini, but put layers over top. Just in case… you never know right? We packed a bag and some chairs and made our way over to a beach a the far end of the park that looked absolutely perfect!
We sat in the lovely sunshine and removed layer after layer until I was in my bikini and roasting in the sun. After a bit I decided I would attempt to get into the lake. It was crystal clear and so inviting and I was so hot. I didn’t swim long, but I did make it all the way in and didn’t loose any limbs to the cold. It was definitely refreshing and I was really happy I went in. It’s not often you can swim, up north on May 24 weekend, so I was pretty stoked I’d gotten that first completed so early in the season. I had a nap on my blanket while I dried off and after a few hours of relaxing, mom and I headed back to our site to make some dinner.
When we returned to the site and were in the tent changing, as the temperature was once again dropping quickly, we heard a knocking. I came out and did some investigating and found this lovely woodpecker just pecking away at this birch tree on our site. He didn’t seem bothered in the least that I was trying to get a picture of him and continued with his work.
Our dinner this evening was barbecued chicken breast on the fire and some stir fried rice with asparagus mixed in that I had pre made at home and just heated up in some foil. Easy peasy and it was very yummy! We proceeded afterwards with our evening ritual, drinks by the fire and a few games of yahtzee afterwards. It was the perfect end to an awesome day! We headed to bed around midnight, both very tired and ready for a good rest. The heater once again was a great bonus to have, as it dipped to 2 degrees that night and it kept us nice and warm. I repeated the ritual with my phone which was now turning on, but other than using the side buttons, I couldn’t get into it as the swipe on the screen didn’t work so I wasn’t allowed entry. I was starting to loose hope but there wasn’t much I could do, so I set it up in front of the heater and went to sleep.
I woke up at 7:20 am to my alarm going off on my phone. CRAP! I’d forgotten to disable my weekday alarm… WAIT MY ALARM WAS GOING OFF!!!! WHAT?? I tried to swipe the screen to get in and turn it off but I still could not swipe the screen to get into the phone. All I could do was use the side button to snooze it. Shit, but yay! LOL. I was happy it seemed to be returning to me but sad, it wasn’t there yet, but I had some hope anyways.
Mom and I got up and made breakfast and started to tear down the site. My alarm continued to go off every 9 minutes for the next 4 hours, over and over and over again. There was nothing I could do except hit the side button to snooze it. We finished packing up the car around 11am, taking our time and relaxing in between. My alarm went off again and this time, as I was no longer packing and doing much, I gave the screen a swipe… IT WORKED !!! I was in! OMG!! I was soo happy! I was able to access everything and everything seemed to work. WHEW! what a relief. The phone seemed to be telling me something. It basically shut down when I got it wet the day we arrived and now was back up and running when we were ready to leave. I was grateful I had brought a backup camera so I could get some photos on the trip, but it was also kind of nice not to be able to use it during my visit. Lesson learned.
We went for a little walk around the campground stopping at the boat dock and the beach. We continued on through the other areas and looked for campsites we might want to book for future visits, taking pictures and notes along the way. Around 1230 we decided to head out. I had told my mom about a place I had gone to when I was here with my friend at her cottage last year called Rockcliffe Pottery.
I thought she would really enjoy it there so we decided to stop by. On the way, we saw a deer standing in the middle of the road while coming around a bend. It ran off into the forest but it was really great to see some wildlife before we left the area. It definitely made my day! We had a lovely visit at Rockcliffe and then headed home after that. It was a great weekend and I enjoyed my time at Restoule.
Thanks so much for checking out my post! I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, comments or issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!