John Harvey Photo

Rathtrevor Camping 2Go to Slide Show

Our Second Summer Camping Trip


The original plan was a single 4 night camping trip at Okanagan Lake, near Summerland.  After we booked the trip, we found out that Jin and Jesse were camping at Rathtrevor the following week.  Through a little bit of online work and unbelievable luck, we were able to book a 4 night stay in the campsite right next to theirs. 

Previous camping trips I have made "Load Out" photos - Garibaldi Lake, Manning, Cultus Lake, and Manning Again.  This time I wanted to try something a little different - I made a timelapse video of unloading and setting up the tent.  This year we borrowed my Dad's truck (Thanks!) because we were having trouble fitting so much stuff in our Subaru.  I'm really glad I haven't had to unpack and setup in the rain.

Morning Trip

 We have been to Englishman River falls and Qualicum River falls before.  I wanted to try and find new places worth visiting.  I did some research on the internet and found Hamilton Marsh isn't very far away.

I left the campground after the gate opened and drove North on the highway to the next exit and then found the relatively unmarked parking lot.  There was a wide trail through the forest but again no signs.  I walked for a few minutes, past a few forks and then came out of the forest into a massive clearing.  There is a short floating dock.

Hamilton Marsh

Bullfrog In Hamilton Marsh
I was clearly the first person there that day (lots of spider silk to the face when walking through the forest) and I noticed the splashing of frogs as I walked up the boardwalk.  With a bit of looking I found the frogs - bullfrogs.  The marsh was thick with them (and probably little else).  I hoped to see dragon flies resting on plants, but saw almost nothing. 



California Quail On Fence Post
While researching, I found a new marsh - the Parksville Wetlands.  There isn't really clear access, but I found a street in a residential neighborhood that I assumed led to a trail.  I pulled up and was quite surprised to see a California Quail looking back at me.  The trails lead to a scrubby hills next to the housing and eventually crosses over the now abandoned part of the Vancouver Island "Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway".  It won't be easy to get the rail running again - the trees are growing up between the rails and in a few more years you won't even be able to find the rails.


I ran into a local walking the trails.  He told me there is no standing water anywhere near the Parksville Wetlands.  Oh well.

Beach Time

Giant Pink Sea StarYellow Shore CrabTiny Blue Dots

Legacy Sand SculptureSea Turtle Sand SculptureGiant Squid Sand Sculpture


Jin Spinning HaleyBiking Back From Playground
 

Campground Wildlife

In my mind, camping is a means to have activities outside of camping - go for hike or see a new thing.  I'm uncomfortable just sitting in a camp site with nothing to do.  Thankfully our came site actually has quite a bit of wildlife come through.

White Crowned Sparrow On Thin BranchJuvenile Spotted TowheeBlack Bunny In Grass
Chickadee Came To VisitChickadee Preparing For Launch

Squirrels Passing On Tree
The surrounding trees were thick with squirrels.  The squirrels are pretty teritorial so they spend much of the day yelling at us and each other for perceived incursions into their territory.
Squirrel Coming Down Branch


Male And Female Pileated Woodpecker On Tree
There were roughly 6 Pileated Woodpeckers that would fly through the campsites every day.  These are a pretty common bird in coastal BC which I have seen a number of times before, but this is the first time I actually had time to setup my camera and take photos.  It's always fun to get another "nemesis" bird off the list.

Pileated Woodpecker On Branch

Ice Cream

Eating Ice Cream After Bike Ride
Just outside of the park is a small general store.  You can bike into Parksville and find a full grocery store, but the general store is the closest place to get an ice cream cone.  It's enough work to bike there that we didn't go every night.


  Biking Back To The CampsiteClaira With Cookies And Cream Ice CreamNara With Cookies And Cream Ice Cream

End of the Day

Beach
Sometimes we head down to the beach to watch the sunset.  At this time of the year the sun hits the water just off the coast.  In another few weeks it will be sitting in the mountains and sunset will be in shadow.

Grassy

Park operators seem to be pretty entrepreneurial.    Inevitably their is a camp fire ban and kids wish they could roast marshmallows.  While you aren't allowed open fires, you are allowed a propane powered gas fireplace.  You can buy a large heavy fireplace and use it for one week a year or you can rent it for about 1/3rd the price.  Jin and Jesse took it for the team and rented - we came over and enjoyed their smores.

Chatting Around Propane Fire PitClaira Enjoying Marshmallows
Every family is different with bedtimes and deserts.  It's camping so yes you can have a smore just before bedtime - but you can't have three!  Our kids are a little younger and go to bed a little earlier because they get up a little earlier.

Kids Making Smores

Sleeping With Glow Sticks
Helen finds the dollar start glow sticks (packs of 10 for $1.25!) and the kids can decorate the tent before they go to bed.  We don't do it every night, but it is a favorite tradition.


Thanks Jin and Jesse for letting us crowd your summer vacation!


Giant Squid Sand Sculpture
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Squirrel Coming Down Branch
Species: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Red Squirrel)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Bullfrog In Hamilton Marsh
Species: Rana catesbeiana (American Bullfrog)
Altitude: 88m (288 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grassy
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, HDR, sunset
Chickadee Preparing For Launch
Black Bunny In Grass
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Jin Spinning Haley
Person: Haley, Jin
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: playground
Giant Pink Sea Star
Species: Pisaster brevispinus (Giant Pink Star)
Location: Go To...
Sleeping With Glow Sticks
Tags: glow stick, tent
Sea Turtle Sand Sculpture
Location: Go To...
California Quail On Fence Post
Species: Callipepla californica (California Quail)
Altitude: 45m (147 feet)
Location: Go To...
Male And Female Pileated Woodpecker On Tree
Species: Dryocopus pileatus (Pileated Woodpecker)
Biking Back To The Campsite
Tags: biking
Claira Enjoying Marshmallows
Person: Claira
Hamilton Marsh
Altitude: 83m (272 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: swamp
Nara With Cookies And Cream Ice Cream
Kids Making Smores
Person: Abby, Claira, Haley, Nara
Tags: camping, fire
Tiny Blue Dots
Species: Pagurus granosimanus (grainyhand hermit)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Eating Ice Cream After Bike Ride
Person: Abby, Claira, Haley, Nara
Tags: ice cream
Chatting Around Propane Fire Pit
Tags: camping, fire
White Crowned Sparrow On Thin Branch
Species: Zonotrichia leucophrys (White-crowned Sparrow)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Juvenile Spotted Towhee
Species: Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)
Legacy Sand Sculpture
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Squirrels Passing On Tree
Species: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Red Squirrel)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With Cookies And Cream Ice Cream
Yellow Shore Crab
Species: Hemigrapsus oregonensis (yellow shore crab, hairy shore crab)
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Beach
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, HDR, sunset
Pileated Woodpecker On Branch
Species: Dryocopus pileatus (Pileated Woodpecker)
Chickadee Came To Visit
Species: Poecile rufescens (Chestnut-backed Chickadee)
Biking Back From Playground
Person: Abby, Claira, Nara
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking
Tags: camping(3), fire(2), tent(2), biking(2), HDR(2), beach(2)
People: Claira(4), Abby(3), Haley(3), Nara(3), Jin(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John Harvey Photo - Camping > Rathtrevor Camping 2

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Last Modified Thursday, September 20th, 2018 at 22:38:47 Edit
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