The other side of camping …

I went camping with my family last week. I didn’t want to, but my kids really did.

I went camping with my family last week. I didn’t want to, but my kids really did. Leading up to the trip I quietly dreaded it, and then the day we left for the two and a half hour drive to the campground I felt oddly excited.

The last camping trip we went on was a couple of years ago and I didn’t love the experience. Crammed in an incredibly busy area, I felt like a sardine in a can and was counting down the days until I could escape. Sleeping in a tent trailer and walking down a dirt road to shower with spiders in the public restroom wasn’t my cup of tea either. This time, I was told, would be different. Why? Because we’d be in a hotel on wheels, also known as a motorhome.

Not in a fancy hotel with all the bells and whistles, mind you. It would be more like an economically priced no-frills motel on wheels.

But I didn’t care. I was going to have electricity, a toilet, a kitchen and a shower. So, not exactly roughing it like a true camper. But I think we’ve established I’m nowhere near being one of those.

When we arrived at our destination I was immediately charmed. The small lake was gorgeous and serene, there was a row of simple cabins, and the campgrounds behind them were large, spacious and surrounded by trees.

As I stood by the docks watching my husband and son unload the fishing boat, the owner and I started talking and immediately hit it off. She was a beautiful woman and looked like she belonged in the city shopping with me rather than out in the boonies. Caroline explained how she and her husband used to live in Kelowna near us, but he had found this place on the internet a few years earlier, and when they went to check it out in person, it was love at first sight.

I could see why. It really was gorgeous and suited its name, the Jewel Lake Resort. But then she dropped a bomb: no internet and no phone service. Oh my gosh, I might as well have been trapped in a tent.

“It’s kind of nice to unplug for a while,” she said. “That’s a huge attraction for a lot of people. You can totally relax and disconnect from the outside world up here.”

After setting up our site, my husband and 12-year-old son went off to kill fish while our 10-year-old daughter, Daisy, and I wandered around the campground. Stopping in for ice cream at the office, we discovered a vast array of books, board games and some pictures of Caroline’s husband, former NHL player Jim Harrison, up on the wall. Turned out the guy was in the Guinness Book of World Records for most points scored in a professional hockey game with 3 goals and 7 assists back in the ‘70s.

Yeah, okay. If an energetic high-achieving dude like that could kick back and relax out in the wilderness, I should be able to as well. I decided a little downtime and not being able to work for a couple of days would be good for me.

And it was. I picked daisies, played games, had a few drinks, read a magazine, made some friends, relaxed by the fire, and slept like a log.

Did I miss having wifi and phone service for a few days? Yes I did. But not nearly as much as I thought I would. Caroline was right — being unplugged forced me to relax and disconnect from the outside world.

I wouldn’t want to do it full time, but shutting off the computer and phone temporarily through the week in order to get grounded and calm the heck down seems like a good idea to me now.

Sleeping in a tent and showering with spiders still doesn’t.

Just Posted

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Stettler court beat

Prisoners appear via CCTV from Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Red Deer Remand Centres

Stettler upgrading sound system at a community hall

Will improve the clarity and boom factor, says Coun. Wayne Smith

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Ponoka Traffic Unit investigate scooter incident

A motorcyclist appears to have lost control of her Suzuki scooter on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.