Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Summertime? What? It's still winter, isn't it? Well, here in Canada, winter is in full swing. The temperatures have been colder than usual. Only my new windows aren't fogged up on the insides. It seems like my toes haven't been warm in a week. I've been wearing two fleece jackets over my shirt when I'm in the house. Drinking hot tea like it's going out of style. When I go outside, I'm wearing snowpants, my warmest parka, thickest hat, and mitts that are so big and warm that I can't even change the channels on my car stereo.

Why it my post title 'Summertime' then? Well, in my province, camping sites at the provincial parks can be booked 5 months ahead. Competition for some of the most popular campgrounds is so fierce that getting on-line even 5 minutes after new sites are released is usually too late. It is challenging to get a good site, and people have devised all kinds of tricky ways to get a site, while still sticking within the rules. A few years ago, the people at the province figured out some of these tricks and changed the rules so people who wanted to do that could still use their methods, but would have to pay a penalty. In theory, this would make it easier for us rule-abiders to get a site. Doesn't seem like that's the case though.

So the planning begins a few days before the 5-month-before-the-camping-trip anniversary. Which weekend is likely to have sites? Which sites will come available at 7 a.m.? What are our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on choices? I've gotten all the way to my 20th choice before, found it booked, so just clicked on any available site, just so I could get one. It's frustrating, but the park I have in mind is worth it, even though, as you can imagine, it's booked solid from June to September.

Later this summer, we'll be attending our neighbourhood camping trip. It's at a less popular campground, but it's close to home, which is handy for those families who still run back home for soccer games or birthday parties during the camping trip. In case it rains too much, it's handy too, so people can just leave if they aren't having fun.

I'll be sending out the email soon to give the dates of the camping trip and the date that we can book, as well as remind everyone which sites we booked last year. Whoever had a specific site the year before should have 'dibs' on that site the next year. Stealing someone else's site is a very un-neighbourly thing to do. It happened last year and one family pulled out completely, they were so irked at having their site scooped.

We had some torrential rain last summer during the camping trip. Hopefully it'll be a bit nicer this year.


valerie,  January 23, 2009 at 8:19 AM  

seems to me that you "shouldn't" be allowed to take the same spot as last year, just to give everyone a chance at the choice ones. :)

Nice to have something warm to think about...

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