Before leaving for the wilderness for two straight weeks, Devon learned to use the bear spray canister. Because we were heading way up North, Shauna bought bear repellent just in case. I pretended to be a bear, and it turns out Devon has good aim.
“Watch out bears!” we said as we drove off, our tiny Honda Civic packed to the rafters with our cat, dog, toddler, suitcases, tent, gear, bikes, food and everything in between.
We did our trip in four legs: we started at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, caught a ferry to Manitoulin, then headed up to Chutes Provincial Park and Sudbury, before stopping at Blue Mountain on the way home
MacGregor has fantastic beaches and bike trails. On one of our bike outings along the lake, we acquired a giant, inflatable unicorn we struggled to fit in our backpacks. Our Civic also struggled to carry the unicorn once fully inflated to the beach: we strapped the unicorn to the top of our roof rack, turning the Civic into a 12 ft tall wonder.
But it was worth it: Devon spent three days floating around Lake Huron on a unicorn about the same size he is. Amazing:
We took the ferry up to Manitoulin and spent about a week running around the island. The weather was perfect: Devon was in the lake every day. We took Devon and Ryder for some lovely hikes in the woods to see Misery Bay and Bridal Veil Falls. The summer has been so dry up North that there were hardly any bugs to worry about:
We left Manitoulin and set up our tent at Chutes Provincial Park. When we planned the trip back in the spring, we didn’t fully appreciate how lovely the park was going to be. Chutes was our shortest stay, but also one of the loveliest: it had waterfalls, long trails, and meandering rivers. Our campsite was right next to the waterfall and we could hear the rush of water over granite boulders all night long.
Chutes also had bears. While we were there the park rangers relocated a bear mom and her cubs from one of the campsites.
But it wasn’t the bears we had to fear. The most fearsome thing in the forest ended up being our toddler. He spent two straight weeks growing increasingly wild. He jumped into rivers, swam in lakes, climbed everything, chased us through forest. By the time we returned we were covered in scratches from chasing Devon around the woods, but it was all worth it:
Here’s what our camping trip looked like: