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Sean Montgomery

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Mission Aborted [Aug. 5th, 2012|09:17 am]
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This weekend has not unfolded quite as expected. We have Monday off up here, so Karen and I decided to plan a quick camping trip...including us, two friends of ours, and all of our dogs. Normally we go to Algonquin, but the park was fully booked by the time Karen tried to get a site, so we wound up at Six Mile Lake park, which is just off of Highway 400 between Barrie and Parry Sound. It looked decent enough...beaches, dog area, showers, camp store. And also closer to home, which was a real bonus.

Alas, it was stupidly hot yesterday. While Karen and I were setting up camp, Jersey and Dexter were panting and agitated...seeking shade or (preferably) the air conditioned comfort that they're used to. We were concerned about how our friend Dennis' bulldog would cope in this. That dog wheezes like a broken refrigerator at the best of times. But we had a lot of time to wonder. The plan was to arrive at the park around 1. We were late ourselves, but Dennis and Lissa were *really* late. Around 5 p.m., I started leaving phone and text messages inquiring about their whereabouts. Had they had to turn around because of the dog? Had there been an accident?

As it turned out...yes, there had indeed been an accident of sorts. On their way into the park, Dennis missed a turn...and when he attempted to pull onto the shoulder to turn around, the car ran into loose gravel and slipped right off the road, ending up nearly sideways in a ditch. They'd had to pay $100 to get a tow truck to pull the car out. Drama! And, indeed, the bulldog was having severe respiratory distress. Their cars' air conditioning crapped out on the way up, and they'd had to stop a couple of times to let Diezel cool down (the traffic was terrible, and with no forward motion there was no cooling breeze coming in the window). On the campsite, they set up a cooling pad and a battery operated fan for him, but it didn't seem to be helping much. Diezel was making very disturbing noises, while lying in the dirt with his tongue out. And after three hours, Dexter and Jersey still hadn't calmed down much. The forecast called for a low of 24C (75F), which wasn't much relief.

We began thinking about sleeping arrangements. It was too hot to leave our dogs in the car, and if we'd taken them into the tent they would have been panting and moving around all night. Add to that: a) there was a total ban on campfires because of recent drought b) the forecast was for severe thunderstorms (which did indeed roll through last night), which would have turned the campsite into a mud pit for the dogs c) half of our site was on top of an ant hill d) none of the parks' beaches allowed dogs...there was just a small 'pet exercise area' that was really just a boat launch. No sand. And while Dexter enjoyed jumping off of the dock to retrieve his wubba from the water...what were the rest of us going to do?

And well...we decided to cut our losses and just go home. We invited Dennis and Lissa to 'camp' at our place for the night. They set up their air mattress in Karen's craft room, we made the food that we'd intended to have for dinner at the campsite (and it was delicious...Dennis had marinated pork loin chops, Lissa had a fresh salad with locally grown carrots, peas and cucumber, Karen had prepared pasta with salmon and sun dried tomatoes), and we watched Olympics until 1 a.m. Today we're just going to hang out. Whip up pancakes for breakfast. Maybe play some Cards Against Humanity later. Being home also means we don't have to miss the 100 m dash final tonight, or the new episode of Breaking Bad!

[User Picture]From: chandos
2012-08-05 02:36 pm (UTC)


Sounds like you are still having a great week-end though. Glad the dogs are okay.

There is increible heat here too, and the pooch doesn't like the water, so I had to trick him and carry him in to help him cool off.

Have a wonderful week-end!
[User Picture]From: okoshun
2012-08-05 11:18 pm (UTC)


The thunderstorms that we drove through last night were pretty intense - I think you made a good call to camp out at home.