Driving into the wild

Don’t panic!! I haven’t been eaten by bears!!

Wait, none of you actually knew I was camping this weekend anyways. Perhaps I should have let you know so you could worry and wait for my post-camping update. Mental note: Alert faithful readers of backwoods camping trips in the future.

Well, now you know I went camping this weekend. That’s right; tents, outhouses, flies, fires, and way too much booze and bad food. The perfect weekend in the woods.

I had the dreaded task pleasure of finding and booking the lot for our group, and I wanted to make our weekend a bit different from past camping trips. So, I tried to find a lot as far out and secluded as possible without putting us out into the actual wilderness where we would have all surely perished because we are way too “city” for our own good.

I managed to find a stellar lot in the Parc Nationale de Mont-Tremblant.

And I think I knew the drive there would be part of the fun; and it was.

Because the park is buried in the rolling hills and valleys of Tremblant, getting to the park requires a jaunt through the rocky forests and small towns surrounding countless lakes and marshes. What a fabulous journey on a bright, Friday afternoon.

If only we’d had the Subaru.

Because of all our equipment, we took my test vehicle for the week instead: a Lincoln MKT.

Now, in all honesty; we were quite impressed with the MKT on the dirt roads and through the twisties around Tremblant. For a heavy vehicle it wasn’t horrible. It was no WRX, but it also got us there in one piece with a few controlled sideways corners added on the way. Plus my husband was delighted that the MKT was being pelted with loose rocks and gravel instead of his beloved WRX.

Of all the cars that made the journey up there, our friend’s Subaru Impreza hatch clearly had the most fun. He came into the site location sideways, which said it all.

Now, I have to complain about something here; campground maps. Why are they so bloody useless? Case in point: We were a large group, so we all drove up individually, arriving in 3 stages. My husband and I drove up with another couple, so we traversed the country roads together and made our way to the site ensemble using the map provided to us by the front desk.

We quickly discovered that the map given to us was utterly useless. Half the points written out on the map weren’t on the signs on the roads, and the signs that were on the roads weren’t on the map. What should have been a 40-minute drive turned into a 2-hour drive as we completely missed our turn and ended up at the much-hated Lac des Rats — which is precisely where everyone else in our group ended up as well after following the fucking useless map.

So, what does that say about the campground’s mapping system? That it sucks and someone needs to revamp and redo the map before Lac des Rats gets overpopulated with lost, angry campers.

Other than the map incident, the weekend was just an incredible escape from our everyday stresses. Completely away from other campers and right on a lake, we listened to the loons call every night and even had a hare visit us the first night.

Bliss.

I’m already looking at booking our next camping trip. Part of the fun for me is coordinating the trip with whatever test vehicle I have that week. And it’s not always the big cars that are the best.

One of the best camping trips we had was when we packed up a convertible MINI Cooper S JCW. With all our equipment packed into the non-existent trunk and back seat, we had a great weekend despite the torrential rain, and it was all because of the drive there and home.

And when we took the Nissan Murano for a weekend in the wilderness, it was actually harder to get all of our gear in than it was with the MINI. Strange, I know.

How many of you, oh faithful reader, enjoy a weekend away in the wilderness? And do you have an ideal camping car? I know I don’t ask reader-response questions often, but I’m curious.

Drive on,
– M.

And just a few more of the MINI because I love it so.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on June 29, 2010.

2 Responses to “Driving into the wild”

  1. i don’t do camping… but i love your blog! šŸ™‚

  2. Sweeeettt!!But it will be eaten up for breakfasta souped up Japanese CivicType R

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