Perfect Pinery

Beer eh!
Beer eh!

Early last week we spent a few night’s at Anita’s cottage to celebrate Bill birthday (and to get together). Pete and his family were in attendance to enjoy in the merriment. And there was plenty of merriment. I have a new respect for Jagermeister after over indulging on the first night. The boys took the Red Racer Beer trip across Canada. The trip was really hit and miss. I thought Yukon’s beer had spoiled it was so bad. BC and Newfoundland were the best IMHO. We enjoyed much of the festivities on their amazing new deck. We ate and drank like Kings and Queens, it was a fun few days.

Our setup for 1116.
Our setup for 1116.

It has been a while since we last went camping. But we are now home after three nights at the Pinery just outside of lovely Grand Bend. It was a great park. We had a site in Burley (1116). The Pinery is a huge Provincial Park. You really get that sense when you drive down the many long one way roads between the different park sections. The park has plenty to offer for those who enjoy outdoor activities. During our stay, we hiked the Nippissing trail (the lookout wasn’t worth it at all, trees are overgrown all over the area so you can’t see anything and constantly dodging the hungry poison ivy gets tiresome really fast), by contrast the Riverside trail was a wider, accessible trail with charming boardwalks and vistas overlooking the lily pad infested Old Ausable Channel. So the hiking at the park we found to be hit and miss.

Bumpy but lovely road.
Bumpy but lovely road.

The biking, however, was excellent. Biking is by far the best way to get around the park. There are sections of road dedicated to biking in addition to the long in-park, forested Savannah trail and the long bike link to Grand Bend will give bikers plenty to do.

Sandy beach
Sandy beach

The highlight was, however, Lake Huron and the beaches. Wow…just awesome. The water was cool, refreshing and clean, the beaches were a combination of rock and sand. We stayed mostly on the dog beaches (1 & 2) which were quite nice. Most people kept good control over their dogs.

Long shot of the beach
Long shot of the beach

I’ve read about how great the sunsets are over Lake Huron but we got three duds. The last was a miserable, depressing grey nothingness. Hmmpt.
We had a few minor run-ins with nature. The most interesting was having to stop the car and let a massive family of wild turkeys pass by. The turkeys didn’t seem concerned about blocking traffic as they took their time meandering across the road. When we first arrived I heard a strange whistling I thought was a kid with a toy but it turned out to be a bird. I didn’t determine which bird it was, however.
We tried to have a fire each night. The first night ended up being a complete fire gong show. The wood for the park (at $7.50 a bag!) was wet and rotten… basically garbage. So that was frustrating. We got wood outside of the park the next day at Mellin’s and had much better results the next two nights.

Mmmm BBQ. *drool*
Mmmm BBQ. *drool*

One thing we did that made a big difference was preparing all the food before camping. The Smokey Homer was amazing at heating up meals for quick eating. Foil package meals were fantastic!
Thanks to my Mom for watching our beasts. We enjoying having the freedom to explore the wonderful park. We expect to be back…we didn’t kayak or explore several other hiking trails.

The Schoolhouse
The Schoolhouse

On the way home from the Pinery we stopped at Schoolhouse restaurant for breakfast. It was a decent meal, the service was friendly and unattentive. The restaurant has some curious old historical artefacts from when it was a school many moons ago.

Front Yard Reno. Before and After.
Front Yard Reno. Before and After.

We decided to finish the landscaping in the front yard. The results, we think, are incredible and practical.

I have a massive repository of wallpapers in a google drive folder. I use it for all my device/computer backgrounds. For Windows, I use the great app, John’s background changer but for my Android phone there wasn’t an easy solution. Google drive doesn’t automatically sync to Android. Sigh. So the solution was two steps:
1) Use Foldersync lite to sync my google drive wallpaper folder to my phone then
2) Wallpaper Changer to randomly select the images off my phone.
It works well so far!

I’m a bit obsessed with scrobbling what I listen to last.fm. I find Spotify on my PS4 with PCM audio has the best sound available but had issues finding a way to scrobble from my PS4. I just came across a solution that seems to work: spotifyscrobbler. Enjoy!

Game of Thrones is back. Revenge of Arya.

We watched Deepwater Horizon last night. It was surprisingly well done. (Sorry, my bar for Mark Wahlberg films is typically VERY low…) But the film focused as much on characters and how the event evolved, as it did on drama and explosions… it created a very compelling thriller. It suggested corporate greed of BP and the heroic actions for some of the rig workers. The actual event is quite the story.

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