I was at work on Friday when Peter called and told me he was able to snag the last spot at the Inland Lake campsite in Powell River. Last summer we camped for 2 nights at nearby Haywire Bay but had been curious to try Inland Lake as well. It was a little bit rushed as I worked all day Friday and Saturday and we left Sunday morning but we got it together and had a blast. We stayed two nights at Inland and then, feeling like we wanted more time in Powell River we booked a night at a hotel that we’ve stayed in before. (The Island View Lodge)
Having been to Powell River before, both with kids and without, we had a good sense of the places we wanted to revisit and the new places we wanted to explore. After getting off the ferry we drove straight to Willingdon Beach. This is a popular spot, with its own campsite adjacent. There is a fantastic, shady playground with a spray park and a zipline and a decent concession stand. We got lunch there and sat in the grass and let the girls play. They also loved the Adult Exercise area!
When we were ready to leave Willingdon we headed to Inland to set up camp. Our site was large and private and the campsite was great. Haywire Bay has a better swimming beach but Inland has a dock and was less busy during the day and we had more privacy. Pearl and Rose liked exploring the forest behind our site.
We brought along our paddle board and enjoyed some evening paddling. While Peter was out with the girls, I got to chatting with a couple from Squamish who told me about a nearby island we could visit. There is a well-maintained trail that goes all around Inland Lake, 13 kms in total. A little less than 4km away is Anthony Island, connected to the main trail by bridge. So Monday morning we headed out there. The island is beautiful with a small, sandy beach and we had it all to ourselves. We had lunch there, swam, played, and caught tadpoles. Turns out Inland Lake has a bit of a bullfrog problem; these tadpoles were massive!
On Tuesday morning I walked with the girls a little along the trail in the opposite direction from the day before and then Peter paddled over to meet us and took them back to the dock. We packed up and drove to the hotel to secure a room. Since we couldn’t check in right away, we decided to head to a playground near Cranberry Lake that the girls had enjoyed before and have lunch there. With the idea of spending an extra night, we had packed plenty of extra food. So it was a simple matter to whip out our camping stove and cook lunch right there in the park.
From there we visited a couple of thrift stores but Rose in particular was pretty done by this point so we headed back to the hotel and let them watch cartoons for a bit. Pearl learned about live TV when she asked me to pause Paw Patrol so she could use the washroom!
Dinner was take-out from one of our favourite local restaurant, Thaidal Zone, and of course beers from Townsite Brewing! Then an evening trip to a beach Peter and I discovered on our anniversary trip last August.
Wednesday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed to Lund. This is a tiny spot at the very beginning of Highway 101. It’s a jumping off point for further explorations but a beautiful area in its own right. We hopscotched, we walked along the boardwalk and we (finally) had the famous cinnamon buns from Nancy’s Bakery!
Because of the ferry schedule we still had time to kill and thus headed to yet another playground. Mowat Bay Park is on Powell Lake with a nice beach and a playground. We brought out our camp stove once more and made ourselves lunch before driving back to Saltery Bay to catch the ferry home.
It was such a fun trip and a great way to kick off our summer camping. Peter and I often refer to camping with little kids as “an investment in future fun”; it can be hard work and it’s usually exhausting. But every year it’s a little easier and more rewarding. Outhouses and sleeping arrangements and car rides all get a bit easier. As we have before, we let the girls stay up late and all went to bed at the same time together. I would read a chapter or two of Anne of Green Gables and sing a few songs and they went to sleep easily. They played together well (mostly) and loved swimming in the lake. Pearl walked all the way to Anthony Island and back with minimal complaints. Camping can feel like a lot of effort at times but I’m always glad we did it and looking forward to our next adventure.
10 thoughts on “2021 Highlights: Week 27 (Powell River Edition)”
I remember stories of the days when you were carrying children everywhere while on these adventures! And now they walk long distances — hooray! That first picture is lovely; it’s got excellent fore-, middle-, and background. You should frame it for your living room, or some such place 🙂
As a former campground employee, I must say that the best day to go camping is Sunday. If you get there Sunday, typically everyone else has cleared out and it’s so peaceful and quiet (unless there is a holiday on Monday, then everyone sticks around). We’re going camping next week Tue-Thurs.
I still feel like I carry kids a lot sometimes because motivating Rose can be tricky! But Pearl is now completely on her own two feet for these adventures.
We have discovered the same thing about campgrounds! I actually switched my work schedule for the summer specifically so we could be free to camp midweek. You really have had a wide variety of jobs! Have fun camping!
LOL! It is strange how my jobs don’t actually build off of each other, so they all seem wildly different. The nice thing about working at the campground was during those middle of the week slow days, I wrote much of my thesis for my masters degree! I think there was something about being out in the middle of nowhere in a little shack that motivated me, lol. I always wanted to to finish my degrees so I could be a fancy professor, but to be honest, being a professor pretty much killed my desire to write because there’s no time. It’s those calm jobs that contribute to a writing lifestyle.
It sounds contrary but that does make perfect sense. I knew someone who wrote a book while working a summer job at a fire-watching post in the middle of nowhere. There are certain campgrounds that seem like they’d be idyllic to work at while others I would never want to stay there!
Sounds like fab fun! Your investment seems to be paying off already – two such happy little faces in these photos. And two pretty happy bigger ones too… 😀 Those cinnamon buns look ginormous – yum!
We really did have a great time! It’s also nice starting these traditions young because now they are so used to what camping is like. The cinnamon buns were delicious! Pearl ate half of hers and then chose to finish it later but we had to cut Rose off or she would have eaten it all in one sitting!
It looks like you had a lot of fun! And you even had sunshine for it – we did lots of camping and walking when I was little and it always seemed to rain. Glad you had a good holiday!
Thanks! Rain is how most of my childhood camping memories go too! Even last year it rained on most of our camping trips. Our weather has been unusually warm this month.
Beautiful photos. I think every time you post about PR it climbs up my list, might be at the top for next summer! We were camping that exact Sunday – Wednesday (Galiano) and it was perfect weather, wasn’t it.
I think you guys would like it! It is a bit of a trek from the city but maybe we could all camp there together next summer!