Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

First Bike Camping Trip!

Last Friday I went on my first bike camping trip.  It's been crazy busy and I was away at our family cottage for a few days shortly after, so haven't had time to get on here until now.

I had such a great time!  (There are loads of photos, and each can be clicked on to make them bigger.)

It wasn't a long trip, only about 20 km there, 20 back, but they were hilly kilometers and I was carrying about 50 Lbs of gear on my 30 Lb bike....very different feel from my normal bike rides; much more difficult.

Loaded bike
 Here's my bike, all loaded and propped against the house because it was so heavy my kickstand wouldn't support the weight.
Getting ready to head out for my first bike camping trip
 Here I am with my trusty steed, Corabelle, getting ready to head out.  My Mom is in the background, telling me I'm totally crazy, lol.
Me and my loaded bike
 I'd never ridden a loaded bike before, and it took some getting used to.  I can't imagine how much harder front racks and panniers must be for steering.  I'm ordering some in the winter so I'll be all set for next spring, lol.
Creek along the route
 About half of my ride was along a quiet country road called Base Line. There were lots of pretty creeks and a few narrow bridges.  The above photo is one of them.  I was going so slowly that I was passed by a farm tractor towing a trailer, lol.
The turn from Base Line to Airport Road
 The turn from Base Line to Airport Road is tricky because the fist thing I had to do once I turned was climb a hill.  I made it up every single hill on this trip, and there were lots of them.  Thankfully not too big, but last year I wouldn't have made it up a single one, never mind carrying so much stuff.
Airport Road
 My bike is a hybrid bike, a comfort bike crossed with a beach bike, and it's very comfortable.  I love the upright position and I love my bike,  but in all honesty a mountain bike would be easier for carrying stuff, and for giving me alternate hand positions.  My hands grew numb quickly from the single handle bars, and I had to keep shaking them out.
Arriving at the campground
 This shot is "before the collapse" taken just as I arrived at the campground.  I felt fine until I stopped, got off the bike, and immediately became so dizzy I could barely stand up.

I went in to register and almost collapsed. The couple who run the place brought me to a shady spot behind the building and let me sit in a lawn chair in the shade until I recovered.  They said I had a touch of heat stroke and needed to just sit still and drink water.  I'd been drinking G2 on the ride but I guess I didn't drink enough of it for such a hard ride on such a hot day.  I had a sunburn on my face, neck, shoulders, and even the part in my hair was beet red.

As I sat, relaxing, I could feel eyes on my.  I looked up to see the cutest little red squirrel peering over the roof, looking at me.  We sat staring at one another for quite some time.  It's probably just me, but the squirrel looked concerned, lol
My camp site
 When the world finally stopped spinning, I went to find my camp spot, which was not easy, lol.  I parked my bike and decided I'd better eat something.
 This snack sized tuna kit was perfect; a tiny can of tuna, 6 crackers, a napkin and spoon.  It was yummy and I felt even better after getting some protein and carbs in me.
Close up of lunch (yum!)
 After lunch I set up my tent.  I was still super hot so I decided to change into my bathing suit and ride over to the beach.
Going for a swim
 The water was lovely; warm, for once.  Lake Superior is usually frigid. I swam for about an hour and a half, but leisurely.  I did laps then let the waves carry me away for some distance, then swam back, over and over again.
Pointe Des Chenes beach
 It was really gorgeous out there.  I love the beach.

My tent and bike
 My camp site was  rocky but OK.  My tent was a tad too small for me and I am considering getting a bigger one. THis is fine if it stays dry but if it rains I'd be in trouble because when I lay down, my head and feet touch either end.
Sunset at the beach
 I went back to the beach to watch the sunset over the water.  It was spectacular.

Wood was too wet to start a fire
 I tried to start a fire, but the wood was too wet.
 I gave up on the fire and cooked supper on my little cat can alcohol stove.  It's just a Friskie's can with holes drilled along the upper edge to let the fire out the sides so that the fire won't go out when a pot or pan is placed upon it.  It worked perfectly to reheat my burger, which I cooked ahead and then froze.  It was mostly thawed by the time I cooked it.  I then melted the cheese when it was done. It was yummy.
Supper cooked on cat can alcohol stove
I had a great time and am looking forward to doing it again.  The only downfall of the trip was a group of noisy people set up next to me and let their kids scream until about 1 AM.  I was exhausted and every time I fell asleep, the kids would wake me up.  The park is supposed to be quiet after 10 PM and that family was really inconsiderate. The adults were super loud too.  Other than that, I had a great time.