One Foot Outdoors: Summer's end means a new kind of adventure

Farewell to summer, we hardly knew ye.

September long weekend, specifically the Monday of, is the saddest day of the year. That’s the day camping season closes at Baker’s Narrows Provincial Park. By 3 pm the gates are locked, and campers are already anticipating next year’s seasonal site lottery.

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I kicked and screamed all weekend, protesting the end of summer like a tot protesting bedtime. You could sense the mood was the same for much of the campground, and by mid afternoon on Sunday, many of us had gathered to pay our last respects to the summer of 2018. We cooked our last bush pies, ate our last coil (or three) of garlic sausage and kids were drinking Kool-Aid Jammers like they were going out of style.

Quite a few adult jammers went down that night as well. It’s a lot easier to toss a can in the recycling than to try and bring the full ones back. For me, it was a chance to solidify new friendships made around the campfire. We listened to good music, had plenty of laughs and even a few competitions testing various traditional skills and strengths. I’m not going to mention any names, but I can’t wait until next year’s leg wrestling rematch. I expect there will be more competitors, too, now that we know how it’s done.

I think we can all agree that the weather was less than stellar this summer. We survived a few nasty storms, but the rain and even the fallen trees couldn’t dampen our spirits. When the weather was bad, Hollee and I worked on improving our camper cooking repertoire, and watched some old DVDs that were collecting dust on the shelf at home. Remember learning about Karma from Karson Dailey on My Name Is Earl? I could watch that show over and over again. I also reaffirmed my suspicion that I’m pretty good at napping.

I have to say that camping really charged the batteries for me. I’m a pretty busy guy, and being able to drive 15 minutes and put the cell phone away was just what the doctor ordered. Fall for me means a lot of meetings. I’m pretty good at filling my calendar through the cold months to keep the winter blues from dragging me down. No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead, right?

I’m not really a winter activity kind of guy. This winter, though, I’d like to pledge to get outdoors a couple times a month to keep the blood flowing. You should, too.

In my column moving forward, I’m going to include a monthly challenge. It’s not a contest. There may not be any prizes, but I promise they will be fun and you will feel better for completing them. This month, go on a hike. The length doesn’t matter. The destination doesn’t matter. Make sure you are properly dressed, and take a friend with you. When you get to the highest point on your hike, stop and take a picture. Take in your surroundings, take a few deep breaths, and be grateful we live in a place surrounded by nature and all it has to offer.

Tip of the week: If being outdoors in the winter isn’t your thing, join a service club or volunteer for a local charity. The Flin Flon Bombers are always looking for help on game days, and if crowds of people aren’t your thing, the SPCA is looking for board members and dog walkers.

We want to see photos from your time outdoors! E-mail photos to for a chance to be published in one of our upcoming issues.

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