Honey, you sure you want to go through that again? the hubby says to me after he finally relents to my constant barrage of begging.
But babe, I say in my most annoying whiny voice, if we don’t make the effort to get out of the house, before we know it we’ll be knee deep in snow and wondering what happened to summer! Let’s just do it and see how it goes.
So we load Yoda-the-Toyota up early Saturday morning, with the two pack-n-plays, our ginormous tent, the babies’ portable highchairs Nana Shirl and Grandpa Dave gave us and the new baby floatation devices Auntie Brynnee bought the boys for their birthday, as well as a whole whack of blankets and tarps for laying about on the ground. Since it’s now officially summer, it takes a while in BC to melt the winter away, we packed considerably less than our first camping attempt. Within two hours of the boys’ awakening, we are locked-and-loaded and ready to chill out in our lawn chairs.
Again, we are joining forces with our best camping buddies, Mel and Sacha, and their little one, Tristan. These guys have camping down to a fine art, as I mentioned in the previous post, they even have a stove-oven combo which makes meals all that more ridiculously glamp. The drive goes without a hitch, as we learned from our mistake last trip, and timed it to coincide with their nap-time. As we reach the Marble Canyon campsite 40km northwest of Cache Creek, the boys are fresh from their nap and we are pleased to see Shannon and his two little girls also at the campsite. Between the girls, Tristan and Mel hugging and holding the babies, the hubby and I are free to unload and set up our equipment, which happens in less than 20 minutes as we have the previous adventure still fresh in our memories and know what-goes-where.
The rest of the afternoon is spent lazing on the sandy shores next to the warm and gorgeously clear waters of Pavillion Lake. This is one of three lakes abutting the campsite, flanked by Crown and the aptly-named Turquoise Lakes. The spot is magnificent. Rugged, chalk-faced limestone slopes and weathered peaks tower a kilometre above the canyon below, and the roar of the waterfall on the far side of the Lake echoes in the distance. The park is of particular importance as it protects the unique and sensitive freshwater stromatolite features. What are stromatolites, you may ask? I’m glad you did, for I’m dying to tell you.
Stromatolites are microbialites, unusual carbonate structures built by bacteria which resemble freshwater ‘coral’. The large colony found in Pavilion Lake are the largest freshwater stromatolites in the world; no other known freshwater stromatolites exist anywhere else in the world that approach the large size of those found at Pavilion Lake. The coral-like structures are formed from fossilized remains of micro-organisms that are considered to be similar to some of the oldest known lifeforms on Earth and believed to have formed a critical stage in the evolution of life on earth and possibly even Mars. NASA has a research project here. So this place was pretty special.
And it was as if the twins sensed the specialness of the place, for they were in the best of moods all weekend. Laughing, happy, eating well, sleeping for two solid hours at each nap time. It was awe-some! The only hiccup was that we tried to put them down to sleep the Saturday night too early. Note to Self. Self, right after playing hard with the three other children and a cold water standing ‘bath’ in the lake is not a good time to try to make babies go to sleep, capiche? We should’ve known better and thrown the schedule out the window, but didn’t. Anyways, after an hour of feeding, patting and rocking, it was Mel’s turn at singing soft lullabies that finally worked in quieting them to drowsiness, and then ultimately a deep sleep until 5:30am. Like I said, this place was pretty special.