A Wet Weekend for Camping on the Bruce Peninsula

Note to self: Never take a $5 garage sale tent camping on a rainy weekend with kids or you will get wet! Besides the dripping wet bottoms of our sleeping bags, which made sleeping slightly uncomfortable, it was a wonderful weekend away at Bruce Peninsula National Park. We met up with my dad and brother, who have been doing a loop around Georgian Bay for the past week. This was the final part of their journey, and what a spectacular place to end it.

On Saturday morning, drizzle notwithstanding, we hiked out to Indian Head Cove. Maybe because of the early hour (thanks, kids) and the weather, we were the only ones there. It’s a far cry and refreshing change from the usual busloads of tourists who swarm these rocks on hot summer days. Even though I’ve been here several times, the beauty never fails to astound me. The combination of the white rocks beneath the Caribbean-turquoise water and the sheer ruggedness of the shoreline takes my breath away.

A. throwing rocks -- his default activity, no matter where he is.
A. throwing rocks — his default activity, no matter where he is.
Indian Head Cove, looking out at Flower Pot Island in the distance

IMG_0543These next pictures show the Grotto, which is one of my favourite place for its creepiness factor. Some might not find it creepy at all, such as my little brother David, but the combination of dark cave + water + underwater passageway + swimming gives me the willies. However, it’s a popular spot for daredevils (like David) to swim through the tunnel out into Georgian Bay. The problem is, it’s further than it looks and you have to be able to hold your breath for a good 45 seconds. David had flippers and goggles, so he said it took 20 seconds, but still, I’d be terrified to try.

The entrance to the Grotto from on top of the cliff
The entrance to the Grotto from on top of the cliff
The underwater tunnel
The underwater tunnel

What I did manage to do, however, was swim in the breathtakingly frigid water around the point of the Grotto to meet David on the other side. That took tremendous effort, especially since I wore goggles that allowed me to see the incredible rock formations — something that, once again, freaks me out. I prefer not to see what I’m swimming over. It’s also incredibly deep, reaching 300 feet (92 m) just a little ways out from the cliffs. After the cold swim, we continued to hike until the rocks became too slippery. We headed back to the campground and got the kids fed and settled for a wet afternoon nap.

This little man is on the move... non-stop!
This little man is on the move… non-stop!

Although camping has its challenges, it was worth the effort. If we didn’t push ourselves as a family to break the daily routine and venture out like this, I’d never appreciate the warm, clean, dryness of home. That being said, I’ll be buying a new tent before we go anywhere else.

You might also like:
The infamous family camping trip to Newfoundland
The Great Camping Challenge
How to sleep 9 people with a pup tent


3 thoughts on “A Wet Weekend for Camping on the Bruce Peninsula

    1. Yes, I know that makes a big difference and my parents always told me the same thing. I just didn’t have much choice with my garage sale tent, but now I’ve really learned my lesson!

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