Hi, Cariboo Region! My name is Paola. Myself, my husband Austin, and our two kids, Nelo and Riel, are Chemo RV’s 2021 summer camping family!
Camping is important to our family and something we try to do regularly. We love exploring new places, cultures and meeting new people. A year after we began to date, Austin and I spent a month touring Alaska and the Yukon while staying in a tiny truck camper that we bought for only $250. We named the camper “Purgatory” because spending that much time together in that small of a space would test our relationship and be either heavenly or hellish.
Now we have two children—Riel, age five and Nelo, age two—and own a 1988, 22-foot motorhome, which we lovingly call “The Big D” in memory of my Uncle Dave who we acquired it from.
Since becoming a family of four, we’ve considered getting a bigger RV. So, when the opportunity arose to spend a weekend at Crooked Lake Resort on Crooked Lake in one of Chemo RV’s rentals, we jumped at it. Riel and Nelo were the most excited—they’ve been bugging us for weeks to go camping. While we’re planning to camp for five weeks later this summer, they were still thrilled to find out they’re getting another camping trip in!
Our excitement must have been infectious because my sister and her husband (Kirsten and Richard), my mom (Nonie) and our neighbours, the McCoubrey Family, (Ayrilee, Graham, Keelan, Aven and Orien) all decided to join us!
Getting ready for a camping trip sometimes feels about as involved as what I imagine a mission to the moon might be. I have yet to figure out a stress-free way to get on the road (tips welcomed), but once we manage it, the worries always give way to our excitement!
Nelo is obsessed with all things motorized, so being delayed by road construction and paving crews on our way to Crooked Lake Resort didn’t even phase us. We even stopped to say hello to some horses on the side of the road!
The only real “traffic jam” we ended up facing on the way was coming across this little bird.
When taking two energetic littles on the road, we need to plan breaks or we risk a coup. We’d learned that there was a new StoryWalk at the spawning channel in Horsefly and decided that would be a good pit-stop at about the halfway point to our destination. It did not disappoint!
It was a sunny and warm day to walk along the beautiful Horsefly River. We saw birds, flowers, butterflies, and an empty nest.
The book featured on the StoryWalk was “Carson Crosses Canada” by Linda Bailey—and it was a delightful read. Riel’s favourite parts were when Carson, the protagonist canine, left a souvenir of his own at Niagara Falls, and when he tried to eat the big bones at Dinosaur Park.
A popular activity is the Horsefly Waterfall Quest, where you can check out all five of the waterfalls in this area. Three of the five waterfalls are along the route we took to Crooked Lake and we had hoped to stop and check some of them out. However, we decided to wait to do this activity because there were no safety barriers on any of the trails and the trails themselves could have been dangerous for Nelo who loves to run and has yet to add caution to his repertoire. When he’s older we’ll put this on our list again!
The adult equivalent of building a fort is setting up a campsite. Fun at every age! It was made very easy with a motorhome with two slides in a resort with a stunning lake and mountain views.
Our site also overlooked the playground—the perfect spot for our group. The kids were happy to get out and discover it all. We were thankful the lake water was cold, so Nelo had no interest in going in.
We spent our first evening paddle boarding on the lake. It was warm and the views from Crooked Lake are so inviting.
Riel enjoys being on the paddle board. She recently got her own for her birthday, so she was happy to try it out. Nelo, on the other hand, prefers to never sit still or be confined to small spaces, so he decided to stay ashore.
Eventually, he and I took a walk around the resort—greeting the other guests and their pets, checking out the buildings and listening to the built-in generator. We were pleasantly surprised that the bugs weren’t too bad at all!
Camping and fires go hand in hand and there is something hypnotically relaxing about sitting around a fire and watching the flames. Marshmallows are not my thing, but the kids love s’mores and their aunt was happy to oblige them with the roasting. I was looking forward to climbing into bed, knowing that if the forecasted rain came to fruition, I would not be waking up wet, in a tent!