When mid October rolled around, I certainly had not planned to go camping. I thought the possibility of freezing rain punishing the area was high. Especially after the storms we had not so long ago. I certainly was not expecting to wake up in my tent to blazing hot sunshine and temperatures that would eventually reach around 23°C.
Well when we checked the forecast for our days off that week and saw nothing but sunshine and mild temperatures we figured we had better make the most of it. We procrastinated, eventually packed the car for our adventure, departed about two hours after our original planned time and drove for…about two minutes and stopped for a Mexican burrito at the extraordinary fancy Mags 99 just south of downtown Squamish.
Once fed, we were finally southbound heading for an easy car camping site with incredible views at Porteau Cove Provincial Park. Upon arrival we were fairly surprised at how busy the campgrounds were on a mid October Thursday night, however the sun was a shining and the weather mild so everyone had the same idea I suppose.
We drove around the grounds looking for a spot and realised the first two were more or less the only water front ones available. Another camper had just beaten us back to the first one so the second spot it was. We backed in. Moved an empty box of rubbish and an old empty water container and prepared to unpack.
We were then accosted by a very angry Vancouverite who claimed he had claimed that site with the box. I said that was ridiculous, the box was rubbish (it had an apple and a garbage bag in it) and that we could have just put an item down in both spots to ‘claim’ them while we searched for a better spot and insinuated this is what the had done. Well the argument that followed was outrageous. Lots of raised voices (surprisingly not by us) and insults (again not by us) and a park ranger was fetched. The ranger didn’t know what to do so she went off to chat to her manager. We probably should have just left at this point, perhaps I would have, if I was a person that often took moral high grounds. I am not.
My main point was you must put something like a car or a tent or a person (there was two of them) in the site to claim the spot. They told me they were ‘professional campers’ which peaked my interest as I would love to get paid to camp so I asked how they got that job. This actually surprised them and they asked what the heck I was talking about. I just wanted to know how they got paid to camp and was it an easy job to get? To which they informed me they actually paid to camp to which I explained the definition of ‘professional’ which didn’t go down well. And so the conversation deteriorated.
Finally the ranger came back and informed the very knowledgeable ‘professional’ campers that they could in fact not claim a spot in the way they say they had and as per the Parks and Wildlife Act they must find another campsite. They were livid. We had won the battle.
So we left Porteau Cove, drove for an hour or so north to Callaghan Lake where there were no other campers except for one very quiet guy and the views were different but definitely just as stunning!
The night was glorious, clouds drifting quickly in and out displaying amazing views of the night sky and the morning was sensational. Blue skies, warm temperatures, no people. Oh and no $43 camping fee. Winning!