Summer’s here!

For me, the year can be divided into two parts: summer (the best part) and everything else. I think it’s because I like to live outdoors as much as possible. I cherish every day that we get the kind of weather we had this past weekend—and they’re all too few.

(For those of you from out of this area, we had our first hot, relatively cloudless spell since school began last September, with temperatures in the low thirties.)

But it did kind of catch me off-guard. I’m usually prepared for summer long before the days start getting shorter, having typically checked out my camping equipment (which for me means tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, hammock, canoe, etc.) on the May long weekend. Not this year! With the kind of spring we had, who was thinking of summer back then—or wanting to get out and pretend it was happening?

But in late June? I wasn’t about to waste a day of this!

So, Wednesday, I did a quick check to discover there was exactly one campsite (out of 185) still available for Friday night at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, one of my favorites! I grabbed it, even though it was for only one night.

And what a 24+ hours it turned out to be!

With absolutely perfect weather (hey, I grew up where 30o in summer is “perfect,” not “an unbearable heat wave”), I relaxed, I canoed on the lake’s tranquil waters, I took in the gorgeous scenery, dominated by Williams peak (on which I once stood), I lay in my hammock, and I relaxed in my lawn chair beside the campfire. And I tested out my camp stove and cooking skills.

Then, after packing up my stuff and checking out Saturday morning, I hiked to the incredibly beautiful Lindeman Lake (a short but a bit challenging hike.)

Both parking lots already full, I was the 103rd vehicle (I counted them) parked along the road for that hike. It seemed the whole Fraser Valley had decided to visit the area on this glorious weekend. (Not really, there were probably an equal number of people hiking Elk Mountain.)

But, clearly, many others felt like me about this preface to summer.

Home by Saturday afternoon, I decided to leave the canoe on my roof. Despite no plans yet for Sunday, I knew I would be spending it out somewhere in nature. Maybe I’d dip a paddle into the water again.

I left Sunday (another 33o day) on a road trip to “somewhere.” I’d decided that my first stop would be Cascade Falls north of Mission, which I probably hadn’t visited in ten years. After that, who knows, who cares?

After checking out those gorgeous falls (If you haven’t been there lately, put it on your list!), I ended up hiking down to nearby Davis Lake, where I’d never been before. More great waterfalls on that short hike. Then, returning to Highway 7, I decided to turn east and travel until I found some ice cream. It’s a bit of a family ritual to get a mid-afternoon ice-cream cone on a beautiful summer day when on the road. I ended up in Kilby for that cone.

Turning back towards home, I found the perfect spot along the highway, somewhere between Harrison Mills and Mission, to hang my hammock and have my Sunday afternoon siesta.

My canoe never left my rooftop.

What a perfect weekend to start the summer–a little snippet of almost everything that makes it so special!

Now it’s only a couple of days until the Canada Day long weekend. And barely two months until summer unofficially ends. My plans are far from complete. Did the dearth of nice weather deter my enthusiasm for summer planning?

It’s time to catch up quickly.

Fortunately, I have considerable flexibility to be outdoors, to get away, and to plan things “spur-of-the-moment” (as is my nature.) Much of my business can be done from a lap-top that I can take with me almost anywhere (except to Chilliwack Lake, which is without cell service or internet.)

Are your plans made for the summer? Has its late arrival caught you off-guard, too?

Your plans will likely be totally different from mine. And that’s good, because our collective differences make life so interesting—and because it means you won’t all be at the same places as me whenever the weather is so gorgeous.

You can hardly beat a BC summer!

At least, that’s how I see it . . .

Let’s see now, where, and how, will I celebrate Canada Day?