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Battling the weather at Long Point Provincial Park

The broken leaf on the rooftop recited the story of the terrible night before. It was bright outside. It seemed the sun was out, and the cloud cover had subsided as if nothing had happened a few hours ago. My heart was still pounding in my bed with the events of the night before. I got up and walked a few steps out to the beach. Not a single person in sight. Were they traumatized as I was, or maybe just sleeping in longer? Then suddenly, I saw the couple before me, dressed in their swimsuits and ready to take a plunge at 6:30 in the morning. I removed my slippers on the side and walked barefoot on the clean sandy beaches. 

The sun was shining on the left, which must be the East. Because I hadn't found any information about the sunrise at the beach, if I did, I had not have missed it. I joined my hands to bow to the Sun God and headed closer to the lake. I touched the water with my hands and smiled. I felt like it listened and came closer to kiss my feet. My pajamas became wet. "Hey, don't play with me. I don't want to get wet this early," I murmured and walked further, inspecting my surroundings. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with the fresh air. 

The peace and tranquillity around me reminded me of the pristine white sandy beaches of Diani, Mombasa, where we spent four years in the cottage at the beach but never really enjoyed the beach. I was more of a mountain fan than the beaches at that time. I remember someone saying the sunrises at our beach were magnificent. Can you imagine I missed four years of Sunrises when it was right in my backyard? I feel so stupid now. Aren't we humans like that? We don't cherish what we have until we lose it. 

Anyways, I noticed my footprints on the wet sand and smiled again. I felt blessed and was grateful to be there. The lake had washed off a giant dead fish, which I tried to avoid looking at. On the way back, I noticed my footprints again, one at the front and the other going back the opposite way on the glistening black sand. There was something about the sand. It looked like black volcanic sand mixed with a shade of red. The sun was higher than earlier when I returned to the place I had started. 

As I walked further toward the site, I saw my husband walking toward the beach. He wasn't able to sleep as well. Both of us were frightened at night, wondering what might happen. We walked around the area and found a little girl on the side staring at something. "It's a turtle," she said with joy. She called for her brother, who came to pat it, and the turtle stood there as if it was feeling the love. 

After a while, we started the stove to make some masala tea. "There's not a single drop on the ground. Can you notice how dry the sand is, not a single trace of water? As if nothing happened here last night." I agreed with what my husband said—the night before, this gorgeous morning made me wonder if something was waiting to happen. I had closed my eyes and said a prayer in my mind. I couldn't sleep, and he somehow woke up too. We kept looking at the shaking tent, which was trying to hold with the metal pegs we had grounded the evening after we reached. He told me we're lucky to have this tent. It's a big tent where we could add two more mattresses. It sleeps 8. The rustling of leaves from the trees around us was haunting us. The wind gust was around 58km/hr. I prayed for my children to be safe. I was picturing the videos of the storm with broken trees falling on the cars, closed my eyes, and said a prayer. The next time, I'd definitely pay attention and avoid the stormy weather. 

Someone had mentioned if it gets worse, get into your car or wait for the weather to pass in the restrooms, but how can you get out of your tent when the blustering winds roar brutally. It was scalding, but we had shut all the windows to avoid the wind getting inside. The feeling was unsettling, I opened my phone to check the time, it was 2 am, and the rain had not started yet. At night, before we went to the bathroom before bed, it had started raining. They had said it'd start raining from 11-4 am, but it was only 10 pm. The boys planned to go early, but we thought of sitting by the fire until the rain started. But it was a passing cloud, and the rain stopped immediately. 

We're so funny. People dream of living in the house and pray they have a strong roof over their heads, and here we are somewhere in the woods inside a tent. We laughed. I wasn't worried about the 15 mm rain predicted by the weatherman but the wind gust. So many tragedies are happening nowadays. You can't play with nature. Around 3 am, we heard the pitter-patter of the raindrops. I thought it'll calm the wind and dozed off. Before we started, I had checked the forecast. I posted on several social media groups, and people suggested continuing our trip. We had everything packed and ready to go, but I was skeptical. We had also experienced the overnight rains before, so we were ok with that. Our Coleman dome tent is strong enough to hold heavy rains and winds. The fly is waterproof, which covers the entire tent, but who knows, right. And when we woke up in the morning, there was not so much proof of rain or storm except the broken yellow leaf over our tent. 

The only strong point was that this site had direct beach access, and I looked forward to spending quality time with the boys. I wasn't willing to let it go quickly. The morning was bright and clear, and we drove 2 hours from home to Long Point Provincial Park. I had heard it was beautiful and reserved the camping site in March once the Ontario Provincial Camping Website allows booking for the season. You won't believe how quickly the premium site gets booked. I was feeling fortunate to find this one. It was 310 campsite at the Monarch Campground and had direct access to the beach. If I visit again, I'd instead book 311 as it was much bigger in the area. Our site was much smaller than the others we had booked in the past. 

The main bathroom with showers was a close walk, and tap water was just next to our site. There was another bathroom behind us, but we preferred to walk to the main one since the restrooms with showers are usually cleaner than the rest. The internet doesn't work properly in the park, which I'd take as a blessing; otherwise, everybody will be surfing the internet instead of surfing in the lake. The bathroom area had a better connection, though, so we could walk and check important work emails if there was something urgent. 

Instead of booking on the weekend, we had booked two nights from Monday to Wednesday. Weekends go faster than stocks in the summer. Finding anything enticing is like finding a needle in a haystack. I was fortunate to find a couple of sites last year, but it wasn't the weekend either. The beach has clean sand and warm water, which invites you to dive. The water in Lake Eerie is warmer than the other lakes. Lake Huron last weekend was cold. However, my little one didn't care to plunge into any of them. He was so happy inside the water and played with the high waves for hours. I also gave him company and enjoyed watching the crashing waves. 

 

The weather was traumatizing on Monday night, but Tuesday was good. Out of all, Wednesday morning was the best. Everyone was out early with their beach umbrellas, floats, and boats. I wished the sky was clear for me to gaze at the shining stars. The wind was calmer on Wednesday morning to hold those umbrellas. We had our morning tea at the beach, and I wished we could take another plunge in the water, but we were rushing to get home. 

There were restaurants on the way to Port Rowan, where our kids enjoyed fish and chips. Lots of people brought their bikes to ride. The bugs and animals were less than in any other parks we have visited in the past. There's a marina to launch big boats. I love Canadian summer because there's no age bar for having fun. There were children as young as six months and seniors as old as 85 out soaking in the sun. Many families had brought trailers and had their parents with them. The grandparents were giggling around with their offspring. So many memories made, so many moments......by far, this was one of the best trips we ever had as a family, and I'm grateful to God for giving us this opportunity to spend quality time together. I'd highly recommend the Long Point Provincial Park to everyone.