Monday, August 3, 2009

One Day Drifters

(Click photos to enlarge)

About a month ago some friends and I decided we wanted to go camping for a few days. The original plan was just to spend a few days at a campground about an hour away, Wheatley Provincial Park. But as usual, we procrastinated long enough to leave us without a campsite. The weekend we wanted to go was a long weekend, Civic holiday here in Canada (I still don't know what its for exactly). By the time we all got together and started laying down plans, there was no where to lay them, virtually everything within an eight hour drive was booked solid.

As the weekend approached we decided to just take the three hour drive North to Grand Bend, drink some alcohol and fall asleep on the beach. We actually got up early and were on the road by 9am. As we neared southwestern Ontario's greatest beach town, the traffic slowed to walking pace. As we expected, the town was packed.

We found some free parking in front of an abandoned house on a side street. At first I joked about spending the night in that house...but after I thought about it for a second it seemed like a decent idea. We didn't stay there, but we probably could have without incident.

Jorge, Red and Steve

After we had an expensive sub-par lunch at the Growling Gator Bar & Grill on the beach we headed back to the car to move it to a permanent spot for the night where it wouldn't get towed. Steve and Jorge dropped Red and I off at the beach with the cooler while they took the car to Oakwood Inn Golf & Country Club.

Red and I set up on the beach with our cooler of whiskey, Gatorade and Ginger Ale, away from the thousands of people.

We hung out on the beach from about 3 o'clock until well after the sun left the cloudy sky and all the people went back to their cottages.

We had planned on sleeping on the beach, but the weather forecasts warned of a 70% chance of rain between 11pm and 6am, so we figured we better spend the night in Jorge's car. It's not a big car, we all slept (barely) sitting mostly upright with towels and shirts for pillows. I don't think I ever fell completely asleep. Every time I'd start to drift off, the position I was in ran out of comfort.

Around 2am I heard a car pull into the parking lot, then seen a police cruiser's spotlight search around the parking lot and settle on our car. The OPP officer came and asked us where we were staying that night. "Nowhere" I replied, half asleep. He asked if we had any open alcohol in the car, no, and no one is going to drive in the near future, no. "Good idea" he replied, "have a good night".

Steve was the last one up, so we took some photos of his discomfort.

Finally, morning came. We had planned on spending that day in Grand Bend, but we were all pretty sore and tired still so we decided to start heading home. But first we had some breakfast at a 50's themed diner. I took the wheel for the trip home, missed a turn and ended up in Sarnia. I didn't know where the highway I wanted was, but judging by the sun I headed east and eventually found the highway I needed. Twenty seven hours after we left, we were back in Windsor with all the comforts of home.