Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Lady Queen Of Peace Ranch

On August 7th- 9th, the family and I were blessed to be able to spend the weekend at the EXTREMELY gorgeous Our Lady Queen Of Peace Ranch out near Bragg Creek, AB. We went there as guests of the Ups and Downs Organization here in Calgary.

Here is Sam on the Wagon Heading out to the Teepee.


Mommy and the Bean.
(Ahem, they aren't usually that big, Please keep in mind I'm 6 months Pregnant here)

The road through the grounds.

Beany and Daddy.

A picture of another wagon as we passed by.

Beautiful Flower Beds!

The Lake.

The little playground.

The Corral where they bring the horses for the day.

Some shots of the teepees.

And here is our Little Lady Bug.

We got our selves all set up for the night and the boys had a bit of a wrestle.

Sam built himself a pretty nice fort but with all the wrastling and the fire when we finally lit it, we had to take it down. It was just too hot and too close to the fire pit!

Here was the view from our door. Now to most of you, being able to see the latrine from bed isn't the most pleasant site whilst camping, but for a pregnant woman, it's worth taking a picture of.
The Roof of the Teepee.

I just adored the teepee. It was super cozy and there was plenty of room for all our beds and chairs around the fire.

Bean always living a life of luxury.
Here is his cushy play pen avec duvet.

More Teepees across the lake from us.

Ha ha! We Brought a 6 pack of Clamato. We party hard!
For the record there is a no booze rule for this camp, it's all about the kids!

These are a few pics of the lake first thing in the morning as we headed up to the mess hall for breakfast.

A few pics from later in the day, on our way to lunch. We took the long way around to the mess hall to get a walk in a see the bridge.

He He He!

This is too cute.
Hunter was quite the center of attention with the young girls at lunch.
After lunch Dave took Bean and the girls out to the grass to play. At first Hunt was thrilled to have kids to play with but VERY quickly he realized he was being mauled. He would reach for anyone who looked like an adult or a vertical pair of knees, begging to be picked up. The girls just couldn't get enough of him.

View of the Trading Post from the Mess hall front lawn.


Here they are in the Corral waiting to go for a hike.

There were different tours for different age groups during the day.
Sam had signed up to go on Saturday afternoon but by 2pm he was tired and I think a little nervous about riding a horse so he decided he would rather not, but we went to see the horses anyway.

After we checked out the horses we went for a personal pontoon ride around the lake.
The water was just gorgeous.

Geese on the Island in the middle of the lake.
(that's where most Islands are I suppose)

Heading toward the Bridge.

Sam and Bean on the pontoon.

View of the Trading Post as we drifted by, the tractor was there to help folks take their new goods back to their teepees.
The trading post was a much like a thrift store for people at the camp.
Everything was free tho. There were toys, clothes, new shoes and bathing suits for the kids, blankets, housewares. It was quite nice.
For those of you not familiar with the ranch, they quite often invite low income and less fortunate families. Companies and families often donate new or gently used goods to the trading post for the kids and families that attend.

And look who we caught eating our sunflower seeds.
Apparently squirrels do not like marshmallows, goldfish or hot dogs.

The boys all passed out for a nice mid afternoon nap.

Hunt and I went for a walk and a visit with some of the other campers.
We were supposed to meet up with Dad and Sam near the rope activities but couldn't find them. Then... low and behold we ran into them! They were out on the lake!

They picked us up and we all went for a really relaxing row around the lake.
I have an infant on my lap so I chose NOT to take my cameras with me.
I assure you that Beany had a life jacket on.
The best part of the whole canoe ride was that Hunter was soooo amazed at the whole canoing experience that he sat perfectly still, just staring around at the lake, enjoying the ride. Which, for me was great cause I was a bit nervous that he would be fussy.

And! We finally made it the rope activity!

Hunty watching his big brother monkeying around.

Our campfire on the last night.
We had fantasy fire so it was green and blue and purple.

The first night that we were there, we under estimated how cold it would be over night.
Half way through the evening Hunter woke up and we brought him into our bed with us. About 20 mins later Sam woke up and told Dave he was cold. We slept, all four of us, in one dog pile for the night. The next night we decided that the best arrangement would be to just make one big bed for all of us so we didn't have to do a shuffle in the middle of the night. We had twice the blankets, twice the room, and strangley, because Dave forgot a pillow but Sam brought TWO pillows, we had twice as manly pillows! We put Hunt to sleep in his fleece Jammies in his fleece sleep sack in his fleece blanket under his duvet. He didn't get cold at all and slept there till 5 am.

I slept on one side of Dave and Sam on the other. And Sam and I had a great warm snuggly sleep. When I woke up in the morning I commented on how much warmer I was and Dave just looked at me. Blankly, with a look of complete exhaustion. He had been up every hour on the hour, restoking or restarting the fire, feeding it log after log.
Sam confirmed this as Dave would wake Sam up to ask him what time it was, every hour, on the hour. Needless to say, Bean and I had a pretty good sleep that night.
Thanks Dad!

Additionally, if you have ever wondered what a piece of beef feels like inside a smoker when you are making jerky, just spend the weekend in a teepee. I KNEW that there were fire pits inside the teepees but it never even OCCURED to me that we would be smoky. We don't use our sleeping bags when we go camping, typically, as we have been using the camper. So everyone brought their duvet and an extra blanket or two. Well you can't put a feather duvet in the washing machine! There is no washing machine big enough to clean ALL of our bedding in one night! Luckily, Hunter has two duvet's and I LOVE FABREEZE! Some of our things STILL smell like smoke, but for the most part we managed to get the smell out.

We had an absolutely KICKASS Weekend and I am already looking forward to going next year!

1 comment:

Chelly said...

Dude, I wash my down feather duvet every year in spring to get all the sweat and stuff off of it, i just throw it in the washing machine with an itty bit of bleach and washing detergent, it takes about 3 good heavy washes but it gets it all clean, then toss it outside or in the dryer whichever makes your boat float.