It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon at Cochrane Pond family campground with hardly a cloud in the sky.
The kids are running helter skelter down the narrow gravel roads and their parents have smiles on their faces the likes of which only the promise of a long weekend can bring.
Victoria Day weekend is a time when people traditionally trade in their daily commute for a tent or camper and their hammer or briefcase for a drink, hockey stick or book.
This weekend, people stuck with the tradition.
In Pippy Park, a large group of kids, some whose gear was bigger than they were, played ball hockey as their parents sat in lawn chairs and cheered them on.
At Cochrane Pond, Karen Lom-ond watched from a walkway over an old dam as her two children, and about six more, fished for pricklies (sticklebacks) in a small stream flowing over the structure, their brightly coloured nets flashing in the sun.
Camping is a family tradition on May 24, weekend, said Lomond.
“It’s just family and friends. And the kids enjoy it. They just like it that they can get on their bikes and go. They don’t have to answer to mom every second. It’s safe up here. The kids can just roam and check in when they’re hungry,” she said.
Up the highway a bit in one of the many gravel pits that dot the area, Dave Rose was camping out with his family and helping his nephew build a small deck on his camper.
The first thing that struck him about the long weekend was the weather, he said.
“This weekend? The weather, man. It’s awesome,” he laughed.
While talking to people in the various camps over the weekend, the weather kept coming up. Everyone was grateful the weather that stayed warm, despite some wind.
An unfortunate few who didn’t take the wind into account spent some of their holiday fishing parasols and such things out of trees.
At the pit, the wind didn’t seem to bother seven-year-old Logan Mercer as he helped his uncle and dad build their deck.
He wielded his hammer with two hands as he pounded on nails marked down for him by his family supervisors.
The whole weekend was great fun, and building the deck was just the icing on the cake, he said.
“I went on an adventure a few times. Last time I went on an adventure I saw a rabbit and it was with two families,” he said, clearly proud of his accomplishment.
A bit farther still up the highway at Butter Pot Provincial Park, a battle of wills was fought by a group of contestants as they vied to become the top horseshoe team.
About a dozen people congregated around one of the parks horseshoe pits on Sunday and slugged it out for the annual title.
The same group has been coming to this spot to play every Victoria Day weekend for the past 20 years, said Denise Sparkes.
There are plenty of stories from over the years, many of which are not fit for the paper. But every year it’s a simply joy to gather around the picnic table and laugh at each other as they try and throw a horseshoe, she said.
It’s what keeps them coming back every May 24 weekend.
“Our friends, our horseshoes and now we’re bringing our grandkids,” she laughed.