Victoria Day campers pull out the trailers

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Published on May 25, 2010

Published on May 25, 2010

Published on May 25, 2010

Ten-year-old Megan Spencer (left) and her sister Nicole, 7, enjoy a game of horseshoes with their parents, Geoffrey and Lisa, at their campsite at Pippy Park in St. John's Sunday afternoon. The Spencer family was just one of the many families who visit

Published on May 25, 2010

What would the May 24th Victoria Day long weekend be without the flick of the rod and reel for a little fishing, as portrayed here at LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturday in this photo taken across the pond from Campsite 38. These

Published on May 25, 2010

Six-year-old Colby Earles of Petty Harbour jumps down from the monkey bars at the children's playground in LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturday.

Published on May 25, 2010

It's not something you see very often in the great outdoors, but these three girls were spotted at Campsite 41 practising their best hygiene habits following lunch at LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturday. The cousins (from left) a

Published on May 25, 2010

-Enjoying her first outdoor camping experience, four-month-old Brooklyn Jordan is amused by a twig while sitting in her dad Derwin's arms Saturday at Campsite 36 in LaManche Provincial Park as mom Anita was nearby.

Published on May 25, 2010

Brian Gough of Mount Pearl was doing the dad duty at Campsite 63 in LaManche Provincial Park on Saturday, preparing sandwiches for his kids Katie, 8, and Tyler, 4, who were inside the family trailer with mom Rossann catching a catnap before going on an

Published on May 25, 2010

Seven-year-old Laura Rodgers of Paradise climbs a spiral at the children's playground in LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturday.

Published on May 25, 2010

Riding in their battery-operated Jeep Wrangler go-cart, two-year-olds Nathan Joyce, (left) and Parker Williams of Bay Bulls go for a ride under the watchful eye of their parents at Campsite 39 in LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturd

Published on May 25, 2010

After cleaning and gutting them, 10-year-old Quinton Tee of Burnt Cove on the Southern Shore shows off his prized catch of mud trout and landlocked salmon that he caught with his uncle Shawn Tee on Saturday.

Published on May 25, 2010

This quartet of young campers take a relaxing moment as they gather together in a hammock at Campsite 67A at LaManche Provincial Park on the Southern Shore on Saturday. From left are Alexis Guest, 10, Christi Aylward, 8, Morgan Guest, 7, and Kelly Aylw

Published on May 25, 2010

Stephen Dunne, 10, of Witless Bay on the Southern Shore, enjoys the Saturday sunshine and warm temperatures as he takes a str

While they did not get to their campsite in Gushue's Pond Park until Saturday, Marion and Jim Morris said they were glad they made it out for even part of the Victoria Day Weekend.

This weekend marked the beginning of the couple's fourth year at their site, they told The Telegram Monday. They will be back and forth between the spot and their home in Pouch Cove throughout the summer.

While they did not get to their campsite in Gushue's Pond Park until Saturday, Marion and Jim Morris said they were glad they made it out for even part of the Victoria Day Weekend.

This weekend marked the beginning of the couple's fourth year at their site, they told The Telegram Monday. They will be back and forth between the spot and their home in Pouch Cove throughout the summer.

Hopefully, it will be more of the same - no major accidents, and decent weather.

Marion will relax by the fire. Jim will do a little fly fishing, cooking up a few spider weiners when his grandson joins them. All of their summer adventures began over the weekend.

The pair are experienced campers who once tented it.

"More often than not, we've woke up in a tent covered in frost," Jim said with a laugh.

Now, they prefer their camper.

They are not the only ones.

At the packed Gushue's Pond Park, trailers and campers outnumbered tents. It was the same at Butter Pot Provincial Park, manager Keith Brown said.

Butter Pot was packed over the weekend. The facility has 175 camping spaces, with some being "doubles," able to accommodate more than one trailer. In all, 192 camping units were registered at the park as of Sunday, according to officials at the gate.

Inside the park, Craig Head, his wife Jennifer and their children enjoyed a campfire beside their trailer (something not possible last year because of a ban on fires). The couple noticed the other trailers and recreational vehicles around - the Cougars, Hornets, Prowlers and Mountaineers.

"This (park) was all full. And the campers, a lot of them are gone now, but they were all doubled up. So you had two of these long 28-, 30-foot campers in a single lot," Craig said Monday.

Not that the number put a damper on their stay.

While packing away the camping gear, 12-year old Nicole Head and 10-year old Ryan Head were asked about their favourite parts of camping. They didn't mention their trailer shower.

The food is a favourite for Ryan.

"I like smores," he said.

He also liked spider weiners, like Jim Morris' grandson.

Nicole, meanwhile, was the nature lover.

"I love the outside. The wildlife and that," she said, looking around at the trees. "I just like the whole experience of it."

Across the trail from the Head family, the quartet of Donna and Roger Summers along with Susan and Wayne King were packing up their gear in Monday's drizzle and fog.

"We're usually in the parks, especially for the long weekend," Susan said, adding hikes and games of horseshoes are their favourite activities.

Camping is something they do regularly - heading out from town with their trailer in tow. They said they would be back to Butter Pot Park soon.

"We've already got it booked for a few weekends," Susan said.

"You come back Labour Day weekend, we'll be right here," her husband added with a laugh.

Down the park road, after a weekend of "sitting by the campfire having a few sociables," Rod and Nancy Ann (they asked that their last names not be used) packed up their pop-up trailer under the watchful eye of their dog, Maggie.

The couple said their vehicle had been broken into last year while they were camping at Pippy Park, but things had been quiet for them this year.

"I noticed a couple of people had their generators locked onto trees and stuff, but we haven't heard anything," Nancy Ann said.

The hardest part, according to all campers, was getting a camping space. Butter Pot Park was full on Wednesday, opening day for the summer, the park manager said. The odd cancellation provided space for some last-minute arrivals.

Despite the numbers, there were "no major incidents. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves," he said, echoing the campers' statements. There were no searches for lost hikers, no campfires that got out of hand.

In fact, the weekend was remarked on by park employees - some of whom have been in their positions for more than 15 years, according to Brown.

"We were just talking at the table now about what a difference this is from years ago. ... The place would have been turned bottom up," he said.

As a fog descended at Butter Pot, little was left behind by the trailer-towing weekend campers. A stray Nerf football, half a case of Labatt Light empties and some firewood pretty much summed it up.

One thing was noticeable, however - both Butter Pot and Gushue's Pond had new camping lots carved out, ready to be finished with crushed stone and made ready for the next long weekend.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Jennifer Head, 12, and her brother Ryan, 10, pack the weekend camping gear into the family mini-van as they and their parents, Jennifer and Craig, were preparing to head back home to the capital city after spending the weekend at Butterpot Provincial Park on the Trans-Canada Highway. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Pond Park, Butter Pot Provincial Park, Pouch Cove Pippy Park St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador Butterpot Provincial Park

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