Thursday, August 06, 2009

Canoe Camping - I Think I Like It

What I don't like about camping:

1. The moment when you've lost all your good humour about a torrential downpour. Your bags are soaked, your own body is soaked, the fire pit is soaked, everyone's scrambling to put up some tarps while you just kind of stand there useless, trying to help. The moment of truth: when you are desperately trying to race against the rain and tie some knots to hoist a few tarps in the trees and realize you're so cold that your fingers are numb and it's a long weekend in July. Foomp. The feeling: deflated. Especially when you realize you must inflate your sleeping mats and put up your tent and do all that stuff. And the rain just continues to pour.
2. Your first venture to the "toilet": a wooden crate down the path from where the tents are pitched. Just right out there in the open expanse. The crate has a lid. When you lift it and sit on it, as mosquitos have a True Blood party on your pathetically exposed posterior, you can see canoes float by. Ostensibly, they can see you, too. All of a sudden you totally don't have to go anymore. It's like magic.
3. Mosquitoes. I am a giant, ice cream sundae with hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream, and mosquitoes are one, giant, amorphous, buzzing fat kid.

What I liked about camping:

1. The smell. The scent of real pine makes breathing so fun. It's a wonder I didn't hyperventilate although I did often do some drama-queen exaggerated breathing when I was wandering on the trail by myself.
2. Clear water. I don't like seaweed or sharp rocks or algae but the water in Killarney Lake was so unbelievably clear that we could see all the way down to the depths, right to the bottom. It was practically tropical, except that it was frickin freezing (depending on the lake - George Lake was very warm, which is creepy in a way).
3. Isaac has taught me that nature is clean. I know that sounds like a very basic lesson, but I always thought "dirt" was dirty and was a fairly prissy kid about being very clean. However, Isaac loves to roll around in grass and put his hands in the muck whereas I just kind of go, "Ew." But now I get it. There's really nothing cleaner than nature, even when we're talking about dirt. Does that make sense? It does after a weekend of living in the same clothes, no showers, no fancy potions, but plenty of dips in the lake. Hmm. I think I do need fancy potions. I am super zitty right now. Well, it was worth it.
4. Being unplugged. I realized that I never, never, never am entirely unplugged. It felt great to leave my berry and keys in the car and just live out of a canoe for 3 days. It was as restorative as 3 weeks. It's really the absence of ringing and pinging and messaging. That's what makes everything else melt away.

So uh, 3 dislikes versus 4 likes. Camping wins!


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