In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that my son accused me of always focusing on the positive aspects of camping while consistently ignoring everything that ever goes wrong. And he is not the only one who has charged me with practicing “joy-washing” as I called it. My friend says that whenever she asks about a trip, my answer is always: “It was great!”
Well, I’ve never denied that camping involves certain hardships and inconveniences but to me they are insignificant compared to all the joys that every trip brings.
However, in the spirit of total disclosure, I decided to pull together some stories when things didn’t exactly go as planned starting with…
It is the season to tally up accomplishments over the past year and make plans for the next one. Our New Year resolutions are usually summed up with “camp as much possible, visit as many new places as possible, try as many new things as possible.” Putting together a list of 2015 best camping moments is a slightly more difficult task since there were so many of them. Nonetheless, here is my attempt to narrow the list to our 10 favourite camping memories of 2015 (in no particular order).
Humbling is the first word that comes to mind when I think of our canoe trip in Quetico. Our most challenging camping experience so far, it was also exhilarating, spectacular and awe-inspiring but, first and foremost, it was humbling. The couple that we met right after finishing the route echoed our sentiments. As the guy put it, any delusions he may have had about being a tough outdoorsman that never gives up and keeps battling the elements were put to rest. And I have to agree. If I were to pick the most important lesson learned, or rather reinforced, during our Quetico canoe trip, it would be respect for the power of nature.
A few years ago, as I was looking through Wilderness Ontario, a beautiful book of images by photojournalists and explorers Gary and Joanie McGuffin, I came across a picture of a canoe gliding across a vast expanse of a blue lake with a rocky outcrop and a lone pine in the foreground. According to the caption, the picture was taken in Quetico Provincial Park. I didn’t know much about Quetico back then and we were just novice canoeists but I knew I wanted to go there. So imagine my excitement when we finally arrived in this remote northern park on a beautiful August evening.