Our 7-day Paddling and Camping Adventures 25

Camping adventures

Wow, what a camping adventure we had in late June and I’m just now getting around to recapping it.  Let me first start off my saying that we were completely off the grid, away from our cell phones and unreachable for a whole S E V E N days in late June and it was glorious.  Leading up to the trip, I was getting anxious because that meant I couldn’t check my personal iPhone, nor could I check my work iPhone and frankly, the volume of emails I was going to face coming out of our camping trip was enough to send anyone over the edge (first world problems, I know), but I persevered and we survived seven whole days out in the wilderness in some pretty nasty weather, with many pockets of good weather and sunshine.  We made the most of what we were given and that’s the thing with weather, that’s the one thing that we humans cannot control.  Anyways, welcome, welcome to my paddling and camping adventures recap post.  I will be a bit wordy but this will be mostly a post with pictures and I hope you enjoy it.  If you’re interested in reading about Camping Essentials or Things You Need to Learn in Order to have a (more) Enjoyable Camping Experience, then check out those posts.  As I’ve previously mentioned, no two camping or paddling trips will be alike, but those posts can help you use as reference as to some of the items that are essential to your trip, as well as tips on how to make your trip more enjoyable.

Let’s start off on the night before we headed out on our 7-day adventure… Perhaps I should have broken this post up into several parts, but I did not.  Please be forewarned that this post has almost 200 photos.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

We both worked today but let me tell you, isn’t it SO hard to work or concentrate the day before you’re going somewhere or going on vacation?  I find I just want to get the hell out of work and START that business.  I’m sure I’m not alone at all in my sentiments.  Thankfully we’ve been packing bit by bit all week but literally, every.thing. is packed up and ready to go for morning.  Now, we wait.

camping

Friday, June 23, 2017

We had a late start to our morning.  We drank Tito’s last night to kick off our holidays and yeah…. we slept in. LOL.  We were planning on leaving around 6 a.m. but no deal, we were driving out of town around 9:30, which still wasn’t too bad.  We’d make it up to Kearney, where the park registration office and canoe rental place was, by 11:30/12 ish.  We made it up to Kearney in great time and we were loading the canoe up on the car by 12.

camping adventures

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The above three pictures are just the views on the logging road on the way to the Magnetewan canoe launching point.  Aren’t they incredible?

Algonquin Park Map Portage Route

We went in on access point #3 and the other map is a map of our portage/canoeing route

Forty-five minutes later and down an old logging road, we arrived at the Magnetwan park entrance.  We dropped all of our gear, parked the car for a week and then loaded up our canoe for our 7 night, 8-day camping and paddling adventure.

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Jeff had been watching the weather all week and was following the patterns and for two weeks leading up to it, nothing had changed.  I wasn’t checking it simply because I had a feeling we’d have a lot of rain, but unfortunately weather is one of those things we cannot control or change, so I didn’t feel the need to stress out or worry. about something beyond my control.  I had the attitude of “it is what it is” and we were prepared to expect any element.  But, true to the weather forecast, it was raining and didn’t look like it was going to get better, so we resigned ourselves to that reality and set out on the lake to find where it was we were going to spend the night.  We leave the dock and paddle a short distance to our first portage, 135 metres and reach our next lake, Hambone. We then paddled around a 55 metre portage (yes to not having to unpack the canoe!) which then led us to a 450 metre portage into Lily Pad, which then led us to a 420 metre portage into Daisy Lake, our destination for the night.

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We paddled around Daisy Lake, saw a group on an island with two campsites and then checked the vacant one, which turned out to be junk, so we kept paddling along.  Around 3:30/4 p.m., we found our little slice of heaven.

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camping

The bugs are horrendous and I’m getting eaten alive, even through my bug net.  This makes me angry and sad. LOL.  We set up our tent, sleeping arrangements and collect wood in the rain, and then we basically just blew on the fire/stoked it for hours just to keep it going.  The dehydrated food was pretty darn good and later in the evening, we collected water from the lake, filling all six nalgene bottles.  Drying out was difficult but we managed to by the time we went to bed.  It was a great day, despite all of the rain.  Tired, and in bed by 10:30, Jeff read til about 11:30.

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Key memories of the day:  The bugs are BRUTAL and loving my pale skin. LOL.  I’m going to be eaten alive come the end of the trip.  The weather is drizzly but oddly, refreshing.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

camping camping

Today, we go to Misty Lake.  We got up around 6:30/7 a.m.  We awoke to a beautiful sunshine, completely unexpected and unforecasted, so-said Jeff.  The bugs were, of course, horrendous and I looked like a Kling-on for most of the day due to swelling.  LOL.  They hurt so bad that at one point I was getting 2-3 bug bites over on top of existing bites (hence the Kling-on comment above).

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We had coffee, breakfast and then went out on the lake to fill up our six nalgene bottles.  We then packed up all of our gear and were off the campsite by noon, leaving it in better condition than when we’d got there.

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The afternoon sunshine was beautiful, hot at times, but no complaints whatsoever.  It was certainly better than all the rain we had gotten the day before.  We did two portages, a 135 metre and a 450 metre one.  They were both hot and buggy from what I remember and I was just irritable because of all of the damn bugs.  We got to Little Misty Lake fairly early on in the afternoon, maybe around 2:30 p.m. and got right to it and set up our tent, etc.

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on our first portage, a fallen tree and its roots system

camping on the second portage ^camping
campingportaging

camping camping

Around 4:30, Jeff was looking off into this distance across the lake and lo and behold, it was a young Bull moose.  I quickly grabbed the binoculars and for the next hour, we watched the young male munch on food and wade in a marshy area.  It was beautiful. After, we gathered wood, ate like kings, went out and got more water from the lake and had a really nice afternoon/evening.  We came across a pretty cool turtle nest with eggs in it also on/near our campsite were two families of geese, 1 with three downy babies and the second with just two downy kids.

camping camping

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Key memories of the day:  When getting to our campsite, I went over on his ankle into the water/on a rock in true fine clumsy Lindsay form.  I ended up sitting down on the rocks feeling sorry for myself but I did bloody myself, but not too bad.  The bugs were also horrendous today/on the campsite and I think I’m into the hundreds in terms of bug bites at this point. LOL.. I took Benadryl today because swelling is an issue and it’s really upsetting/annoying me.  The sky at night was clear and free of clouds, and wow, the sky was just an explosion of stars, it was as every bit of incredible as I remember night skies in Algonquin Park.  It was breathtaking. 🙂

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Bichon

I’ve shown a few people this carving in a log we found and they’ve then asked if we carved Bichons into the wood. We did not, but what are the chances of us staying on a campsite with the breed of our dogs etched into the a wooden log bench?! 🙂

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goose family camping

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Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Destination: Little Misty Lake to Queer Lake.  I’m identifying where we’re going because today was the day of the 2.4 kilometre portage and we were kind of dreading it.  [Foreshadow:It wasn’t all that bad in hindsight]

Jeff woke up at 5 a.m. and read for a bit before falling back asleep.  I woke up at 8 a.m. and the clouds situation was looking pretty grim.  Eventually, it started to pour and the two geese families came scrambling for refuge – even they seemed fed up with the weather.  It was around this time that I found the nest of turtle eggs that Jeff later built a refuge for.

turtle eggs turtle nest

We ended up staying around camp until 10:30/11 a.m. and then just decided to go for it, the weather wasn’t letting up any.  We packed up, kicked off and paddled down the lake a short distance to an ugly portage that had a distance of 2.4 kilomtres.  

portaging portaging

We talked about doing it in no more than two trips because that would then add up to 7.2 kilometres right there.  It wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be, but it was no walk in the park either.  Jeff hauled the canoe on the second leg of our journey and we made it over on to the other side, Queer Lake, at around 3:30 p.m.  

While pumping water on the Queer Lake, before picking our campsite for the evening, it was then that we saw a lone bull, which we later discovered as we got closer was a cow.  We sat and watched her quietly and she didn’t seem to mind us one bit.  She then started to turn and walk away while munching on some long grass and up stands in the grass in a caramel-reddish colored baby.  It was a female and her baby, how rare was this?!  We slowly paddled away and let her be, knowing that somewhere close-by was likely Big Poppa, a bull moose.  But what a cool sight, it was really such a treat to have seen her and the baby. 🙂

moose cow and calf moose cow and calf moose cow and calf

moose cow and calf

We sat there so still trying not to spook the two — aren’t they just beautiful?

We eventually found our campsite on a point with decent shelter, campfire and fallen wood.  We ended up eating a very late lunch, but we were both angry from that having done that portage earlier in the afternoon.  We had coffee to also warm us up/give us some energy.  Afterwards, maybe around 6 p.m. we foraged for wood, made more coffee, pumped enough water to get by for the night, and then we both tried to dry out by the water for the rest of the night.  By 10 p.m., we realised just how late it was and remembered we hadn’t eaten dinner yet so we got to it and ate a really tasty dehydrated beef vegetable stew.

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Algonquin sunset Algonquin sunset Algonquin sunset Algonquin sunset Algonquin sunset Algonquin sunset

We later hung our food bag from a tree and then decided to go to bed around 11 p.m.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Today, we go to Little Trout Lake today.  We both woke around 5 a.m. and had a peek outside and the fog was pretty thick, so much so that you couldn’t even see the lake.  Jeff thought he heard a moose early this morning, and later on he confirmed that when he found a pile of fresh dung.  Eek!  We talked awhile, laughed that we were so up early and then fell back asleep until 9:30 a.m.  

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We got up and made coffee, then breakfast.  By that time, it was about 11 a.m. by the time we’d warmed up in front of the fire.  I suggested we eat an early lunch, which we’d be grateful for later on when we’d be stuck setting up camping in the pouring rain.

We paddled off to our one and only 175 metre portage that would lead us to Little Trout Lake, our destination for the next three nights.  

portaging paddling

We settled on our campsite by 3:30 p.m. and just as well when we did as it start to rain for the next 4-5 hours.  We set up our tent, set up a tarp over the fire, I got coffees made (essential!!) and made us oatmeal to warm us up from the chill.  After a long while, Jeff got a steady fire going despite the monsoon  But I am not surprised, Jeff can literally do just about anything, I’m so lucky to have him by my side.

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We ate dinner at 8 and then Jeff gathered wood and the fire was pretty toasty by 10:30 p.m.

Algonquin Sunset Algonquin Sunset

It’ll be interesting to see how much weight I lose in a week when this is over.  We’re constantly exerting energy and I’m constantly hungry but the thing with meal planning, you don’t have spare food around to munch on. We’re regimented with what and when we eat it sooooo that makes things difficult for hungry Lindsay.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We are wide awake at 4:30 a.m. and having to pee like senior citizens.  We laugh about this.  So we talk, and laugh some more and then fall back asleep until 9:30 as we listen to the light drizzle of rain.  Looks like the weather is on a streak of rain but we’ll get by.  We summoned the courage to get out of the tent by 10 (rain) and by 11 a.m., we ‘d had coffee and breakfast going.  

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Jeff got the fire going again while we figured out a game plan for the day.  We needed water as we’d used the last of it making coffee and breakfast.  Around 1ish, we ventured out to fetch water, the rain drizzling off and on.  We trolled around the lake until 2:30 or so, pumping water and gathering some firewood for the rest of the day.

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Once we were back, I made coffees and we ate dehydrated south-western chicken nachos (pretty cool, eh?) and we shared a three-berry crumble with oreo between us (so yummy!).  We then just sat around the afternoon fire, just relaxing and enjoying eachother’s company and the day.  It started to rain pretty heavily around 5:30 p.m., a huge storm came in from the west but it thankfully didn’t last too long and passed within an hour.

Around 6, we gathered more wood and ate some dehydrated chocolate and strawberry cake (two separate “cakes”).  The cakes were yummy and were more like a moose, but they both tasted like cheesecake and was the perfect sweetness to quell a sweet tooth.  We went out to pump more water for the night and I of course took many pictures of the sun setting over the calm water.  We got back to our campsite around 8 p.m. and Jeff got the fire stoked again while I made (more) coffee and turkey tetrazini for dinner.  We ate around 9:30 in front of a roaring fire and it was wonderful. 🙂

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Cool heart naturally burned into a wood log.

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We later crawled into our sleeping bags around 12:30 after enjoying some drinks in front of the fire.  Jeff brought vodka and he mixed that with grape kool-aid and I had sangria with dehydrated strawberries.

camping camping camping camping camping camping

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – Our NINTH Wedding Anniversary

Today is our last full day on Little Trout Lake.  We (of course) woke up at 3 a.m. and proclaimed it was too early for this non-sense.  I woke back up later on at 7 a.m. but didn’t actually crawl out of the tent until 8.  I was too warm and cozy to leave it.  Jeff had gotten up just before me and was already trying to get a fire going to warm me up.  By 9 a.m., we were sipping coffee on our front patio, a huge rock out front of our campsite.  

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By 10, we were eating our breakfast of granola with milk and berries – very yummy, seriously, we were not disappointed with any of the dehydrated/freeze-dried food we brought.

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At noon, we ventured out to get some water and to paddle the east end of Little Trout Lake.  It was super, super windy and really hard to paddle in the wind, i.e. read: it was hard on the shoulders and upper body.  We had found some fallen deadwood and decided it would be a good idea to bring that back with us.  We got back to our campsite and decided to air out our sleeping bags because it was a sunny and windy day and it had been raining for days.  We didn’t want any of our stuff to smell musty or damp.

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Two o’clock and I decided to make some mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon for us to share.  In hindsight, I’d bring more lunches for each of us instead of sharing  Jeff didn’t mind but me being leaner than he is, I burn more and don’t have much fat storage.  He would always give me the last bites knowing that if not, I’d likely get hangry. hahaha!

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A freeze-dried ice cream sandwich? Don’t mind if I do, thanks! 🙂

Jeff hung out in the tree hammock for a couple of hours.  It was the nicest and only day really where we could have strung our hammock, so Jeff was glad he was able to hang out and just enjoy it.  Around 3, I decided to wash my greasy hair (at that point, it had been five days since washing it!!).  I don’t know if you guys know this but with bears and wildlife around, you don’t want to attract them with any smells, and that includes: deodorant, toothpaste, and anything, ANYTHING scented.  I couldn’t forego brushing my teeth for a week but I did nix the deodorant and hair care.  Anyways, we set up the camp shower earlier in the day and had hoped the sun would generate some heat to make the water inside warm, which it did.  I then washed my hair and rinsed and oh man, afterwards, man did I feel like a million bucks.  One simple thing and I felt so much better about myself and life.  LOL.  It’s the little things, people, trust me.

tree hammock

Finally at 5, Jeff got out of the hammock and we had coffees.  We had also talked about possibly leaving the next day because we knew bad weather was coming, we had also had a great 7 days already, so what would cutting the trip short one day do?  We’d be able to get home and see the dogs and hopefully see how Charlie was doing, thinking he may have had acl surgery on Tuesday, July 4th (which we later found out once we got out of the park, that that was not the case and his surgery would be the following Tuesday).  If it was decent weather in the morning when we got up, we’d carry on to our last lake and last full day in Algonquin, otherwise, we’d just carry on to Magnetewan and go for home.

We ate dinner at 6:45 p.m. and then went out to get some water at 7:30.  We packed up for the night and enjoyed our last evening on Little Trout Lake.  🙂

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Thursday, June 27, 2017

The rain had started around 2 a.m. and it was relentless.  We awoke at 6 a.m.  It was not a light rain but a steady downpour.  Jeff broke down our tent as I made us coffees and breakfast.  It was pouring and we had taken down the tarp the previous night when we were packing up our things in anticipation of heading out today, so I had no shelter.  Even with rain gear, we were just drenched.  We ate and then left, figuring why bother waiting around when the rain was clearly not going to let up.  We decided to just keep paddling on through Ralph Bice Lake (formerly Butt Lake), to Hambone and on to Magnetewan, where our sweet and WARM/DRY car awaited.  We watched several loons fish in the warm rain and that was pretty neat.  

Camping

Both Jeff and I just wanted to get out and get dry and we finally made it back to the car by 1 p.m.  Had we stayed, we likely would not have been able to dry out and we may have gotten sick as a result, so we just decided to give ‘er and go home.  And go home we did.  But first, we changed into dry clothes and blasted the heat to get the chill out of us and we were homebound, 2.5 hours south, back to reality and the every-day fast pace life.

It was a good seven days.  Thank you for reading this post if you made it to the end. 🙂

Related Post

  • You guys go to Algonquin! That is my favourite place on the entire planet! We camp at Rock Lake! However this year I put my foot down and requested that we go somewhere different. I kind of needed a break from our camping partners this year. AND we are going camping again. But we are flying solo from our camping partners though. I miss Algonquin. So beauiful. And you saw moose! YAY!. I can’t believe someone etched in Bishon. HAHAHA!!! I mean I can believe it. You guys are super hardcore though. Bad ass!

  • Kim Airhart

    I have been anxiously anticipating your trip recap. WOW! The pictures are gorgeous. I can’t imagine all the bug bites and rain. I am such a baby with bug bites. Is there anything you would have done differently? The memories you made with Jeff are priceless.

  • WOW. What a trip you had! I loved all the photos and hearing all about your journey. I’m a pretty big wimp, I don’t think I could do a seven day trip like that, especially with all the bug bites, lol. You are a rockstar!!

  • What an amazing trip! Gorgeous photos

  • shootingstarsmag

    Sounds like a really nice trip – love all the photos! Sorry about the rain and all those bug bites. I’m sure I’d have TONS of them too.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    Oh my gosh!! That looks so fun. Exhausting, but fun! What a cool experience. Love your pictures.

  • Carly Ned

    Wow! How beautiful! Looks like you had an amazing time!

  • Shybiker

    What a great post! Love the descriptions and photos. A moose!

  • Awesome post and beautiful photos! What an adventure you two had! It sounds amazing and must have been great to relax completely with no phone and e-mails to see to.

  • Okay, SO i just read every word and literally loved learning about how you set up camp, what you did during the day, what you ate (and when you had coffees!). For freeze dried foods, i have to say that everything you describe sounds delicious! LOL @ chicken tetrazini (there’s a Youtube video about that you should watch).

    I don’t know if I could do this, honestly. I’d love to think that I could be off the grid for 7 days, but this sounds pretty intense (no hair washing?! HAVE YOU SEEN THIS NEST!) lol, anyway, this is amazing and I’m so glad I got read. Love the bichon carved in wood! And the heart <3 And your photos and baby moose!!!

    XOXO

  • Cathy C Bennett

    Girl you are my SHERO! After day 2 – Doodle Dad would have had to call an Uber for me! LOL Sounds and looks A-mazing, but I would have to live these camping days vicariously through you XOXO

  • Fabulous recap of an amazing trip, Lindsay. Your photos are breathtaking, and your recounting of all that you experienced makes me almost want to go camping. But then, there is the issue of the biting insects. Gonna have to pass, and live vicariously through you and Jeff. LOL!

  • Hey babes,
    Holy crap I have a ton of comments to catch up on, sorry love. I’ve never been to Rock Lake but I’ve heard Jeff talk about it before. We’ve stayed all over but mostly near access points 1 and 2.
    Where’d you pick to go this year?? We’re thinking of doing Presqu’ile maybe in September or October. We have friends out in Brighton and want to visit so why not go there?
    I hear on ditching your camping partners – just wanted to keep it close, you and your boys?? We actually don’t have ANY friends that enjoy camping like we do. Car camping, sure, we know another couple but not really. So we just do our own thing or pick a place to go for a weekend that’s dog friendly and bring the dogs. That won’t be happening this year tho.

    You should have seen me 16 years ago.. I’d go “camping” and do full out make up and all that Jazz, I guess because I was a hormonal teenager trying to pick up guys?! Lol My idea of camping over the years has certainly changed. 😉

  • Thanks for reading love. 🙂 The pics are pretty nice eh? Especially the ones on the lake at sunset.
    Hmm If I could do something differently, we’d bring a bit more food (I was hangry at least once a day – lol), BETTER rain gear and that’s probably about it. But dammit all to hell and those bloody bugs. I had several meltdowns because I was so freaking fed up. Like, TMI, I was getting bites on my ass and crotch which was NOT pleasant!! LOL!

  • It was indeed one hell of a trip and Jeff is planning another for next year, likely after we get back from Barbados in July.
    Trust me, I was a bit unsure how I’d be for seven days too, the longest I’ve ever gone interior camping was 4 or 5 days, but all considering, I was okay. I could have whined a little less though, I’m sure. 😉
    Thanks Momma! 🙂

  • Thanks love, thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for stopping by – I’m a bit starstruck that GLAMAMOM stopped by. I’m flattered. Thank you so much for such lovely compliments, I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

  • Thankfully all the bug bites healed, whereas looks wise, jeff looked worse but that’s because he scratches them like a madman. It was still a great and memorable trip despite the damn bugs and the monsoon rains. 🙂

  • It was so much fun, coupled with an appropriate amount of grunt work portaging and schlepping all of our things.
    Thank you for such lovely compliments Jessica. 🙂

  • Thanks Carly, it was a great time reconnecting with Mother Nature and leaving all the stress and go go go behind. 🙂

  • Thanks SO much for stopping by and taking the time to read, Ralph. We were so fortunate to see the three moose – I’ve only ever seen maybe 5-10 in my life and none in the last few years, so it was definitely a treat. They’re such interesting/unusually looking creatures I think. 🙂

  • Oh it was SO nice. I wasn’t sure how I’d be without a phone for that long but there was also no signal anyways. They (thankfully) haven’t put cell towers IN the park, just around the corridor. We took Jeff’s phone because our dog was supposed to have had surgery and my mom wanted to at least let us know how he was after, but as it turned out, we had no signal anyways so it was a lost cause. And I don’t think my hubby and I talked that much in awhile, so it was definitely nice without technology in that respect. 🙂

  • Hey babes,
    Glad you enjoyed reading. I could’ve been more detailed about the meals we ate each day but it also would’ve been a much longer post too. All of the food was delicious, though, that really surprised me. And no mess to clean up, no bowls or pots to wash, just add boiling water, let sit and voila, a meal in a bag. 🙂

    Oh my freaking god. I should send you some greasy hair pics. I felt nasty. And I tell you, after I washed my hair, I felt like a million bucks. I mean, as long as you prepare for your trip as much as possible, you’ll be fine. The only thing with the interior camping is that it’s not like car camping – you can’t get back to your car just like that, so what you bring is what you carry and what you’ve left behind, well you’ll get it on your way back out. It’s all trial and error, see what works for you and where you’re going and how far you’ll push yourself. I was dreading the 2.4 km portage but I also wasnt the one with the canoe on my head that weighs 45 lbs. BUT, I would be a Sherpa and carry as much as I could. The key is: don’t bitch and complain. EVERYONE is gritting their teeth and hurting, just get it done and once you’re there, you can relax, you know what I mean? That’s something I need to work on. Bitch less. Lol

    The Bichon carved in the wood and the heart shape seared into that wood were pretty cool. 🙂

    Thanks so much for reading love. xoxox

  • Thanks and thank you for reading the entire post. 🙂 I write always for myself but it’s nice to see occasionally others reading along and enjoying them, too.

    They do make full body bug suits, Kevin, COME ON, be a sport. Lol 😛 I’m just playing. 🙂 We’ve had so much rain this year so they’re not normally this pesky, but all of the trees, the lakes, the stars, sunrises and sunsets – you can’t beat that or replicate it. It was beautiful despite all of the rain. 🙂

  • LMAO You legitimately made me laugh out loud at your comment. You would be perfect for Glamping, Momma. None of this back country horse crap. LOL!
    I suspect we won’t always camp like this so we’re enjoying while we can. 🙂