After two showers and a bath, my hair still smells like campfire.
Sadly Dezz couldn’t make it out (no one works harder than someone who’s starting their own business), so the ever-intrepid Aric Malcolm and I packed off to Nogies’ Creek again this past weekend, even though we were forecasted to get rain literally the whole time, with a severe thunderstorm warning on Sunday.
A lot of people thought I might want to cancel the trip; but to be honest I was kind of hoping for some inclement weather.
That might sound a bit odd, but I’m going out here for the challenge of it. It’s easy to have a good time when it’s sunny and warm, but it takes a bit more work to stay comfy, dry, and well-fed when it’s cold and rainy out.
And so, with some sweet new cold-weather gear to wear (NO COTTON!!!) and a nifty tarp set up to test out, we headed out Friday expecting rain anytime.
Found ourselves paddling the creek at around dusk, (the colours are GORGEOUS) expecting to make landfall on a big island we’d scouted out the last time we were here with Dezz & Ken Forgie, but some other campers were already there (we heard their dog barking at us as we drew closer) so we kept on down the river, starting to get nervous as it got darker and darker.
Eventually we found a spot to make landfall on a small island surrounded by beaver dams, and when we looked around (thank goodness for headlamps) we found a nice, mossy spot to throw down the tent. YAY! The only pre-made firepit on the island was miserably placed amongst trees and roots, so we scratched out a new one by the water’s edge.
SIDE NOTE: Someone had brought several large bags of potting soil up here and transported it (by boat I assume) all the way to this little island. I’ve no idea why on earth anyone would’ve gone to all that trouble and then just left them there doing nothing, but thank you, we used it to line our firepit to prevent any embers from lighting up the moss and vegetation around, and as a makeshift camp-seat which was amazingly comfy.
We ate steak n potatoes with roast veg for dinner (which we ate with our fingers since I’d forgotten cutlery and bowls) and fed deadwood into our fire whilst staring at the stars and listening to the beavers slip in and out of the water for another hour or so before putting out the fire with some more earth and crawling into our mummy-bags to pass out.
I awoke in the middle of the night, freezing and needing to pee, to find poor Aric smashed up between me and his gear. I had practically crushed him into the side of the tent in my sleep. Luckily for him you can’t steal someone’s blankets when they’re locked up in a mummybag 😛 I put a sweater on and watered a tree and snuggled back into my mummy bag and was toasty warm for the rest of the night. 🙂
Breakfast was eggs, taters & gravy, and coffee with a splash of Baileys and with the light finally on us were were able to explore around us a little bit. Beaver Island (as we named it) was actually quite a bit bigger than it had at first appeared, with loads of beaver-felled trees still half-supported by their gnawed stumps.
Some of these had been sawn into logs and left there (presumably by other campers), while others had fallen to the forest floor to become the home of strange, snake-like worms and beautiful fungi, as well as a host of wood-burrowing insects. I’ve been doing some research about the flora in the area, and was actually able to identify some edible plants! #bushcraftcoolpoints
Around noon on Saturday I made a horrifying discovery: I had forgot to bring TOILET PAPER!
The only reason to have made this discovery, of course, was because I currently required said toilet paper. Urgently. EXTREMELY and UNCOMFORTABLY urgently, as anyone who knows I suffer from digestive conditions might be able to imagine. Fall is a crap time of year to be trying to find leaves to wipe liquidized bowel movements with (yes, all pun intended) so yah, back in the canoe to head to land to find a bathroom and buy some freakin’ tp.
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: To the women in the Bobcaygeon Tim Horton’s bathroom on Saturday afternoon: I am sorry. I hope your olfactory powers are not permanently damaged by the bog of eternal stench that I released in that tiny room.
Yes, I know I was in there an awfully long time. No, I hadn’t eaten roadkill. No, nothing had died inside me, except perhaps a little of my self-esteem as I sat there in silence listening to your not-even-trying-to-be-subtle complaints. No, I couldn’t have done that at home at that particular moment.
A half hour or so later, laughing and making poop jokes, we left Tim’s and grabbed all the forgotten items and headed back to the boat launch …
This post SHOULD come with some pics I took of our campsite at Beaver Island, but sadly I’m having trouble uploading them so I’ll get the always-awesome Dezz to give me a hand when he comes over tonight and I’ll post them as soon as I can. In the mean time, here’s a beaver for ya. 😀
Next instalment: I get a dose of feeling small-town famous, and Aric and I have our first thunder-bucket experiences.