Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not enough, not nearly enough

This adorable trailer decoration was a gift from my sister.
I absolutely love it! Thanks, Liz!

I just miss it, that's all.

I miss it and it's barely over – the sleeping bags aren't even dry yet. There are still marshmallows to be toasted, the giant kind. I don't think the big ones are quite as tasty as the regular sized marshmallows. Maybe they're like fish – the smaller ones are always tastier than the lunkers. I think that's true with humans, too, which is why I will never get eaten by a bear in the woods, not when there is flesh more tender than my own. (Come children, let's go for a walk ...)

We've been camping for years, Dave and I, but I don't think I've ever been so melancholy at the end of a camping season as I am now. Where did it go, the time? It seems like we were just packing the trailer for our first trip and now it's over.

People ask me why I go camping so much. Geez, it doesn't seem enough to me.

Not enough laughter shared around a crackling campfire, not enough spectacular scenery.

Not enough four pound bass dancing on the end of a fishing line, not nearly enough strokes of a paddle through quiet water.

It's the adventure I will miss the most, as I bide my time through the next seven months; the feeling of exploring places never been seen before, of being one with nature.

Of hearing wolves howl in the minutes before the sun rises, of unexpectedly coming across a regal moose on a bicycle trail.

I will miss the quick dance of my surprised heart when my footsteps flush out a ruffed grouse from the yellow gold of the autumnal forest.

I'll miss snuggling into my sleeping bag and falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, clear from worries, slow with the honest exhaustion that only comes from a day spent entirely in the sun and wind.

This is why I camp. 


And this. 

And all of this.

Balsam Lake, May 24 weekend. Putting duct tape to good use.

Balsam Lake, May 24, campfire with the Raneys.

Kiosk, end of May fishing trip amongst the blackflies. 

Kiosk, June. My big, big bass! Worth the blackfly bites!

Algonquin Park, July holidays. Daytripping via canoe.

Algonquin Park, July.

Sam snuggles in for the night, Algonquin Park, July.

Grundy Lake Provincial Park, August.

Cedar Lake, Brent access point to Algonquin Park, Labour Day.

Cedar Lake, Labour Day weekend.

Kiosk fishing trip, Dave and brother Tom, September.

Kiosk fishing trip, Liz's lunker. September.

Kiosk sunrise, September.

Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Park, Thanksgiving.

Two Rivers hiking trail lookout, Algonquin, Thanksgiving.

That incredible view. Algonquin, Thanksgiving.


  1. Sounds like plenty of reasons to go camping (though I'm a wimp, I'll keep my cozy hotel room...thank you very much).

    Thanks for sharing the pics too.

    You know, after hearing your thoughts on camping and seeing the photos I would say that you could spin a good humour-filled yarn (over 50K words) about a season of camping and the adventures within...just sayin'...

    1. Hi Alan! Dave is always saying I should write about camping. I dunno, it hasn't hit me yet. Maybe I need to camp MORE so I can get inspired...

      You'd like camping... hell, anyone who can put up with Newfoundland's raucous weather can stand a little bit of Ontario out-of-doors!

  2. Cathy, I am with you all the way on the subject of camping and fishing. Damn that Crabby Cabbie business throwing a wrench into all of my fun! Last time hubby & went it was for a week up in Sunridge in Sept. 2 years ago. It was cold and rained most of the week, I didn't give a rat's ass, as I was camping and enjoying every minute of it. We had even bundled up on the one nice day and Motorcyled around the countryside ... did I ever mention how much I LOVE camping???? Ha !

    1. Where were you, Cindy? Lake Bernard Park? Or Mikisew? Dave lived in Sundridge all his life (until recently) so we know the area well.

      I feel bad for you not being able to go camping whenever you like but I hear ya - even camping in the rain is excellent!

    2. Lake Bernard Park. My Aunt & Uncle have had a cottage up in Parry Sound for years ... and my Uncle used to own the Canadian Tire in Huntsville.

  3. One of the girls I worked with a few years ago used to go winter camping with her hubs every year in Algonquin. They would go for a week, take the dog, ....I mean, you know, if you REALLY miss camping you could do lol

    1. Did she camp in a yurt? This past January Dave and I rented a yurt for a weekend at Killarney Provincial Park north of Parry Sound. We wanted to get one at Mew Lake in Algonquin but they were all booked (maybe your work friend was in one of them!). Hopefully this year we'll get to take one for a spin. They're really just like cabins, with heat and bunk beds and a table. Cosy!

  4. Oh my gosh you almost have me wanting to go camping. And that NEVER happens, LOL! Those pictures are absolutely fabulous.

  5. Totally camping vicariously through you. The incredible deafening quiet, the stars above, a campfire and some fun people. There's nothing like it. It's restorative. I love your shots! Especially Sam modeling duct tape. Talk about wish fulfillment! Wanna take my godson next time? I'll provide the duct tape!

  6. Beautiful photos Cathy!! I'm glad you had such a great time out there roughing it. Looks like you had a lot of great trips this season though. Before you know it you'll be back out there again!! BTW, loved the duct tape picture. Red Green would be proud. lol

  7. What amazing experiences you guys share together. This summer did seem to go too fast. You'll be pulling out those photos to keep you going through winter, I imagine.

  8. Gorgeous!! The only reason Mountain Man and I even have jobs is to fund our camping addiction!!! I hear ya, and hang in there, the next 7 months will fly by! xo

  9. Wow! That looks like so much fun. Bring on next summer! :-)

  10. I too love the decoration... it would look lovely on a christmas tree!

  11. Well, you can have all of my tent camping trips.

  12. I'm sorry! You can still go hiking. Dress warm.

  13. You sure pushed the season.

    Camping was fun when we had mom and all the grandkids, took them places, watched them have a great time. It was so fun once we took a really off season trip to the warm south. Lake Ponchetrain, New Orleans, Texas. Not the best trip ever. We totally forgot the immutable law of nature..daylight ends about five or six o'clock in December. Campfires aren't very warm when the sun sets south of the Red River.

  14. I don't get enough camping in, though I love hiking. I love the quietness, the serenity of being out on a trail, feeling the wind at my face when I come to a cliff, hearing a loon down below on the lake....

    Rule #1 about surviving a charging bear. Never run from the bear. Rule #2. If you must run, make sure the other guy is slower than you are.

  15. And the fall colours in Algonquin truly are stunning! Thanks for posting them!

  16. I want to be a happy camper, I really, really do and your posts are the gentle nudge I need to stop making groany faces and accompanying groany noises everytime anyone mentions the C word.

  17. I totally get why you miss it. Sadliy we have aged and and just feel we cannot handle the fun part of going out there with camping stuff !DAMN we miss those good old days! Wish seniors could be better equipped to still carry on!

  18. Fine memories, you have to last the winter, though. Each season has its wonders, but it is something to adjust to as the days grow shorter and colder, isn't it? The trailer decoration is pitch perfect!

  19. After looking at your pictures, the question should be why doesn't EVERYONE love camping???

  20. Almost, almost you have me convinced. Beautiful, beautiful places, and who doesn't like being on the water.
    Just the same, I remember leeches, mosquitoes, primitive sanitation and camping beside disused quarries and mines. I am so not a fan of camping. Not when people like you can take me to much better places without any effort on my part. Thank you. Keep it up.

  21. Such magnificent melancholy. Oh to be camping! Especially among the reds and scarlets of northern Ontario.

    In other news, it snowed today in Saskatoon. The white stuff is coming your way.


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