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June 17

Man! Before one of these trips I always get so nervous. The first year I remember waking up in the middle of the night and sitting up for awhile praying for safety on our trip. Once you do a few backcountry canoe trips you become less afraid (still cautious but not afraid) of bears and breaking your leg etc. Last year I remember thinking how much I would miss sitting on my balcony. We have a very nice patio with an unbroken west facing view to the horizon. I have a lot of flowers out there which makes it really pretty. Sitting out there in the evening watching the sunset is a lovely experience… As long as you block out the ever present rush and roar of the traffic below! How could our patio even compare to the beauty of a pristine backcountry campsite?

But as always those pre-camping jitters are back. This year I’m rather concerned about missing my creature comforts. I won’t be able to shower, my hair is going to be so greasy and my feet so dirty all the time. The comfort of a soft bed, the ease of running water, warm showers, shaved legs, multiple shoe options… Do I even like camping that much? Everyone I meet in Toronto looks at me like I’m insane when I tell them what we do for fun. I can’t even explain what “portaging” is in such a way that the bewildered look eases from their faces even a little, and believe me, I’ve tried!

Maybe they’re right? Why do I even do this? It so much work to prepare. Wouldn’t I rather just go to some five star resort somewhere? Bring along my 5 suitcases and go shopping all week?