Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Have I ever told you how much I hate packing for a camping trip? My head fills with all the things that could go wrong, and I have to weigh what to take against what it actually weighs. Canoeing is better, in that weight is less of an issue (is that why our canoe is always bottoming out?), but worse in that more things can go wrong. Hypothermia, anyone? A midnight cold snap in a wet sleeping bag isn't just a bad time, it's dangerous. And that's without thinking about Christie's allergy to bee stings and mine to, well, some damn thing in meat. Finally, there's my aversion to going hungry. Or letting anyone one with me go hungry. I can live without my elevensies, but second breakfast is a must-have.

So why go? Why leave my happy hobbit hole for the wide wild world?

I've got this t-shirt at home with "Free Spirit" on it underneath a Chinese ideogram. Years ago, a friend from China took exception to the translation. He said a clearer translation would be "swimming with the current". How very Chinese. But I understand because my nerves hit their height when we're on the beach, loading everything into the canoe, tying things down, taking final stock, but then Christie's in the front of the boat, and my feet are in the water pulling us off the gravel, and then my ass hits the seat and I can feel from the wobble that there's nothing holding us down, and then the current grabs the bow and points us downriver and there's nothing to worry about for the next couple of days except when do we want to stop for lunch and where should we pull off to sleep.

And that is my favorite feeling in the world. Well, second favorite. My first favorite is the next morning, handing Christie a cup of hot tea to take off the chill and seeing the grin on her face.


Anonymous said...

That's why you don't camp in the winter - a painful lesson that I, and some of the other regular readers of this blog, learned the hard way in the 'ville.

Mike said...


Besides, the last time I had to knock ice off the tents in the morning, it was actually April.