Camp Log 2006, Part One
I took a travel journal with me on our trip to Ontario. Man. Blogging is so much easier than actually picking up a pen and legibly writing stuff down. Halfway slogging through sentences I’d forget what I was going to say. Having written something stupid I’d realize there’s no backspace key. Knowing that, and trying to write only non stupid things, slowed me down even more. Somehow I managed to blather on for almost 30 pages. So I’m adding the 2006 vacation to my illustrious history. Jumping with both feet right into the present from my murky past. I’ll be referring to my scribblings, not copying them word for word, and editing and adding and revising. You’ll just have to trust me that the absolute truth as I recorded it would bore you to tears. I’m already boring myself, and I haven’t even gotten started.
Okay. The night before, which was actually the day of our departure, because it was already past midnight, I took pen in hand and talked about my insomnia before going away somewhere. And also about how I painted my toenails because that is something you HAVE to do the night before you go on vacation. I think it’s probably a pre-vacation rule in some cultures. The shade was a really interesting rusty-red. It is now chipped and faded and looks quite disgusting and there’s an ugly scar on one of my big toes where I dropped a rock on my foot. But on June 15th there are no battle scars yet. We get up at 5:00 a.m. At 7:00 we still have not left the city. W. loves to run around all over the place at the last minute while I sigh audibly and roll my eyes and ask him why he didn’t do all this stuff yesterday. He painstakingly explains to me why he never fills the gas tank completely because the truck runs better without the extra weight. I cannot even comment on this. I just do some deep breathing and admire my toenails all the way to Lloydminster.
In Saskatoon we take a little detour somewhere in the middle of construction and have to find our way back onto Circle Drive. We see the sign just fine the second time around. I like to talk when I travel. W. doesn’t. We see a pre-fab house and I wonder what a small one would cost, and how we could float it across to the island. And where we should put it if we could get the damned thing up the hill. Maybe we could fill up the foundation of the old house with cement and put the pre-fab house there. It would be great to have some extra accommodation space. And since W. is not listening, I suggest we put it there while the cement is still wet so that the house sticks to it when it dries. Then I ask him if he thinks I should have a job in the field of construction. He says no.
Early in the afternoon, around Dundurn, we are passed by bikes and bikes of Hell’s Angels. They look like flocks of black crows zipping down the highway, buffeted by the wind. I suggest they’re going on a picnic and W. just snorts. We see a semi that went off the road and flipped over. Yikes. We drive through pouring rain and into the sunshine. I want to know why all the big fat gross bugs splat on MY side of the windshield. W. drives and drives and drives. I doze on and off. Every time I open my eyes we appear to be in the exact same place. Saskatchewan on the trans Canada has got to be the most boring place to drive through on the face of God’s green earth. At 7:30 we arrive in Brandon, Manitoba, home of…..I don’t know, some museums and stuff. At this point I don’t care. We check into the Comfort Inn and hear there are thunderstorm warnings in Cartwright, Kilarney, Mather and Turtle Mountain. I wonder who names these places. There is also a tornado watch somewhere complete with looney sized hail, but not here, and I expect that’s what it might take to wake me up tonight. I get tired of listening to W. reading the entire weather channel and crash. I can’t imagine how tired I’d be if I had done any actual driving.
If the desk clerk is to be believed, and why would she lie, there was booming thunder and a crazy light show complete with pouring rain over night. Our air conditioner was so loud we heard nothing. Not even each other snoring. Bonus. They should advertise that. We’re off to Winnipeg. When we get there we stop and buy groceries and pack our coolers with perishables and head for Kenora. I may not be able to continue my travel memoir because I expect at any moment that the humidity is going to kill me. W. asks me what the hell I’m writing. I tell him I’m writing down EVERY SINGLE WORD HE SAYS. That shuts him up completely for almost an hour. In Keewatin we make our last and most important stops for booze and ice.
At 3:47 p.m. I am sitting on the deck although there’s still a thousand things to do. The deer was on the side lawn when we came up the hill. W. is being SO nice to me – he’s gone back over to load stuff into the boat himself. I strongly suspect I just get in the way, so I don’t argue. It always hits me when I’m here – I do love this place. The water level is way down compared to last year, so the island seems bigger. I hope this trip W. brings the spiced rum. I send telepathic messages across the water.
At 4:16 W. is still over there gabbing with somebody and I decide it might be a good idea to pitch my watch into the river if I’m going to have to live with Mr. Fromadifferenttimezone up close and personal for the next 20 days. There is cold beer in the fridge. Thank you Darcy! Thank God my father in law has his priorities straight.
The guy W. was talking to for so long turns out to be Dan, from two islands down. His dad and W.’s dad were army buddies, and Dan and his wife actually live on their island, and we sometimes rent one of their cottages when we have lots of visitors. He helps W. haul stuff up the hill and all I have to do is put it away. It’s hot and muggy and the grass needs water. We sit around staring at it for awhile. Time slows down to a crawl. We take pictures of a tree frog on the window sill. He finally hops off in a flash blinded daze. Then we hear the best best BEST sound ever. The call of the loons. Last year the water level was so high it destroyed their nests, but they’re back. And we’re back. And life is good.