Massassauga Canoe Trip Summer 2017
Every year when June rolled around and school began to wind down I would vow to have “the best summer” ever. Every year I told myself that I was going to do so many cool things and see my friends all the time over the summer holiday and every year I was equally disappointed. I loved to dream of the “perfect summer” but usually ended up working 90% of the time and twiddling my thumbs with boredom the other 10%. Since this summer was my last before starting university I was determined to make it great and I definitely did not disappoint myself this year.
One of the highlights from summer 2017 was Pg Trippin’ (post-grad tripping). At the beginning of July I and four of my friends set off on a three day canoe trip in Massassauga Provincial Park. I had never been camping before and I never went to camp so I was pretty ignorant when it came to this kind of thing.
On the first morning my friend Riley showed up at my house in her dad’s pickup truck, which he graciously lent to use for the duration of our trip, with about 5 feet of canoe sticking out the back of the truck bed. I was in charge of food for the trip (surprise, surprise) so we loaded up my dry bags then went on pour way to pick up the others. Next we stopped at Sasha’s house to load up all her belongings, then we continued on to pick up Eoin (pronounced Owen) and Camryn. After that we were on the road.
About two hours later we arrived at the canoe drop in where we unloaded our canoe and other belongings. After that Ri and I went up to the parks office to rent another canoe. This came weighted nothing, but it stuck out of the back of the truck about 6 or 7 feet. When we returned to the drop in we loaded up the canoes and started paddling.
We brought two tents on this trip, a two person and a three person. To select which tent we would be sleeping in Camryn pulled five cards out of a deck: three 9s and two jacks. We each selected a card and that decided where we would all be sleeping. Let me give you a bit of background, at this point I didn’t know Sasha or Eoin very well. Sash and I had met before on a few occasions and Eoin and I had met once. Based on the card drawing method Eoin and I ended up in the same tent. I always find it interesting how close you get with people when you spend a lot of time together in close quarters. By the end of the three day trip the five of us had so many jokes and stories. I can now say the Eoin and Sasha are no longer just acquaintances, but two of my good friends. They even came to visit me at uni!
That first night we kept it pretty simple and made hot dogs, veggie burger (for Ri and me), and grilled corn over the fire. For dessert I made a peach crumble type thing. It looked pretty sketchy, but it was actually quite delicious. When we were starting the fire there was hardly any kindling at our campsite, so Ri and Sash jumped in a canoe and went around to the other vacant sites to find wood. Not gonna lie I slept terribly the whole time I was on trip because the ground is so uncomfortable (especially with my back issues), but I still had a fantastic time.
Since I could barely sleep I woke up at about 5:30 the next morning. It was so beautiful! The sun was just coming up and there was mist all across the lake. Once everyone else was up we started up the fire and made chocolate chip pancakes and sweet potato hash browns. The pancakes were deliciously rich. I packed a Gian bag of PC decadent chocolate chips (because they’re dairy free), but unfortunately they kind of melted on the way to the campsite. When I went to put them into the pancakes they had re-solidified into giant chocolate chunks. As an end result the pancakes were mostly chocolate.
For lunch we made a super sketchy pasta salad with mixed veg. It was tasty because we were on trip, but I have a feeling that it isn’t something that I would ever eat at home. After lunch we swam over to a small island close to our campsite in search of a jumping cliff. We found a little ledge to jump from, but it wasn’t great. From there we swam across the lake and found a 30 foot cliff which was perfect. We checked the water underneath to make sure it was deep enough to jump, which it was. After we got our daily thrill we swam back to camp and started hung out around the campfire. Riley brought a portable hammock with her and it was a big hit.
That night I made vegetarian chilli and toast for dinner. After we ate we did sparklers and I fooled around with my shutter speed on my camera to capture some pretty cool shots. Cammy and Sash went to bed and Ri, Eoin and I stayed up to talk and hangout. It was a really nice way to cap off the trip.
On the third morning we ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and leftover fruit before packing up our canoes to head out. There was a picnic table at our campsite and we all carved our names into the top.
This trip was such and amazing experience for me and was the perfect start to a truly fantastic summer.