As per usual, Conor and I embarked on a canoe trip earlier this summer. While only half as long as last year’s, it was still lengthy enough at 26 days.
My plan was to refer back to my journal and share the trip in a chronological way, but suffice to say the pictures on my phone are not cooperating (they refuse to leave my phone), making organization annoyingly hard. So, instead, there will be random stories in a random order.
Canoe trips are a funny thing. We’re choosing to go live in a tent for weeks on end, but any opportunities to stay in cabins along the way are delightful. So delightful that sometimes, as in this case, the excitement of a cabin overrides our better judgment.
It was mid afternoon on a beautiful day, but with a headwind. We were plowing into it on this particular lake for well over an hour, the whole time staring at something white on the far shore. Was it a rock? Was it a cabin? No way to know except slowly inching towards it.
As we got closer we saw that yes, it was a cabin! A little white cabin with a red roof! Oh how cute!
Now, if you look carefully you will notice more problems than cuteness. Take, for instance, the door, which wouldn’t shut properly. Or the window on the right – see the towel sticking out of it? In our cabin daze we thought that would stop mosquitoes. HAHA. Yeah right.
But the afternoon was bug free, we had been amping ourselves up throughout the whole crossing, and we opted to stay.
We weren’t the only mammal to have spent time in the cabin. A bigger, furrier animal had left a nice paw print in one of the mattresses.
Everything went well until we headed to bed around 9pm. Once we had wedged ourselves into the teeny bed (rolling over was a team event), we shut our eyes….and BZZZZZZZ. The mosquitoes were coming out, they were coming out fierce, and our bug proofing attempts were clearly a massive failure.
Ok, no big deal. We’ll get up, figure out where they’re coming in, and seal it off with the giant roll of duct tape we found. Easy peasy!
We sealed entrances and killed bugs until 11:30pm. TWO AND A HALF HOURS of waging war against mosquitoes. The door was completely sealed with duct tape. So were the windows. We were completely sealed inside. And they were still coming in! It was hopeless.
We gave up. There was only one option left, and it wasn’t a fun one – we put on our bug jackets and crawled back into bed.
I lay there on my back, listening to mosquitoes surrounding me, trying to sleep. The problem with bug jackets (apart from generally being hot and awful) is that if the netting lies against your skin mosquitoes can bite through it. I dozed for perhaps an hour, before waking up to one munching on my cheek. I quickly realized that they had feasted on my lips before I woke up, which were swelling up nicely.
That was the end of my sleep for the night. At 5am I called it quits and got up for good.
Man oh man were we happy to leave that place behind, and the tent never felt as good as it did crawling into it the next night!
While paddling the next day we agreed that it ranked as one of our top 3 worst nights ever camping – up there with a night spent in a bbq shelter (a motel forgot we were coming) and a similarly bug-infested shed (that one due to miscommunication, not cabin fever).
Needless to say our cabin standards were significantly higher for the rest of the trip.
Oh, and that door that didn’t shut properly? It fell off completely the following morning, which pretty much summed up the whole experience.