This year's annual Algonquin canoe/portage/camp trip was an amazing 5 days of hard work and relaxation. I just returned last evening. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get out of the fast paced city life and enjoy nothingness. It took us about 6 hours of canoeing and portaging to get to our first campsite, but it was worth the hike. We were the only form of civilization on the entire lake and it was just amazingly beautiful. Getting away from society is a healthy thing to do once in a while.
Our weekend consisted of my dog Mojo swimming an average of 2 kilometers each day, whether it was fetching sticks in the water, swimming after Mark's fishing lures, swimming alongside me as I was training for my triathlon, or swimming alongside Tim on one of his crazy random long distance swims. We also had the opportunity to jump off a 35-foot cliff, crap in the woods, and boil lake water to drink. One of the highlights was after Glen and I won the Euchre game, we each grabbed a canoe and shoved them out onto the lake as far as we could and the losers of the Euchre game (Steve and Bill) had to swim out to fetch the canoes as per our Euchre bet. It was at nighttime and it was quite chilly, probably around 15 degrees Celsius. Good times.
Mojo had a near death experience. There was a dead tree at our first campsite that we wanted to cut down, so we took my mini saw (7 inch blade) and started working away on this tree. After 2 hours of sawing, the damn tree didn't want to come down; we kept pushing it but it wasn't falling. So Mark and Tim headed across the lake to get some rope from our buddies, and Mojo and I stayed there to wait for the rope. I was just sitting down relaxing when a gust of wind blew threw the trees and I heard the tree make a crack noise. When I looked at the tree, I noticed Mojo was well beyond the tree. So I yelled at her to get back to me so that the tree wouldn't fall on her. She started walking back toward me when I heard another crack. So immediately I yelled "STAY MOJO, STAY!!" About 15 seconds later, I heard a third crack, and the tree came down hard, exactly where we expected it to land. Mojo stood about 15 feet away in a safe spot behind some other trees. When the tree hit the ground Mojo was startled and ran the opposite way. She is lucky to be alive, and I'm very thankful that she is pretty good with obeying my orders. It was interesting that it only took a small gust of wind to take the tree down that we were trying to push over.
We also experienced an extreme thunderstorm on Sunday night. The lightning lit up my entire tent, and the thunder shook the ground. Mojo was shaking uncontrollably, and I was quite frightened as well; it was quite an experience. One of our fellow campers (Marcus) was sleeping outside in a waterproof outdoor sleeping bag. I don't know how he felt when the thunderstorm came, but I wouldn't be surprised if he peed his pants, I know I would have ;)
Here are some pictures from this year's trip. Feel free to read about last year's Algonquin Trip