Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Algonquin 2006: Part Two

What a fantastic sleep. A big "fuck you" to the two people who called me this morning and I didn't pick up. I've never been so in love with my pillow in my life. At Algonquin we didn't bring pillows and had to use rolled up clothes. Worst. Ever.

So we stayed along Burnt Island Lake, across from Burnt Island (which was odd, because it didn't look burnt, it was pretty).

^The Island of the Burnt

The guys tried fishing, like, five times the whole weekend and didn't catch a thing which was one of the big disappointments of the weekend (besides losing half the booze). I was really looking forward to a catch and eating some 'real' protein, aside from the crap deliciousness that is canned meat.

So we canoed over to the 'Island of the Burnt' and some of us even attempted to 'sail' there since it was pretty damn windy.

^Sailing, tarp-stylez ^"You really should end each transmission with 'over'. Over!"
^Picking blueberries
^Kathy and I chillin'
^Iljya jumpin' ^Nam, Mel, Alex and Yuri
^"Duchess" (Alex), "Princess" (me), "The Nazi"(Iljya), "Chef Mel" (Mel), "Lowly Peasant" (Kathy), "Village Idiot" (Nam) and "Axeman" (Yuri)
^Spam with "mashed potato" "Guys, the mashed potato is devouring the Spam!"
^A Family Affair: Lem's, Lam's and Doubov's
^Ikea, eat your heart out: our homemade 'couch' complete with coffee table
^Be wery wery quiet: Alex, with an axe, waiting for our raccoon friend to return

I didn't see all the wildlife I wanted to see like the raccoon that kept visiting our site and the bear I swear I heard just outside our tent at night (the footsteps were heavy and it grunted). I did see (and hear) loons, minnows, a frog and this annoying butterfly that wouldn't leave the site. I also saw waaaaay too many mosquitoes (*scratch *scratch) but surprisingly didn't see many blackflies (thank god). I think it's safe to say Nam wins the "Most Bitten and Stung Award", especially since being stung in the nipple while canoeing (haha). I looked absolutely ridiculous in my getups: heavy hooded sweaters, arm warmers, headscarves, legwarmers, anything to cover up every inch of my body. I also drowned myself in bug spray but I managed to get bitten at night around my ankles and hands thanks to the Blanket Hogs (Alex and Yuri).

^View of the lake from our site ^"You got served": Me, probably telling someone they got 'served' for the millionth time that weekend
^"Worst...ever": A whole long weekend stuck with each other. Are we ready to kill ourselves and each other? ^Princess Lil and her loyal subjects: There's nothing better than having the greatest time and experience with your second family

I'm really glad I came on this trip and experienced what I endured this weekend. I learned alot about my friends on a more personal level, we worked together well (fights and all), I got enough exercise to last me a month (my arms are toned!) and we even managed to make endearing pet names for each other (sorry Minh, you've been upgraded to 'Queen' because I was apparently being too bossy LOL). I've proved to myself and others that I can tolerate quite a bit and had a really good time in what would normally be considered unbearable situations.

Would I do this again? Hell to the yes, although probably not again this year. I would encourage others to try this as well, if you can stand to not shower for three days, eat bad food (and keep it down) and you're ready to endure your friends in barely tolerable conditions for several days. People who have gone portaging and camping say that once you do this you wouldn't wanna go back to 'regular' camping (like at a conservation park), but I think I disagree. It really isn't only about the 'total camping experience', it's also about the lasting memories and laughs you make no matter where you are and what you're doing.

A big thanks to Iljya, planner, organizer and leader: I wanted to slap you so much, you Nazi, but I'm oh-so-grateful for what you've done.

Thanks to Nam and Alex for enduring my horrendous singing in the boat to pass the time and not tossing me overboard.

Thanks to Yuri, the pyro, for providing fire.

Thanks to Kathy and Mel for rationing and preparing the ...uh, delicious meals. You did the best you could and kept me reasonably full all weekend.

We came home and went straight to a buffet to pig out. I've never been so happy to see fresh fruit and vegetables in my life because we forgot to bring veggies for the trip (holy constipation, batman!). We ate so much that Nam even ended up puking in his bid to "beat the buffet".

I came home and realized how sunburned I really was (no bikinis or tube tops from me for awhile) and did mine and Mel's laundry (everything soiled!).

*sigh, it's good to be home.

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