Wednesday, September 08, 2010

adventure begins

8:00 AM. After showering, lugging the last few bags out to the car, cleaning out the email box, I strapped the bike rack to the E39. Did the car shuffle.

Tried to find Nibo petrol lighter fluid at local 7-11. They didn't have any! Now what am I going to do. That was the only place I found it... Looked like I wouldn't be using the Restoration Hardware hand warmer on this trip. Fortunately, I had chemical ones. I expected I would need these to keep hands (and batteries) warm...

Popped to the drive-thru bank.

9:20 AM. Picked up Kiron. I still don't know how we got everything in the car! It was jammed packed. To the rafters. Kiron said, "It's like a bomb." Really could have used Will's touring and the extra 10 cubic feet. Alas, it was a blessing to have the 5 series sedan. And I still can't believe we did it within 30 minutes, including attaching a second bicycle.

9:50 AM. Visited John's, within his requested 1 hour window. Dropped four sets of ST3 discs. He offered to deliver the planning software, on my behalf, upon collecting fees, to the RASC meeting later in the day.

10:00 AM. Found a mailbox on old Weston Rd so to return my Zip movie.

The 680 News traffic reports sounded OK. No mention of our planned route. Good. Bought half a tank of gas at the first northbound Hwy 400 service centre to top up the car. Kiron was most impressed by the mini-drive-thru Tim Horton's.

The partly sunny weather slowly began to change as we pressed. We drove through occasional rain. The skies did not look good... The temperature slowly dropped.

Next stop: Gravenhurst. Bought foodstuffs at the Sobeys. Oh, and Red Bull! From memory—didn't have my list with me. Bought Red Bull! But I goofed on my preliminary calculations: bought for 3 days; not 4! Fortunately, this year, I remembered (at the last minute) to buy block ice for the large cooler.

12:30 PM. Phoned Phil to see if they needed anything. They were in good shape. He asked if I was bringing good weather... Ha!

1:45 PM. The arrival. We checked in. I was bound for Lora and Phil's site, number 59. Paid my car fees. Kiron needed a spot for the night. The park staff person said that site 24 was available! How about that?! The place where he and Dave R would set up for the balance of the weekend. That seemed the logical place to book. But he entertained a few options, possibly staying with Lillian and Bob. All the talk of bears had rattled him, perhaps.

Guard dogs. Photo by Lora.

Skeena and Callebaut greeted us at the driveway! It was really good to see them! Took Skeena about 37 seconds to coax a belly rub outta me.

Site 59 is a nice site. Very nice water access. Phil had a large tarp up over the picnic table. Like a cat, I padded around for a while, looking for a spot to sleep.

It was cool. It was a little misty.

Put up my tent while the Peanut Gallery (Lora, Phil, Adam, and Kiron) observed and critiqued. They timed me. Of course, we couldn't help wonder how Kiron would fair when attempting to erect his new tent.

After loading the old Pingo with my clothing, candle lantern, palmtop, netbook, I put on a few layers to keep warm. I still felt OK with shorts and sandles.

I gave Phil his right-angle DIN connectors from Digi-Key. He gave me his SkyTools payment.

Sue dropped by. Erich was out and about.

Let the relaxing begin...

It was Kiron's turn! After hounding him, Kiron hopped on his bicycle and headed to the camp office. He returned with interesting news. Site 24 was no longer available! Snooze, you lose. So he had to take 25 for one night. I drove the car over to his temporary home so that he could unload his gear.

As he began to learn how his tent worked, I went to the wood lot. Only to find it closed! Perplexed, I went to the camp office. It was then I noticed the covered trailer with wood inside. I paid for 2 bags of regular wood but took 1 wood and 1 kindling...

When I returned to site 25, I saw Kiron's tent was pitched. With a little help from his friends (Lora, Phil, and Katrina).

How many astronomers does it take...? Photo by Lora.

I wondered how to sharpen my axe. It has a little rust. Felt dull. Maybe I'll ask for Trevor to help me.

Fred brought over a neat little manually operated splitter. However, after a few tries on our own, Lora broke the thing! A plate holding the latch mechanism fell off, three small black cap screws and spring washers falling to the ground. Phil and I fixed it with one of his Allan keys. The 3 bolts were enough to get it functional again.

I wanted a fire! No need to preserve one's night vision tonight... I split some kindling into small strips. Borrowed Phil's hatchet to feather the wood. I made a nice little fire in the deep pit. One match! Yes!

Had a late dinner. Lora and Phil did not have a grill so I made a little fry pan out of foil. Butterfly pork. Yummy. Tried to roast the corn but I burnt some of it and left another part undercooked. Still, it all tasted great.

It was dark when we did the dishes. Put all the food away. Knew better to leave my cooler outside the car.

We spent the balance of the evening at the low fire.

11-ish. I was feeling tired and headed to bed. Er, bag.

Fired up the beeswax candle lantern. Stuffed the sleeping bag with tomorrow's clothes.

One consolation of this poor weather is that I could get some sleep.


Posted via Phil's netbook tethered to his Blackberry. Thanks!

No comments: