Thursday, September 09, 2010

misty day at Mew Lake

Didn't sleep well. But then I rarely sleep well at my first night camping.

Was warm enough.

I had to chase a coon away at one point, as he carefully unzipped my car emergency duffle bag, extracting the first aid kit and tow rope. Searching for emergency fruit bars. Crafty critters. Incredible scent detection. Moved the bag to the car. Kickin' myself.

Tossed and turned. Was feeling frustrated, in the middle of the night. Stared at the ceiling (peak). Listened to the rain. Might as well work, I concluded. Optimised my packing list on the palmtop. Made a new (inclusive) category specifically for the Annual Algonquin Adventure.


I'd like to know, who sets their car alarm such that it goes off, not once, but twice, in the middle of the night at a campground. Humans, not thinkin' ahead. Humans, not thinkin' of others. Not giving a rat's ass... And what car camper allows their smoke alarm to go off in the early morning. Toast burning jackasses. At least that was at a more civil time in the morning.


Heard the crew rustling about in the morning. But I slept in a little. Felt good.

10 AM. Finally got up. I was greeted by Skeena! Demanding her first belly rub of the day. Then human smartasses: "Good afternoon!" Made my big (but not huge) breakfast: blake muffins! I learned that Phil was so is interested in my breakfast (having seen it at the CAO) he brought his own supplies. The Padawan learner is going to try to make the sandwiches for himself. Meanwhile, Fred was drooling over my shoulder.

Made up some Mexican organic java in the bodum. So good! So brilliantly good in the fresh air. So fxxxxxx good! Joy.

Lora revealed a batch of homemade Nanaimo bars, just for me. Delicious! Dank ew! For her first attempt, they were awesome. I hid them.

11 AM. Electrician came by to fix the 15 amp service. GFCI zapped by lightning. A little irked, Phil said it only taken them 2 days. I was pleased to hear we were up to full power, in case I needed to recharge lead acid batteries. Had 3 with me! If it every stopped raining, that is.

I put up my portable picnic table to afford us some additional space. Especially if four of us were to have dinner at the (one) park picnic table. Put up the umbrella too so to offer some cover from the rain.

Brought out my portable weather stations. Partly to keep an eye on the Oregon. It can issue extreme weather alerts. It showed a black disk for the new Moon. Hopefully we can enjoy it soon. Looked like a good day for a duck. The OneWorld air pressure was way off...


To the old train trail (via bike rental shop). Photo by Lora.

Phil wanted to go for a bike ride. After finishing off my coffee, I readied the bike and myself, but couldn't find my chain oil! Was certain I had it! I searched the car cabin and trunk. Looked in the tent. Searched again. Gone. Searched again. Vanished. I didn't want to hold them up but Phil suggested we visit the bike rental shop. The young man accepted my request for some assistance. We gave him a small tip. The bike worked pretty good.

Katrina, Kiron, Phil, and myself were on our way. We took the Old Railway Bike Trail, the abandoned bed of the historic Ottawa, Arnprior, and Parry Sound Railway, opened in 1896. Both Kiron and I were surprised to learn the trail was not a loop.

After travelling about 11 km, one way, from the bridge at the base of Whitefish Lake, we turned around and headed back. There were many pleasing vistas, wonderful smells, and interesting mushrooms. I imagined riding the old train through the woods.

It was cool and misty. The weather continued to be very unsettled. Fortunately, we did not get dumped on.

On the return, Phil and I played bicycle repair men. We fixed Kiron's front tire after a puncture. "I've got a brand new tire repair kit and you've got a brand new pump..." If it hadn't been for Phil's patch kit and my mini pump, it would have been a 10 km slog for Kiron!

Bumped into Stuart N on the way back. He had arrived with his wife and their (relatively new, massive) RV rig.

It was late in the afternoon when we returned to home base.

I took Phil's excellent suggestion to heart but then I couldn't find my mobile phone. Was getting frustrated not being able to find stuff! He let me call Tony on his crackberry. I asked if Tony had chain oil. He did. They were due late Friday.


Lora offered me dinner. Very generous. Shank stew, very tasty. She found pasta in the shape of stars! Closet astronomer, I swear. Homemade bread. In short order, I was stuffed. And there were still leftovers.

Kiron asked about where to keep the loaner Dob. I was OK with it staying in the car. Made sense in that we'd take everything to the beach together (if it ever clears).

I reminded Kiron that he needed to collimate the Newtonian. Offered to help him with it. Encouraged him to do it in the daylight. Asked if there was a pinhole collimator. He wasn't sure.

He in turn said I could do mine too and asked if he could help. I pointed out that while collimating a SCT is a two person job normally done at night on stars it was a risky affair. I said that the person at the front could drop the Allan key onto the corrector plate and that the person at the back needed to know how to analyse diffraction rings. I don't think was as graceful as possible. I asked Phil if he'd help. I also argued that while being familiar with the procedure was fine, he really needed to focus on the process for a reflector, so to not muddy the waters.

Dave R dropped by, as we were eating. He wanted to introduce himself and pay for SkyTools but apologised about his timing. We agreed to rendezvous later. Before he left, I asked about his deep discharge batteries. He said he had not used both but the one worked very well.

Deers caught in the headlights. Photo by Lora.

Phil helped me get AC power to the tent. Glad I brought my blue extension cord...


8:30 PM. I was in my tent. I was tired. Damp too. I wanted to dry off. Warm up the tent with the candle lantern. Needed a break. Needed some solo time. To catch up on blogs, do some reading. Do some astro-planning.

Got quiet at one point... Wondered where they went.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: AAA packing list.
Hope you included basil and S'Mores maker.