Monday, September 17, 2007

Heading out on the lake

I spent today using way too many Ziploc bags. The last time I packed for a backcountry trip of this length, it was pre-kids. That would have been for a trip in Temagami Wilderness park in Ontario, or along the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, or the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit in north-central BC. This time, though, I'm packing food for six, not two, and the stakes are higher, because any misery or risk involves my children. Lots of Ziplocs. A really full Rubbermaid bin. Really really full.

In the bin are a lot of unmentionable chemicals which I'll mention anyway. Knorr pasta sauce, Simply Asian Teriyaki noodles and sauce, instant hot chocolate, Taco Time Fajita Seasoning, hydrogenated-oil coffee creamer (in the decaf-mocha mix), tang-like drink crystals and Quaker instant oatmeal. There's also some healthy stuff ... home-baked Canadian Trapper Bread, organic home-roasted coffee, organic dried fruit and nuts, buckwheat-and-whole-wheat pancake mix and bannock redi-mix with home-ground flour. There's a small cooler that will be coming as well, containing mostly cheese -- immense amounts of cheese!

The plan is to paddle the length of the lake along the western shore. If you have installed Google Earth, you can click on this bookmark and take a look at the lake we'll be travelling. The western shore is pristine wilderness, comprising the edge of Valhalla Provincial Park, a huge park of wild lakeshore, massive granite peaks, glaciers and dense old growth forest. We'll pitch our tents at various stops here and there along the shore as we progress down the lake and hopefully end up safe and sound in Slocan in a little under a week. Weather looks pretty good for this time of year -- night-time lows around 2 - 5 Celsius, daytime highs in the mid- to high-teens, a mix of sun, cloud and rain.

Yesterday Fiona knocked my beloved Nikon D70 digital SLR off the desk. While I cushioned its fall with a quick-thinking left foot, it's no longer functioning. It's two years and 5 days old, and I believe the warranty is 2 years. I am suffering immense grief, and will see what I can do to have it fixed after we return. I put the odds at 50:50 -- it is doing many things just fine (metering, focusing, flashing, opening the shutter) but won't close the shutter and process a captured image. So I'm using the old Canon PowerShot again, the one with duct tape holding it together, with a heady three quarters of a pixel resolution. It was a good camera in 1998, but that was eons ago in the digital world. The one really good thing about it, though, is that it fits in a Ziploc bag.


  1. Wow! That will be a great time I am sure. Looks very beautiful. Is this just you and kids or your dh too? Will you be picked up in Slocan? Can't wait to hear about the adventure when you return!

    So sad about your SLR and will keep my fingers crossed that it is fixable.

    Good luck :)

  2. It all sounds wonderful! Have a fantastic trip.

  3. The trip sounds like fun.

    Sorry to hear about the camera. I had some problems with my (Fuji) camera earlier this year and sent it in even though it was two months past warranty. I love my little camera and it felt weird sending it by mail into the great abyss (Toronto) without personal contact with anyone. They covered the repairs anyways, saying that there was a months grace period from the date the warranty was registered and it wasn't registered until [a month after it was purchased]. I was pleased and stunned at such excellant customer service. They ended up just replacing my memory card, for free, which I didn't buy with the camera anyways. Amazing.

    In any event I thought I'd mention my little camera story. Hopefully Canon's customer service has a similarly helpful system. :) Good luck with yours!

  4. Sounds wonderful, what an experience. I am a little bit envious. ;-) If you ever want it, I have a simple recipe for making your own instant oatmeal...although then it just goes into more ziploc bags. Ah well, plastic does have its uses.

  5. Ack...not your camera! Ohh, that hurts.

    Your back country trip sounds wonderful. Please update us when you get home. And have a great journey!

  6. So sorry about the camera, but there is something to be said about a camera fitting in a ziplock on a water-based excursion. I hope you all have a wonderful adventure. Safe travels.

  7. Debbie, yes, Chuck is coming. I don't think I'd be quite this brave on my own. We've got two vehicles, so we'll do a complicated boat-shuttle to get the boats to Hills, then a vehicle-shuttle to leave the second vehicle in Slocan. And then we'll repeat it all, in reverse, at the end.

  8. Sounds like great fun!

    I'm sorry about the camera--I know how I feel about my new camera. We gave the old one to N. and he left the charger in Illinois. I'll have to see about getting a new one.

    I'm glad you have the old camera. Safe journey and it will be great to read all about the trip when you get back.

    Happy boating!

  9. Don't know if I have missed you - but I wanted to wish you well on your trip.

    sorry about the camera - I live in fear of dropping mine.


  10. Good luck with Canon customer service. If you check out the 3 Woofs & a Woo blog you'll see that they are pita to deal with. But it's a nice camera & probably well worth repairing. and more......

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.


This blog is moving to archive-only status. Please consider posting comments instead at the active version of the blog at

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.