Thursday, May 28, 2015

Frontenac Trip Reflection

The 3-day hiking trip to Gatineau park was one is certainly won’t forget. My group had a pretty easy time planning and made sure to pick simple meals that were dummy-proof! The weather was perfect, with all sunshine and basically no rain. It was one of the best camping trips I’ve been on.

When the bus first pulled up at the parking lot, the 2nd outdoor ed class was already waiting. As we started to unload our gear, I got pretty excited, as I saw how nice the lake and surrounding forest was. We got to spend 3 days in this, away from class and homework! Most of the 1st group looked as if they had a good time, but were definitely ready to go home! We spent about half an hour at the parking lot, swapping gear that our class needed and catching up on the past day’s events while the teachers restocked on provisions. Soon enough, the 2nd group got on the bus and headed home. We had been walking for about an hour until our first break, as everyone wanted to refill their water bottles. Mr. Brouwer then showed us how to use the water purification drops, which was a lot less complicated than I thought it would be! Our group stayed at campsite 4 on the first night, which had a really nice sunset over the water. It felt so good to take off my heavy pack and relax! Staying at this campsite was probably my favourite part of the trip, because the view and the weather was so nice. Our first meal of the night was hamburgers, which were already pre cooked, so it took only about 5 minutes after pulling them out of the container that we put them on plates. A warm meal was a perfect ending to the day. Clean up was super easy, since we only used a small pan and the plates. All the groups came together for a campfire at the end of the night, and I was so tired I fell asleep as soon as I went inside the tent.

We woke up early and a egg burrito breakfast, which turned out a lot better than I thought it would. The other 2 groups who stayed at the other campsite joined us soon after we finished packing up. I started off the day in pants, but soon put on shorts as it got warm really quickly. The hike on the second day was not that difficult or long, and we arrived at the lookout at around 12:30. The view was incredible as ate lunch on the cliff. It kind of gave me a better appreciation for the outdoors. After lunch, 2 groups stayed at the campsite and the rest of us continued on to go to campsite 9, which was about an hour’s hike away. We made it in good time, and found ourselves all set up for the night at about 3:00. After an hour, some of us decided to go swimming on the small beach. After screaming and running out of the water to warm my poor toes, I realized swimming may not have been my smartest decision. When I finally warmed up, we were going to make a quesadilla dinner, but we still had burgers leftover and were worried they would go bad, so we just ate those with some raw veggies on the side. Finding a tall enough tree proved harder than we thought, and it took us a good 45 minutes to find a tree and hang the bag high enough. Our rope was quite terrible for the job of hanging food, as it was kind of braided and we had a real difficulty pulling it higher when we got the bag over a branch. After that was finally done, most of the groups either went to their tents to talk or sleep. After all the day’s events, once again I was exhausted when I crawled inside my sleeping bag.

Once we all woke up and started packing our bags, I was really surprised at the difference in weight my bad had from the first day to the last. It felt like it was half the weight! For breakfast, we had run out of meat, so our projected breakfast was off the table. However, we quickly improvised with our remaining 6 tortilla wraps by throwing some nutella that another group had brought along and also put some peanut butter. Breakfast planning and preparation would definitely be the one thing that I would do differently on the next trip. We didn’t put the same amount of effort into our breakfast plan that we did for our dinner and lunch plans. The hike back to the parking lot was really short, and in no time we found ourselves back in the parking lot.
The Frontenac park hiking trip was definitely one of the best hiking trips I’ve been on, and I would go back again in a heartbeat.

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