Sunday, May 31, 2015
PAD30 CANOE TRIP REFLECTION
Preparation for this trip began a few weeks before, in which we would organize food and tenting groups. There were no issues dividing the class into these groups, and picking the meals went smoothly as well. We decided to go with eggs and bacon for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner. We chose these meals because not only would they be nutritious for the group on larger travelling days to maintain energy, but they are also meals that can be made quite easily for a large group of people. Finding a tent for our larger group also went smoothly, both Neal and Jake have quite large tents so we were able to find a tent easily. Overall the planning for this trip went smoothly and we were able to move onto preperation for the trip. While packing our food for the trip, we noticed we had purchased a very large amount of food, and we had troubles packing it all. We ended up managing to pack all of the food, however we had to use multiple barrels. One barrel was full of only bread and bagels, which shows how much food we really had. Luckily, other groups didn’t have nearly as much food as our group, so we were able to finish packing with all of our food. The bus ride to the drop off went smoothly, unlike last years hiking trip in which the bus got lost. We arrived at the drop off on time and were ready to begin canoeing just after loading the canoes with our gear, however we were all in for a surprise with the wind when we began canoeing. Nobody was quite prepared for the waves we would face while crossing the first lake as they were bigger on the water than what they had first seemed. With only some issues getting to the first short portage, everyone was okay with the first more challenging paddle as nobody flipped, however there were a few close calls. While crossing the next big lake on the first day, we tied all of the canoes together then held up tarps as sails which ended up working very well. We arrived at our campsite quite early in the day still which gave the cooking group plenty of time to prepare food while everyone else set up their tents. We chose the campsite that was farther away from the rest of the group which made travelling from site to site a lot more work, therefore most of the time we stayed to ourselves at our site. That night we ended up collecting a lot of wood for a larger fire which was very nice to get warm by after a long windy day. The next morning it was our group’s turn to cook breakfast, we ended up making bacon and eggs and bagels for the group which worked out quite well. Warren, Cameron and I all left to go to the main campsite at about 7:00am to prepare breakfast, while the rest of our group spent time taking down the tents and packing everything. Everyone enjoyed breakfast except there was a shortage of the bacon, which may have been due to my handing out too much bacon to those who first began coming for food. This caused there to be not enough bacon for those who came later, however I learned from this and made sure this wouldn’t be an issue when we made dinner and lunch the following days. The rest of the day was mainly a success, despite a few issues the whole group faced while portaging. The first part of the day’s travels went well, along with a fun time at high falls and the water slides, as well as this our group made grilled cheese for lunch which also was done efficiently for the whole group. The later part of the day didn’t go quite as smoothly as we faced issues while portaging, especially during the last one of the day. Once the canoes and packs were across the portage, many groups filled their canoes and immediately left so there could be room for other canoes to be placed in the water and filled. This would have been okay if it was only one or two completely full canoes that left, however it was much more than that as almost every canoe in the group left before even going back to ensure everything was across. This error put us about an hour behind schedule, however we all learned from this and made the rest of the portages go much more smoothly. The second night went just as planned, dinner was made quickly and everyone sat out by the fire until about 11:00pm and then went to bed for the next day. The third day’s travels were much shorter than the other days, however before arriving at camp we had to face our longest portage. The long portage was much easier than I had thought it would be, we did it without facing too much difficulty and even helped another group of students on the way. With everyone going back to get more packs about twice each, this portage was made much shorter and done more successfully than any of the previous days portages. The rest of the day’s canoeing was very nice as we passed through a ravine in which was a very nice spot to enjoy a snack and the sun. That day we arrived at camp early enough that dinner and lunch could both be made at the site. Our group was responsible for dinner, which we had made later than usual because of the late lunch. We made spaghetti and salad, however at that point we realized we had forgotten to pack the garlic bread we purchased which was a mistake for the dinner. Luckily, we had enough food that everyone could eat enough and still be full. Everyone seemed to enjoy our dinner and dessert as everything we brought for it was gone, which made it easy to bring back any containers we used. The rest of the night was also just normal as we sat by the fire and had a nice time on our last night. The final canoe to the bus was much colder than anything we had previously faced, there was even snow on the lake which was actually quite interesting to see despite the cold. The paddle to the bus was much shorter which gave us a lot of time to pack the canoes and packs, then begin the bus ride home which mostly consisted of the group sleeping. Overall, this trip was an excellent experience and a fun time for everyone. The hard work was worth it in the end as it was an excellent trip.