So the topic for December first is the best trip of 2009. For me, this has to be the secondish annual backwoods camping.
Four friends and I packed ourselves off to Kejimkujik National Park for three days. The hour plus drive involved the usual "funmobile" dance party, plus a stop at the General Store for the boys to buy beef jerky and the girls to sort through the shelf of trashy romance novels, hopefing to find a gem of good reading amongst them (alas, no such luck). Upon our arrival at the park, we hiked the three kilometers into the woods to get to our lovely isolated campsite.
We spent Friday and Saturday setting up camp, cooking corn on the cob and ridiculous amounts of crazy stirfry, swimming across the lake (sort of a habit of ours), and taking twenty questions to new levels of meta-ness (I had them stumped on "Tuesday" for hours).
We also suffocated in our ridiculously stuffy tent, and wrote a long and random entry in the campsite log (a journal stored in the outhouse for every site visitor to add to). We did not get eaten by any bears, or see any live turtles crossing the road (it only takes two years to stock up a whole host of backwoods camping in-jokes).
Sunday, however, was a whole other kettle of fish. See, there was this hurricane coming our way... I believe that by the time it hit us, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, but it was still pretty intense. Unfortunately, the rain started before we had quite managed to get everything packed up, so we had to deal with wet gear. And by the time we hiked the whole way out, we were very soaked ourselves!
Already being wet, we decided that it was an ideal time to go for an afternoon swim, which we followed up with a meal of bannock, fruit, and cheese. We also got some tourists to take a group photo of us all looking like drowned rats.
So, why was it the best trip of the year? A whole bunch of reasons. It was one of the few times this summer that I got out of the city, and not only did I escape to the rural area of home, but got all the way to the peace and beauty of the backwoods. Hiking 3 km while carrying 30-35 pounds of gear on your back is a serious ego boost (If I can do this, I can do anything!). I loved the pure adventure of the weekend: I love roughing it, I love challenging myself, I love being able to say that I went backwoods camping in a hurricane. I love everything about camping; tents and swimming and campfires and camp food and actually being able to see the stars and just EVERYTHING. But the main reason why it was the best trip: I love those kids. No one could ask for better friends, and having a whole weekend together all to ourselves is just the best thing. :)