Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not Under the Stars

I am not tempted to participate in very many memes although I usually comply when I am tagged. I did see a list of 100 things on Janet's blog, a bucket list of sorts. One is supposed to indicate which things one has done. Of course, I can seldom comply with meme rules exactly, so what I think I will do is grab some points from time to time and see what memories and thoughts they conjure. The whole list is here if you want to see it.

2. Slept under the stars

That was the second item on the list, the first being whether one has started a blog. Well duh, wouldn't everyone who were to pick up such a meme be a blogger by default?

Regardless, I've never done it: never slept under the stars. But I have certainly slept in a tent, and I think that's pretty close.

One time was when I was still nineteen years old. My friend and I had concurrent vacations, so we decided to spend them together: the first week at Expo 67 in Montreal, and the second camping in the wilderness that is Algonquin Park, which covers about 7 630 square kilometres (almost two million acres or 3000 square miles), in Ontario's near north. Our plan was to canoe some of the 2400-plus lakes and 1200 kilometres of streams, but we didn't get very far. We paddled for a day and then rested ... and rested. Boy, did we rest a lot.

While I'm almost certain that I have posted about the trip previously, I can't find it for linking purposes. Nevertheless, I'll cut the account a bit short and refer only on our very silly sleeping arrangement.

You see, this is bear country, and bears do like to scrounge about in campers' food supplies if they can possibly arrange it. My friend decided that, in order to protect our provisions, we should sleep with the food in the tent. While I thought it odd, he was the experienced camper, so I didn't question him. How would I know that you're supposed to hang your food pack out of reach in a tree? Otherwise a bear could possibly crash into the tent and maul those who stood (er slept) between him and a midnight snack. It was a very bad decision that could have led to disaster, but no bears sniffed around, and both we and our food remained safe.

This was to be my only experience of wilderness camping but not my only tenting experience, but I think that's enough for one post.


jinksy said...

When you mentioned tent, food and bers in the same sentence, I cringed at what might come next! So glad your furry friends were conspicuous by their absence.

jinksy said...

Botheration - BEARS...

Ruth said...

I have never been a fan of sleeping in tents. A tent trailer is fine, or a little cabin with no facilties...I just want to be off the ground. Bear attacks are rare, but certainly possible.

Anonymous said...

I did a lot of camping in my younger years and must admit to being absolutely blown away by the sky filled with stars on a hot summers night without a city light in sight. Now.. I must also admit to still enjoying the view... but am quite accepting of seeing it from the balcony of a hotel. :-)

Ginnie said...

It's interesting that you couldn't find the blog entry...because I am pretty sure I read about your mishap in the wild some time back.
Anyway, it's a good story.

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing that story!
Bears are lovely animals to look at ~ but from a good distance!
Glad no harm came to you both :-)

Donna said...

Thank Goodness you two were downwind!!!hughugs

Mary said...


I enjoyed your memory of your trip, but I can't believe that your friend decided to keep the food in the tent. You both could have ended up being a meal for a mean bear. Thank goodness that didn't happen.

I have slept under the stars. It was in the back woods of main and a friend and I were traveling to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia via the US on a motorcycle. There were no hotel rooms available and so we slept on picnic tables in a rest area. It was interesting, to be sure.

Our weather here was cold overnight but today was sunny and beautiful. A little chilly with the wind, but still a nice day to get outdoors.

Enjoy your weekend.

Lorna said...

I guess it could have been all right, at least for one of you, if you'd had bear bells tied to one of your limbs. When the bear came in and shook the first guy for the goodies, the other one could run like the wind

Kila said...

Whew, glad you didn't have a furry visitor that night!

Every summer we intend to take the boys out camping, but we never get around to it. We did a fair amount of sleeping in tents at various campsites before the boys came along.

Woman in a Window said...

You poor under-bear-experienced near city folk. Bet a raccoon kissed you and you didn't even notice it!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is still not too late to wilderness camp in Temagami!

As much as I like tent camping I have never enjoyed sleeping on the ground. Invariable I wake up with a painful back. May a night I have stayed up all night by the fire to avoid sleeping on the ground.

I made the longest portage in Algonquin Park with my 70 pound canoe and a 50 pound pack on my back. I thought I would never be able to straighten up again. Oh! to be young again.

Janet said...

Thanks for the linky love. At Ragtop's suggestion, I'm going to redo the list to things I think should be on it, as well as things I think would be good for the kids to experience (or not). I'll get right on that . . .

Of course, I take the weekend off and find you've done a lovely 5-part post about camping!
I'm assuming you did NOT go camping with this person again, given that you're still with us.