Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Algonquin Trip: Day One

After hauling my gear from Union Station to Yorkdale Mall, I had a little nap while I waited for my ride. With two full backpacks, a paddle and two drybags, going to the washroom is trickier than you’d think, so I paid a kid a dollar to watch my gear. Thanks, kid.

Fast forward to arriving at so-called Rain Lake in the dark. Four of us with two canoes were meeting another 12 guys on an island somewhere up-lake. The sky was crazy overcast, but the moon was so full that we had a TONNE of ambient light. It turns out that we needed it. We had a wicked strong headwind and a strong current fighting us all the way out to the windiest island that has ever been windy.

The island site was large with a giant chimney on it (from a former cabin) and the firepit was nicely situated in the windiest part of the site. I met most of the guys whom I hadn’t met before, set up my tent, sat by the water for a bit enjoying being out of the city, and when I went to bed at 2am, there were flurries.

Cold air + down sleeping bag = a good night’s sleep… usually. I would sleep only three and a half hours.


2 Comments so far

  1. schmidty June 14th, 2006 3:30 pm

    I never really considered the wind issue on the island. I was more concerned with finding a place for 16 guys. The wind was definitely an issue at that site – next time high winds and cold weather = no island site.

  2. Dave June 14th, 2006 4:37 pm

    It was a gorgeous site too, Jon. No question it would have been great if it wasn’t for the unseasonal icy hurricane-force winds. You guys wouldn’t have been able to predict that when you struck camp either.