It was the best of adventure travel trips, it was the worst of trips, it was the age of peacefulness, it was the age of relentless mosquitoes buzzing in our ears, it was the epoch of light breezes, it was the epoch of gale force winds, it was the season of light, it was the season of downpours, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of when the hell are we ever going to get there, we had everything before us, we were never going to get there, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all screwed.
If you think this post is just a bad take off of Charles Dickens; you may be right. However, there is a point in here somewhere other than don’t plagiarize.
The last two summers I have taken virtually the same trip to Quetico Provincial Park and Lake Kawnipi in Ontario, Canada. Last year’s trip was quite eventful with voracious hordes of mosquitoes, high heat and humidity, torrential rain storms, and topped off with two days of 30 mph winds. The wind on big canoe lakes like Quetico turned out to be the most difficult obstacle.
This year’s trip, by stark contrast, was placid. In fact, we complained about the fact there were many days with no wind at all. Lack of wind is amazing for canoeing, but it can negatively affect the fishing.
We had a couple of storms, but they were almost benign, may be you could even call them cute. The storms hit in the late afternoon and evening and produced a couple of hours of rain, thunder, and lightening, but hardly any wind. Best of all, the mosquitoes were hardly a factor.
After the trip was over at a get together a friend asked me to compare the two trips. I had a great time on both trips as they both took me far into the interior of one of the most beautiful and pristine places in North America.
The big difference was last year’s trip was far more difficult thanks to conditions thrown at us beyond our control. We beat the elements. When the wind whipped up from the north we dodged the areas of extreme wind and waves by slipping in and out behind islands and into wind protected bays. When the mosquitoes became voracious we lathered on the dope, went to our tent, or canoed out into the lake.
Last year’s trek provided quite a bit of stories. This year’s trip, while beautiful and fun in its own right did not produce many memorable extreme adventures. In a way, this is good as who wants to swat away hordes of mosquitoes all night just for the sake of a good story. Yet, on the other hand, when a difficult trip is over where you persevered through difficult times, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. For us bloggers, it also gives us something interesting to write about.
Which type of trip do you prefer? Do you like to combat extreme obstacles or would you prefer everything to run smoothly? Please feel free and leave a comment about a trip where you beat the elements or unfortunate circumstances and succeeded in having a successful trip.
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