Monday, July 24, 2006

Writing Update

Whew! It's been a slow month for writing for me. Between camping and fixing up ournew trailer we've been busy.

So what am I working on? Moose man first of all. it's due by August 15th, though I'm hoping to have it done by the weekend. Then I have to work on the next dragon Wing book. I should have had it done ages ago.

Also I have to polish up a submission - courting damnation - and send it in.

Between camping trips that is.....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Camping again

Well I got one step closer to being one of those wilderness chicks that I so admire. On Wednesday night we dropped the kids and dogs with my parents and went camping. Unfortunately, due to car troubles we didn't get to the put in until 8PM giving us only an hour to unload, canoe around the lake and find a campsite, then set up, before it got dark.

We managed, barely. We arrived at the put in to Big East Lake only to find the parkinglot full....and since I knew there weren't many campsites, and all of which were at least 1/2 hour paddle away, we decided to try the smaller lake across the highway...Bentshoe. At the end of the lake we found a great campsite (or it would have been if previous occupants hadn't left garbage and about 4 cases of empty beer bottles.) Our dinner was cooked in pitch black (thought thank goodness we remembered that we'd forgot to pack a flashlight and bought a new one on the way there!) Steak for Chris, pork chop for me and beans. Yum. Then we went out to this little rocky spit and layed down to look at the stars. (after rescuing our sleeping bag from the lake since it had sort of rolled away once it got set down.)

Ok, so I admit I was awake half the night listening for the sound of a bear lumbering through the underbrush. Lucky for me the night was full of the sound of bullfrogs and loons (though I gotta say, it did sound like about a dozen loons were being attacked on Big East)

I got up early and decided to brave the bathroom...(a wooden box with a hole cut in the top.....) then took the camera out and got some pictures while Chris was still asleep. We ate our breakfast on the rock where we'd watched the stars the night before then packed up.

Was it the backwoods experience I was hoping for? Not really. The garbage left on the site, the herds of girl guides (or whatever) tromping through the nearby portage into Poker Lake (did you know that aluminum canoes bouncing off rocks sounds a lot like the tail gate of a dumptruck slamming shut?), and the highway sounds sort of took away from that, but it was still a blast. Next time we'll get there earlier and portage into the other lakes where hopefully it will be less noisy.

Now...back to work I go! Much writing to do!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

yikes! A month since my last post?

Holy crap!

Sorry about that. I was having issues.....wrist issues, computer issues and mental issues....I was exhausted basically.

This past weekend we went camping with some friends at Emily Provincial Park. It was the annual Bolerama - a gathering of campers with those cool boler trailers. Our friends have a Boler and we're looking for one but they are super hard to find. When you do find one for sale they are sold within minutes.

The weather was great. The kids had a blast and haven't stopped asking when we're going camping again. If it was up to me I'd be camping every day of the summer but I know that's not realistic. In my head I'm a rustic, wilderness chick who can handle lugging gear across swampy portages. In my head I can face down bears, cook gourmet meals on a firepit and handle the lack of a toilet.

In reality, I'm terrified of bears. If I saw one I'd pee my pants and the bear would probably think that killing me would be the most humane thing it could do. I also know that peeing in the woods isn't my greatest skill, and though I can cook on a fire, it's mostly hotdogs on a long stick. I have piles of books on camping, canoe routes and wilderness cooking - and I have them pretty much memorized. One day I'll get out there and prove my ruggedness, but for now I'll stick with campgrounds where the most wildlife you see is a skunk or raccoon and where the tents are closer together than houses in the city. It's sad, I know.

If anyone is looking for books on wilderness canoe trips in Ontario, I'd highly recommend Kevin Callan's Paddler's guide series. I have them all and pull them out every spring and dream. I took a photography workshop with Kevin (mostly because I have his books and wanted to meet him) and he's a great guy. All the canoe route descriptions are detailed and full of humorous stories of his own times traveling on them.

Here's a list of his books
Cottage country Canoe Routes
Up the Creek - Paddler's guide to Ontario
Further of the Creek - Paddler's guide to the Rivers of Ontario and Quebec
Brook Trout and Blackflies - Paddler's Guide to Algonquin Park
The Happy Camper - Essential Guide to Life Outdoors
Ontario's Lost Canoe Routes
Gone Canoeing - Weekend Wilderness Adventures in Southern Ontario
A Paddler's Guide to Killarney and French River

There's another one coming out in August as well...