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What I did on my summer vacation..... 1796

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
What I did on my summer vacation.....
« on: May 26, 2007, 10:49:17 PM »
... Or at least what I did with today.  I have been meaning to do this for a while.  I dragged my wife out of bed, and before her eyes were open, whisked us off to (where else? :D) Canadian Tire to buy an inflatable boat.  From there we went to a Provincial Park/Campground that I used to go to every year with my family.  I haven't been there in almost twenty years, and so it was a good time.  I am visiting my parents in the next few weeks and I thought it would be nice to bring them some pictures of a place we all used to enjoy.

Well, as much fun as my wife and I had today (not to mention our first sunburns of the season!) , there was an element of sadness as well.  A few years ago a hurricane blew through my province (Hurricane Juan) and caused significant damage to much of the province.   I had heard that the park had been hit hard, but even so, I wasn't ready for what I actually saw. 

There is a small island which makes up about a third of the campground, and it was here that we used to go camping.  We always gravitated towards this one small "street" off to one side that only had three campsites on it- it was very quiet and the only folks who went down there were people who wanted to be away from everyone else.  It was a great place to camp, very peaceful, and we could let the dog roam free. 

When we used to go there, the island was as heavily treed as the rest of the park, and in some places the trees were so thick you couldn't get through them.  It gave an amazing level of privacy- in fact the whole place was one of the finest campgrounds we'd ever been at.

When we got there today I couldn't recognize the place.  The trees were all gone.  I don't mean they had thinned out, I mean that the small island that we used to camp on, which had so many trees you could barely make out the neon orange tent in the next site, now had maybe a hundred trees, and perhaps half of those were over 5 foot.  It was a terrible slaughter, and now I don't know if I want to put together a small photo album of the place as it is now for my parents.  Better they remember it the way it was.

Of course, as tragic as it was, my wife and I had a great time there today.  We found a nice spot near where my family and I used to set up camp (we had to walk down to the old sites because the gravel roads weren't the same as they used to be) and marveled at how my father used to back a 28 foot camping trailed on the back of a 17 foot long extended cab Ford pickup down into these spots.  Even without trees it would be a challenge! 

As soon as we found a nice spot, we started to inflate the boat.  It took a lot longer than it should have because the pump (electric tire pump I always keep in the car) wouldn't fit in the giant openings in the boat.  I've never seen such HUGE valves on a small 3 man inflatable boat, but then it's probably been about 20 years since I had one!  I had to use leftover napkins to enlarge the head of the tire pump to fill the hole (more or less!) and allow it to fill up.  My wife did her part and sat in the car and read her book!

Finally we got the boat pumped up (or at least as much as we could with my makeshift adaptor) and we went off to get it wet.  A little background first.  My wife is not terribly adventurous.  In fact, the very act of getting her to come out to this place with me and get in an inflatable boat and float around a local lake is to her as daunting as Indiana Jones' feats are to the average person, and I still believe she only went along with it because we were well on our way before she was awake and knew what was going on!

So off we went in the boat, out into the lake when I found out the hard way that my wife, who has only ever been in her father's 14 foot aluminum boat, does not know how to paddle.  At first I decided to just take the oars and drop them in the oarlocks and row, but that got old fast, and when my wife started saying how she felt much more comfortable with the prospect of a canoe trip down a local canal (Shubendacadie Canal runs the length of my province and ends in the lake across the road from my house- it actually ends less than a kilometer away in Halifax Harbour, but that goes under the downtown part of the city, a place that no one wants to end their trip!) so I decided if she were game for that, then she was gonna damn well learn to paddle! :D

All in all, we spent an hour or so on the lake, getting burned and enjoying the peacefulness of bobbing on the waves, occasionally broken by the wake of a passing motorboat.  It was a good day and I enjoyed it, although it wouldn't be hard to improve on it.  With some kind of adaptor for example, I could have blown the boat up as much as it was supposed to be inflated, and it wouldn't have been so "saggy" feeling.  Not a big deal as the wife liked it enough, and is willing to go again, and more importantly, the canoe trip I have been wanting to take for the last seven years- basically, since moving back here when we got married.  I'd always wanted to take the dogs on a nice canoe/camping trip like that, and I was seriously depressed last year when one of my dogs died and I hadn't had the chance to do it before.  Now I am much more motivated, and maybe since the wife isn't terrified at the prospect, it is a strong possibility now!

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 10:51:16 PM »
In the first couple of pictures you can see how heavily treed the area is.  This is well off the lake, near the highway that you take to get to it.  This picture shows some of the devastation.

The day looks rather grey in these pictures, but it really was bright and hot and sunny today!

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 10:54:15 PM »
Here's a little jackrabbit that I spotted while driving through the park to the island.  My wife didn't see him leap into the bushes so I stopped the car and jumped out- this was the only shot I got of him.  She loves animals as much as I do, and she's such a peaceful person that wild animals like this jackrabbit have actually come up to her in the past.  This one didn't mind you- he took off into the woods when he saw we weren't just driving past.

If I'd had my good camera instead of my "beater" I'd have snapped a picture of this guy from alot farther and been able to zoom in on him rather than trying to snap his pic while he ran in terror!

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 11:01:33 PM »
Each of the three campsites that we used to camp at had these little stepping stones going out into the water that my brother and I would use as makeshift docks for the small inflatable boats we used to play in.  I was glad to see that they were still im place- in fact, I even remembered which rocks were wobbly!

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 11:01:54 PM »
Almost there....

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 11:02:25 PM »
Almost there......  I think I need a bigger compressor!

 :grin:

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 11:04:00 PM »
This shoreline used to be so dense with trees that if you landed the boat there, you couldn't go more than three feet inland.  Next time we go there I'll get some better pics, but as you can see, the trees were cleared out by the thousands.

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 11:07:00 PM »
That was how I spent my day.  I plan to put a few more miles on that boat in the near future, and I can guarantee that I'll have my camera handy too...

And in case anyone was wondering, the only thing I brought with me was a Wenger Backpacker- no multitool.  I didn't think I'd need one on an inflatable raft, and I was right!  If I had decided to bring one, it likely would have been the Leatherman Hybrid because the bright color would help me find it better if I dropped it in the water, and the pruning shears might have helped to clear any trails left between me and the water.  The old trails were still there, but no trees left to be pruned back!

Def

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2007, 11:40:24 PM »
Here's a pic from the official website for the park.  We were on the left side of the island in this picture.



Def

No Life Club Posts: 3,994 Improvise.
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2007, 11:44:22 PM »
*makes me want to move north*  

I've seen 5 year old boys jump in a boat and actually be helpful rowing, but physics is lost on Women once they get a paddle in their hands...they give it that limp wristed 1/4 of the paddle in the water technique that gets more water in the boat than anything...


[
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2007, 11:53:03 PM »
Well, I'd like to point out that I have known plenty of women that could handle a paddle- I just for some reason didn't marry any of them! :D

But yeah, boys do seem to be more adept at these skills on the whole.

My wife did also complain loud and often that her butt was wet- which I have no idea how that happened, I mean, it's not like we were anywhere near water!   >:D

Def

Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,429 Aggressive in defence
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 09:34:45 AM »
Great post Def , glad you had a good time , looks really nice there  ;D After looking at your boat your a lot braver than I thought  ;)


Dunc
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2007, 12:58:31 PM »
Lakes are no problem... and I don't think we went more than 50 metres from shore...

Oceans are a different matter entirely!   ;D

Def

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,276
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2007, 04:50:12 PM »
Sounds like a wonderful time Def, thanks for sharing! Gosh, I just love those type of sentimental journeys combined with a bit of adventure. Too bad the place had been ravaged so bad by the hurricane...I imagine it was quite a shock to see. But still, it sounds like there were several unchanged things to reminisce about, like the wobbly rocks and the old campsites. What fun!

Geez, that makes me want to load the family up and head over to our old spot on the river for a picnic tomorrow.   :)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 60,971 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What I did on my summer vacation.....
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2007, 06:04:32 PM »
Yeah it was a great time and I'll always have the skin cancer to remember it by! :P

That wasn't the first time I got burned there, but it was probably the fastest!  That was probably the only place that I hadn't gone to yet since I moved back.  I'm pretty certain that I've been everywhere else we used to go, and I am even planning on getting a picture of the old money pi... uh I mean house!

We lived here for 6 or 7 years in the mid to late 80's and I've tried to take pictures of as many things as possible to take home and show my folks.   It's kind of neat to go back to a place and see how much it's changed over the years.

Def


 

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