Yahoooooo . . . .as of about 2pm tomorrow I’ll be off-grid, offline and awfully happy for the next 10 days. I’m heading out on a 10 day camping and whitewater rafting trip and I couldn’t be more excited – about the rafting – oh yeah; the camping – for sure; being totally unplugged – jackpot!
I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve become an electro-gadget, social media, high-speed access junkie. Corporate blackberry, iTouch, laptop and oh yeah, my fav new toy, my smartphone . . love them. But I”m really excited at the idea of being unplugged and unconnected for a stretch of time. Time to slow down, get back into a different rhythm and get out of my head and into a simpler daily routine. I would miss my writing too much, so I’m taking an old school notebook with me, and hoping I have time for a few jottings . .but we will see about that.
Because one of the joys of getting into the backcountry is the sheer immediacy of life. It’s not about convenience anymore, most of your day is taken up with just living. Without power, without running water, without central heat, grocery stores and refrigerators, all of a sudden your days get really busy with the basic tasks needed to survive (and some fun adventurous stuff). And your nights – well let’s just say I’m seriously looking forward to a good 10 hours sleep a night – which is about as much as I get in any 2 nights when I’m in town. I’m one of those lucky people blessed with the gift of being able to sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime. And I love sleeping outdoors so much (I sleep with my patio doors open pretty much all year-long – an Australian legacy) that I always get a great nights’ sleep in a tent. Might not stay up too late, but sleep really well.
Last year when we were kayaking and camping in Baja we found out our first night the meaning of “Baja Midnight” – that’s 9:00pm. The sun goes down quickly in the hot, sunny countries and when you are camping on a desert island and have paddled all day in the sun . . .well 8pm seems like a darn fine time to go to sleep, and 9pm is, well, Baja Midnight. Conversely, we were up at first light and were treated to sights like schools of 100 or more dolphin swimming past our beach. It’s not a bad way to live, in time with the rising and setting of the sun.
We won’t be on a desert island this time, we will be a few hundred kilometres north and east of Vancouver, on the Nahatlatch River on the approach to the Stein Valley. Boston Bar is the nearest civilization.
We will be doing our white water rafting with Reo Rafting but we won’t be staying at their luxury cabins, heck no, we are at the Apocynum Forestry site. It’s basically an open patch in the forest next to the river. It has picnic tables and pit toilets and that’s basically it, oh except for the bears! But we are experienced campers – summer or winter – so I’m not overly concerned – we do careful bear caching and take lots of precautions.
And trust me, after the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island a few years ago, this will be a cakewalk. We went almost 48 hours without seeing another human soul on that trip – lots of bears, lots of cougar sign – when the hairs are standing up on the back of your neck you make tracks – fast – down the trail. But we also discovered one of my favourite campsites ever – Sombrio Beach – where we sat one night at sunset on the white sand, by our little twig fire, watching a pod of humpback whale feeding on the kelp bed just offshore. No money in the world can buy that experience. And don’t we look glamorous in our matching “hiking” shirts – they were brutal, heavy cotton, but a great joke from Boutique Value Village – I even love costumes when I’m hiking! We took this pic with the timer, I love it.
I’ll be taking lots of pic’s and you can be sure there will be a few stories after the trip. And you can also be sure that come July 31 I’ll be the most thankful person in the entire universe to have a hot shower and lie in my down-pillowed bed with a cold beer and my phone in hand. See you all in 10 days.
Here’s tonight’s soundtrack, You and Me and One Spotlight by Yellowcard.