Monday, July 6, 2009

I have mosquito bites on my face but I'm still smiling

What happened to us (me, Luc and the couple we were camping with) on Friday was nothing short of the biggest heartbreak we've suffered all year. Our campsite was FULL. We toiled away behind our desks all day with visions of roasted marshmallows dancing in our heads while troops of youngsters (I turn 25 on Sunday, I can say youngsters) flooded into the campgrounds, securing every last open site. Yes, I recognize that I'm being melodramatic, but we had been anticipating this Cat Lake camping trip ever since we left the site last year (it's become an annual tradition). I've previously mentioned how Luc was so excited for this trip, he started packing about 2 weeks beforehand.
So while other fellow-deserted campers were glued to their Blackberries, researching other sites in the area, the 4 of us were lamenting over our loss. We weren't interested in one of those commercialized, family campsites that are essentially parking lots with sporadic groupings of trees. Cat Lake is half way to Whistler, where my parents have a cabin, so I made a call to let them know that they might be spending the weekend with us, lighting torches on the front lawn. Fortunately, my resourceful father had another option for us....and after following his sketchy directions, taking a few wrong turns up narrow, cross-country ski paths (whoops!), stumbling upon a huge waterfall and then the ensuing 45 min trek up a bumpy goat path, we finally arrived here:
All we wanted was a secluded site with a lake on which we could float aimlessly, drinking in our Canadian Tire, blow-up, plastic boats. After all, Luc bought a green pool noodle with the intention of cutting it up to fashion a floating cooler, and we didn't want his ingenious design to go to waste. What we got was a majestic lake in the foothills of a snow-capped mountain range, surrounded by dense forest. The lake itself was expansive and peaceful with a rushing creek hidden around the corner, the perfect locale for our beer chairs. At night, the moon hung low and lit the area with a vibrant light that bounced off the lake and drenched the trees in an eerie glow. The night-sky was a mosaic of vivid constellations, shooting stars, and satellites, all set against a black backdrop, freckled with stars of every size. Everything was perfect...except the population of angry mosquitoes. Luckily, they were only out at dusk and in the mid-morning. This was still long enough to sustain bug bites on every inch of my body - including my face and scalp. And ankles. And between my toes. And my knee pits. And one crafty bugger got me right between the fingers.

The weekend fulfilled every dream I had been coddling since last summer - I wiped my ketchup stained face all over my hoodie after gorging on hot dogs, we feasted on burgers, set marshmallows aflame, then washed it all down with drinks cooled in the creek. On Saturday we pushed off from the shore in our blow-up boats and we were so relaxed under the midday sun that we unknowingly floated across the entire lake. A few drinks later and a light breeze made paddling back quite the feat of strength and endurance. I came in last (not that it was a race or anything), but I did make a pit-stop at some guy in an inner tube who provided me with sustenance...many would argue that the extra drink was a hindrance to my paddling abilities, but I made it back with a smile on my face and a free margarita, so I'm still a winner!

I'm still in relative shock that we all made it back without any major (or even minor) burns. The boys had a good time with the torches, and us girls had a good time watching from a safe distance! When I heard the news that Cat Lake was full, my spirits were a bit crushed, but I knew we would work something else out. The weekend was a success and I think we might head back to Callaghan Lake again this summer...but maybe we'll have to buy a Hummer first to survive that road in. Seriously, it was bad. Our speed ranged from standing still outside the car surveying the rocky gully in front of us, to a roaring 15 km/hr on the "smooth" parts of the always-bumpy trail. If anyone is interested, I might post some pics or videos.

Being back in the office after a great weekend is always tough, but I have a mountain-high to do list to keep me occupied and some amazing pictures to gawk at when I get bored. I noticed that my calendar says 33 more days of work until I'm free, which is great, but that means 33 more days of work until I'm back in school. And once I'm back in school, that means less than a year until our wedding. Lots to do! For now though, I'll just sit at my desk, scratching my bug bites and staring at our camping photos.


  1. so i gotta admit i've started reading this blog of yours! And i like i like! also - i can empathize with the challenges of driving up to callaghan lake. It's a BRUTAL road. and there are definitely gulleys that need to be negotiated a quite severe angles especially with non hummers. but it's a beautiful view once you get there!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful weekend. *smile*

  3. Glad you're still with us. :)

  4. Thanks girls :) I'm wishing I was back there right now!

  5. Smart father, and WE girls should thank him for his suggestion.


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