The outdoors means so many different things to so many different people. Sure I like to hunt and fish but I also rely on the outdoors to provide me with means to recharge and reboot the internal hard drive. Sometimes in life, you need these moments more than others. The great outdoors and Mother Nature is always there to provide me with my “outdoor therapy.”
On one such occasion when I was starting to feel worn down and not myself, needing a little break from the rigors of work. It was time to get outside and play. But what should I do?! Go explore a new lake, hike to a new destination, drive down a dirt road to find a campfire spot, fish some rivers, or rent a canoe for the weekend and paddle to an island to sleep under the stars. I though the last option was just what my soul needed to satisfy my sense of adventure.
It was a beautiful day near the end of September. The bugs were just starting to taper off, and the forecast for the weekend was looking perfect. My girlfriend and I packed up all of our gear and our faithful huskies into the car. I was already starting to feel myself again just from packing up the vehicle knowing that our next destination is out of the city limits. This was going to be a great adventure surrounded by the sights and sounds of wildlife and fish and the smells of the trees and campfire. Looking through the back roads map book, we picked a new lake we hadn’t been too before. It looked like it had a perfect sized island on it that we were going to try get to, to do a bit of fishing and spend the night star gazing.
Once we reached our destination we began to unload all of our gear into the canoe to set off. Except one thing was missing; our tent! This just made our adventure that much more exciting. We decided to just go with it and figure out a shelter once we arrived on the island. It was a short, but difficult 5 km paddle to the island trying to balance all of our gear and the two dogs. We arrived at a beautiful small little island surrounded with black spruce trees and moss. We unloaded all of our gear and started getting down to business with making a shelter right away so that we would be able to fish all day and not have to worry about making a shelter in the dark.
We made a lean to shelter out of dead fallen spruce trees and used pine bows for padding and comfort underneath us. It was a good thing the bugs were almost gone and that the temperatures were just right so we were able to have a comfortable sleep outside under the stars. A perfectly cozy shelter for the two of us to sleep in with our 2 dogs was completed with enough time to head out to do a bit of fishing.
Paddling the shore line we ducked in to let the dogs off so they could follow us on the lake’s edge while we fished. We reeled in a few tiny perch and a couple medium sized pike that were all released. Just as the sun was starting to set, a monster pike came up and snapped my friend’s line. I don’t know what’s worse, not seeing how big the fish was and losing it, or seeing how big it was then losing it. Either way the adrenaline rush is such a thrill, even just being the spectator.
We decided to call it a night as the sun was setting so we got the campfire going to start making some supper. Campfire meals are my favourite. We were able to watch the sun set from the island while we enjoyed our campfire cooked meal accompanied with a cup of hot chocolate. I was tired from a long day of adventuring and I couldn’t wait to sleep in our shelter we made. I fell asleep listening to the crackles from the fire and hearing the fish jumping in the distance under the light of the moon and the stars. This