Tag Archives: Nature

The 24 Hour Camping Adventure

What have I been up to, no one asks? Well, here you go:

This past weekend, I set out on a journey with some of my favourite people in the world. We went camping.

I had never been! Can you believe that? I think was the only person in our group who had never slept in a tent or even been to a campsite. I had to scrounge for sleeping bags and a spot in a tent off a friend in exchange for a ride up in my car. Thank god for that.

After the two hour drive to the park, we finally found our campsite. We only had to turn the car around twice, which was not bad since it allowed us to stumble upon this turtle:

It was huge and it snapped at us! Still awesome, though.

The rest of our day included struggling with camping equipment, checking out the “beach” (all rocks, no sand. Who needs sand, really?), and fending off the two middle-aged creepy guys who overstayed their invite for a quick game of beer pong on our campsite. I still don’t understand that entire situation.

This tent actually stumped the other experienced campers, it’s just a weird one!

Tents should really come with instructions.

Shallow, freezing, rocky water? Not a problem.

That beautiful gatorade bottle makes a cameo in 90% of the weekend’s pictures

We then headed out to the marsh to see if we could find another turtle. No luck, but there were some huge cranes flying overhead which were kind of neat.

did actually have friends with me on this trip! I just didn’t want to post any pictures of them without permission (since getting dolled up and going camping isn’t something we do) and sometimes I just get the urge to post something quickly.

Then we packed up and were on our way home by 11am on Sunday. A good weekend overall, but a few lessons learned:

Look up nearby hangover food places before hand. It was a 40 minute drive to the nearest one, but man that glorious Harveys in Port Hope more than made up for the long drive. You guys are awesome. That is all.

Oh and also, wear shoes, not sandals! Trust me on this one. The mosquito bites and the inevitably dirty feet aren’t worth showing off your cute and comfy Birkenstocks.

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Tree Planting?

In an effort to avoid going back to my old job by any means, I applied at almost every single listing on the Toronto Library “student summer job suggestions” page. Almost every summer job imaginable, that I could do with my clothes on, got an application from me. This included a reforestation company.

Yesterday, I received an email back asking if I could set up a phone interview. (Phone interviews=no sweaty handshakes!) So I googled a little about the job, because reading over an entire job description before applying is clearly too difficult for me.

Basically, I’d be committing to spending two months sleeping in a tent without internet access (le gasp!) or even 3G. Even any phone service, for that matter, is obsolete. Apparently they drive you into town on your day off (work 5.5, get 1.5 days off) so you can call home. Once a week. What is this, 1950? Oh, and the place is probably 5-8 hours away from my house.

Hyperventilating  aside, there’s something kind of nice about the opportunity to rid myself of these devices. How many hours have I wasted messing around online when I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet? (Hint: it’s 11:14am on a Saturday and I’m writing this from my bed.) How often do I have my nose buried in my phone, what am I missing from the real world?
Does anyone even remember how to entertain themselves without a computer, phone, television or video games anymore? We spent 3 weeks in a cable-less, phone service-less (well, at least for me, since Rogers is the worst company in the world, but that’s a whole different post) house in PEI last summer. Even then we had my 13″ laptop and some Harry Potter DVDs, thank god.

But for two months? Yikes.

At least I look great in plaid.

And then there’s the other facts. You get paid per how many trees you plant, not hourly. Some rookies who go up and quit after a week wind up owing the company money,  since you have to pay a daily fee for camp costs. A lot give up.
Then there’s the physical strain, since you have to carry all the little seedlings in bags around your waist. 6am is wake-up call. SIX AM. Even when I was scheduled for 6:45 shifts at my other job, I would roll out of bed somewhere around…oh…6:30?

I just can’t figure out if I’d be good at it or not. If the no internet/phone thing didn’t drive me insane outright, would I be able to make a decent amount of money?
I’m an efficient person. I’ve been told this many times. The secret to tree planting is refining your movements so they are purposeful, useful, and minimal, or so I’ve read. I’m pretty damn good at that. Anyone who’s ever seen me work a cash register knows that.
But then there’s the times where, after 2 hours of watering plants in 40 degree heat, I’d be all “what is this shit I want to go die” and slow down to a snail’s pace. Planting 2000+ trees a day seems a little…depressing.
I’m also actually pretty weak sometimes. I have blood sugar issues and feel faint easily, which gets super embarrassing and kind of dangerous if I’m alone.

Even though the idea of being able to make a semester’s tuition in 8 weeks is attractive, I think I might just send back a “thanks but no thanks, I’m a city girl and I always will be.”
I’m pretty sure they don’t want that one person on the bus who keeps going “Aww, is that a town? It’s so cute! Look how little it is!” Guilty.