Camping is mostly about drinking, lazing, waiting to eat, eating, waiting to eat again, and sleeping poorly. It’s actually a lot of fun, but it’s hard to convey this fun to others, so I’m not going to try. I’m going with the easy out: bullet points. Jorge is braver and more diligent than I am, so for a more complete version, swing round to his joint.
Highlights from last weekend’s trip to Algonquin.
- On the way out, Isha and I stop for dinner in Eganville at a place called The International Meeting Place. Our food—grilled cheese and a hamburger—is prepared in a microwave. During the meal, a very obese man marches in and announces something like, “Oh jeez—you know Joey with the gimp leg? He just hit Morris’s station wagon and drove the damn thing clear through the garage!” He immediately moves on to inform the rest of the town. Isha tries to check the signal on her phone, but before it’s even half way out of her purse the waitress calls out, “Oh you won’t get a signal out here!” Clearly, we’re not from around these parts. Back in the car, we decide that Isha is not only the first Asian person ever to step into the International Meeting Place, but probably the only person of any discernable ethnicity to have stepped foot in Eganville.
- On these trips, Jorge and I have a bad habit of finding one joke, and repeating it over and over again. Two years running, it’s been all about The Family Guy. This year, we broaden our material a bit, but it’s still from limited source material. 2005’s jokes all revolve around: Rubber Johnny, Rejected, the song
, and the idea that when not physically in someone else’s presence, Jorge and I are almost certainly having sex. We discuss making shirts for next year with the caption Algonquin 06 – One Big Gay Joke. Moonlight Bay
- In the Algonquin interior, this is your bathroom:
- Although it all tastes quite good, all the meals that Isha and I prepare look like garbage. Not true actually, one of them looks like vomit, but none actually resemble garbage. We have Kung Pow Chicken that looks like spaghetti, scrambled eggs that look like they were dropped in mud, and an extremely soupy Rice Pilaf. Of all our freeze dried meals, I like vomit best.
- I try my hand at whittling. It goes poorly. We decide that my carving is the Island Idol. Later, we burn the Idol. Later still, the angered Idol brings about the storm of the century from its seat in hell.
proves to be the superior whittler. She carves some kind of double-sided, mildly phallic stake. Dennis asks to see it, and when she throws it over she almost starts a crucifixion. Lorraine
- It’s actually impossible to bring too much alcohol when camping. You will run out. Especially if this guy is with you.
- Tien, Jorge, and I try our hand at knife throwing. After about thirty minutes, we manage to start throwing our knives into the ground on a fairly reliable basis. Wildly overestimating our skills, we decide that we can probably start hitting a tree stump at fifteen paces.
- We’re wrong.
- After a day away, Brad returns to our site. As requested, he returns with relatively frozen Freezies—no small feat as it’s at least two hours by canoe. Sadly, he drops the ball on his bucket of chicken promise.
- The last night, due almost surely to our angering of the Idol, the storm of the century hits. I wake from a dead sleep to simultaneous blinding light and deafening thunder and I almost fill my drawers but don’t. “Hold me,” Brad says, and we laugh (but remain totally on edge). The lightening moves off but rain starts hammering the tent. “There's no way I’m sleeping after this,” Jorge says. About nine seconds later, he’s comatose.
- We all sleep about four hours tops. After breakfast, we pack up our sodden gear, grind out the canoe trip back, stop at the Portage Store for well deserved burgers and beer, then hit the road for home.
All photos courtesy Figtography