A Mixed Bag
Author's note: Going on this trip was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I had SO much fun... Show full author's note »
Day 1 On The TrailWe set out the next morning divided into three groups. My class was split in two and the Detroit Waldorf class was their own group. Our group was dubbed “Bob-Bob’O’Bob-Obobika” because we started on Bob Lake, then portaged into Bob’O’Bob lake and then took a long muddy portage into Obobika and took that lake all the way back to the final camp, North-Waters- To be clear, Bob’O’Bob was a conveniently unnamed lake so we named it that, they didn’t all just happen to be named Bob.
The first day we stopped for our lunch. I’d heard from my brother that we would be eating delicious bread called Bannock. It’s a circular, dense bread. Cut in to slices like a cake and smothered with peanut butter, so we’d be ensured our fat and protein for the day’s work ahead. We didn’t encounter Bannock during our first luncheon though, because we had to bake it the night before. We had bagels and meatloaf.
“I don’t eat beef or pork.” I informed Matt. “Did you check the box marked ‘Vegetarian’ on your form?” He asked taking a big bite of his bagel. “No, I’m not a vegetarian,” I replied. “Well, we can’t waste our Peanut butter yet, so you’ll just have to have a plain bagel today,” he replied, tossing me one. I sat down on a rock next to Lucy, an excruciatingly observant girl, who pointed out that there were little white blobs of fat in her meatloaf and poked at them for a long time before finally eating it. There’s no where to keep waste except for us to carry it with us so we had to eat everything we were served.
Our first portage was really short. A portage is when you unload all the canoes and carry all the stuff across a bit of land to get to another lake. When we were loaded back up and ready to go we paddled across Bob Lake. The people in the back of the Canoes were the designated Canoe carriers, I sat in the front. I couldn’t manage to pick up a canoe on my own so I couldn’t be a canoe carrier because it is really important when you’re stuck on a portage to be able to pick up your canoe if you drop it.
My job was to carry the wanigan. Mine turned out to be the food wanigan. So it got lighter and lighter over the week, until the end, the only thing in it was a cabbage. My other job was to hold up the tip of the canoe up for my partner when they needed a break. That’s called a Tee-Pee. Unfortunately that happens a lot, so I'd be standing for long periods of time holding up the canoe with a Duluth on my back. A Duluth is a backpack that holds all our personal clothes and sleeping bags. It’s about two feet across and four feet tall.
When we arrived at our campsite for the night, we had to collect fire wood to be able to cook tomorrow’s bannock and supper. Each person was meant to collect two arms width of dry sticks from the forest. The way this usually worked out was: The two leaders and our school chaperon (Matt, Claire, and Mr.Coulter) collected two or three arms widths each. Then Gabe and Alexa would, too. And Lucy, Joy, Val, and I would collect about ½ as much as we should have and then messed around popping sap pimples on pine trees. I actually still have some of those sap stains on my shorts!