Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summer Vacation 2008

On July 19, 2008 I dropped Edson off at SeaTac airport to fly to Toronto Ontario with one of the local staff from Keewaydin and a handful of other kids. The rest of the family's adventure started after work on Monday August 4, 2008. The trailer was packed and ready to go. We just needed the perishables and ice in the cooler and we were ready to go. With the cooler loaded the family in the truck I hitched up the trailer. Before we pulled out I did the "light check" to make sure I had taillights, turn signals, and brakes. I did not...

I checked the plug at the back of the truck the bulbs to no avail. I turned off the truck sent the family inside and drilled out the rivets on the back of the trailer. With the back off I could find no obvious loose connection. I drove to the auto parts store and picked up a trailer wiring harness, stripped out the wiring under the trailer and installed the new harness. We left about 2 hours later than planned.

We drove from Seattle East on I90 and I94 through North Dakota and the twin cities to Waupaca Wisconsin to visit Grandmother Stephens. She is not a blood relative, but a very close family friend. From there we drove north through Michigan and crossed in to Canada at Sault Ste Marie. We drove across the border past midnight. My favorite question at the border was "Do you have any live meat?". That one confused me...I had no live animals, so all the meat was dead. I answered that I had some bacon... We were allowed into Canada anyway. That was 3 long days and one Monday evening of driving. It took toll 4pm the following day to get to the dock on Lake Temagami and ride out to Devil's Island and arrive at Keewaydin.

The ride out in the evening was beautiful. The food at Objibway was wonderful. Objibway is the lodge at the north end of Devil's Island for adults. Mostly parents, but anyone can stay there. We stayed on Paul's Island (less than 100 yards from Devil's Island). Our cabin was a rustic log cabin with gas-lights and a wood stove for heat. For water there was a convenient lake surrounding the island and a pitcher on the table. The toilet on Paul's Island is a two seat outhouse with a great view.

We had the option of using the classic wood canvas Keewaydin canoes to get across, but with my mother and two kids we opted for the motor boat. We slept well and were glad to not be on the road. The rain started that night. We motored over for breakfast Saturday morning in the morning in the rain. After breakfast we walked to the South end of the island to watch sections paddle in. The video to the right is from Edson's section (Mattawa) paddle in.

After paddle in we had a chance to catch up with Edson. He went back to our cabin for awhile and we all went back for the Outpost campfire stories. After some great stories we had to walk in the rain and dark back to the north end of the island and motor back to Paul's Island in the wind and chop and complete darkness. I have very little boating experience, but we made it.

The next day included a race around the island and guncanoe competition where the older campers show off their skills tumping, loading, and maneuvering their canoes. We had dinner with the kids and the evening ended with some awards and campfire stories in the rain. We left for Paul's Island a little earlier in the evening and we used the boat to get back and forth from the North and South ends of the island.

We headed out the next morning. I left with my mom and dropped her off at the train station in Temagami. I returned to the dock to pick up the rest of the family and start the second part of vacation. We stopped in North Bay to eat at Tim Hortons. We were curious since all the comedians on CBC (Canadian TV channel we get in Seattle) make fun of Tim Hortons. It was OK but nothing too special. With that I may not be let back into Canada.

We drove through the small town of Mattawa and visited their museum. They had lots of great artifacts and information about Grey Owl. We stayed the night at in Canada and passed into Vermont the next day.

No comments: