21 May 2008

Kids 1st Interior Trip

With two trips back to the park this year in my new canoe, I finally feel comfertable enough in my Langford to take the kids out. In the past I've taken Joshua and Liam"car camping" or "paddle in camping," so this will be a first for them, and me. As such, I feel that a "mini-one-nighter" would be a good introduction to them and the park interior. I also think that a relatively short (but interesting) paddle and portage would work best for us, as I am unsure how long I will be able to hold their attention on any one activity.

Having a cottage near the east side of the park, I have also decided to narrow our launch point to access 3 or 4, as either would be a short drive from the cottage, and hence maximizing our park time during our one night stay.

With these criteria in mind, and a desire to have a "lake to ourselves," I decided upon taking the kids via access point 3 to Little Eagle Lake; a lake that has intreeged me for some time, even if I am really unsure as to why. The trip envolves about a 2.5 km total paddle, that is broken up by a short 340 m portage.

My travel plans are as follows:

(1) Friday: Leave Toronto at arround 4:00 pm, and stay the night at our cottage, having dinner enroute.

(2) Saturday: Leave the cottage by 10:00 am and drive the 45 minutes drive to access point 3, acquiring our permit along the way. By 11:00 am have the canoe loaded, and paddle Magnetawan Lake to th 340 Little Eagle Lake Portage, then hike the P340 to Little Eagle Lake, and have a packed lunch at the end of the portage. This should take us till around 1:00pm. After lunch we will paddle the remaining single km to the loan site on Little Eagle Lake, arriving at camp by approximately 2:00pm. Seeing as this will be the kids first paddle/portage excursion, I am leaving us lots of time to travel, as I'm not sure how they will do. Upon arriving, we will set up camp, acquire firewood, tour our surroundings on foot and canoe, have dinner and camp fire accompanied with "SaMores" and some star gazing. The kids are always up early, and I imagine this will be no exception. As such, I'm planning an early night to accomodate the inevitable 6:30 am wake up call the following morning.

(3) Sunday: Assuming an early wake up, I'm planning a pancake and OJ breakfast, followed by a morning canoe along Little Eagle Lake. Since I have acquired a fishing licence for myself this year (really for the kids, as I don't fish) I will let the kids take turns trying their luck on the lake as we paddle. I'm hoping for a relatively early lunch, and then follow up in teaching the kids to pack up the camp, the importance of leaving the site better then it was found, and why leaving a small supply of firewood ready for the next occupant to use is simply "the right thing to do". By 12:00 pm it is my hope that we start our journey back to the car, so that we can be on the road by 2:00pm heading back to the city, with dinner being acquired along the way home.

For this trip I am also planning on giving the kids their own packs to carry their own sleeping bag, mattress, extra clothes, water bottle, flashlight, "stuffy," towel, toothbrush and snacks, so that they learn the value of their own gear, and the importance of selecting not only lite items, but items they will use and enjoy on the trip. As well, Josh and Liam will be responsible for carrying their own paddle and life jacket for the entire trip.....ohhh how I hope this works :)

The remaining gear will be my responsibility, but seeing as I'm a lite packer, and my tent will house all three of us, with the exception of more food, I'm planning on packing in a "semi-solo" manner.

To say I'm anxious to leave on Friday is an understatement, as I can't waite to get back to the park, and share the joys of the interior with my kids. At the same time I must admit that I am a bit nervous though, as this will be my first time alone in the interior with the kids. While I am confident in my skills and abilities in the woods, and know our travels will remain close to an access point, this still is a major first, and hence full of unknowns.

As such any input on either my planned route, or tips on taking kids in the interior in general, would be greatly appreaciated. Needless to say, that I will be posting more news on the trip once we are back, so stay tuned.

Wish me luck!
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1 comment:

Jeff said...

Wow, when I posted my question I knew I would get some good ideas, but I never imagined so much feedback.

To say I'm excited would be an understatement, as I can't waite to leave work this afternoon, and get the car and kids packed up!

All the advice given is really appreaciated, and I am planning on acting on a lot of it. With the short distances in the travel plans, I have a few "tricks up my sleeve" for the kids, and am looking forward to seeing their reaction to the whole "interior" experience.

Funny enough, I slept like a baby last night (something that doesn't usually happen on the eve of a trip) and have left most of the packing to this afternoon. Don't get me wrong, I've organized, re-organized and re-re-organized the gear so all that is left is packing it up.

The kids too were really excited, and Liam, my youngest, was disapointed that he had to go to school before we left, but promised to be "extra good" today in school as the kids were told that only good kids get to go to the park:)

Again, thanks everyone for the feedback; its much appreaciated.

The following link is to a discussion forum where the feedback to this post was published.


Again Thank You everyone for your ideas!