Tale of a Journey
Well folks, were back from our trip and there's so much to tell. I hardly know where to start. Lets start from day one shall we.
August 8th 2004
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Yea RIGHT!!! If anything could go wrong today, it did. The first bullet was Shadows broken leg. After laying all my equipment out and checking it twice, the dog has to get in there and sniff every piece. That's okay except that she's under foot. Me being the rather large gentleman that I am ( shut up) I trip over a tent pole and go right down on Shadow's hind leg. Snapped it in three places. Time to rush off to the vet. It's Sunday so there will be that extra emergency hours fee. After I asked everyone to get here early, I spent the next four or five hours trying to decide Shadow's fate while everyone else sits on my couch and waits. Should I spend $2000.00 - $3000.00 to fix the leg or the $100.00 to put her down. Lots to consider here. It's my birthday, do I really want to kill my faithful friend on my birthday? It's also the first day of our getaway, good luck trying to enjoy camping with the grief of putting your dog down. The third consideration, the vet tells me that except for the leg she's about the most healthy dog he has seen. Strong heart and very loving. Okay, Okay, Okay you guessed it, I dropped the $3000.00. How could I do anything else. Of course now Shadow has to stay in the hospital for the week, so we don't get to take her camping. Something she really, really loves. Also, Pat and Shelly got a new Black Lab puppy named Sammy. We all wanted to get these two girls together for the week and let them swim and play. Not Now!!! The next bullet, the elevators don't work. How the hell am I supposed to get all my equipment down to the cars without elevators? NO! I'm not humping it down eleven flights of stairs. So we have to wait for that. About four hours it took them to get the dam things working. After all this, the plan to leave around 1:00pm turned into 5:00pm. That won't leave us much time to set up before night fall. Oh well, still have to phone the park and make sure were still good for our campsite. Third bullet, they can't guarantee our booking after 8:00pm. Leaving after 5pm, we mite not get there in time. Should I risk driving all the way up to Algonquin just to find out they don't have space for us? We got the Algonquin staff to call Sibbalds and see if they had space. They did, wouldn't you know it my old site is available, #410. Must be fate. Alright everyone, it's Sibbalds Point or nothing. We got there and got all setup and packed away without any real problems. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired that first night.
August 9th 2004
Good morning all. Looks like it's going to be a good day. We have our morning coffee and we have all been nicely fed. Our breakfast was Eggs, Toast, Bacon, Sausages and coffee. A great way to start the day. We get the place cleaned up a bit and head into town for the food run. The women head off in one direction for the groceries while Pat and I take care of the beer and wood. We head over to this guy I know who will fill my trunk with fire wood for $15.00 Of course we have the pickup, so we get about $40.00 worth for $30.00. Check out the pics pages to see the wood pile. The women come back with the food. Holy crap they got a lot! That first night was Veal steaks with balsamic glazed onions, marinated mushrooms and baked potato on foil. we cooked the taters in the fire pit under coals. A great meal. the steaks were enormous, they could barley fit on your plate. More then enough to satisfy even the biggest camper. Sammy ate well that night.
August 10th 2004
4:00am, Sarah wakes me up because a storm is heading in and we need to pack the stuff away. Great. My feet are killing me. I bought new sandals before we left and they are leaving blisters everywhere. Stupid me, I didn't bring any other shoes. I need to walk shoeless everywhere, guess my feet will toughen up. We start grabbing shit and putting it under cover. Before long both John and Pat are up and helping us out. It starts to rain, not a lot but enough to warrant the work. With all of us crammed in under the dinning shelter, we quickly realize that there is not enough space for a group gathering. Pat, John and I decide to run a huge tarp out from the cook tent. With this comes the creation of our living room. It's great, enough room for everyone and then some. Works pretty good as a sun shelter to. For the rest of the day it looks as if it's going to rain but never does. I need a test to see if our new shelter works. I'm probably the only camper in the park actually praying for rain. No rain for the rest of the day. Oh well. Still a good gathering circle. That night we had pork chops and corn on the cob. John and Pat cooked it. They did a great job. Nice work boys.
August 11th 2004
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!!!!! Sarah's caught a cold. Got it from Pat we think. It has gone right to her chest, this means days of horrible coughing and hacking. I feel for her but the sounds drive me right to the edge. This time we are in the middle of a park and I'm sure the whole area can hear her gagging away at night. Pat and Shell think she should head off to the doctor. I assure them this is nothing new and it will pass. If Sarah needs the Doc, she will go without any trouble. Her coughing gets so bad that we dope her up with codeine laced cough syrup and Rye and Coke. She's passed out, out. No coughing and sleeping like a baby. Shouldn't be too long before I catch it. That night we had taco's. Pat had proclaimed himself the taco king, but I quickly took over his throne. 30 tacos proved to be enough to go around. Somebody didn't wash up the supper dishes, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. This left a nice big pot of taco ground beef for the COONS!!!!!! Man, they really went nuts that night. There were three separate fights between coons in our site. One was right outside my tent. After hearing them trashing our cook tent, I finally got up to see if I could do something. It was then that I realized no one did the dishes. It was 12:30am and I was not about to wash them now. In the hopes of saving our nights sleep. I laid out all the leftover food and dishes on the ground. I hoped this would keep the coons from breaking anything because the food was put down out of the way. Nope, sorry your wrong. They may not have broken anything but they did steal stuff. Pat and Shell had a big Tupperware bowl full of dog food. After listening to them trying to get it open for half an hour they finally just took the whole bowl. When we woke up it was gone. I mean gone. They must have taken it back to the den cause we couldn't find it in the woods. Now we have to do all the dishes. The ones from dinner plus the ones the coons dumped and walked all over.
August 12th 2004
After breakfast we sorta hang out, everybody does their own thing till we decide it's time to go swimming. Waters kinda cold but it's nice once you are in for awhile. Sammy has her first swim. Not to sure of the water but neither was Shadow at first. This puppy is just to darn cute. She needs to have a towel wrapped around her after swimming because she is shivering so much. Pat says she's spoiled. How can you not spoil something with a face like that. While we are swimming the storm clouds start moving in. Great, here comes my test. We rush back to camp just in time. It starts to piss. It's a bloody typhoon. The shelter holds up well. We are all gathered around and quite dry and happy. Pat breaks out the Guitar and we all have a sing along. Well, more like we all try to remember the words to the song we requested. Only took about 40 minutes to get through American Pie. I think I will post the lyrics for that one on here. At least we will have them for next year. Ha ha ha. By the way. I do have Sarah's cold. How nice for me. Just get me my pillow and leave me alone. That night we have 2 for 1 Pizza. They used to deliver right to your campsite but don't anymore. We have to head into town to get it. It was still good though. I found out that everyone had a nap that day. Man, this relaxing sure takes a lot out of ya. We fired up the laptop after dinner and watched Goldmember. Pretty cool, pizza and a movie while camping. That's roughing it baby. Good thing we all had a nap. About half way through the movie, the critters showed up. Coons and Skunks. Check the site under Coon Warriors for some pics. We were having a bit of a hard time keeping them at bay so we rushed the women folk off to bed and set up our O.P. We kept fighting them off till about 3:00am. Actually had to shoot one coon who refused to be scared off. Got a good clean head shot. Didn't even know what hit him. John went to bed about 2:30am and Pat a bit after that. I went off to get a shower and when I came back, there was another coon. I saw him just inside the tree line. I rushed him making my patented cougar noises. He ran off alright but the Skunk that was in front of him didn't. Just looked up at me and flipped me off. Whatever you have Mr. Skunk, you can keep. Can't do much about them. can't shoot them, they spray as they die. If they don't want to leave, that's tough. I just backed off and went to bed. Woke up to find no damage. The Skunk and Coon team (yes we saw them working together) had dragged off what was left of the dog food and hogged down.
August 13th 2004
Last day, time to pack up and head home. My cold is getting the better of me. I feel like crap trying to break camp. Just want to pass out and wake me when it's over. Last bit of bad luck, it starts to rain as we are packing up. Got to go faster and get out of here before it really comes down. had a good drive home. No problems unpacking. Some good news, Shadow is doing better and can come home today. Sarah picks her up that night. Bill so far is $3247.62. She still has three or more visits before it's all said and done. I wonder if the vet would like a Buick. Hmmmm.
Well that's it boys and girls. So ends the 2004 Manson camping trip. We have already started planning for next year. Picked our new site and everything. #922. It's in the radio free area. Punks and drunken assholes don't go for radio free camping. Can't have a wild time without blasting music I guess. Oh yea, forgot to mention the drunken punk who came out of the woods into our camp site. Holding a 26er of something. To messed up to find his way back to his own site. We snapped and scared the snot out of him. Three of us rushing him at once. We didn't rough him up much. Just a bit. Him and his party had already received a warning from the warden about three hours after they got here. I got up about 3:30am to take a leak and saw them being kicked out by the O.P.P. Nice job guys. I think their weekend getaway lasted about 9 hours in total. Idiots.
So once again that's it. Ciao for now and we will see you all next year.
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