DAY 2 : INTO THE WILD

12.09.17

Yesterday, while re-organizing our stuff to clear the bed as we were going to sleep, we decided we’d need to bring the bikes back home. They take a lot of space in the car since we don’t have racks and when we tie them outside, there is always this little worry that they’ll get stolen. Montreal is on the way to Ontario anyway, so it’s not much trouble.

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Surprisingly, I slept very well last night. I was worried that the condensation on the windows would attract some curious wanderers, but other than five other camping cars sharing the same idea as us, we were left in peace.

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Before getting out of the car, I played some ukulele in bed. The cold had detuned it so I fixed it and improvised a melody that was a little too melancholic for the occasion. But things are always more interesting when they reach deep into our ribcage, isn’t it?

The temperature started to quickly rise as the sun also awoke. There was mist everywhere, but the greatest was to watch how it tangled itself in the mountains. We had cereals for breakfast and then cleaned our dishes with a very small amount of water and a multi-use soap. It cleans dishes, clothes, body and hair (but sadly doesn’t clean your life failures). I like its wood smell and it’s also practical since it can’t attract another type of unwanted visitors. Now I’m not talking about the previous human wild-life, but nature’s explorers such as raccoons and bears.

On our way to our first official camping site in Mont-Tremblant (take two after last night’s three-star grocery parking), we stopped by a small but pretty lake surrounded by trees and pines. Bea put her little paws in the water for the first time. She’s a cool cat. I’m truly impressed by her not doing a break-down and living her 9 lives to the fullest. I sadly couldn’t do the same as her and Max since I had my shoes and socks on, but I contented myself of watching the beautiful scenery.

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Interesting things cross my mind while rolling and being bored. I wanted to entertain myself so I thought about the day I’ll have kids sitting in the back of the car and I turning my head to throw some non-sense at them, tell jokes and speak sarcasm, making them say: “Haha, that’s not true Mom! (Unsure, questioning voice tone waiting for approval.) Mom? Is it true? Am I really originally from Australian parents?” Cries of sadness on their side and cries of laughter on mine. Nah… I’m kidding! They won’t cry because they’ll already be used to get their pride triggered a little.

We finally arrived at our first camping site. I felt very sleepy so I tried to nap unsuccessfully in the car. I got up to admire where we arrived: in a forest by an amazing lake, only surrounded by the sounds of nature and some tall dry grandpa look-alike trees. Couldn’t wait for the darkness of the night to arrive so I could spot Slenderman between them with my torchlight (see how fun it could be here).

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We set up the tent and it went out super fast, it was only the second time we did it in our lives. Yes, you guessed right! We are beginners. We put Bea in it so she could rest, but she was a little worried so she was meowing. Max was afraid she’d attract some camp supervisor’s attention, because animals aren’t allowed there, so he took her for a walk so she’d calm down.

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While they did that, I went to the dry toilet, and noticed a poster inside with some warnings on it. It said not to leave any food or garbage around so wild animals such as squirrels, raccoons or bears wouldn’t visit us. It also said “What to do in case you meet wolves?” I wasn’t scared. At all. “I am strong. I am not a crybaby.”

When they came back, Bea got back in the tent and she seemed to get quieter as the sky started to get a little darker.

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I cooked some rice with sautéed vegetables and grilled tofu, and we ate that by the fire. Who said camping couldn’t be a little fancy? Especially when it’s possibly our last meal before death sentence. “There are no wolves. It was just a decoration. A kid drew on that poster. His illustration skills are very impressive though.” It was getting really quiet, we could hear small noises back there in the trees and told ourselves it was nothing to worry about. No better way to convince yourself of something than by repeating it, right?

We thought it was time for desert, because it’s always time for desert. Especially when it’s possibly our last… Ok, you get it. We took out some tortillas, a banana, chocolate hazelnut spread, and some magic trick on a grill turned these into some awesome sweet burritos. Eaten by the fire, they tasted even better. Mine was only with chocolate spread and banana. My mouth couldn’t be happier and stickier.

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We then took a walk around the site and discovered an incredible small beach. The sky there was breathtaking. Since we were far from the city, there was no light pollution so we could see the stars clearly in the darkness of the night. The lake was stagnant and acting as a mirror, so it doubled the show.

Walking back, I got a little paranoid with the sounds. Max said we have to speak loudly in a forest so the wild wanderers we don’t want to meet will know where we are and won’t look for trouble. But I felt like it was the best way of exposing myself, just like screaming “HEYYYY, I’ll save you the trouble of looking around for fresh juicy meat, with hot chocolate running through my veins! I’m here!” So I couldn’t help but just whisper. I heard small things move or jump close to my feet. I couldn’t see what it was and by the time I pointed my torchlight at it, it was gone. But it happened once more, I pointed my torchlight again, and as I stared at the ground at the exact spot where I heard the sound, I saw it, perfectly using its camouflage skills to hide on the dried leaves on the ground. That little thing was just a small mustard-yellow frog. I crouched and tried to get it to jump in my hand, and it did so easily that the feeling startled me and I let it go. I was amazed yet a little disappointed. I secretly hoped it would’ve been a bigger animal or that suited up skinny face-less tall guy showing up its nose. I had to manage my stress all this time just for a frog.

While arriving back to the tent to finally get some sleep, I noticed how Bea was sleeping quietly. I told Max: “You see, she wouldn’t mess with the animal kingdom. She knows she has to keep quiet for the night.” All we could hear was the suspicious silence of the night.

I put on so many layers of clothing as I knew I would either freeze or freeze to death in my sleep. Also, I didn’t want to panic every time I heard a noise so I slept with earplugs, as I always do anyway, and hoped to have a good night.

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