When I camped with The Happy Camper last month, I had no idea we would be heading out on another trip so soon. We had discussed the big 150th birthday this year and I had mentioned I wanted to do something awesome, but hadn’t made plans yet.
Kevin had originally had something booked, but it was cancelled, so, it left us both open for the long weekend and it being such a big deal, we decided to once again head out on an adventure, this time, all Canadian themed, complete with his Canada flag canoe. We started off with Ketchup chips and Nanaimo bars en route.
The antics began almost immediately, and ran through the weekend.
Upon arrival to our first portage we saw this cool frog and a baby snapping turtle as well. Too cute!
I was given the biggest bag on earth to carry over the portage by Kevin. I had always thought I overpacked but now…. LOL.. not so much.
The portages into Smokey Lake were pretty good. Not too long and not steep or difficult. They were, however, very very wet and extremely muddy.
Every time we completed one, we were in an area more beautiful than the last. We even saw a huge beaver swim by the canoe and then splash it’s tail at us on it’s way below the surface. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to get a photo of it.
We arrived on site early evening and relaxed for a bit, then got to work setting up our tents, the bug shelter and all the decorations for Canada Day, the next day. We listened to a Canadian playlist I had made and sung along while hanging flags all around the site.
Once we were all done we made dinner on the fire as the sun went down. I had brought Canadian Pure Wild Rice that I had precooked at home and had made some shallot butter for. It was butter, lemon, parsley and dill and when mixed in with the rice was very delicious. The salmon had dijon mustard on it with brown sugar and dill as well. It was a very yummy meal and being so hungry by then, it definitely hit the spot!
We enjoyed the fire and listening to the loons calling. Closer to bedtime, we also were rewarded with owls hooting and I was in total heaven. We headed off to bed around 11, exhausted and ready for sleep.
Canada Day started off gloomy and rainy. As the bug shelter also had a tarp, we were nice and dry inside for the most part and I made beaver tails for breakfast. It was a bit of a task making dough like this in the woods and we had a little issue with the yeast working correctly but overall they turned out pretty good. They were definitely tasty and with them covered in nutella and smarties you couldn’t go wrong… (also canadian, well, we thought so when we created the meal, but it turns out the are actually from England, who knew?). So welcome to our Canada Day party England! The more the merrier!
We spent the morning playing Family Fued and reading interesting facts about Canada from a book I’d brought in with us. Check out my youtube video on Rainy Day Fun if you’d like to see more on that.
After lunchtime the rain finally let up and more importantly the thunder and lightening stopped. This is why we hadn’t gone out in the canoe yet to fish and now that there was no more thunder, we were safe to head out.
Dressed in our Canadian attire armed with fishing rods and lures, we took off in the canoe in hopes of catching some fish to go with our dinner later.
Kevin caught quite a few fish, but they kept jumping off his line. He told me that bass will do that, just spit out the lure and they are free. I caught a small fish that wasn’t big enough to keep, but eventually Kevin caught one that was big enough to keep so we put it on the stringer and planned to have it as an appetizer for our meal later. I was so happy. I loved fresh fish!
We stayed out padding and fishing until around 6pm and then headed back to camp to get dinner started. Tonights meal was bass appetizer, YUM, and pemeal bacon sliders on bannock bread. It was Kevins turn to do the dinner tonight and it was fabulous.
The pemeal was cooked in a maple dijon sauce Kevin had found online (k, maybe that was me) and the bread was outstanding. Best bannock I’ve ever had!
After clean up and a bit of filming for our videos and posts we sat by the fire listening to the loons once again and the owls. It was an awesome Canada Day and there are a bunch of videos out from the trip. Check out Kevin Callans You Tube and mine to see them all. There is some great stuff in there that I hope will make you laugh a little bit.
Sunday morning started off gloomy and it rained on and off but nothing like Saturday. Well, except for… haha, I’ll get to that in a bit.
Sunday mornings breakfast consisted of pemeal bacon and canadian cheddar cheese omelettes accompanied by english muffins with strawberry jam. It was yummy!
We spent the morning on site filming some videos and then packed a lunch to head out on a day trip to Noganosh, Mud and John Lakes to do some fishing. I was hopeful my luck today would be better than yesterday.
It was such a pretty area, it really didn’t matter. I was just happy to be there and be able to enjoy it.
But alas, I did catch a fish and I was super stoked about it. Kevin managed to catch 3 so that was our limit for the day. We found a nice spot to clean them and Kevin showed me how to do it by doing the first one. Then I did the next 3 myself. (sorry to Badger Paddles for getting blood and scales all over your creation).
I had wanted to learn how to clean fish for most of my life and I was so elated that I finally knew how! I hope I did a good job. We would soon see. I will be posting a video on fishing and cleaning them on my you tube video soon. Hope you take a moment to check it out, unless you hate the sight of blood, then I don’t recommend it.
Kevin set up his Kelly Kettle hobo stove while I collected some sticks. Then we had a beer to celebrate our catches and wait for lunch to be cooked, compliments of Kevin. I had the Summerwiess from Muskoka Brewery and Kevin had the Oxtongue India Pale Ale from Lake of Bays Brewery, both in the area we were in at the time, which was super cool.
We had a surprise visitor slither past Kevin while we were waiting for our fish to be cooked. He was a pretty cool fella and let me take a few photos and a video of him as well. Then he sat about 7 feet away from us on a ledge in the cliff and kept it’s distance, as did we.
The fish was fantastic and we ate 2 big plates full. I didn’t care how full I was, I was going to eat every bite and I did and enjoyed it more than I can say. I am super excited to head out on my next trip this weekend , which will be my first solo canoe trip, and hopefully catch a fish and be able to clean it and cook it myself. Thank you so much to Kevin for showing me how to clean it properly! There were no bones at all. YEEEE!!!!
As we started to pack up to head back to our campsite, we heard thunder in the distance. We made a break for it but didn’t get very far and had to pull the canoe over under a not so tall tree and wait out the weather. I should’ve taken my waterproof camera out to get more than what I filmed but I didn’t want to get everything else in my bag wet and as you can see, a wall of water came at us and we were drenched so I protected my phone and we waited it out. Eventually the sky stopped crackling and booming and just a light rain remained. We took our opportunity and began our paddle back towards the site.
Since I was already wet when we got back to camp, I decided to go for a swim. The water was warmer than the air but still refreshing and I was happy I’d jumped in.
After I got back into some dry clothes, we started on the evening meal. Kevin had dinner on his list today as well and we were having poutine. One of Canada’s popular creations of Quebecois origin. I peeled the potatoes and Kevin sliced them up while the oil got hot.
We reused the oil from the beaver tails and the fish and put the fries in. Then Kevin made up a packet of poutine gravy mix from Clubhouse and poured it over the fries once the cheese curds had been added. It was amazing!!!
After dinner we relaxed. We were both pretty tired from the long day. I took some photos and Kevin did some filming and we just tinkered around listening to more Canadian tunes.
Eventually, it was time to get to bed and I was anxious to lie down and get a good sleep. We did not have any cell service except for between the hours of around 12am to 5am and when I woke up at night to go to the washroom, I would check for a signal and quickly post a few updates on social media, several times passing out literally with the phone in my hand up in the air trying to get that one bar to get a photo up and to text my mom and let her know I was okay. The life of a blogger is exhausting sometimes! hahaha
We woke up Monday to an absolutely stunning day…. of course! hahahaha. We had french toast for breakfast, made by Kevin, with Canadian Maple Syrup, then packed up the site and headed on our way slowly back to the put in, which I guess technically now is called the take out.
It was hot and sunny and gorgeous out and I definitely did not want to go home. The portages were still muddy and they were a bit busy today. We stopped to chat with a few people and found out what they caught and listened to some details about their trips etc.
Then we continued on. When w got to our last lake, we stopped for some lunch before paddling the rest of the way out and just before we reached the take out, we stopped for a refreshing swim!
It was the perfect ending to a great trip and even though I practically forced Kevin to go swimming, I am pretty sure he was happy he did it in the end.
And all too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Noganosh and to The Happy Camper as he pulled out of my driveway beeping and waving all the way down the highway. Thanks so much for the most Canadian Canada Day I’ve ever had, for all you taught me and for just being you. I get why you are called the Happy Camper. You really are, always happy and so much fun to be around. Until next time….. because you know, I’m still owed a kayak adventure!
Check out the video here.
Cover photo by Kevin Callan