Planning for the unexpected
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Planning for the unexpected

In the near future we will be going on a canoe camping trip. When I say we, I mean Jenn, her sister, her sister’s partner, and me. This was unexpected.

The reason it was unexpected is that a) it was Jenn’s idea, and b) Jenn once swore to me that she would never go on a canoe camping trip again.

That proclamation seemed unusual to me because Jenn and I have completed a couple of wonderful backpacking trips. Nevertheless, her answer sort of made sense. She said that she always wants to camp in a place where she can eventually walk back to the car. There’s no doubt canoe trips can make that more difficult. Yet, if you don’t mind wandering in the wilderness till spring, it is not impossible.

In any case, I’m overjoyed that we are going – and especially thrilled that we have booked a campsite on a reasonably good smallmouth bass lake.

But there will be complications that I have never dealt with before.

First off, Jenn’s sister and her partner are vegans. This is not an insurmountable obstacle, since we are only gone for three days, but it will make the trip a bit more challenging. I have never had to smuggle beef jerky, sardines, several steaks and canned ham before. Nor eat it in the dead of night in a canoe floating in the middle of the lake. But I’m sure it can be done. And there are plenty of YouTube videos on making sushi, too.

The real problem is that I believe I am the only one in the group who cares about fishing. That means that I will likely catch the biggest bass of my life and have no one to show it off to. Worse still, there won’t be an envious eye in the campsite.

Oh, sure, I could canoe it around the lake holding it over my head like the Stanley Cup, but with my luck those campsites will be empty or occupied by others who also couldn’t care less.

Frankly, I don’t know what to do.

I have been on many canoe trips but have never actually been on one where I am the only angler. Usually, I have at least one other angler with me – and typically, I can convince that guy to paddle, if I fake a shoulder injury well enough. But in this case, I will probably be paddling and fishing alone, which is fine – I do it all the time.

But this is a canoe trip, complete with portage. And that generally means you are into waters that are less pressured and more likely to hold bigger, more gullible fish. There’s no better time to have someone paddling for you.

My biggest fear is that the group – which I already confirmed is working as a democracy – will vote to paddle around the lake and sightsee, rather than fish. And, I will have to join them – and secretly troll.

I guess all this is not the end of the world. On the bright side, we will be out in nature, enjoying what I hope will be early autumn temperatures and solitude. There will be fresh air, good conversations, a campfire, kindness, and lots of catching up. Jenn and her sister will be happy and Kyle and I will be happy to see them being happy.

Best of all, I am sure to catch the first and biggest fish.

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