I’m remembering back to when I was on a camping trip with an awesome group of guys. There were ten of us. We drove up to Killarney, Canada in Ontario. The trip was full of flies (lots of them), hot days, chilly nights, allergies, bloody noses, mosquitoes, and headaches. It was very uncomfortable. But we ended up hiking many miles and over the course of the trip I learned things about myself and others.
It was a worthwhile experience. However in the moment it felt like hell. I remember everyone except me owned their own hammocks. I don’t blame them, hammocks are fun. But I was able to bring my Grandma’s hammock and enjoy the fun with them.
The food was good because I brought my Grandma’s mini gas-powered stove. It worked very well, and turned on very fast. I brought some expensive food packs where all you do is pour hot water in.
There was a day on the trip that was particularly uncomfortable. It was hot but the flies were out. These flies would bite and give little bumps on the skin. So none of us wanted to wear shorts because if you stayed still for a few seconds they’d swarm you. Thus, we all had jeans on. However it was like 80-90 degrees out and sunny!
So here we were, up in the hills, climbing closer and closer to the sun, with backpacks on our back, and jeans on our legs. What a hot day. On this day there was a moment when I was able to take the lead for a few minutes. At this time There were some stragglers in the back. I decided to join the lead. I picked up the pace slightly. After maybe 20 minutes we reached a good stopping point.
“Wow,” Jeremy said, “you really picked up the pace.” Inside I smiled. I was glad that even with short legs I still had enough energy to keep up with these athletic guys.
Each night on the trip we’d set fires. Some of the fires were big and some where almost nonexistent. But it was a time to look forward to – we would all eat our dinner, enjoy the warmth and comfort of sitting down, and just talk.
When the trip came closer to it’s end and we started to get closer to our starting point a lot of the guys started talking about stopping in Toronto on our way back. Sounded good to me. As soon as we got to the cars we each went to the bathroom, changed our socks, and got ready for the car ride home. It had been a good trip.
We hit the road. I remember being in Darnel’s car. It was a Chevrolet black car – nice. I remember feeling at peace and comfort when I sat in the back seat. It had been a good trip. I was looking forward to getting home.
As we got closer to Toronto it was about 1am in the morning. I remember being struck by the traffic even at that time in the morning. Wow, I thought, this is interesting – because that’s all I could think of. As I sat in the back seat I felt the cool June night air hit us. It was cool, crisp and soothing after days of being out in the woods.
We drove through the streets of downtown Toronto. I poked my head out the window and looked up at the towering skyscrapers, lights, and well-kempt streets. It evoked my imagination, determination, and youthfulness all at the same time.
I wanted to own every skyscraper. It inspired me to think about what I could become and what I could accomplish. I imagined myself owning one of those buildings. As they towered above me I almost felt like the city was here for me. In a weird way I knew that this night was one I would remember.
Nothing particularly special happened. We went to a restaurant and ordered food at 2am. Typical. But that night will forever be in my mind as the single-most inspiring nights of my life. I can’t describe it other than it left me thinking big. It made me want to set big goals and maybe someday own one of those buildings. I would. I will. I am.
#killarney #camping #adventure