Where: Icefields Parkway, Alberta
When: August 2013 (The slow journey home)
What: Refusing to let a downpour get in the way of a good campfire.
|Less wild than it seems|
Canadian Rockies... a highlight of our 10 months in North America. With a hire car (sorry, 'rental' car) and two weeks to go and do whatever we wanted, the freedom was enticingly good. Too bad the rest of the world have the same idea... but more on that another time.
There are so many awesome options for back country camping in North America. I quickly learnt that back country means walk-in, walk-out and camp basically wherever, not in the regimented allotted sites that national/provincial parks seem to be big on. I also learnt that back country camping is not an option for a couple of backpackers travelling with a year's worth of stuff and a $25 tent.
We reached the Icefields Parkway midway through the road trip. By this time we were used to showering every four days and eating whatever we could cook in our one pot. This campsite didn't actually have a name. Unless 'Overflow' was it's official title. After an entertaining and occasionally awkward conversation with the ranger, we learnt that the campsite was opened to hold all the summer travellers but had been opened this year due to another site further north being completely wiped out by the Alberta flooding. (Didn't hear about it? It was worse than Superstorm Sandy but you know, NYC is very important.)
|Nothing like RVs to ruin a great shot|
The best part about 'Overflow' was the walk-in section (100m, not 10 kilometres). Finally we got to leave those smug RVs behind! And we could take uninterrupted photos of the *choose your own superlative: stunning/breathtaking/staggering* scenery and pretend we were more wild than we really were. We got a pretty good fire going considering all we had were damp logs and a rule forbidding kindling collection. Thank you hairspray! (It doesn't serve any other purpose on a camping road trip)
I do love making a fire (not in a criminal sense). I especially love the achievement of getting a fire cranking against the odds. Then the rain came.
Why did we even build a fire in summer? Was it particularly cold? Not overly*. But we'd paid the honesty box $8 and we had marshmallows for dinner. Plus it seems to be the thing to do in North America- it ain't camping unless there's a fire (even if you are wearing singlets and shorts).
I refused to let the rain ruin my hour of poking, blowing and splinters. I took matters into my own hands.
After twenty minutes of getting quite wet, I retreated to the tent, ready to concede defeat.
If you've sensed there is a fairy tale ending to this story, you won't be disappointed.
On the down side, the umbrella was left reeking of smoke. As were all my clothes and everything in the bag the umbrella was later shoved in. 3 months on and after a hose down and being left out in the sun, the brolly is still a scented memento of an interesting road trip.
* Apologies for seeming like I'm interviewing myself. I slipped back into the North American style of asking myself a question then answering it.