Let’s start with a bit of the old weight…
At this moment in time I weigh in at………246.6
Not bad at all considering the man weekend I just survived. 10 guys, 3 days, 2 nights, tents, and temperatures never above -20.
The annual GBG Yurting trip is in its 6th or seventh year, but this is the first time I’ve signed on for the punishment.
GBG Yurting 2014
A great time had by all, dozens of moments I wanted to record in the man blog…most forgotten…mainly due to the fact that most of the funniest moments happen late…deep into the war against frostbite. The weapon of choice for this war seemed to be rum, and we put back plenty of it.
For the 2 day stint I purchased 18 beers and a 26 oz bottle of rum. I came home with 16 beer…seems reasonable considering that the bottle of rum lasted less than 8 minutes. We arrived at the campground in Algonquin park mid afternoon, unpacked, and the festivities began. 10 guys cracking beers, a bit of outdoor darts…yes it’s minus 40 with the wind chill at this point…and I bring out the rum…
26 ounces consumed in 10 minutes…the wolf pack demolished it, luckily I was able to find the resources at a local pub for a replacement…
GBG winter dart challenge
So…camp fire is roaring, many drinks consumed, darts…time to head to town for dinner. This is something you have to get over with early, town is 30 minutes away and you’ve got 2 drivers that have had to watch the others drinking while they shiver and shudder…we’re all cold…but they are sober enough to know it!
We load up! 2 vehicles, off we go…
It’s been snowing, the 60 highway through Algonquin park isn’t pretty…half way to town the lead car pulls over, we pull up beside them and roll down our window…
We forgot Trafford!
Trafford is invisible in his camo…
Geezus…Trafford must have gone into the Yurt to change his shirt and off the rest of us fled! At first he tells us he thought we had pulled out as a joke…that we’d return any moment….the moment did not come to pass and he sent out texts for an evac.
The car turned around and headed back for him while we went ahead to begin negotiations for a new bottle of rum.
Old Trafford left behind!
Negotiations were successful with one of the patrons, we all sat down for a couple of pitchers of beer, Trafford’s return, and fish and chips for everyone!
Back to the Yurt for some drinks, cards, and plenty of laughs.
Now the Yurt seems warm, 10 big guys, a small heater…if it’s working…and plenty of alcohol…you’ll be fooled into taking off your sweater, it will seem like t-shirt weather in there. Maybe this happens in Yurt 38, but Yurt 36…the one that Paul and I picked…there is no t-shirt weather in there. The heater in our living quarters is there for looks, when it does turn on…for one minute out of every 3, all day and night long, it spits out a bit of mild warmth, but it isn’t going to overtake the -44 outside or the 1 inch gap under our front door!
Highlight of the first night, what does the Fox say? The fox says, hand over the beef jerky sucka.
Feeding the Fox
Hand fed the fox which was interesting, the animal isn’t much bigger than a poodle, but it’s teeth are twice as long! Luckily for me it is more gentle than our dog at removing food from between your finger tips.
Now, the next morning while talking to the park host I came to realize that there is a $250 fine for feeding the wildlife. Plus he did point out that if someone mistook that gentleness for say…petability…they may realize what those long teeth are for…and it could be a child thinking it might want a cuddly hug.
He is worried, and for good reason, that they would put the animal down if it bit someone, which they would have to…and a great sin it would be.
That was pretty much it for the first night, we played card games until long after midnight then I stumbled off to my own yurt…a plastic covered mattress with surface temperatures a touch colder than your refrigerator and a heater that blinks on just long enough to shake you out of your snooze…but if you could get inside your sleeping bag…and I mean all of you in it…you would survive the night.
The next morning I get out of my yurt to see the sun shining down and the temps again around -25. Off we go into town again for some breakfast…I have the hangover special, eggs, sausage, bacon and ham plus french toast.
Parker finds out that they are out of syrup due to terrible road conditions the truck hasn’t delivered…
Ya, there wasn’t much of a man diet had by any of us this past weekend…but again, I’m only at 246.6, still waiting on Parker’s report.
Now, we did have a huge breakfast, but ahead of us was 6 km of snowshoeing and a soccer game…so off we go.
First, I did snow shoe for about a kilo, then I realized from watching Adam ahead of me that he was losing footing due to the trail just being wide enough for the snowshoes to pass one another, and that the trail was compacted so snowshoes weren’t needed…and to try these facts out off came my snowshoes…so I hiked the remaining 5 km. The first half of which was the best, without snowshoes I could move faster than the other guys, while they were trudging along I was stopping here and there for a look. There are still some old grown trees right beside the path, ones that 3 grown men couldn’t get there arms around…
I’m no tree hugger, but I like to take a moment…touch that tree and say a word or 2…are we out here snowshoeing to sweat or to take in a bit of the old forest? I can sweat in the sauna…Besides, these big old trees were left behind for a reason, they clear cut this land at one point and left behind one in a thousand trees…might as well seek them out.
Next up…soccer. England vs Scotland. The Englishman put me on the Scottish team with an Italian because they are suckers for punishment. Our soccer field is only 20 feet wide, so getting past me at almost 5 feet wide isn’t going to be easy! I know…I know…chunk shouldn’t be so hard on himself…I’m no more than 3 feet wide…but now I have my snow gear on…Write goodyear on the side of me with a handfull of Beagles balloons and I’m off to the superbowl for a low fly over.
The Scottish come away victorious…although I did mangle the wrist…an excuse not to lift for a week at least, but the treadmill will be victimized.
A fine dinner of home made soup and chili, a bit of the vino, a few beers, a bit of cards…then back to the yurt to practice my Tutankhamun imitation. Our heater has steadily declined…if there was a gas station open I could have made it to off I would have been at that point. Slept that second night with the light on as neither of us was willing to get up to turn it off, not that it matters because I am inside my sleeping bag trying to stay warm…Inside inside. My head too. The only thing that would have made my sleep better was if the sleeping bag had a zipper the entire way around…it is possibly above freezing in the yurt….maybe…
I wake up at just after 4 am…I’m not sure what time it is at this point because my phone is frozen…yep…I hit the auto start on the truck and begin the gamble that a gas station is going to be open with the 70 km my fuel gauge says I have left until empty…and Paul and I only had to wait 15 minutes for the gas station in Barry’s Bay to open.
Next year…I pack a second heater…
The man diet begins again, today I will not have chocolate, no chips! I won’t even have beer or scotch…today I diet!
The Quote de jour, a testament to the Golden Boys soccer club:
A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably