Bears, dogs and beds
Posted: 9:16AM August 25th, 2011 | Comments
10 days, 3 tents, 4 campfires, 1 bear chased up a tree by a terrier. For the third time in four years, my family and I spent the past 10 days paddling in Quetico Provincial Park. We were joined by one other family, a swarm of mosquitos and, yes, the aforementioned terrier who, yes, despite a 300 pound disadvantage managed to chase a bear up a tree.
The place is beautiful: Clear, clean, cool lakes darkened by the natural tanins from the largely pine forest surrounding them. Exposed granite, rocky shores, and of course wildlife.
My favorite thing about this trip is how nature -- not you -- determines what your day will be like. If a bear comes into camp you pack up and go. If a storm brews up on a travel day, you postpone your trip. If a snapping turtle eats the fish you caught it’s lentils for dinner. In Quetico, there is no doubting the fundamental truth that we are intimately tied to the natural world around us. It felt so good to have this reminder but it left me wondering how I can keep this perspective in my daily, urban life. As much as I loved my foray into the outdoors, I can’t deny that if given the choice between a therma-rest or a pillow-top mattress, tang or fresh orange juice I’ll always choose the latter.