Archive for May, 2012

Super-moon, Solo-mom and the Last Training Mission

So apparently last night was the biggest full moon of the year which meant that it was extra impressive. My boys had been talking about this super happening for days and they were granted special permission to stay up and watch it. Guess where they got to watch it from…Algonquin Provincial Park. Guess where I DIDN’T get to watch it from…Algonquin Provincial Park.

Fraser has taken the boys on their last training hike before our epic adventure to Pukaskwa National Park in three weeks. I however, had to stay in the city and work. That’s okay though, I THINK that I’m prepared.  The training thus far has included loading up the packs and hiking around our hilly neighbourhood so carrying all of that weight won’t feel so foreign. We’ve also been trying to get out on regular runs to build endurance. Personally I’ve been periodically wearing a 30lb pack for entire shifts at work. I get a lot of questions from customers about that one!  But the best gauge of our preparedness is going to rest in the success (or lack thereof) of the hike this weekend.

While we normally don’t mind shouldering the majority of the gear burden, Pukaskwa’s wild trail will mark the first hike that the boys will be hauling all of their own personal items including sleeping bags, sleeping pads and clothing. Fraser and I will carry our own stuff and then split the remaining shared gear and food between us. Our packs weigh-in somewhere in the neighbourhood of:

Zach 10lbs

Luke 15lbs

Jenny 25lbs

Fraser 40lbs

And so that is what they are carrying this weekend. My hope is that their little shoulders survive unbruised, that little feet remain blister free and that enthusiasm doesn’t wain in the face of difficulty. This lonely mom can’t wait until her boys are home again. I can’t wait to hear what they thought of that gorgeous unobstructed view of the super-moon. And I can’t wait to hear the trip report, the one that hopefully proves that all of our preparation has paid off. Keep your fingers crossed for us because the last training mission ends today. The next time we gaze at a moon from a park we will all be together, 14hrs north of our real lives, living out a dream.

A Bucket List For Kids…

I’ve been making reference to the National Trust’s list of “50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4” kid’s bucket list a lot lately. Everyone wants to know what’s on the list, but to see it you have to sign-up on their website and quite frankly it’s a bit of a hassle. So here is the list for quick reference. Try to check off as many things with your kids as you can before the warm weather is gone again. Enjoy!

1. Climb a tree

2. Roll down a really big hill

3. Camp out in the wild

4. Build a den

5. Skim a stone

6. Run around in the rain

7. Fly a kite

8. Catch a fish with a net

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

10. Play conkers

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging

16. Bury someone in the sand

17. Set up a snail race

18. Balance on a fallen tree

19. Swing on a rope swing

20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

27. Watch the sun wake up

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net

34. Track wild animals

35. Discover what’s in a pond

36. Call an owl

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab

40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and a compass

46. Try bouldering

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache

50. Canoe down a river

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