Friday, February 19, 2010

Anna's Rabbit Hunt

Today, I took Anna to the Port Huron state game area. Our purpose was to hunt rabbits. We brought along Chloe, our beagle. It did not go well. Anna started complaining about her feet almost right away, and I could not find a single rabbit track. By the time Chloe actually looked like she had a possible line on a rabbit, Anna was crying and demanding to go home. Total time driving to the game area: one hour. Total time in the game area: 45 minutes. It was a beautiful day, and I was sure she would enjoy the warmer temperatures and the vast wooded area.

Here was the problem: My wife convinced me to have Anna wear her rubber boots instead of snow boots, since snow was melting and her snow boots might get "messy". Well, there was still plenty of snow (but not too much) in the game area, and the rubber boots were a little small for Anna. Her feet were getting pinched, ruining the experience. On the bright side, Anna said she still had fun, so I think she'll go again. As long as she has comfortable footwear!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Cave

Last week, we had enough snow fall in my area to close the schools for a day. I spent a few hours shoveling the snow off of the sidewalk and driveway. I use snow shoveling as a form of winter exercise, despite the inevitable chiding I get from my neighbor. I decided to pile all of the snow from the back of the driveway and the patio into one big pile. Once the snow was all piled high, I dug out a tunnel through the middle of the snow hill. Anna had a blast crawling through it. My inspiration came from a bigger snow cave the older kids at Anna's school had made after the previous big snowfall, and from an old Boy Scout wilderness survival manual. It wouldn't be too much more work to make the necessary modifications for a proper overnight snow cave. Wouldn't want to find out if it's overnight capable except in an emergency! But this is the closest I've come to fulfilling my wish to winter camp. It's snowing again today, so if there's enough to add another "wing" to the snow cave, I'll post a pic.

Yesterday, Anna and I were supposed to go rabbit hunting with my buddy and his son. Anna's asthma acted up on Sunday and she wasn't quite ready for outdoor exertion on Monday morning. She was very disappointed, as was I, and I have promised her we'll go later this week.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tentative 2010 Tripping Plans

I haven't posted in almost two weeks because I haven't done anything fun outdoors. Last weekend I stayed home and did very little. I even resorted to playing video games for a few hours (gasp!). But one thing I did do was email my tripping buddies and start a conversation about next summer's trip. I have been thinking about canoe tripping a lot lately, probably because I can't do it for several months, and I don't have any hunting plans in the very near future (look for a hunting report in 1-1/2 weeks). So I have decided to list the tentative canoe trip plans I have bouncing around my head.

*I would love to join the Algonquin Adventures crew on their annual ice-out gathering, since it looks to be on my birthday (April 24), but it is unlikely that I will get out there that early in the year.

*I hope to repeat the day trip done last year with my wife and kids plus my cousin, his wife, and their kids. We're still hashing out the details, as some members of the group don't love canoeing as much as I do. I am hoping for an overnight, which would be a big step for my daughters. This could turn into two events, a campground overnight with optional canoeing and a short canoe trip with just my nuclear family.

*This June will be my 10th anniversary, and I'd like to take my wife back to Algonquin. She hasn't been there since 2002, and has expressed a desire to return. I'm shooting for a long weekend in July to do the Rock-Pen-etc.-Louisa loop.

*The boys and I have been talking of a 3-night loop in Algonquin to Big Trout and back. We plan on taking the Tim River to Big Trout, and stopping on Misty on the way back. The goal is to pack light to make the portages less painful. We're in the process of locating a fourth participant, as we prefer even numbers.

*I'd like to take a friend of mine up on an offer to try kayaking on the Huron River. I've never paddled a kayak, and he is able to borrow some from a friend. That's the kind of day trip I could fit in anywhere.

*Last year I became really keen on the idea of trying my first solo trip. I'd still like to do that, but it seems just barely more likely than the ice-out trip. Oh well, I can't do it all in one summer. I will be pleased if I can do even a few of these trips. It sure would give me plenty to post about!