Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roughing it at lake o'hara

by the third night i could stick my feet all the way down to the bottom of the sleeping bag without flinching.

what can i say: it's a phobia. i can't put my hand or foot anywhere i can't see. when most people lose something under the driver's seat, they reach down and retrieve it. me, i go to therapy.

so it was no small accomplishment, getting used to the sleeping bag. and it did make the rest of our rough life seem easy by comparison: pulling water from a stream, sleeping in common quarters, using the stinkiest outhouse in tarnation, cooking for a dozen, going without electricity, without showers, without email, facebook, twitter, wikipedia or blogging.

from 21-24 june we stayed at the ACC's elizabeth parker hut up in lake o'hara. although EPH's popularity means that most people enter a lottery for a chance to stay there, we have an in through family friend al hunter, who's been going there regularly since 1959. every year he puts together a ragtag group of campers including, for the last four years, my folks. also along: al's son craig and two of his colleagues from BC social services, al's daughter jody and her 23-year-old son sam, and our friend katherine. it was a shockingly good group, generous and fun and easy to be around, with the right combination of together and alone -- and fantanstic food: blueberry pancakes and ham for breakfast, fresh chili for dinner, dried meats and hummous for lunches, along with organic vegetables and penticton fruit, single-malt and st andre cheese at 5. most importantly, the ear plugs worked.

what people love about camping at lake o'hara is that you start at such high elevation that it's easy to get to the wiwaxy gap, or the yukness ledge, or up to abbot pass. even with the weather pissing rain, or blowing snow or, on wednesday night, hailing, we had some great hiking. and mo's pictures can make anything look beautiful:

nothing like chilly hiking to make even a sleeping bag feel cozy.

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