Meals cooked outdoors always taste better … and other lies

Algonquin Canoe Trip Journal — Part 7

I always thought canoe trips were sort of like space travel; you’re cut off from the world, journeying to parts unknown and dependent on specially prepared food to survive. Unlike space travel, there is gravity so you don’t have to eat breakfast, lunch and supper out of a tube. Unless you run out of food and have to eat your toothpaste.

Getting ready to make supper at Clydegale Lake. I handled breakfasts, Ken did lunches and Steve made supper. What’ll it be tonight boys? Powdered spaghetti? Powdered potatoes? Powdered powder?

But you do have to pack light. Unless you’re Ken. He insisted on bringing along fresh fruit, which he didn’t tell me until after I volunteered to combine our food into my plastic tote.

So I meticulously packed my six days worth of dehydrated breakfasts to leave plenty of room for Ken’s lunches, which included apples, baby carrot slices and a watermelon.

All right, I’m exaggerating; it was a pineapple.

But seriously. Gathering food for the Algonquin trip was a learning experience. Prior to this trip, my concept of canoe camping was more in tune with the pre-railroad era. To me, canoes were more like canal boats, capable of bearing tremendous loads. I considered the 740-pound load limit sticker posted on the bullkhead a starting point.

The type of canoeing you do at Algonquin involves lengthy portages over rough terrain. So you can’t bring bulky coolers filled with sides of beef, two-liter bottles of Mountain Dew and mystery sausage left over from the previous trip. (My canoeing buddy Joe used to use his cooler to do laundry in at home and it wasn’t unusual, when fishing for a beer at night, to find a sock. Or worse.)

Reconstituting dehydrated food is an adventure in itself. Especially for the mathematically challenged. On day one, I didn’t put enough water in the powdered eggs. What was supposed to be a Denver veggie omelette was more like egg jerky with subtle undertones of dry pancake batter.

The second day, I added too much water to the rehydrating packet. After we drank our breakfast, we headed out for a day of exploring  Clydegale Lake, comforted by the fact that I wouldn’t be responsible for lunch too.

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