Monday, June 08, 2015

Trip Log - Prologue: Grand Lake to Clemow Lake and back (Victoria Day Weekend 2014)

Prologue      go to Day 1       go to Day 2        go to Day 3

Something very exciting happened this spring while planning for our first trip of the year, I discovered the concept of “dehydrating” food.  After various Googling exercises, we were at Canadian Tire looking at a dehydrator.  As we hummed and hawed over it, LT found the exact same appliance at Walmart for $15 less.  Please look the other way as you picture us traipsing over to that place that shall not be named.  I really try to never shop there, but occasionally exceptions are made.

There were several on the shelf, I grabbed one and opened the box.  In order to buy the tray liners (two different types, one is a ‘screen’ for smaller items like blueberries, the other a solid liner for fruit leathers and other liquids, I would have to mail away to the distributor in Montreal.  Okay, I could do that.  We decided to scour the shelves to see if anything else could be substituted for the liners.  Someone had fortunately lost interest in an art supply and dropped it in our vicinity.  It was plastic mesh meant to be used for needlepoint.  Perfect!  At $2.65 even if it failed, oh well.  I brought it home and promptly cut it to fit the circular trays and pre-tested it in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit (better to melt there over a cookie sheet than in the new dehydrator).  It didn’t melt!

Oh the Googling that ensued!  I purchased a cookbook online.  I bought one at Chapters. I mailed away and received two fruit leather trays and two mesh trays.  I scoured many websites, watched plenty of Youtube videos and jumped into my own dehydrating adventure.  We even sampled some of the recipes at home so we’d know if they were good or not.

I will provide more details on what I learned, what works, and what’s delicious elsewhere.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to bring my newfound food skills into the field.

While waiting for camping season to open up, we had done a lot of planning and purchased equipment here and there.  We had added the following to our kit:
  •         Gravity water filtration system (Platypus)
  •         Steripen (for the nasty germs)
  •         Eureka! camping mattress for me (narrow)
  •         2nd Whisperlite stove
  •         2 new backpacks from MEC
  •         Couple of drybags and compression sacks
Reservations were made, this would be our first 2-night trip to the park.  The official ice-out date this year was as late as May 7th.  To be honest, this is based on the largest lake, Opeongo, the ice was probably gone on Grand Lake and Clemow Lake earlier than that.  But I was still nervous about being on water that is so cold.  I had heard the following rule: 1-10-1.  One minute to control your breathing when you get dumped into the cold water, ten minutes to get to safety, after that your limbs would no longer perform the commands sent from your brain, and one hour until hypothermia sets in.  I have been in ice cold water, it’s very scary.  I was nervous.  Also Grand Lake is bigger than any of the lakes we had been on so far together for any extended period of time.  The wind would be blowing in our faces as we paddled up the 11+ km to the top of the lake.
Rental canoe with new gear

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