June 19, 2006

A lot of "firsts" for Jade.

Pictures for this entry can be found here in the Photo Album entitled "Camping at Teslin Lake".

We got a call from Amanda and Philippe on Friday night, asking if we'd like to join them and maybe a few other people for a night or two at a camp on Teslin Lake.

After some adjustments to our weekend plans (gardening, cleaning, a dinner, etc.), we decided to pack our things and join them. We invited Kim to come along.

Packing took a little longer than usual, but we got everything we needed (and more) into the car and set out on a rainy Saturday morning, hoping that the weather would clear.

The drive was nice and the vibrations from my muddy, unbalanced tires lulled Jade to sleep.

We stopped briefly to watch a very skinny bear hugging a telephone/power pole. I wasn't scratching it or marking it in any way that I could see, and I couldn't quite tell if it was a black or grizzly bear (I think black), but I could tell that it really liked that pole.

After a stop at Johnson's Crossing, we drove down to the lake. The water on Teslin Lake was high and surrounded the poplars along the shore.

The rain had stopped and the ground was already starting to dry. Swatting mosquitoes, we loaded the boat for the ride across the lake. Philippe, the captain, ferried Amanda and their kids and Kim across to the other side before returning to collect Fawn, Jade, Nanuq, Abby (another dog) and me.

I sat in the bow with the dogs to make sure they didn't go crazy. Fawn sat in the middle of the boat, holding Jade. The life jacket just barely fit Jade.

While we were waiting on shore, Jade was getting cranky. It wasn't the mosquitoes; it was the waiting. She wanted to move. Now that we were in the boat, she had stopped her bouts of crying and had a big smile plastered on her face. She was thoroughly enjoying the wind on her face and every few seconds she would stop smiling and giggling just long enough to lick at the air.

There were few bugs on the other side and we had our tents set up in no time. I did a bit of fishing, but otherwise, we spent the rest of the day caring for babies and relaxing and cooking on the handy-dandy Liard Firebox.

The next day, we went for a hike along a trail that led up to one of the mountains. Kim decided to stay at the camp and relax on the shore reading her book. Ah, a rough life, indeed.

We passed wildflower after wildflower. Jade was fastened to my front in a snugly and I had my pack on my back. Jade looked around at the passing trees until she couldn't look around any more. She fell asleep.

The mosquitoes were out and Fawn helped me cover Jade and myself with a bug bar (mosquito net). We crossed a small stream and then a bigger one, this time balancing across a log. During the uphill walk, I got hotter and hotter, with a pack on my back and a little furnace fastened to my front.

Amanda, Philippe and kids stayed at the stream crossing before turning back while Fawn and I proceeded a little further uphill. We stopped on a ridge where there was a good breeze so we could change Jade's diaper and give her a feed.

From the ridge, there were great views of "Ol' Baldy". Nanuq and I scouted the trail ahead a little more. There were fresh moose tracks all over the place. When we got back to Fawn and Jade, I thought that we should continue along the trail, but Nanuq picked up the scent of something he didn't like, so we decided to play it safe and head back to the camp.

This time, Fawn carried Jade. With a bug jacket over top (the mosquitoes didn't seem to bother Jade a bit), we walked back down the hill and across the log over the stream. Jade was giggling and smiling almost all the way back. She loved putting the mesh from the bug jacket in her mouth and watching Nanuq run up and down the trail.

It was only as we were getting back to the camp that Fawn remembered it was Father's Day (she remembered before we left, but sometimes you forget these things). I had forgotten, too. Well, it was a good way to spend Father's Day. My first Father's Day with the baby outside the womb.

When we got back, we took a nap.

For lunch/dinner we had mountain goat burgers, and then we packed our bags for the boat ride and drive home. I would have like to have spent another night, but, as they often do, responsibilities beckoned.

I called my dad as soon as we got back. I forgot to thank him (and my mom) for exposing me to the great outdoor life when I was just a little peanut. So I'll do it now. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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