Day 4: Packing It In

Date: Monday, January 19, 2015

Weather: Sunny, temperatures in the minus teens

I slept even more soundly and warmly overnight Sunday night than Saturday. Vivid dreams stuck with me as I awoke early and started to organize the inside of my tent for packing up. I stuffed my clothes back in their sacks, pulled apart my sleep system, and then wriggled my feet into frozen boots and tried to get out of my tent. The zipper on my fly was frozen shut.

It took a little chipping away and warmth from my hands before I was free from my ice castle. I brought my stuff sacks to the car, grabbed Bill’s crowbar out of his trunk, and started wiggling tent pegs out of the frozen ground. I would have torn up my hands trying to do it myself. The guy lines were frozen to my avalanche shovel and to the bottle of windshield washer fluid. I was starting to get a little nervous about what my drive home would look like.

I managed to loosen the ice’s grip on my belongings and got the rest of the tent packed up in my car. We dismantled the hot tent and stove, stacked up nearly a quarter cord of wood that we hadn’t used to benefit the next campers that came in, and brought all of the garbage and recycling to the bins on the edge of the campground.

I said my good-byes to Bill and Brian and got on the road to Toronto to return my snowshoes to MEC before 1pm. The park had sanded Highway 60 and with almost new snow tires on the car, I felt safe the whole way home.

One side effect of spending the entire weekend outdoors: the apartment felt too hot when I let myself in Monday afternoon.

Lessons learned: There isn’t anything I wish I’d had with me that I either don’t own, didn’t rent, or didn’t bring. I maybe would have brought an extra Nalgene hot water bottle into my sleeping bag the first night and I definitely would have worn my down booties the first night. I was apparently too out of it to have thought of it on Friday but I rectified that on Saturday.

Read the rest of the trip report here.

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