Usually I like to pen stories about blasting around the planet to see this and that and all the wonders the globe has to offer. Mostly because I know how much sleep my Mum used to lose when I was growing up and I want to help relive those moments by telling her I’m going to sleep in a tent in the African wild or jump off a bridge, those sort of fun loving moments.
However I often oversee that the rest of the planet comes here to see the amazement right under my nose.
For the first summer in a number of years I choose to stay in Canada this time, hell I likely won’t even leave the province over the summer season. Though I still get itchy feet and want to wander around a little.
I think a Staycation is a nice way to let everyone know your not leaving town this holiday season, ot here is the polite way Wikipedia says it.
I guy on my ball team asks what I’m up to for the weekend? I tell him I’m off to Burntstick Lake to do some fishing. He says he was just there yesterday meeting a guy about some work projects & said to the guy how lucky he is that his mobile office right now is in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The guy pauses, looks around and says “Yeah actually, I’m out here in the wilderness everyday and never really even think to stop and take it all in. Wow your right I totally do.”
Burntstick Lake sits down a dusty gravel road just on the cusp of the Rocky Mountains in a heavily wooded area of creeks, streams and a supply of wildlife that National Geographic would find impressive. I like the lake as it’s stocked with fish and my fishing skills require a lake that is heavily stocked!
Like all good trips it’s roughly planned and loosely organised. I’m not even sure if it’s Burnstick we’re headed to as we drive out that day as there are a number of lakes in the area. So I ask at the tackle & bait shop on the way out at which lake the best fishing can be found. I also haven’t been here in over twenty years so things change. We roll into camp about 4pm and I make small talk with the camp caretakers, after several minutes I ask how much is a site? They laugh and say, `Well it depends what site you booked?”. I glance back nervously at my girlfriend and her two kids who have never slept in a tent and are sick of being in a car & wonder who’s going to cry first when I break the news, them or me?
The caretakers look at the list and whisper a few points back and forth. “You’re tenting?” they ask. “Yes” I reply enthusiastically! Well someone left early and we actually have one spot left you can tent at.
Well now I’m feeling a little relaxed and state jokingly that “Will only take it if it’s close to the park and right by the lake!”
They chuckle “Yes it is actually!”
Ha, this miracle of no reservations and best possible location, last minute spots seems to follow me around from poor booking and ill planning from place to another. I tell the girlfriend I’m the luckiest guy in the world. She takes it the wrong way and assumes I’m referencing her. All things are looking up so far!
The tent gets set up, moved, moved again, pegged, slept in, rained on, poured on & re-pegged the next day.
The three sixteen year old men camped next to us, share a tent, a bottle and some light conversation with me. I feel nostalgic and tell Keli stories of camping with my buds in the mountains when I was sixteen. Day drunk, pissing off the campsite and taking my 2WD on a 4x4 trip. She notes that based on those stories that if I ever have children I am doomed to many a sleepless night and a bottomless supply of what could be some parenting karma. I change the subject…
We are a party of four. 4yrs old, 8yrs old and a couple of thirty something’s. I purposely bring three fishing rods, as I’m sure I’m the only one who’s been fishing I foresee being the only one not to do much fishing on this trip. This is solidified when I start to put hooks through the heads of wriggling maggots and dew worms. No one else is interested in this position. After day one of various jigs, shinny hooks and things that smell tempting, we have exactly ZERO fish. Day two I see a trail of small children with strings of fish, I inspect there set up.
One bobber, one plain hook, one worm. I dial back our set up to be a little more basic & in no time three of three people have caught there first fish and I’m feeling a little less pressure about why I’m boring everyone out of there skulls on a dock next to a lake we could be swimming in.
This lake is also my first memory of where I caught my first fish.
As children are blessed with no ego, we keep the first fish. I behead, clean, then prep the fish for a buttery fate. 2oz of fish meat are split amongst the hunters along side several side dishes and dessert. If it we’re any fresher it would be served on rice, wrapped in seaweed then dipped in a wasabi and soya mixture.