Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Gift to Save a Honeymoon in Temagami

Congratulations to Ben and Imroze! We look forward
to our first trip together with them!

That's exactly what I was thinking about while Marylou and I were on our trip on the Obabika river in Temagami. Our good friends Ben and Imroze were going to be married 3 days after we got back and we still had to purchase their wedding gift. Its not that we left it for last minute, as Marylou and I had already planned on purchasing them nice matching PFD's. The problem arose when Ben unintentionally emailed me for advice on selecting a nice life jacket for Imroze and then actually went out and bought it! Okay, plan B! (ah, Marylou what was plan B??!!)

You see, Ben and Imroze planned to take their honeymoon in Temagami on a canoe trip. (my kind of thing!) I may have had a little to do with it when I shared pictures of our multi-week trip with them from last year and Imroze was mesmerized by the picture of Centre Falls on the Lady Evelyn river. Its funny how things can change. The honeymoon was always going to be a canoe trip, but Imroze stipulated at least a roof, aka a cabin. However, sometimes its just those small things (like my picture!) that can bring a sudden change. Hence, a canoe trip to one of the most beautiful and rugged places in Ontario was set in motion.

Ben is an experienced canoe tripper and is as passionate about paddling as I am. Imroze's experience on the other hand is more limited. She has experienced outdoor day trips hiking and canoeing, but has never gone on an overnight trip. Therefore this honeymoon was not only about consummating their marriage, but experiencing and igniting a true passion for the wilderness while paddling together in the wilds of Temagami. So what's the problem?

Well, the wilderness does not play favourites and is non-negotiable in its raw state. Therefore, as beautiful and wonderful as things can seem, it can change at a moments notice. Our most recent trip totally demonstrated that. Fluctuating temperatures going from an oppressive humid heat to a hypothermic chill, extreme weather fronts that brought wind, waves, and torrential rains in minutes, and not least, extremely annoying bugs - black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, etc. It was the last one we were most concerned about. Its not like the bug situation was out of control, as we have seen worse, but they were relatively bad. (see previous post) For experienced trippers like ourselves, its no problem, but put a newbie in the same situation and it could be disastrous.

As always, being prepared can mean the difference between enjoyment and misery. And make no mistake, Ben was prepared. He bought a bug shirt for Imroze and lots of bug spray. However, with the cost of the wedding and the recent purchase of some expensive but excellent and comfortable canoe gear (do I hear Ostrom?) they were well expensed out. So when Maryou and I were comfortably relaxing inside our Eureka VCS bug shelter, I had an "eureka!" moment and suggested purchasing one of these for Ben and Imroze. With a resounding "yes!", I knew it was going to be the best gift! (okay, maybe second to the 42" LCD tv) I couldn't have thought of any better canoe related gift then this one, especially considering the circumstances. Sitting around the camp fire covered in a bug shirt or reeking of DEET just doesn't seem as romantic as being comfortably clothed (or unclothed!) bugfree in the shelter! (okay, okay, minus the campfire, but you can have candles!)

So as planned, we were able to purchase the shelter in time for the wedding. Unfortunately, the day before the wedding I had spoil the surprise and reveal to Ben what his gift was. I had to tell him to make sure there was going to be space for it in his pack as they were leaving early the next morning. Needless to say, he was estatic! (yes!) The rest was history! So did our gift save their honeymoon?, only time will tell. But I'm sure it will make it much more memorable!

After Thought: I forgot, Marylou and I also gave them a care package of essential outdoor items as well. One being natural bug spray (it actually works!) to look after the "sensitive" areas when nature calls. As you all know, bugs are ruthless and they spare no spots un-protected! Trust me, I know!, I couldn't even swat the darn thing!
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