Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prepping for the Bloodvein River Trip

77,78, 79, and 80! Counting all the bars for the Bloodvein trip.

Its been less than 2 weeks after our return from our adventurous Kirkpatrick trip. Since then, Lisa and I have been busy getting ready for our next one, this time all the way to northwest Ontario/Manitoba to paddle the Bloodvein River. Since our fortuitous meeting almost a year ago, Lisa and I dreamed of taking a big canoe trip together. Especially as we were so compatible as a tripping team and thoroughly enjoyed the numerous shorter trips together. Late last year after choosing to paddle the Bloodvein, we slowly saw the dream turn into reality as we gathered info, obtained maps, and bought supplies. Now that the departure date has almost arrived, we are more than ecstatic!

Dehydrating vegetables for some of our meals. Its amazing how
much they shrink, but thankful for the weight savings!

Our plan is to paddle the Bloodvein in its entirety from its headwaters near Red Lake, Ontario all the way to where it flows out into Lake Winnipeg. We will cover approximately 320 km over the course of 18-19 days, paddling on a Canadian Heritage River filled with many pictograph sites, numerous runnable rapids and a slice of pristine wilderness. How can any canoeist not get excited about this? Reading past trip reports and getting information regarding the route gets us excited like little kids filled with nervous energy as we can't wait to start the trip!

The smell in the kitchen emanating from the oven and both
dehydrators were amazing! It was one heck of a
production! That's chilli in the works!

Well we are almost ready to go, still packing up some things and getting last minute errands completed. The house looked like a bit of a disaster with tripping gear all over the place including piles of food everywhere. The kitchen once felt a bit like a sauna with 2 dehydrators and the oven going simultaneously preparing our meals. (No we didn't trip the breaker!) However its the mountain of trail mix that has me worried. Lisa loves trail mix and we have 5 huge bags that weigh over 8 kg! (that's over 16 lbs!!!) Did I mention the huge bar of chocolate that weighs almost a pound as well?!! We are planning to eat well, but correspondingly burn a lot of calories carrying the stuff!

No less effort in organizing all the gear and wondering how
everything was going to fit in! (Why is there a
blow dryer hiding under the pile?!!)

Before I head off, I like to once again thank my generous and kind sponsors for their support of this trip. Its a comfort to know Lisa and I will be heading into the wilderness with quality products. A big thanks to Eureka for supplying the roof over my head and various other camp side implements that will make life more enjoyable around camp. Another big thanks to Hooligan Gear for providing the packs and barrel harnesses that will shoulder the heavy loads - including the mountain of trail mix! Thanks to AquaBound for providing whitewater paddles which we plan to put to good use, Salus for the PFD's to keep our heads above water, The Original Bug Shirt to keep those pesky vampires out, The Complete Paddler for providing whitewater gear/accessories, and even Comfort Corner Corporation for providing Lisa and I orthotics to keep our feet in optimal condition! (more to come about this later). Lastly I'll be taking things like the Littlbug stove and the Badger Paddle sock to compliment the gear already selected to head out on the trip. Again, my deepest gratitude to all of you for your ongoing support and help to make this trip and many others a success!

Trail mix! - the present-day canoeist's pemmican! Lisa loves this stuff
and there is plenty! Store bought bags supplemented
with even more stuff! (Gulp!, its heavy!!
- the big hurt!)

Wow, it will be over 3 weeks (24 days) I'll be gone with travel time included. To date it will be the longest I've ever been away on a trip! Can't say I don't like this trend! Hopefully bigger and better things for the future! Well many thanks to all of you that follow along on my blog and read about my rants both in and out of the canoe. I hope everyone is or will be taking advantage of the great weather this summer to paddle. As I share my experiences on my various trip this year, I hope in the same way I will get to hear about some of yours! Take care everyone and safe paddling! Be in touch when we get back! Time to finish packing! ("Yeah Lisa, I'm POSITIVE no more trail mix can fit in!")

David & Lisa

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