A few weeks ago a colleague and I were discussing recreational activities when he mentioned about a place where you can go camping – an island on a lake in Maine. The very idea of camping on an island was very enticing. And the minute I heard him say how wonderful an experience it was, I knew I had to go there to see it all for myself. I let K know about the place, a little research and a few minutes of discussion later, he booked us a campsite on the island. And there I was after that excitedly counting my days to the long weekend.
With everything packed (or so we thought), we left the house early Saturday morning only to realize a few minutes later that we forgot to take the food that was in the fridge. Also, just to make it an adventurous start, a quick search on the GPS for that town in Maine returned a “no results found.” And, since I had no key to get into the house again, there was no hope of getting the food or directions; so, we headed north only with hope that a quick stop at a grocery store on our way would get us enough stock of food for the two days and a phone call to a friend later would help us get to our destination. What fun! It wasn’t too bad though…we did end up getting a big loaf of bread, we got the directions from a friend and we reached our destination without any problems, albeit late.
And now began the real fun.
We were given two options to get to our campsite on the island from the mainland – either pay for a shuttle service, which means they would drop us off at our site and pick us up two days later, or rent a canoe and row to the island, by ourselves. We chose the latter, not only because the price for renting the canoe for three days was half of what the shuttle would cost us, but also because we had enough time, energy and excitement to try something as fun as canoeing. After getting the directions to the island, we set off to unload the car of all the items that we would need to survive the next two days on the island. And just like that, minutes after stacking everything on the canoe, we embarked on this thrilling new experience that was to unfold.
The journey amazing, to say the least – the views of mountains here and there, the sun’s reflection on the lake, the water splashing on the face every now and then getting rid of all the exhaustion – it was simply great. While taking a tiny break from rowing to drink some water, I suddenly realized that I forgot to pick up matchsticks or lighters. Fingers crossed, I yelled out to K to ask him if he remembered; oops, he didn’t either. Just as we tried to calm our tired souls down with It’s ok if we can’t have fire. We can just eat bread with raw veggies, we realized that we had also forgotten to take torches. We were up for an adventure, didn’t I tell you? So yeah, no lighters, and no torches meant we couldn’t do anything after the sunset. Oh well, so what…not a big deal, we said to ourselves and rowed forward with the same enthusiasm.
The island was about 2.5miles away from the mainland, we were told; it took a little more than an hour to get there. Given that we both have no experience in rowing and that we were working ourselves under the scorching afternoon sun, I would say we did good. We reached our site, unloaded everything from the canoe, set up our tent and got right on to make sandwiches to feed our growling tummies. Once that was done, we sat by the lake for a while – talking, playing scrabble and taking in the beauty that is nature. We had gorgeous views of the mountain, the lake and the setting sun. As it started getting dark, we both did our share of checking to see if everything ok before we lost our only source of light (sun) completely, but we failed to notice one loaf of bread that sat on the picnic table. And like that, day one came to an end – few hours of driving, an hour and fifteen minutes of rowing, a little bit of tiredness and a lot of fun.
The sweet sound of loons made for a good wake up call Sunday morning. As I saw the sun come out after hiding for a while behind the clouds, I stepped out of the tent to start a new day. As soon as K saw me coming out of the tent, he came over to give me the news that we do not have as much food as we thought we had because squirrels had attacked that big loaf of bread that we had left on out accidentally. Two thirds of the loaf was gone…it’s amazing how these little creatures worked all night to take away so much bread, while it would have taken us two or three meals to complete that amount of bread. Oh well…at least someone had their tummies full. After this revelation, the day pretty much opened its arms to relaxation and fun – playing scrabble by the lake, taking an afternoon nap, eating sandwiches, absorbing the surrounding beauty and a little bit of rowing in the evening – I couldn’t have asked for more from a weekend after a busy week. We thoroughly enjoyed and survived through the second day of our primitive lives.
Monday came and we were not too happy that it was all going to end in a few hours. Morning was spent packing, cleaning, eating and rowing back to the mainland, while the afternoon was spent driving back home, all the while missing all the fun we had.
We had no sense of time during the two days we spent at the island – neither of us wear a watch, and the cell phones had no range there, so the time wasn’t getting updated. We tuned our lives the rising and setting sun, given that we had no other source of light. We realized that we were the only two people on the whole island during the weekend and for some reason that made me happier. We talked, we played, we tried to swim (but didn’t because the water was too cold), we picked rocks, we rested under the sun on the rocks, we rowed, we got tired, we managed with very limited amount of food, and we fed a couple real hungry squirrels a big loaf of bread – yes, they completed the whole pack in two nights and get this, they wouldn’t eat the cucumber pieces that we left for them. All in all, we enjoyed the trip (thanks to Mr.R for recommending the place to me) and didn’t want it to end so soon.
And now life’s back to its routine.