Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lyle's Winter Camping Trip

I had really hoped to have pictures to put with this post but as I have learned lately, things just do not go as I would hope.  Oh well.

Lyle has been looking forward to his Outdoor and Forrestry Camping trip all year, the week of the trip the weather forecast looked gorgeous,  we had spent a small fortune on all his gear but he can use it over and over again so I didn't get too sick over it.  They were scheduled to leave on Thursday night after school, drive to the north shore then hike to the Boundary Waters to the lake they were camping on early Friday morning and then hike out Sunday morning.  There is still a good 4 foot of snow but it was packed so it should have made for good snow shoeing.

On the morning they were scheduled to leave we recieved notice that they would probably get some snow and the temps had dropped but not to bad and with all his gear I wasn't too worried.   At 5 o'clock there were about 47 people from 3 schools being loaded onto the coach bus and they were all so excited it was kind of funny to watch them.

They drove to Grand Marais on the north shore and stayed the night in the basement of a church building, got up Friday morning and they had SNOW!  They hiked about 3 miles in blinding snow and apparently the small fortune of gear wasn't enough because all his clothes got wet,  not exactly sure how but it did.  Oh and did I mention he forgot his coat, luckily his teacher was able to loan him one.

The temps that night got down to a -5 and Lyle was miserable, along with the biggest majority of kids.  Saturday they spent the day huddled in tents trying to stay warm.  The temps on Saturday night got down to a -24, so much for the forecast.  The walk out on Sunday was made even more miserable because the snow was so heavy it brougt slush up from the cracks in the lake and they hiked through 3 inches of cold slop.  By the time they got to the bus Lyle was absolutely miserable and exhausted.   They stopped in Grand Marais for pizza and then headed to the YMCA for swimming and the hot tub.  Lyle said nothing has ever felt so good.

His teacher said in all his years of camping and especially with this class, it was the worst possible conditions imaginable for the trip.  In Lyle's words, he went through the cold version of hell for 2 days.  Most of the kids had feet swelling and cramping so needless to say it wasn't a fun trip.  Lyle does plan to join  the class next year and try again, hopefully Robert can go next year.

Winter this year has been brutal, I am not sure if it's breaking me in or trying to drive me out, I just know I want Spring and I want it now.