This guest blog is written by Rob Agasi, Zoë's father, after they visited us in the North East of the US.
When you take your daughters on camping trip from an early age and later send them on a maiden trip, inevitably the moment will come that they invite you for a camping and canoe trip. At my age, I am not waiting for that anymore, but you do not want to disappoint them either. With 70 plus crawling in a tent again in the forests of North America and splashing through water with paddles to get soaked was now far away from the old boy scouts or soldier adventures. Our tents were growing mould and our 27-year-old fuel stove had been used intensively by Weleaf in the past three years and provided excellent services.
With the necessary reserve we went looking for our meeting place with hotel suitcase and camping suitcase. Somewhere in the middle of the nature of the State of New York, USA, the camping suitcase was transferred to the canoe and the other suitcase stayed in the car. We continued by foot through the "bush". Weather and water temperatures were good and the hidden camping spot looked idyllic. Putting up a tent is now a piece of cake; it almost pitches itself. But then? How do you crawl in? Where do you leave the luggage? How do you prepare the meal on one burner? How did you wash with muddy stream water? All things we once knew. It therefore took at least three nights for the routine to return. It starts during the dinner by drinking less, so you don't to get out at night. In front of the tent you loosen laces, buttons and zippers, to dive into the sleeping bag as quickly as possible. That lay on an insulation mat of 1 cm thick, but after an hour you start to feel the hard bottom. Sleeping on your back and stomach to create as much surface as possible is a must. First the sleeping bags were separated from each other, but zipping them to each other gave more mutual warmth. The toilet stuff is also well stacked in a corner, so that you could go out with a handle. Everything to keep the mosquitoes outside the tent. Cooking on one burner also requires logistical skills. Boil the eggs for breakfast in the morning with the macaroni in the evening. Preheat cooking water on the wood fire. Wood fire ...? Birch bark, twigs, sticks, gather together to pile the campfire in the correct order so that the flame gets its chance. Adventurous ..?!? No iron discipline. How was it again: "Old soldiers never die" .. !! In the autumn, on the other hand, canoeing was quite smooth, as long as you don't have to pass any waterfalls and went downstream (a planned trip for the old fellows). The river water even fell like bath water. The forests gave a view of overhanging trees, shore eco's and the landscape was a green tunnel. A perfect opportunity to talk with my daughter about family, pedigree, youth, intellect, philosophers, literature, etc. One thing was clearly different. In the past, map reading was a must and every intersection or crossing branch had to be checked. Keep an eye on the sun during the day and the Great Bear at night. Now no more worries with a GPS. Getting lost with a tracker is almost impossible. But yes, you must have power. This gives a new social dimension. Every charging point had to be utilized and the charging point automatically becomes the talking point .......... :)