Three Friends With a Dream, a Life Outdoors.
They say if you know someone for seven years you’ll be friends with them for a lifetime. Although I find comfort in this, I am forced to believe that a bond greater than time has been responsible for holding us together through all these years. I struggle to pinpoint exactly what it is, perhaps a mix of good timing, luck and sheer "meant to be". But i'll reduce it to shared dreams and passions for the sake of this story.
We are three friends with a dream; a life outdoors.
We originally bonded over admiration of the intriguing unfamiliarity and possibilities of the outdoors. We considered ourselves to be rebellious at the time for engaging in simple outdoor activities such fishing, camping, bonfires, jumping off docks, star gazing, etc. However, the allure of being different wasn’t the driving force behind our actions. We simply enjoyed being together amongst the curiosities of the outdoor world and embraced the fact that our interests didn't run true to the growing digital world.
Our defining move as rebellious outdoorsman was pooling together $200 to buy a canoe from a gentleman we found on Kijiji that just so happened to own a scrap yard. The deal was that he’d shave part of the price if we helped move some of his junk from one location to another, 30 yards away. Sign us up. The thought of it was pretty badassed at the time.
And so we bought the hunk of wood. It was painted red on the inside, green on the outside, and the upper-outer ridge contained a pattern which reminded me at the time of something indigenous peoples would paint on their bodies. It contained two built in chairs for the paddlers, which meant someone was sitting on the floor and treated with a serious case of swamp-ass. The tradeoff was that the floor man didn't have to paddle.
Just like that the local lake, an assemblage of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, became our upscaled playground. We were no longer bound to the shore and forced to engage in the thought of “I wonder what's out there”. It’s a feeling similar to receiving your first car, you are no longer bound by the willingness of your parents to drive you places. In our minds, this canoe would give us boundless invincibility.
Naturally the first trip had to be to investigate the daunting Dowker Island whose northern edge we could see from shore. For us, this was the closest thing we would have to public land, although it wasn’t really public and simply belonged to the town across the lake. But who the hell cared, that was our island. A wikipedia search lend the knowledge that the island contained a muskrat habitat, a handful of ruins, and at one point the body of a woman who froze to death. This simply added to our curiosity.
Our adventures began with day trips, we’d beach the canoe, cook a pack of hotdogs over the fire, watch the sunset and trek back home. This sequence of events repeated itself for months. It eventually occurred to us that sleeping over was a possibility. We’d pursue that for years to come. We’d began to push the limits of the vessel, packing it with so much unnecessary gear that the upper ridge of the canoe was a mere three inches above the water. The pattern which we feel in love with would be essentially indistinguishable. It was a cool feeling to have to pack “survival” gear as we headed out beyond the frontiers of society and the reach of our parents. Personally, I was a mere 3 km from home as the crow flies. But it felt further at the time.
And just like that the seed of outdoor adventure was planted within our utopian, excitement filled 15 year old minds. We simultaneously fell in love with the obsessive feeling of what next? And quickly discovered that the answers to this question are infinite. Its accepted that you can’t do it all, but the way we see it, it’s sure as hell worth a try.
So together we engage on this journey in an attempt to fulfill our love for the outdoors. Fishing, hunting, camping, learning, and hopefully one day teaching. These are our stories. Join us in our endless pursuit to dream harder and seek the wild.