No Ghosts Here!

Trip Start May 31, 2012
Trip End Aug 08, 2013

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, June 16, 2012

    Hi again, we're back from our camping adventure that Laura had arranged for Duncan's birthday, and it was fantastic. Jesse and Stacey also came along for the weekend, as well as Chris Bowen, but just for the first night. Most of the campgrounds in around Calgary were booked solid so it was quite lucky that Laura was able to find this one, North Ghost just past Waiporous, and it turned out to be a great campground, one of the best I'd ever been on. The sites were huge, the location was beautiful and there was barely anybody else there (at least nobody occupying the sites around us). There was also free wood for burning and we were situated right across from the free woodpile! Whaaaa?! Free wood!!!

    Kara and Laura and I got there on Friday at around 7ish. We had our tents set up, Laura's air mattress blown up, the tarp all ready and were deep into the snacks when the others rambled their way in. Jesse and Stacey (and Gabby the dog) had the campsite directly across from us, and Laura, Duncan, Chris, Kara and I all shared one (although in different tents). That's how big the sites were, can you even picture it?! Back behind our site, there was a bit of a steep decline down to Ghost River which was moving pretty fast. When Gabby discovered this, she lost her mind. She's quite a swimmer and loves being outside, so she was just so excited to be there with us. She's also pretty protective of Stacey, so once it got dark she would growl and bark at anyone who came by, even if it was just one of us coming back from the outhouse. But that's ok, she's a dog just doing her job. And she sure does take her job seriously. I mean, really super cereal, you guys. (

    One-Match Kara lived up to her name once again. What a fire builder, that girl! And using only one receipt for fire starter! I tells ya', she's something. If I was stranded on a desert island and I could only bring one thing, I would bring Kara Powell. While Kara worked her magic in the fire pit, Chris Bowen and I put up his tent (which was Laura's old tent); please see attached picture for photographic evidence of said feat. In our defense... tents are hard! But really, it was missing a pole and one of the three remaining poles was broken. I doubt any of you could do a better job given the circumstances. And no, I'm not being defensive! You shut up!!

    Friday night there was pretty cold so it's a good thing we had a raging fire with an endless supply of firewood, warm clothes and hats and mitts as well. It's also good that we all had such strong and supportive tents to sleep in too.... Being away from the fire for any amount of time would result in a cold runny nose and shivering, but coming back to that fire sure did feel good.

    Everyone slept in the next morning as it was pretty overcast and there was no bright, warm sun to rouse us from our slumber. Y'know when you're camping and you can't possibly stay in your tent after say, 8 am, because it just gets so hot in there? Well, that didn't happen, so we all slept in which was nice. We each made our breakfasts, which mostly consisted of bacon and eggs prepared on Duncan's grill and cowboy coffee. After this, Laura and Duncan strung up their fishing rods and ambled on down to the ol' fishing hole to scrabble us up some lunch. Well, Laura mostly read her book (book 2 of the Hunger Games) while Duncan prepared the rods. The rest of us hung back and played a little music while they were out fishing. Kara and I brought our new ukulele and Jesse and Stacey brought guitars and harmonicas. We all put together a pretty good rendition of 'Mama Tried' by Merle Haggard, Kara serenaded us with 'Dark End of the Street' by the Flying Burrito Brothers and I may or may not have played a Monkees song or two. Chris left shortly after this, but I'm sure these events were not related. He loved our playing, you could see it in his eyes. Laura and Duncan came back a little while later empty-handed (empty of fish, they still had their rods) but that didn't matter; it was a beautiful day and we had plenty of food to sustain us.

    Kara and I went for a walk and the others engaged in a pretty fierce crib game. I believe Jesse and Duncan won that game, but it was fairly close (from what I could see, I was over in the shade finishing my book, Perdido Street Station.... If anybody's looking for a great fiction book, kinda science-fictiony but also kinda Victorian era society - steam-punk I guess - then check it out; it's by China Mieville. H's really good.... also, The Scar by him is pretty awesome). Aaaaaaaanyway, card game yeah, camping yeah, that's what I was talking about! After I rejoined the gang, we started a friendly game of Asshole which lasted the better part of the evening I believe. I think we all experienced the rush of being president as well as the squalor of being the asshole; some friendships were strained, relationships were tested, new bonds were forged, and some lives were even lost but we all made it out alive (despite what I just said there about lives being lost).

    I gotta' say, it was so cool to see our families together and enjoying the weekend. I love our families and seeing everyone getting along so well and enjoying each others company really means the world to me. It means the world to Kara too, it's just that because I'm writing this I get to say it first. As we were driving to Slave Lake yesterday, we were talking about what a nice weekend it was and how great it was to see everyone together. We sure are going to miss you knuckleheads if you're reading this. Now, after calling you all knuckleheads, will you continue to read? Let's find out...

    The second night we were there it was quite a bit warmer, so Duncan didn't freeze in their tent. That first night he only had a summer sleeping bag and was a popsicle in the morning, having given his warm sleeping bag to Laura. Pretty noble guy, dontcha' think? Also, Kara lost an earring by the fire that night, so the next morning we were all searching by where she was sitting the night before, looking for this turquoise earring. Before we found it (Kara did eventually locate it, funnily enough as she was in the process of saying "Well, I guess it's lost forever".... she got about as far as "Well, I guess -" and then she found it), we also found an engineering ring and lots of little red and blue pellets from an airgun. Apparently there was a massive battle fought over the ground that we had spent the weekend on. I imagine there were many casualties, possibly including that brave engineer, who gave his life for us to eat smores and drink wine. God Bless that engineer.
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