Our journey began at 4:30 p.m. from the Gear Bay, the meeting point for all the 11 members who were to take on the adventure that lay ahead of them. With a cheerful frame of mind reinforced by relaxation, we all headed towards Mc Connell Lake.
We reached the parking lot of Mc Connell Lake at about 5:30 p.m., where our lovely guides, Sarah and Logan gave a brief talk on safety measures to the participants. From there we started walking with our gear towards the cabins where we were to set up camp for the night. We hiked for about twenty minutes before we reached the campsite, where we took a five minute snack break. We served Soda and Energy bars to everybody. Sarah and Logan then gave everyone a demo on how to set up a tent and soon the enthusiastic participants were setting up their own tents and were done in no time. It was dusky when we went on to set a campfire. We had a small activity where everybody gathered tinder to ignite kindling. Then we added fuel to the fire, literally!
As it started getting dark, we lit up our headlamps, set up the woodstove, washed our hands and made veggie and chicken wraps on it. While we prepared food everybody had gathered around the campfire for introductions, games and discussions. We got to know and learn a lot about different cultures from all our participants belonging to different countries as well as the ones from here. Most participants were sitting around the fire, but we had a few volunteers who wanted to cook as it would be a different experience cooking outdoors for them and we were glad to give them that opportunity.
A camping trip is not a camping trip without a campfire and a campfire is not a campfire without marshmallows. So we toasted some marshmallows on the fire and had some more discussions. It was 10:30 pm when most people decided to retire to bed. A few sat at the spot, stargazing and listening to the sound of nature. Mesmerized by the night sky, it was pretty late when we realized that we have to wake up early for the hike! Finally we put out the fire, and headed to our tents.
The next morning we awoke to the sound of chirping birds. It was 6 a.m. and we made some Chai for everybody and served it with cookies and croissants.
The Indian masala chai, the cookies and croissants were quite an energy booster in the cold morning for everyone to wind up the tents and head on to the next step of the hiking adventure.
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt“ – John Muir.
At 7:00, we all headed towards the area around the lake for hiking. It was indeed a source of solace, inspiration, adventure and delight.
Amidst the tall old woods, we took halts and spent time meditating, introspecting and writing down our thoughts and in the process discovering our true selves in the calm arms of the nature.
As we finished taking the walk in the woods we came out taller than the trees. We were back at the parking lot with all our equipment to wait for the bus by 9:45a.m. The bus arrived and we loaded all our stuff on to it. We left Mc Connell with a lot of memories and a great feeling of euphoria and we realized that adventures are the best way to learn things.