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Guess who the trip leader is. PHOTO: TIM SHUFF


The Honeymooners JUST THE TWO OF US, AND 10 OF OUR MOST ECLECTIC FRIENDS T 44


he ingredients were simple: four days, six canoes and 10 friends. Tim and I took care of logistics, picking a route nei-


ther too hard nor too easy: lake-hopping across Wasak- sina, Cross and Temagami. Sun, warm lakes, giant white pines, meteor showers and no bugs, that was the plan. To avoid hurt feelings we invited everybody we knew.


Te response rate was impressive. Here’s who we got: four queers (including a couple named Erin and Erin), two born-again Christians, a photographer who special- izes in rainforest nudes, a motocross-obsessed 12-year- old, an easily annoyed hermit from a town of 300 in central B.C., a GPS-obsessed endurance junkie, a marine biologist/zombie movie extra and a pot-smoking femi- nist. We had complete non-canoeists and life-long expe- dition trippers. Twelve people who would never under normal circumstances converse, let alone have a good time together. It was a United Nations canoe trip. I just hoped we


wouldn’t need peacekeepers. I sent Tim away to talk to the Christians. “Make sure


they’re not going to try to save anybody,” I said. I phoned the 12-year-old’s mom. “Did you show Chela


the gear list?” I asked. “Is he going to be okay without his iPod?”


EARLY SUMMER 2009 “He’ll be fine,” said Michelle.


“What’s a polypro?” I called the vegetarians.


“How do you feel about sharing knives and cutting boards?” “No problem,” said the Er-


ins. “We can eat peanut butter for four days.” Nicole called from Victoria.


“Well, I went to MEC, and I couldn’t find anything to keep my smokes dry. Wasn’t Pierre Trudeau a big canoeist? Seems like a glaring omission to me.” Late the night before we left, I shook Tim awake.


“What if nobody laughs?” Tim and I were halfway to Temagami when he looked


over his shoulder, scanned the contents of our car and asked, “Where’s the food barrel?” By the time we arrived at the outfitter’s the rest of our


group had swum, feasted, polished off several bottles of left-over wedding wine (did I mention this was our hon- eymoon trip?) and were happily and rowdily camped on the lawn in front of the lodge. Chela had just crashed from his non-alcoholic cider sugar high.


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