JOURNALS-Kids Blog

Stories and videos from the 2006 Into The Arctic expedition by crew members Andie Trépanier (then age 11) and Sydney Trépanier (then age 7).

12 Jul, 2006 Oh, well…

Today we had a big event happen, we were driving to Muncho Lake, on the Alaskan Highway in northern British Columbia,  and Dad stopped to hike along the highway to find something to paint, while we were at the RV. He called us on the special radio he had with him that he was going to leave his pack on the side of the road and run to07,12,2006_comp the RV because the pack was a bit too heavy and we could drive back and get it. When we drove the RV back to the place where he left his pack, it wasn’t there. Someone had stolen it! We asked a couple of bikers if they saw or knew about the pack. We checked and called many gas stations, and campgrounds to see if somebody left it there at a lost and found. But no luck.

There was stuff that was valuable in the pack, but they were all replacable. We ended at the Muncho Lake and used the payphone to call some relatives and say hi. In the end we had a beautiful spot beside the lake and slept like logs.

– Andie Trépanier

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02 Jul, 2006 What Next…?

Today was such an exciting day! When we woke up, w07,02,2006_compe had oatmeal for breakfast, and went swimming. While swimming, Mom and Dad stopped putting the tent away to watch us for a little while. While they were watching us, Sydney noticed something, she said

“Mom!!! Dad!!! The tent is flying away!!!”.

Sure enough, the tent would have been across the beach if it hadn’t gotten caught on the cattails.

We packed up the canoe and went back to the spot where we saw the pike and the sucker. We cast our rods in and nothing bit that day, but it also paid up today. When we reached the entrance of the river the dragonflies were very playful and friendly. They kept landing on the canoe or us, 07,02,2006_syd_compone gigantic green one landed right next to Mom on the camera case and it was too bad that she couldn’t get a picture of him. Then, Mom noticed 2 huge minnows with strange markings on their back. When a big group of small minnows swam by the big ones, they ambushed the small guys! They were definitely baby pike, and we also saw a baby smallmouth bass!

Mom lifted her paddle out of the water and there was a leech on it!

On our way out we even saw mother mallard and her two babies, and they went right next to us! We paddled back the RV and had a great day in all.

– Andie Trépanier

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01 Jul, 2006 Fish & Dragonflies

Today we went to Quetico Provincial Park and tried our camping and canoeing gear out. We loaded our canoe with all the equipment and paddled out in French Lake. We wanted to go down the French River but Dad steered us to the wrong place on the lake. But it all paid up. I saw a fish in the water. Mom thought it looked like a hammerhead shark because it was a 30 inch pike with a 2 pound sucker in its mouth sid07,01,2006_compeways! What a sight!

We also found that we couldn’t go through the river because there were many dead trees that blocked the way and it was way to shallow. BUT….

It was dragonfly heaven!

In the end we found a small beach on the side of French Lake and camped there for the night. We had a great sleep and tried our homemade beef-jerky, delicious!!!

– Andie Trépanier

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30 Jun, 2006 Canoe

06,30,2006_compWe went to pick up our almost 21 foot canoe for our trip today at Wild Waters Wilderness Shop in Thunder Bay. A man named Dennis Davidson dropped off the canoe there for us, and the paddles for it too. There was even a river next to us so we could test it out. It flew like a bird! We also met the owner of the shop, Bruce Hyers, who invited us to park our RV on his property that night.

Today we also visited my dad’s college buddy, Steve Lawson and his wife Kelly, along with their three sons; Jody, Brett, and Jeremy Lawson. We had fun at their place and stayed for a few hours.

We parked at the end of the day at Mr. Hyers place and met his wife, Margaret, and his son, Michael. We saw the beautiful beach and their awesome house. We played with Michael and talked with his parents. We had an absolutely wonderful day.

– Andie Trépanier

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29 Jun, 2006 Cabin’s & Cottages

06,29,2006_compThis morning we woke up in the loft the Smedley’s Cabin, ready for a new day. We went swimming again in the lake and that refreshed us a lot. We had a nourishing breakfast and spent a good lot of time on their trampoline. We had such a wonderful, fun, time there, and I hope we end up seeing them again before we go back home.

That night we reached Jackfish Bay and went to “Jackfish Cottages” for the night. Our good friends, Brenda and her parents, Shirley and Jack, own the place and they had a little restaurant there.

We had a wonderful breakfast in their restaurant and we had plenty of fun at Jackfish Bay.

– Andie Trépanier

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28 Jun, 2006 Old Friends

06,28,2006_compToday we visited an old friend, Dave Wells and his dog Tigger. He lives in Wawa and owns “Naturally Superior Adventures” and there they give tours, own a paddle shop and teach kayak lessons. They have a chef, a boathouse and tons of kayaks and some canoes.  Dave even gave us kayak lessons! We learned to paddle straight, to turn, to go sideways, to go in a circle, to go in a sea kayak, to switch kayaks while still in the water, and we even tried to roll. I got my kayak to go under 3 times, but I had to swim out each time because I couldn’t flip it back up. We had a great time at Dave’s.    

That night we stayed at a friends place, James Smedley. We went swimming and spent the night with James, Francine, Islay (my age), and Lillian (Sydney’s age) Smedley along with Islay’s friend Karin. We had a great time and slept in their loft in the cabin they had there.

– Andie Trépanier

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27 Jun, 2006 Change of Plan

06,27,2006_compA few days ago, we had a change of plan: we would leave on Monday for the trip instead. So we left yesterday in the RV for Wawa, our first destination. A few hours later, there was an absolutely horrible smell. It was coming from the bathroom. We tried to flush the smell out, but it didn’t work. Thank heavens we went to the Oastler Lake Provincial Park. We emptied the bathroom tanks into a machine they had for RV’s that led to a big hole underground. Then we stayed overnight there. Our first night sleeping in the RV was wonderful. We kept the window screens open and we got a spot next to Oastler Lake. In the morning Sydney even petted a chipmunk and fed him from her hand. Now were on the road again, waiting to get to Wawa.

– Andie Trépanier

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21 Jun, 2006 Last Day at School

Today was my last day at school and I going to miss a few events by leaving three days early: a skit, a picnic, and the last day of school parties and assemblies. Saying goodbye to everyone and telling them I would send postcards was what I mainly did today until 3:30, besides finish projects and clean out my desk. I don’t really mind leaving though, because this trip beats school events by a long shot. (Not saying those events are not fun). We spent almost 3 hours packing our RV and dehydrating food for the trip, and we’re not even finished! We even invited my Aunt over to help us make 18 pounds of bacon. I packed many books for the trip, enough for 3 months I hope. And trying to decide what we want to bring and if we really need to is hard. I try to find postcards to bring up north so I don’t go broke buying them when I’m already there. We seem to have done a lot today, yet there also seems like we have so much to do, and only in 2 days!

– Andie Trépanier

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