Into the Woods for March Break

As a teacher, I’m lucky to get a week off every March. Well, really, as a supply teacher I can (and do) take time off pretty much whenever I want…but this is a forced week off where I don’t have to consider the lost income!

We spent the week in a not unusual manner – camping. It was still very much winter here in northern Ontario, so it was a full on winter trip – snowshoes, toboggans, and tent with a wood stove.

Conor drags the longer, heavier toboggan. I drag the shorter, uglier, orange one. I will also point out that, although lighter, it does not glide nearly as well! Obviously this is the sole reason that I’m slower. Obviously.

Jack carried his food in his Jack Pack. He was always really excited to put it on…

We were out from Saturday to Saturday, so 7 nights spent in the tent. I love this tent. Get the fire going and it is incredibly warm and cozy. Yes, the set up is quite involved, but there’s no way I could do winter trips of any length without this haven of warmth.

Cooking happens on the wood stove.

I might like the tent, but Jack adores the tent, and gets inside as soon as possible every afternoon.

He has his own spot, but he likes to encroach in the human zone sometimes for a cuddle. As the trip progresses he gets increasingly tired, and starts to crawl into our laps a bit more to collapse. He’s adorable.

Morning cuddles were a thing too.

We were hoping to do a loop, but got stymied by some non existent portage trails. We took one layover day, on which we went for an unencumbered, exploratory snowshoe wander.

We had great weather for tripping. Temperatures were pretty much perfect. Travel on the lakes wasn’t effortless, but was pretty good. Travel through the woods was actually really tough – the snow was deep, rotting, and baseless. Fortunately we spent most of our time on lakes and waterways, not traveling between them.

My kindle is essential tripping equipment for me. I may not have any impressive physical abilities, but my reading speed and stamina are top notch, and an ereader is the only way I can carry adequate reading material.

I also did at least a few minutes of Spanish review every day!

All in all, it was another great trip. For me, for now at least, it was a nice length. Conor aspires to longer and more challenging winter trips, but I find traveling in the winter a lot more intimidating and challenging than summer expeditions. Jack sides with Conor though.

#Clearthelist March 2018 Language Goals

Having recently picked up Spanish studies again (not that I have gotten very far before), I decided it’s time to join the #clearthelist monthly language goals link up hosted by Eurolinguiste and Lindsay Does Languages. This month will be short and sweet!

Spanish

Apart from working my way independently through a couple of book lessons last summer and doing some Duolingo now and then, I’m pretty much a rank beginner. Goals for this month are:

1. Squeeze in 8 Skype lessons before heading to Costa Rica (!) on March 30, including reviewing the material before and after

2. Complete enough Duolingo to keep up my streak on days I have internet access

3. Bring study and vocab notes on our March Break 9 day camping trip and study a bit each day

4. Listen to at least 4 Spanish podcasts

French

I am a much more advanced French speaker (better be, seeing as I teach it), but there’s always room for improvement. Focusing on Spanish though, so setting the bar low here.

1. Listen to CBC radio en Français

2. Read something

Et c’est tout!

Weekend in the Woods

This past weekend we celebrated the beginning of March with a 2 night winter camping trip. The conditions were awesome – warm, sunny days, and a skiff of snow on crusty lakes.

It was the perfect weekend for our friend Jerry’s introduction to winter camping. We went north of town to Lake Superior Park, where we hauled our stuff about an hour into a small lake.

We set up the hot tent, as per usual.

This time, however, we also set up Jerry’s teepee, or guest house, as it were. We all hung out in the hot tent, but Jerry slept in there while Conor and I took the teepee.

Saturday was mostly spent setting up, with a quick snowshoe and ski tour in the afternoon. We took a pretty relaxed approach to life on Sunday, starting things off with a Pancake Fiesta.

Full of pancakes, we headed off for a tour de lakes. It was a gorgeous day, to the point that we sit in the sun jacket-less and mitt-less, while taking a break for some tea and a snack.

Back in camp, I hung out in the tent while Conor and Jerry played around with ice fishing and paddle carving. Not too shabby!

Monday morning we packed up and retraced our steps back to the car, ready for 4 days of work before heading off again for March Break 🙂

The Journey Begins

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! And welcome to my new blog. Previously I blogged (sporadically) at kimplaysoutside.wordpress.com. It was primarily a journal of wilderness trips and still exists, should you ever feel the need to check it out.

However, with a goal of changing direction, Adventures in Life and Language has begun. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I’m expanding, rather than changing, directions. You see, like many people (I think), I have a bit of a compulsion to define myself. Which sounds okay…until it turns more into label myself. Or stick myself in little boxes. To think that I need to be this OR that, when really, one can be both!

I found myself waffling between feeling that I should pursue, in work and pleasure, either a wilderness/outdoor education bent, or a language/culture bent.

Um, silly.

Thus, this blog is a meshing of the different facets that make me, me.

So here we go.

My name is Kim. I am an outdoor enthusiast, passionate about short term and long term wilderness adventures, from an afternoon ski to a multi week paddling trip.

I love the ocean, and am learning to scuba dive.

I also love learning and teaching languages. I speak English and French fluently, and am learning Spanish. In high school I studied French (well, that one started in Kindergarten), Spanish, and Russian. The highlight of my high school career was hands down a trip to Russia! I currently work as a French Immersion elementary teacher, and have also taught adult French classes.

I love to read a wide range of books. I love to knit. I love dogs. I love to drink tea.

The focus of this blog will be…not having a specific focus? I plan to continue sharing wilderness trip reports and related info. I’ll have posts about non-wilderness travel. I will share progress reports, resources, and tips related to my own Spanish journey. I’ll share French language resources and tips – both those I create and those created by others.

So I suppose this blog could end up appealing to a wide range of readers…or no one at all! Time will tell but, in the meantime, I’m glad you’re here.

Winter camping this past weekend. I read my Spanish notes in the tent.

Our dog. His name is Jack. And he is hungry (actually, this is rarely true, as he doesn’t particularly like eating, but things like matching pancake mix seem increasingly hilarious with each day spent camping).