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  • Writer's pictureJess

Day 76: Phase 1 of Ontario's "Grand Reopening"!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

We burned shit. And it felt good. A smattering of restrictions have been lifted in our province, including but not limited to CAMPFIRES!!! On Saturday, May 16th at 12:01am the ban implemented across Northern Ontario was lifted, so obviously we lit a fire at 12:02. The wise man that calls himself Dad even kept the older kids up by playing Crazy Eight Countdown for three hours. You know who doesn't get tired waiting up for a midnight campfire? Six and seven year olds. They were amped. And adorable. And it was a really beautiful thing.

Overnight camping is still not permitted on crown land, in provincial or national parks, so we improvised. A varying combination of McShanes crashed in our living room for four nights because it was AWESOME. The elaborate setup was my attempt at snagging a camping prize pack from MEC - and another excuse to play with some very rudimentary lighting setups. Use what you've got, right? Unfortunately, the top prize did NOT go to us, so if we ever do get to a real campsite, the kids will just have to sleep on solid ground without sleeping bags or mattresses.


As with any good camping trip, we incorporated a day hike. We played in a creek (ditch), scaled some peaks (small hills), climbed some trees and collected a variety of rocks and pine cones. Winter and a damn cold spring are finally loosening their grip. And despite Aaron's requisite meltdown, the whine factor is improving...slightly.


In other good news, I found ways to move without making the ol' back worse! A very kind and generous and thoughtful friend saw my previous rant and offered her roller skis as a way to stay active while I wait for water and gyms. On my first attempt in over a decade, I managed 13km with zero yardsales and only a few small blisters! I also bit the bullet and purchased more neoprene to keep the blood circulating in my hands and toes while I swim in the frigid lakes. The Scuba Shop supplied me with all the goods. Another small, local business that has taken a massive hit over the last few months. It's not just restaurants, so when you're buying birthday presents, stocking up on sunscreen and summer essentials, or putting together your Ninja Baskets, keep these folks in mind. The water still burns my face, so for now I'll just do km upon km of kick drills, but it's a fantastic start!!! Just goes to show you that when you put it out there positive things can come your way. Negatives too...but fuck 'em.



I hope you're making the most of what ever freedoms have been restored in your neck o' the woods. I also hope you're doing it responsibly. Remember...lockdowns and quarantines were never about eliminating risk or eradicating the virus. We were buying time. Now be good so we don't have our toys taken away and get sent to our rooms again. (That's how life on the outside works, right?)


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