When commando camping it's essential to arrive at dusk and depart at dawn. No hanging about to invite hassle. I awoke just before the sunrise that first morning out. The night's sleep was one for the ages. I only awoke once in the night to squeeze my lemon. The coldest it got to was 49 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect sleeping weather. My Montbell Super Spiral down bag was merely draped over me like a blanket. She goes down on me to 5 degrees and is by far the most comfortable bag I've ever owned. If you like to sleep scissor-kicked, it's the only bag to own. Tossing her off me, I was encouraged up by the sounds of geese noisily navigating the St. Lawrence. Guess they don't subscribe to the concept of silent flight. Climbing outside, an invisible friend snapped a photo of me stretching off the night's constrictions. I ripped down the tent and packed it along with the bag on the bike. If someone approached now, it would look like I only stopped to get a bit of hot fluid inside my body. So I lit up the Dragon Fly and cooked some joe. It's funny how the simplest activity can bring the greatest pleasure out of life. Making love to lingerie models, no thanks. Quietly sitting alone by the river drinking black coffee out of my double walled titanium mug did it for me on that day.
I didn't look to see what time it was. The sunrise fired it's after burners through a deep blue sky. It arose in exactly the direction I was heading. Truly spectacular, I said to myself. I toyed with the idea of making a big breakfast, but remembered a sign I had seen the night before letting me know the ramifications of getting caught camping. So I tossed the cold remains of my coffee in the river and broke camp. I was careful to not leave any signs of my trespass. Leave nothing but knobby dimples I always say. I do have my ethics.
The DRZ fired up as if it was raring to get the day going. I turned on my Spot Tracker and let out the clutch. Making my way back to the tarmac reinforced what a gorgeous place I had chosen for my first night out. I crested a small hill and was able to pause and get a good look at the Long Sault Parkway before rejoining it. Needed to make sure the fuzz wouldn't see me. No problem though as not a car was to be seen. I still had a bit of a drive along the remainder of the Parkway to go and it was awe inspiring. Especially against a cloudless early morning sky. Hopping from Island to Island, I took a few moments to explore some trails and take mental notes of other camping spots for future rides. I even toyed with spending a full day there, it was that nice. I had the whole place to myself it seemed.
I came across a dirt road on an island that simply disappeared into the water. Probably the coolest boat ramp I have ever seen. Idling at the edge of the water, I thought of all those amazing ADV-Rider photos that play in a slide show. The absolutely stellar ones. So I took out my Gorilla Pod and set up my camera so it was right at water height. I then wheeled my bike out into the water and turned it around. It was a time to see if my Sidi Adventure Gore Tex boots would hold out standing water. They did. In fact they ended up tying for first place as the best performing gear I had taken along on the trip. Then I set the camera's self timer and ran back to the bike, mounted it, stood and raised my fist high. The camera's longest self timing cycle is ten seconds so I knew it was gonna be close. Having all my gear on doesn't exactly make me a cheetah. I had no idea if I got a good shot when I plucked the camera out of the water and rode on. But later that day, I was impressed with the result. Good enough for ADV Rider fame? Maybe not. Good enough to remind me of the way I was feeling on that cold October morning? Hell Yeh.