What makes a good trip?

Probably the most memobrable ice fishing trip we made this spring and last spring was to Iqalukjuaq lake this April. This was th

Iqalukjuaq is about three hours away from Panniqtuuq, and we wanted to take two skidoos on the trip to have some mechanical redundancy, i.e. be able to save our asses with one skidoo if the other one broke down. It happens. Just before the trip, our older sled and went into cardiac arrest, or acquired an unfortunate piston problem and wouldn't run anymore. Since I was more used to filling up skidoos than pulling their guts out, fixing the motor wasn't really going to be an option that close to the (planned) trip.

One skidoo left. To go or not to go? We decided to go, of course. With this amount of bad luck, we could only have good luck left, bitches!

But no, there was more. Driving to Iqalukjuaq went great but an interesting process took place during our three-and-half-hour drive: the cooking stove's fuel container's cap opened and all of our cooking fuel emptied into our qamotiq. To be more precise, it emptied into my sleeping bag. When you go on a two-night trip, this has certain implications, such as that you won't be able to cook any food or heat any water and that you will be constantly high in your sleeping bag. It's bad. Bud not that bad.

The beginning of fishing was another ill-fated sequence of events. I had mail-ordered a pile of new shiny lures just for this trip. To my shock, I lost three of them in the first hour: snap, snap and snap. All to equipment failure. I had not lost one the whole spring. Annoyed as I was, I decided to return to the tent, cook some supper and go to sleep. It was at this point that we discovered that we couldn't cook and that my sleeping bag was soaked with fuel. After a moment of silent appreciation for how lucky we were to be here, we crawled into the tent munching frozen hot dogs.

The next day rose and I was suspicious. Things were going too well and we were catching fish, a lot of fish (char). And they were big and strong, ranging up to ten pounds. Looking down the hole one could sometimes see so many fish that they were impossible to count. We felt charmed.

At the end of the day I lost another couple lures, one to a (big!) fish and one for no reason. I felt like a complete ass again. I guess I was getting too cheery and needed a few slaps across the face again. At least the fumes form my bag were gone.

The last morning I nervously pulled out a couple fish and put my fishing gear away before further damage. Delia pulled out a few as well, my lucky star. Then we headed home. The return was smooth although I was extremely suspicious about every sound the skidoo made. It would have been a perfectly logical ending for our trip if the skidoo had broken down or perhaps some alien space craft emerged from my left shoe and stolen the rest of my two lures. But it seems to be that only the unexpected happens and the expected doesn't, at least on this particular trip.

I can only say that although these kinds of ill-flavored events kind of suck and I may seem that I may have lamented here, but these events are the material of great trips. I've always liked sayings like "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment". Hardships are the building blocks of the best trips - as long as you can overcome them.