Traveling Back in Time


I found one of my old campsites this summer… nearly 27 years later.

In a recent blog, I talked about exploring old haunts in my hometown region with my friend Rob Wilson.

Rob was my partner in crime for many teenage exploits. And when we weren’t pulling pranks or getting in trouble at school, we took to the woods near his home on Buckwheat Road, or we borrowed a canoe from my father’s friend Lee and set out into the mighty St. Lawrence in search of uninhabited islands.

We shunned tents, because tents were for pampered wimps.

Instead, we took a hatchet and built fragile lean-to’s out of sticks, and we slept on plastic rain ponchos on the open ground. For food, we had a can of beans each — I was a fan of Clark’s while Rob swore by Heinz. We argued the superiority of each bean around our late night fire pit. And when we’d eaten them all, we were supposed to forage for food using a book about edible plants.

I normally lay awake all night, eaten alive by mosquitos, with hunger pains in my stomach. But we went back and did the exact same thing again and again.

I was over in Canada for a visit this summer. And Rob and I took a trip down memory lane — although in our case, that lane was overgrown with bush and nettles, and strewn with dismembered rotting bones…

But you don’t have to read my descriptions. You can see our journey for yourself:

Rob is a filmmaker, and he put together some footage of the occasion.

Join us on the hunt for our old campsite off Buckwheat Road in Part One.

And in Part Two, we’ll take you with us as we revisit a location from his very first feature-length film, and we’ll go to the scenes of so many of our urban adventures.

Did you ever go back to revisit the scenes of your childhood adventures?

Please share your story with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.




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About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  • Ryan, great footage from “back of the old 16”. is that near where we used to get minnows?? Next tip to Prescott you need to borrow that same old canoe & ride over to “Pig Island” for an overnight. Not much changes, thanks for the trip back in time.


    • Glad you liked it. We started out from Buckwheat Road, so a bit farther north from the minnow place (north of Spencerville). A canoe trip was on the agenda for that weekend too, but we ran out of time. We’re planning a much larger expedition for next time.


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