Because I’m obsessive like that, there’s still no post about the California trip. You know, because I still haven’t organized all those pictures. Oops. Laundry between that trip and our Algonquin sojourn took precedence, after all.
Which leads me to my post – I thought I would jot down some thoughts about the Algonquin trip before I forgot. And here’s fair warning to you – there will be no Algonquin trip pictures. As in, none. I don’t know if it was burn-out from the California trip or just plain combination of not-so-amazing weather, difficulty in accessing the waterproof camera bag, and same-ness of the sights, but I didn’t take a single picture on this trip. That’s right. A travesty, I know.
Our trip started early on Friday morning, fuelled by homemade english (mc)muffins. Delicious! After loading up the canoe, we raced across Grand lake ahead of a raucous-looking group of 8 guys in 4 canoes, not wanting to be stuck behind them on portages (we needn’t have worried, as it looked like they didn’t even make it past the first portage).
A few portages later we were at our campsite on Little Carcajou Lake, tarp and tent set up just in time for threatening clouds to roll in. [Is it bad that I can't exactly picture our first campsite, 4 days later??] Going to make dinner we discovered that we hadn’t brought utensils… huh. Husband to the rescue with his whittling skills.
Saturday went off gorgeously, with some reasonable portaging and a few minor glitches in searching for portages. Upon leaving our site, we were also met with a trio of beavers chittering and growling at us – so cute! I know they were meant to scare us off, but the little growls were just too adorable. We also happened on another well-established beaver dam and had to portage across it.
Our Green Leaf Lake site had a lovely rock to swim off, and after a quick dip we yet again set to setting up the tarp and tent. The tarp turned out to be a good idea as we got a nice downpour around dinnertime.
That’s also about the time that we discovered that our tent, set up in a gorgeously flat (so we thought) spot, was actually half-floating on a puddle. Oops. Off we went to move the tent, to a drier but much rockier (i.e. lumpier) spot.
Sunday morning we were met with rain, and by mid-day we had the option of cutting the trip short and taking the shortcut back to the car (we didn’t).
This was the day of the monster 7k in portages (yes, as in 7 thousand meters), which went really well thanks to the fact that we were on an old forestry road for most of it. It really made me realize just how much of our energy is spent on finding footing and stepping up and down around obstacles on “regular” portages.
The wind picked up just as we had to cross Clemow Lake to our campsite, and we had fun setting up a flapping tarp in the gusty wind. No rain tonight, but better safe than sorry.
As we were sitting at the site, enjoying the last light of the sun, I pointed out to Dan something swimming across the water to a nearby island. “Pretty big for an otter”, I’m thinking. Nope, not an otter – turns out that we had a bear neighbour! A good-size (and thankfully well-fed-looking) bear clambered up onto an island 150m or so away from our site, and then continued splashing across the bog to our side of the lake. Huh. After making some appropriately discouraging noises (think those campsite neighbours you don’t want to have nearby), we went off to bed. No nighttime visitors, although Dan says he didn’t get much sleep. Ah, the nights when I’m ever-so-thankful for my earplugs…
By Monday morning the temperature had dropped a good 10 degrees, and we were glad to be on our way back. A good tail wind made our paddle the length of Grand Lake mostly pleasant, although toques and gloves were definitely in order. Some loons who were out on a fishing trip with their babies bid us farewell.
And that’s our Algonquin Labour Day trip in a nutshell.
Apologies for the lack of pictures. I promise I’ll make it up with the California ones. Soon. ish.
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