Algonquian Trip

So we spend this past four days up in Algonquian Park on Cedar Lake in the north end. It was dog’s first trip and she took to it like a fish in water. She loved every minute! Unfortunately us human counterparts didn’t enjoy the weather as much as she.

Day 1

6 Hours in a car starting at 2 am, we reached the park at 9 am prepared for a long day of paddling and exploring. Disappointing though the wind were too high and made crossing Cedar Lake an impossibility in the canoes. Cedar Lake is large and is not canoe friendly in the best of weather and on Friday white caps were prevalent on the water so we camped out by the car hoping for better weather for day two.

Rain was being called for so as a precaution tents were tarped in the highest point of the site. After a good campfire everyone headed to bed. Around midnight we awoke to pounding rain that lasted well over and hour and flooded out the camp site. The tents at the highest point on the site stood in 4 inches of water and the lowest points had knee deep puddles. We had to sit out the rain in the cars hoping that the tents and sleeping bags wouldn’t be to wet to deal with the cold of the coming nights.

Day 2

High winds and rain were the par for the day. Majority of the time was spent trying to get a fire going or struggling to keep the tarps over the tents. The grommets where the tarps were tied through kept ripping out because of the buffeting winds. No canoeing that day either, though some of the braver members of the party went out fishing (unfortunately unsuccessful at catching anything worth eating).

Thankfully  rain mostly subsided by the time dark came around but the weather was still damp and misty pairing with the cold it was a recipe for the chills.

Day 3

The weather was inclined to be more agreeable at this point with sunny breaks through the the rainy parts. By the afternoon we had a long enough calm period to scoot the canoes across the lake into the calmer waters of the Nippising River for a day trip. It was a good day and we were able to get out to do what we had hoped for the trip, made it up some of the Nippising to see the beautiful views, autumn colours and the rapids, as well as to do some fishing (still unsuccessfully).

That night was the coldest we had seen yet with one member of our group sleeping next to the fire with his sleeping bag in hopes of drying it out of the water accumulated over the past damp days.

Day 4

Time to go home. We woke up early to eat a good breakfast and start to break down camp. By 11am we were on the move out of the park. Of course it was also beautiful and sunny out even if it was a bit cold. 11 hours later after dropping off some of our group we arrived back at our house with dog, exhausted and cold looking forward to a nice warm shower.

This trip had the worst weather I have had yet in the years I’ve been camping. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get into the interior to camp as planned but the landscape was still spectacular, the trip as wet and cold as it was still worth it. I have never regretted an outing to Algonquian and this trip while testing that was still awesome.

Camping Preperation

I am super excited for camping this weekend. I can almost guarantee all my posts this week will be camping centric! Here a look at what we are packing for this weeks trip. Normally myself and my sisters are super light packers (we get rid of weight however possible) but this trip I’m taking with my boyfriend’s family is just a long paddle in and no portaging so we are taking along some luxury items like folding chairs and coolers 🙂

Clothing:

  • Running Shoes
  • Rubber boots with Winter Liners
  • 4-6 pairs of socks (at least 2 wool pairs)
  • Long Underwear
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Shell Jacket (windbreaker or a rain jacket)
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 Long sleeve shirt
  • 1 Pair Sweat Pants
  • 1 Pair Shorts
  • Underwear & Bras
  • Gloves & Ski Cap

Equipment:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Therma-rest or Foam Pad
  • Fleece Blanket
  • Air Pillow
  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Paddle
  • PFD
  • Backpack
  • Matches & Fire Starters
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camp Chair
  • Dry Sacks
  • Canoe & Ties
  • Compass & Map
  • Books
  • Headlamp & Flashlight
  • Camp Chair
  • Knife & Axe (or saw for firewood)
  • Garbage Bags
  • Rope
  • Carabiners

Kitchen:

  • Large Water Bladder
  • Water Purifying Tablets
  • 2 Water Bottles
  • Utensiles
  • Camp Plate & Mug
  • Food
  • Cooler or Food Barrel
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Stove (optional we don’t usually pack unless calling for rain)
  • Spices

Dog Stuff:

  • Blanket
  • Leashes (walking and a tie out)
  • Dog Coat
  • Dog Food & Treats
  • 2 Bowls

Hygiene:

  • Towels
  • Wash Cloth
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Soap (biodegradable)
  • Collapsible Bucket
  • Tooth Brush & Paste
  • Hair Brush
  • Toilet Paper
  • Deodorant

Fall, The Good and The Bad

The end of the summer is upon us. I for one am looking forward to the fall weather, my new house doesn’t have a/c so it has been an adjustment for me as I have had the luxury of a/c since I was a child. It is nice that now at night we can open the windows and get an nice cool breeze.

It is slightly odd to be thinking about school starting in a week and realizing that I no longer get to attend school. I miss it. I miss the excitement of going back to class, seeing friends and teachers you haven’t seen for a couple months and getting back into learning new subjects again.

I miss the friends I made during my college years. It’s only been two years since I graduated but the group of friends I was close to in college all seem to have quickly drifted away, all of us in our own directions. My life has completely changed in these two years and I wouldn’t change anything for the world but I still miss college, the years of not having to worry about work, bills, the house and the future. I think September will always make me think back to the school years where the biggest concern was how we would get a project done and still make it out to the pub that night.

How ever while thinking about school makes me sad, something else about fall makes me happy! Camping! I like camping anytime during the year but spring and fall take the cake. Fall means the summer crowds have passed and with the leaves starting to change the scenery is breath taking. The weather can be perfect, cool nights making campfires all the better, and warm but not boiling days make all the activities much more pleasant.

This year we so far have two trips planned, the big one is at the end of September, a yearly ritual for my boyfriend’s extended family up to Algonquian. This is the trip everyone looks forward to all year. Swapping stories about years past is standard fare for all family gatherings but this will be my first time (and Algonquian is my favorite park) and I am defiantly looking forward to it.

Fall has it’s good and it’s bad but it is my favorite season!