I have returned! Safe an uneaten. It was a pretty amazing trip.
I was camping in the back country of Algonquin Park
- for those in the know we did a 4 day trip going out through Canoe Lake - Burnt Island - The Otterslides - Grassy Bay - Tom Thompson lake, and back home through Canoe lake again.Algonquin park is big.
REALLY big. 7,725 square KM big. Bigger than some small nations! (16 to be exact!)
One of the most memorable occasions has to be going across Grassy Bay sunday morning and seeing a ma-hoosive moose swimming across the river - so we made it full speed for the beast - only to realize about a football field and a half away that it was in fact the largest black bear i had ever seen! We paused briefly and then continued pursuit! It seemed more scared of us though - it swam back and forth a bit and then leaped out onto the bank - it's massive hindquarters just seemed so powerful. It then stormed off into the woods. That was great!
You always needed to be bear concience- we hung our packs from trees every night to keep them from eating our food! We saw ANOTHER bear swimming across the river on our road home and got really close to that one - it was a much smaller cub raiding one of the cabins near the embarkment point.
Sunday was the day of the massive 2.3 Km Portage - for my british friends that's where you sling everything onto your back, including your boat, and hoof it to the next body of water. My partner Graeme was a machine - he agreed to take the boat for the first shift, but bearly slowed down till he had done the whole thing. Nice one!
Some parts of the otterslides were too shallow to sit in your canoe for - but on the hot days it was lovely just to walk through the water gently pulling the canoe - sure beats portaging all your packs and canoeing against a strong headwind.
There were 6 of us on our trip (seen here doing their best shampoo mohawks - Neil to the left is currently getting a leech!) and it was a good team of folks to have! Always a laugh - but super athletic. I was the weakest link for sure- but it didn't matter too much.
Here we are coming up to one of the 273 beaver dams we had to cross - everyone had to get out and over the dam each time. I tell you I had a close encounter with a beaver that scared me a lot more than the bear did! one popped up about a meter from me and made an angry rattling noise- but i had no idea where it was - it sounded like it was right in the boat. I whirled about kaking myself! Everyone else saw what happened and were splitting themselves laughing.
Anyhow.... that's my story and i'm sticking to it! It was nice to get back and drink real water again without clorine drops in it!! There were some REALLY hard slogs (how a few sleeps dulls the memory of such things!) but it was so worth it.