The first algonquin trip was really two trips glued together. The first was part was June 27-30. The second part of the trip was July 1-5. Jodi, Raeni and I were on both parts of the trip and Jodi and I stayed in the park overnight on June 30th while Raeni left to meet his wife and to pick up the food for the second trip. Finally, Shawn and Lisa were on the first part of the trip and Kim (Raeni's wife) was on the second part of the trip with us.
Here are pictures of some of the people on the trip.
As a quick recap, Jodi and I spent 8 nights and 9 days in the park, Raeni spent 9 days and 7 nights in the park, Shawn and Lisa spent 4 nights and 5 days in the park and Kim spent 4 days and 3 nights in the park.
This was my first serious canoe trip. I had taken an overnight trip with a summer camp when I was much younger. Basically this was a new experience for me. We entered the park on Rain Lake and most of us had to dig into our ancient past to remember how to paddle a canoe (and Raeni had to dig into his past to remember how to steer a canoe!). Eventually we all figured out what we were doing in the canoe and when made our way toward our first portage. As we drew nearer to the portage, I found a strange tension grow as I wondered why I had volunteered to carry the big, heavy, aluminum canoe. 350 meters! Oh dear god!
At the portage, we got everything unloaded, built our yoke out of the paddles, some shoe laces and some gardening (kneeling) pads and off I went. Jodi did the same thing but with paddles, shoe laces and canoe seats. I thought I was going to die for awhile but, then, a strange thing happened as I got to the end and got that silly canoe off of my head. I felt really good. The fact that I survived and the knowledge that I had actually done that made me feel great. From that point on, portaging was always kind of fun.
I have accumulated some notes and the actual route for the first trip.
One thing that never ceased to amuse me on this entire trip was people's reaction to Jodi portaging the canoe. It made an interesting image as Raeni, tall, strong looking guy, helps Jodi (a girl! eeew!) put the canoe on her head. On both trips, Jodi with the canoe got surprised looks and even caused some people to be mocked by their friends ("Hey ____, and you were complaining about carrying the canoe!").
My second trip into Algonquin park was very different from the first. On this trip, it was just Jodi and I and we had this feeling that we knew what we were doing.
The tone of the trip was established on the first day. We couldn't book a campsite on Burnt Island Lake and this added another 10 km to the first day. This turned the first day of our trip into the same route as the first 2 days of Jodi and Lisa's trip earlier in the summer! Somehow we managed to do it in around four and half hours and we continued to travel with great vigour, shall we say.
We also managed to learn several valuable lessons on this trip. Such as, toilets with doors are not necessarily better in the bush. And, a favorite of mine, 75 pound canoes do not portage well with a 60 pound pack on your back.
As with the first trip, I've compiled some notes and routes for the second trip.
This is the first trip of 1999. Just Jodi and myself and we managed to get into must worse shape over the winter. Day 2 is pretty embarrassingly short ...
And, probably the best lesson that we learnt on this trip: double check that someone packed the toothpaste!