This was our final year doing this kind of trip (for now). In the years following, 2012 and 2013 two of us had surgeries. In 2014 Clint and I retired and then our “big” trips started. We would leave May/June and return home October. In 2018, we stayed in Ontario traveling and did get in another back country trip. I hope to be able to do a few more years of this but the way we travel now, I don’t know. Anyways, this year Back to Pen Lake !
So we made it back to Pen Lake. We had a huge big site, up above a rocky shoreline. It was pretty spacious and open. Lots of room for us and we were able to see anything coming lol
So a fair walk in behind our site was the toilet. And I mean literally a box as per below photo. No roof, no walls, just you and nature. This type of camping is not for everyone. You take your roll of toilet paper and off you go.
Clint went for a little paddle on his own and snapped this photo of us relaxing at our site
This is the third time we have been on this lake and we have had three different sites and we have loved each and every one of them. All were unique and I don’t know which would be my favourite.
My sister and I would swim off these rocks and I remember one day when we got out of the lake, Clint asked me a question. Here is how the conversation went:
Clint – what was that swimming in the water with you? It kept circling you for a good 20 minutes.
Me – What????
Clint – the animal in the water, what was it?
Me – and you are just thinking to mention this NOW? Why didn’t you yell at me when I was in the water with it?
Clint – I didn’t want to scare you or startle the animal.
Me – (&^%*(((*^%?)*
Anyways, pretty sure it was a muskrat or a mink or who the hell knows. But I lived to tell the tale !
It was not a water snake, which I mention because there are a lot of water snakes around but they don’t bother me. If they aren’t poisonous and can’t kill me, I don’t worry about them. Just shoo them off. But this was not a snake.
Our site also contained a squirrel nest. In a tree right beside the fire pit, there was a huge hole and a bunch of baby squirrels. The mom would leave the tree in the daytime and come back at night. What also would come out at night were owls. We had a couple of owls hanging around, trying to capture these babies so they could have a nice dinner. Kind of sad but that’s nature. The babies were cute to watch. They would come out a bit and then dive back in, I think they were unsure what to do and where to go. Plus they didn’t want to get into trouble with mom.
We also saw lots of waterfowl, including herons. We love herons, sometimes we sit in our canoe for hours taking photos.
When we were at our site, we would sit and relax. It became an intersting spot. Clint noticed this bush with this huge spider nest in it, and the Mom spider. So gross, for me anyways. If you don’t like spiders, don’t look at the next two photos and honestly I’m not sure which photo freaks me out more. I hate spiders.
There is lots to do in this area which is one reason that it’s very popular. You can do day trips to Galipo River, Welcome Lake, Night Lake, Clydegale Lake and more. So every morning, early we, as per usual, pack a lunch and head out. When we got back to our site late afternoon, it was time for a sit on the rock and a nice wine or vodka/orange.
Another year gone and every time I look at these photos I want to go back. It was hard doing these Throwback Blog Posts because it makes me nostalgic for those times. I think next year will be the year for a couple more back country trips. Our summer this year (2019) has been all planned and we have no time but next year………………………Well that’s another story.
So this year we are heading to a whole new part of the Park, how exciting is this ! We were told about a wonderful site on Kioshkokwi Lake (Kiosh for short) which is located in the north east area of the Park. My sister read in a book that this site is the jewel of Algonquin Park. The guy writing the book is a LIAR. lol anyways it’s about a five hour drive from where we live.
Because we had a long day getting there, we decided to camp right on Kiosh
Nothing like paddling in the rain !
The campsites on this lake, and I’m just gonna say it, suck. Period. We got what we thought was one of the better ones but it wasn’t.
So here we are again, going back to Carcajou Bay off Grand Lake. We like this area and no portages to get to our campsite. So that’s a bonus. Just a little paddle in site and we can even take more stuff, cause you can never have too much stuff !
This year we are doing a longer trip, putting in at Opeongo Lake and heading to Crow Lake. Opeongo is the largest lake in Algonquin Park with a total area of 58 km2 (22.4 sq mi), average depth 14.6 m (48 ft) and maximum depth 49.4 m (162 ft). Opeongo has three arms, north, west and south. We are heading to the North arm.
Opeongo Lake has a store, canoe/kayak/gear rentals and also water taxis. If you aren’t familiar with water taxis, you can hire someone with an actual boat, WITH A MOTOR, to take you and your canoe/kayak to another part of the lake. Much faster, saves a lot of time and because the water on some of these big lakes can be very rough, it is safer. I am pretty sure I have mentioned more than 53 times, I hate paddling on big lakes. We are experienced canoeists but I still don’t like to paddle certain lakes and this is one of them. This particular lake has had many drowning deaths on it. As recently as 2014, four canoeists capsized. Two made it to shore and two drowned. Extremely sad for the families. Just be safe when canoeing or doing any kind of boating and wear your lifejackets.
Well here we are again ! Another summer, another trip to the back country of Algonquin Park. We decided this year to go to Pen Lake. Yes we have been here before but it’s an area we love and there is always a ton of wildlife. This is a photo of the canoe we had at that time. I believe we are on our fourth canoe now and it’s a Souris River 17 1/2 foot Ultra Light Kevlar weighing about 44 pounds. Super easy to carry ! ……….for Clint. lol
In 2006 we decided to head to Grand Lake and paddle over to the portage leading to Stratton Lake. This is a nice area of the park, however, in all the years we have been going to Algonquin, this area is where we have seen the least amount of wildlife for some reason. Maybe its the month of August.