So another year of adventures begin ! Trum and his family are off to Algonquin Park, one of our favourite places anywhere. Now Algonquin Park, or anywhere in Northern Ontario for that matter, is chock full of mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies, horse flies, basically anything that flies, is running rampant this time of year. The photo shown here is one that I took last summer in Denali National Park in Alaska…….but you get the idea……..
We decided to stay in Ontario this year instead of gallivanting across Canada/US. We wanted to do more paddling and biking and get back to “our roots”. We left from our home on Tuesday 12 June and it was a beautiful day ! Sunny and bright and warm, just the way I like it.
We booked site 234 at Lake of Two Rivers campground. We like to get this site this time of year as it is right by the river and we can put our canoe in anytime. There were maybe only 3 other sites in use in our part of the campground, so basically very quiet, very few people. We drove over to Mew Lake campground later that day and it was pretty quiet too……….must have heard about the devil insects.
We drove around, down to Arowhon Road and then to Opeongo Road. Didn’t see much wildlife this first day. A wild turkey, which……laugh if you will, but I just love them. We also saw a bunch of beavers and the longer we stayed there the more beavers we saw. The year of the beaver I guess……… I do have to say we have been up here in June every year for years and this is not the worst I have seen the bugs. There was one year that I don’t even want to think about or talk about. It was that bad.
The next day we went for a drive and as we were coming back to our campground, we rounded a corner and there was a mom black bear and FOUR cubs standing at the corner. Well, the cubs were all up a tree and mom was standing there. I got out my camera, we keep all our photography stuff on the front seat for ease of access, and just as I was about to snap off a few photos; lo and behold the Parks guys came zooming up on the driver’s side of the truck BLARING this air horn like there was an apocalypse approaching. I did get one or two jerky shots as the Park staff startled the bejsesus out of me. They chased that bear family all the way to the other side of the campground with horns a’ blaring. It was funny though, the mom bear took off at a pretty quick clip and the babies were all struggling to keep up. There were two in particular that were pretty tiny. The mom bear didn’t slow down or look back, not once. Weird.
Later that day we drove to Mew Lake Campground and who should we see by the side of the road? Yup, the now deafened bear family. She was on one side of the road, with her cubs, and trying to cross to the old airfield. We got some pretty cute shots. My husband shot one photo I particularly liked. The cubs were in long grass and one cub stood up on his little spindly legs and you can see his head above the grass. Super cute shot. But Clint’s photo is not making this blog ! These are all my photos shot with my D7100 Nikon, 70-300 mm lens
We did a lot of paddling and on some of our trips, we set up our video cam at the front of the canoe (I was in charge, probably could have went better lol ) and it recorded us going down different rivers etc. They won’t be on this blog BECAUSE I would have to pay extra to be able to attach them and that’s not happening.
We did not see as many birds and water fowl this year as other years. The Canada Geese however, are in full force; they run this place. We did see a little brown duck with nine babies. And as I mentioned beavers galore. At two different spots, we had beavers come right up beside the road and chew down small trees as we watched. Not so great photos, too many branches and grass in the way and those little fellas can be vicious so you don’t want to get too close. As I mentioned, we did a lot of paddling, two reasons…..we like it and there is no devil bugs on the water.
One lake we paddled on, we did see a Cormorant (and I also love Cormorants), and we saw an osprey on her nest and she was not happy about us being on her lake, it’s a lake no one goes on. Well, we have never seen anyone on it.
We also saw quite a number of deer in the park, which is unusual. We rarely see deer so I guess they are running the park along with the Canada Geese and the beavers. Funny story, one day we were paddling down the river from Pog Lake towards the dam at Whitefish Lake and there was a friend of ours paddling the other way ! It was nice to see Terry Carpenter, we hadn’t seen him for about two years. What a coincidence.
We took some time to go Brewery hopping, and as you know, if you read my Blog, I do dearly love my breweries. We stopped at Lake of Bays and tried some brews and bought a couple of Red ales and IPAs. IPAs are my favourite kind of beer. Then on to Muskoka Brewery and I really liked their beer. They make gin and tonic in a can, who’d a thunk? Clint liked it but I did not. Another coincidence, we got talking to one of the girls who works there and her name is Raelyn, which is not a common name but happens to the be the name of our granddaughter ! We did some samples of their beer and I think Clint bought a few cans. I bought a growler of Mad Tom. Then we each bought a glass and sat outside talking to a young couple; they were on vacation from Great Britain. Really nice couple.
Muskoka Brewery and SawDust Brewery.
Last but not least SawDust Brewery. He enjoyed their stout and filled up our second growler with that and I bought a few cans of other types. We ended up in Gravenhurst and sat outside at MuskoBillys Lakeside Tap and Grill. Great food, bar food but still it was high quality bar food.
I’m not sure if I mentioned a “chicken” incident in an earlier post from a couple of years ago, but these grouses, aka chickens, have a habit of chasing me. They look a little like chickens to me so hence the nickname. And yes, I do know what they really are. We were riding our bikes down the old railway line one day and I heard this big kerfuffle beside me and there was a grouse all puffed up and chasing after my bike. What the Hell? After she was done chasing me and believe me, I kept on riding, she was pretty worked up. We went back a little ways and we think we saw babies so she probably thought I was after them. However, she has not seen me riding my bike, I don’t see anything except the strip of dirt or asphalt right in front of me so I most definitely wasn’t after her babies or even looking at them. If I look anywhere except straight ahead my balance is gone.
FINALLY, on 23 June, we saw a moose. We usually see tons but this is the first one this trip. It was a young cow and we watched her for quite a while. One evening we drove down Arowhon road and a cow and her calf were right smack dab in the middle of the road. Quite something and you guessed it, I also love moose. The next day we were up and out at 530 and a bear crossed the highway in front of us and went down the embankment. We did see a couple of other moose, probably the same one lol. They can move fast when they want to !
So all in all it was an okay trip, not as much wildlife as we normally see but I’m generally happy seeing chipmunks so all in all it was a good trip. We were able to do some biking and beer tasting and lots of paddling but not much hiking, did I mention BUGS?
Off to Restoule Provincial Park tomorrow.