Algonquin Park – September/October 2018

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Well, back to my all time favourite spot again for 18 nights.  Have trailer, will travel.  We were followed by a moose, tried to help a dying heron and braved winter-like conditions but what a time we had !

We left on Sunday 23 September and returned home Thursday 11 October.  When we left our house to travel to Algonquin, we were wearing sandals and shorts and the temperature was about 20C.  When we arrived at the Park, it was down to 4C !   We are less than 3 hours away so that’s a big drop in temperature.  The weather was kinda crappy the whole time we were there.  Lots of rainy days and quite cold at times.  Wearing mittens and hats was not out of the question for many days.  We stayed at Mew Lake, site 20.  I like Mew Lake but we might try Canisbay Campground next time, its beautiful in there this time of  year.  So many trees with beautiful colours and most of the campground is closed for the season so it’s really nice to walk through.

Our Mew Lake campsite was huge.  It was quite a trek from the trailer over to the campfire.  Just before Thanksgiving, we put up another tent, which was put up in front of our blue kitchen tent.  We had so much room, we could have put up 3 or 4 more tents.  Crazy big site.

 

We did a lot of hiking, pretty much every day.  And a lot of driving to see the fall colours.  I didn’t find the fall colours as bright and pretty this year.  Lots of yellow but not a lot of orange and red.  We have had weird weather though so maybe that’s why.

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Canisbay Campground

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Arowhon Road
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Arowhon Road
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This body of water is called “Pond” but Clint and I named it Monkey Lake
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Water reflections only
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My only B&W photo this trip
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Water Reflections
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Hwy 60 Rainbow
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Deep in the woods
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Mizzy Lake Trail
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Mizzy Lake Trail
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I do like mushrooms but decided not to bore people so only one photo made the cut

So many people we know go to Algonquin regularly, like us, so we met a few friends up there who were also camping.  Some of us went for dinner at the Mad Musher in Whitney.  Beth, Don, Gilles, Liz and us and we had a great visit with Steve (owner of aforementioned Mad Musher)  He is a great photographer and his restaurant is a good place to relax and visit with friends.  I had a really terrific Linguine Alfredo dinner.  Good evening was had by all.

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Steve and some of his photos, I love the one of the moose with the branches on his head !

We met some other friends, Harry and Joan who were also camping.  Had a visit with them when we dropped in at their campsite.

And then, weirdly enough I had put a photo on Instagram of a moose and my Aunt June made a comment that her daughter Roxanne (my cousin) was in Algonquin and wouldn’t it be funny if I ran into her somewhere in the park.  I wasn’t about to run into her, I was going to hunt her down !   And so we did and the look on her face when we walked into her campsite was awesome !  We had a great visit and it was so random we were there at the same time.

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Roxy and I, can you tell we’re related?  haha

Thanksgiving weekend in the Park is something I enjoy and this year particularly.  Our son and daughter-in-law came down from Toronto and stayed with us from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon.  Best Thanksgiving ever !   They had to stay in a tent as our trailer is pretty small.  But we put a heater in there and tons of blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses etc and they were fine…………..so they said ! haha

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While they were with us we did some hiking down to the Cascades and some other trails.  We drove around the park as Amanda had not been to the park before so she said we gave her a good overview.

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We did go to the Visitor Centre, which is a very impressive place.  Lots of information and displays to look at .

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One would think this was taken in the Logging Museum but nope, it was the Visitor Centre

Next stop was the Logging Museum, which is also worth a visit.  They have a small museum/store and you watch a movie and then do about a one km walk around the back on a path that goes past old buildings and a lake.  Very nice walk and well done with the displays, buildings and information.

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We were only able to have a campfire one night as it rained the first night they were with us but we really enjoyed sitting around the campfire, possibly drinking was involved.

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Hey buddy get your own chair !

We had a super visit and fed the blue jays, squirrels and one chipmunk.  Thanks for the great weekend Jay and Amanda !

One day Clint and I stopped at the parking lot by East Beach and there was this little red squirrel eating something.  Couldn’t figure out what it was at first but it turned out to be a mushroom and boy did he enjoy that mushroom and was pretty bummed out when he dropped it.  He has the cutest little expressions.  See for yourself.

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Oh My this is a tasty mushroom !
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Oh My God I dropped my mushroom !
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10 Second Rule !

We didn’t see as much wildlife this year. We did see moose;  4 bulls and one cow.  We saw the same herd of turkeys different days,  they were happy wanderers.  Herons, beavers, one lone loon, grouse and of course the usual squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays.  And yes we did see some Grey Jays on the trail to the Cascades, one of my favourites.  Normally we see them down by Mizzy Lake trail going to Wolf Howl Pond but nope not this trip.

We saw a few herons here and there, one on Opeongo Road.  Here are some random shots of miscellaneous wildlife photos.  It was a very dreary day the say we saw the guy below.

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Quick Landing

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Hungry Heron
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This is a grouse aka Chicken at least that’s what I call them !
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Run Buddy, it’s coming up to Thanksgiving time
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Can anyone else picture John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever?
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Ok so this isn’t wildlife but it’s the park’s plane, Clint took this photo, pretty cool

Some random photos of trees, leaves, Trums, peeps and whatever else !

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Trum just hanging out in the woods
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A very well disguised Cellular Tower that we hiked up to see
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Me on the Mizzy Lake Trail
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Hemlock Bluff trail

Another day we went for a drive and there was a youngish bull moose by the side of the road near Hemlock Bluff trail.  We watched him a long time, he didn’t care how many cars stopped on the side of the road and it was raining pretty good but no one cared.  Our nation, as a whole, is obsessed with moose methinks.

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He’s ignoring the humans
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Maybe not
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He is not a very old fella
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My favourite photo of this guy

We did have some strange things happen though, stories I am willing to share!

One day we had stopped at this spot towards the East Gate to see if the beavers were swimming around.   They were not but as we were leaving, a big flurry of wings landed in the water.  It was a Great Blue Heron and he landed and didn’t get up.  It was pretty sad, we didn’t know if he had broken his wings or legs or what.  He laid there and then Clint had the idea to try to get a paddle under him and lift him up, maybe help him out.  Long story short, that didn’t work.  Although the heron was on the paddle and just staring at Clint while Clint talked to him.  This was later in the evening so we couldn’t do too much.  We left and figured a beaver or fox would get him before morning.  The next morning we were up and down to see him and he was still there and alive.  He was in the same spot though so that was heartbreaking.  Poor fella.  We drove to the East Gate to tell park staff the unfortunate situation of the Heron where we spoke with Allison the Park biologist.  She and one of the Park Wardens came back to the lake with us to check on him.  Allison said he had avian botulism.  This is something birds can contract by eating fish.  The fish eat bad bacterium and then of course the birds eat the fish and there you have it.   Allison said she was going to call a Sanctuary but probably nothing anyone could do.  Very sad.  So we left him, again, and next day we went back to check on him and he was dead.   RIP little heron.

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Poor little guy
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Clint the Heron Whisperer trying to help
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So sad to watch him struggle
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RIP Little Heron

At the same spot where we had our heron encounter, I walked back into the bush and saw moose tracks.  This was a big moose but we didn’t see him.  Here is a photo of my boot against his track.  He’s a good size moose.

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Another day, we walked down part of the Mizzy Lake trail past Wolf Howl Pond and on to West Rose Lake, one of my favourite walks.  We did this walk about 3-4 times this trip.  Anyways, we ran into some people who were waiting to see moose.  This area is known for moose sightings.   So we talked to them for a bit and they left to go somewhere else, they had been there probably 3 hours.  We continued walking for about 5 minutes and then turned back.  Lo and behold there was a bull moose across the lake!  Then a cow showed up and it was rutting season, so you know, stuff happened………………Don’t look at my photos if you don’t want to see Moose Porn lol   A few minutes later, another bull came and they had a little tussle but then the second moose left, well he didn’t really leave, he was chased off.  Then the original Bull went back to what he was doing.  We must have watched them for about 90 minutes until they left.

I did not get great photos as I only have a 300 mm lens AND I was on the other side of the lake BUT STILL – exciting nonetheless.

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Hello

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Oh Oh who is this?
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Short tussle between the 2 Bull Moose and then the new guy was chased off

We like hiking away from other people. We like to find our own spots and we have a few that we enjoy and this day we chose one to hike…………Anyways on to my story – we were walking down this trail for about 45 minutes and decided to turn back and go somewhere else and Clint said “There’s a moose on the trail coming towards us!”   Sure enough, a young male was stopped on the trail staring at us and of course, we were staring back.  We decided to get off the trail so he would go by and keep going.  We got off the trail and I stood behind a birch tree and Clint was behind me……..wait ? What?  I just thought of that now, I guess sacrifice the oldest person first is a thing now.

Clint was taking a video of him as he walked past and I was just wanting him to walk past faster.  I could have reached out and touched him, he was so close to the tree.  He kept going and we stepped back on the trail and headed away from him.  A couple of minutes later, we heard a commotion in the bush and a moose calling.  Well, there he was keeping pace with us in the forest and following along.  Clint said to walk faster so we did but, easier said than done when you have to climb over and under trees lol.  A few minutes later, Clint said “Oh No ! he’s running down the trail behind us.”  I said “Are you (insert curse word) kidding me right now ???”?   Sure enough, he was loping down the trail behind us.   Maybe he thought legal marijuana day was here already and he thought we had some.  Cause he sure acted like he was on something.  I kept walking until I got close to the road and didn’t see Clint behind me so thought I would wait for 20 minutes and then get someone to go with me to recover his body.  But a few minutes later Clint arrived.   He said the moose kept following him and when he stopped, the moose stopped and this kept happening until finally the moose wandered off.  Whew !

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What a coincidence, he is hiding behind a tree and so was I !
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Starting his long walk past us
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Literally within an arm’s reach of me, I was still behind my tree
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This is him taking a last look before he moved on, prior to turning around and following us

Everyone always asks me if I’m scared of running into bears when we are out in the bush, No I’m not scared of bears, nervous a bit of course.  I am scared of moose though, they are more unpredictable than bears, (in my opinion).  We have had a few scary episodes with moose over the years but bears usually take off when they see you.

Except that one time when a bear followed us – but that’s a story for another day.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Algonquin Park – September/October 2018”

  1. These photos are so beautiful, especially the one with the rainbow! Thank you again for an amazing Thanksgiving weekend.

    I’m still sad about the heron, but it was nice of you and Clint to try to help him. You did everything you could!

    Liked by 1 person

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