A portion of the family decided to get together for 4 days of camping in Algonquin Provincial Park. My youngest brother and his wife have been going there for the last 10 years and managed to talk our parents into going this year. We set up in Canisbay Lake campground. Unfortunately between the time we started looking and the time we booked the reservations, the available sites has us spread out a bit. Our parents ended up the furthest away from just about everything.
My sister brought her husband and three of her children in an RV so they had the easiest setup. Our parents had a camper trailer. My brother and I had tents.
The weather was good for our entire stay. No rain at all, although the ground was a bit wet from the previous weeks’ rain.
The camp sites we were on were nice and big and had power so our electronics (i.e. phones) where all charged up.
Upon arrival we found a notice posted for “bear sighted in park”. This would have been a good picture opportunity for my mother’s dog as his name is “Bear” but that did not happen. We also saw the “boil water” notice. Neither notice was on the park’s web site before we left home. Fortunately I packed a case of water, our parents forgot their’s at home. My brother expected to be at the park and all setup before anyone got there, but he got stuck in construction traffic and ended up just behind our parents and I.
Monday was set aside for setup and then we all had dinner at our parents’ site.
Tuesday we convinced our father to go on a hike with us. We did the “Hardwood Lookout” trail. All but mother and Bear went. This trail was an easy trail but did have a few ups and downs that gave father a bit of stress (he’s over 70). The kids enjoyed the trail and mostly behaved themselves.
After lunch, five of us tackled the “Track and Tower” trail. Obviously we survived but there was much talk of a helicopter lift!! This trail was listed as “strenuous” and when we got there, there was a notice saying the trail was in spring conditions. I think that almost 50% of the trail was mud. You definitely had to watch your step. I lost 2 water bottles on this trail. The trail was a real challenge to my knees. The worst part of the trail was the normal mud climb up to and then the 150 step stairs up the cliff. I needed a break in the worst way. Thankfully the stairs had a rail I could pull myself up with!!
We ate dinner at my sister’s site that evening, having pulled pork sandwiches that were cooked in a dutch oven over the campfire. After dinner my brother and I had to go down to the lake to stand in the cold water to help our aches. Of course the kids had to go as well. They were just to get their feet wet but decided to go into water up to their wastes while fully clothed.
Wednesday we did two trails with the kids and our father. We did the Beaver Pond trail, stopped at the information centre, and then did the Spruce Bog Boardwalk trail. The kids were just dragging by this time as we returned to the campsite for dinner.
My brother brought his propane powered smoker and we had shiskibobs. They had beef, pork, and chicken along with red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, and pineapple. We each made our own selections. I made up dessert (the most important part) in a dutch oven.
Thursday was tear down day. We talked about doing a small trail before leaving but ended up not doing any.
Each day they talked about getting up early to do some trails but nobody did. I am a light sleeper and woke up with the birds near dawn (a.k.a. 05:30). Once awake I could not stay in bed due to the bathroom urge. So I made myself a coffee. I even tried the two breakfast meals I brought along. I tried the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs with Bacon first. Since I did not have a measuring cup I had to guess and I over filled the bag. No big deal I just got out the frying pan and cooked the stuff until the excess water was gone. It tasted quite good as it was. I tried the Breakfast Skillet the next day and was not impressed, even with additional spices. I did not try any ketchup as I did not think of it at the time. So I’ll add the Scrambled Eggs with Bacon to my SHTF kit. I took a few more meals but did not try them out. It was usually an hour later that my brother exited his tent and then another hour before my sister’s crew showed themselves. So nothing was done in the early mornings.
Would I do it again? Oh yeah. I had a good time in the park.