The rest of the trip went as planned. The paddle across Opeongo went smoothly due to only a slight breeze caressing the surface of this massive lake. During the crossing Kyla and Ellie had a nice long nap. When Kyla woke she grabbed a piece of driftwood bobbing by the canoe and built a makeshift boat and then soaked her feet in the bailing bucket...oh the life if a seven-year-old.
Our site on Opeongo was another underused one situated close to the entrance of Anne’s Bay. It was a hot, hot day so we slept without putting the tarp on the tent so we could catch a breeze and gawk up at the stars.
We started seeing more and more people en route once we paddled and portaged the Opeongo River towards Booth Lake. They were different paddlers compared to others we came across deeper in the interior of the park. A father and son portaging ahead of us left a handful of litter every time they stopped for a break; just candy wrappers and some empty fishing lure boxes but the trash was left behind deliberately and without remorse. They also didn’t say hello back when we gestured to them along the trail. To me, they’re actions were more than a little odd. My father always taught me to greet other paddlers while wilderness travelling, no matter who they are. You never know if you’re going to need them to get you out a jam. Five of the seven groups we met that day simply ignored us. It was obvious we were running into the weekend warrior types who are only out for self-satisfaction before going home to their busy urban lives. Not sure what that’s all about but I’ve noticed it to be an increasing trend out here.
Who was more cordial towards us was a moose that wandered up our campsites beachfront the last morning. It stayed long enough for Kyla to say hello and snap a few photos. I could tell it was a solid trip for her. What was once a new fascination with Kyla had become run-of-the-mill; spotting moose became commonplace. She was now able to inform her arch nemesis back at school that she spotted a moose (four in total, actually). More importantly, however, she could care less about telling the school bully about it. A true sign the trip was a success.
While it was nice to finish we weren’t in a rush to leave Algonquin park just yet. We had a nice chat with Ann who works at the permit office at Shall Lake and she shared stories about her summer so far. She told us about the bear who liked hanging out in the parking lot but wasn’t causing any trouble. She had a sign indicating where there were turtle eggs at the front porch of the office and the date the eggs were due to hatch. She also informed us how a park warden had just handed over a hefty fine to a father and son who tossed a bag of garbage down the outhouse hole near the parking lot. Awesome.
After we finished loading up the truck, got some junk food and started our trip home, we decided to take a detour to the park’s visitor centre to pick up the obligatory Algonquin T-shirts, adorned with a park moose logo, before heading back home.
Such a great family trip… can’t wait for the next one.