Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Algonquin Park - Day 2

Proulx Lake to Big Crow Lake - 12km paddle

We spent the night freezing in the tent (it leaks). I listened to M hiss randomly through the night at the critters trying to seek shelter from the rain.

Sometime through the night it sounded like a bear had ripped into our food supply. I fully believed that we would have nothing left when we woke up.

We both kept waking up - cold and sore - asking each other when in the heck the sun would rise so we could get on with our lives.

0610 rolled around and I was stoked to see the sun. The rain had stopped after midnight. Everything was cold. The mists were rising off the lake as the sun hit it.

Coffee and oats by 0700 and we were soon packed and on our way.

It was windy on the lake and the last vestiges of night were drifting off the water as we made our way through the five kilometer marsh that wound it's way into Little Crow Lake.

Water Lily

We lunched on the first site we came to at Little Crow Lake. Coffee and Mr. Noodles. The sun was blazing and the boil water advisory was something we were taking seriously, which prevented us from getting as much fluids as we required. Saw some paddlers by the shore, one of them pointing out the site that we were in had been burned out a few years before. I couldn't say that I noticed any burned stumps or scars on the trees.

Back in the canoe we paddled through another river. The Horse Flies were immensely happy indulging in the fresh flesh on my ankles. I sent them ahead to M so he could fend them off. We paddled under the tower on the hill and were spit out onto Big Crow Lake.

Originally we had planned to camp next to the opening of a river that leads to a dam - from there you can view the virgin white pine stand. One of the trees is over 35m tall.

Instead we set camp on a wonderful site - complete with beach and a small cairn previous campers had set up before us.

The first thing that we saw when we arrived was a red bellied leech winding through the water. Towards my feet. Neither of us had any idea what it was, but M was sure that it wasn't a parasitic worm. Meanwhile, he is standing on the shore and the 15cm long THING is swimming towards ME!

View overlooking Big Crow Lake.
We set up, happy to be able to dry out our clothes and sleeping bags.

Swimming after some land exploration and coffee yielded a live clam (fresh water mussel).

Land exploration yielded two piles of scat - deer and moose, an Asian long horned beetle, and some chipmunks. We also spent some time identifying some of the flora and fauna that we had come across in the marsh.

Yellow Pond Lily (Bullhead Lily)

We did some laundry, observed the ridiculous burns on our knees (mine was so much worse - curse my skin tone o.O) and lit the fire.

Dinner was surprise freeze-dried (lasagna with meat sauce) - which turned out to be soupy. We had packed bowls and plates but still hadn't found a use for them, content with just sharing the pot.

Went to bed early so we could get a head start on the next day.

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