Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Canoeing in Algonquin and Accidental Racism...!

About as innocent and honest as vacations get (if you ignore the plastic water bottles filled with whiskey), we took 4 days off to canoe and camp in Algonquin Park.

It is, without a doubt, one of the best parts of Ontario. Within hours of Toronto, but wild and full of moose, wolves and bears (bears!). As accessible or inaccessible as you need it to be, with sites off the highway, and sites that require days of canoeing and portaging to access.

We came in at Canoe Lake (famous for drowning Tom Thomson!), and spent around 5 hours portaging and paddling our way through Big Joe, Teepee, The Oxtongue River, and Fawn Lake, before finally arriving at an incredible campsite on Little Doe Lake.

The weather was incredible! Warm, sunny, but breezy with almost no mosquitoes...such a rare occurrence in Algonquin that it's probably a sign of the apocalypse! Our food survived, more or less, (although the smell of rancid mushrooms will haunt my dreams (and camping gear) for all eternity) and since 5 out of 7 campers were vegetarian, it was a new camp food experience for me. Overall pretty delicious, but I'm extremely grateful that my husband packed me a package of pepperettes... Somehow portobellos, zucchini, and potato salad just doesn't have the same protein as a cheeseburger...

...I know, all this wholesome shit and I promised you accidental racism... well, hold in there tiger. It's coming...

Our campsite was AWESOME, possibly the best I've ever had in Algonquin, which is really lucky since  we got it by default, arriving on the lake to find all but 2 sites fully booked up. Up on a granite chunk, we had a 6 foot drop to the lake, and water dropping 30 feet to the bottom...a previously set up rope swing made for some fantastic belly flops into the lake.

The drop off also made an excellent beer fridge!

Mmmm, beer.
Natural rock shelves made great cooking areas, AND great beer holders!

+10,000 for product placement!

Now, the site next to us had some loud, rowdy, campers who were more successful at fishing than us...(I managed to catch a 6inch bass...and lots of lily pads...) and when Kristen and I took a boat past their site we were greeted by some members of their site.

Upon returning to our site, I mentioned that by NOT joining us on our canoe + hike-in-the-rain they had missed seeing the chugs at the next site... my friend from BC gave me quite the look:

"What?" I said, innocently. "They had to chugs over there..."

Cate: "Wow...that's really racist."


Here is a chug in Ontario:


Here is a chug in BC:

 Shockingly racist!

EDUCATION FOLKS! Or maybe, just stop naming dog breeds after racist terms. ...Or maybe just don't be racist. That could work too.

Anyways, after clearing up the fact that I like dogs, and do NOT like being racist, we canoed out on a different route, that began with an 1140m portage. Ow. Followed by a 5hr paddle. Ow, ow ow.

It was an awesome trip, with awesome people, and I just can't wait to do it again!

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