Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trip Log: Algonquin Provincial Park: Kingscote Lake August 2-3, 2016

Just a quick one nighter.  With a 3 night trip to Lake of Two River's planned for the 4th, we didn't want to have to pack for 2 trips back to back, because there's no doubt we would have forgot multiple things.  It would have been nice to stay a second night, but maybe next time.

We arrived at the put in around 2pm, having narrowly avoided being creamed by a log truck driving way to fast on the dirt road.  The dust the truck kicked up blinded us for a good couple minutes and honestly I'm surprised they didn't go off the road.  They seemed to be swerving all over the place.

MEC Camper 4 and a $15 Walmart tent
It was hot and sunny, we slapped on sunscreen (except Chris) and headed out.  The kids had their own canoe this time.  We'd bought a little 12 foot canoe off the side of the road a while back, and wanted to see how they liked paddling it.  They said it was okay for the most part, but the seats were kind of high, which made it awkward.  Squatch had the same problem I had in it when Chris and I took it for a little day trip.  Sitting in the front is very squishy.  There's no distinguishable difference between the bow and stern, the seats are spaced evenly, so the person in the bow, doesn't have a lot of space for their knees.

But they did well, and though they were slower than us (even with me only paddling half strokes because the dog was right behind my elbow most of the way) they weren't frustrated or anything.  Tuckered out after the paddle?  Yeah, a bit.  They both had sore arms, and but they said it was worth it because they are now "ripped."

Our goal was the campsite at the very end of the lake, near the portage into Big Rock Lake.  This was where we'd stayed previously and really liked the site.  Unfortunately the site was occupied, so we back tracked and took the last site on the eastern shore.  It was pretty small, but there were some nice rocks for jumping off into deeper water, and since it was only for one night, we figured it was good enough.

Evening on Kingscote Lake
While the boys swam and Bubbie dipped her feet in the water, I got the tents set up.  I'd gotten a new tent for Christmas from Chris, a MEC Camper 4, and have been eager to try it out.  It went up easily, and other than arranging the fly, I was able to do it on my own.  We also brought this $15 kids tent we bought ages ago at Walmart.  When the kids were little we'd set it up in one of their rooms and they'd have campouts together.  It's small and light, so we brought it along.  It ended up being just barely big enough for Bubbie to lay in, but they had a great time sleeping in their own tent (I'm guessing mostly because Biscuit wasn't bunting them in the face all night like he usually does.)

I broke out some snacks after that and we realized the folly of taking chocolate dipped granola bars on a trip when the temperature is hovering near 30.  After snacks was more swimming for the boys while Bubbie and I dangled our feet in the water.  There were dozens of minnows swimming around our feet, and some of them were really big.  Also there were lots of sunfish around.  As we did on our last trip to Kingscote, the kids spent most of the trip letting fish nibble their toes.  This led to us bringing out the goPro and getting some really cool underwater footage.

Dinner that night was a random concoction I put together at the last minute since we didn't have time for me to really prepare and dehydrate something.  We had a box of 3 cheese manicotti Hamburger Helper.  To that we added some red lentils, and some dried mushrooms and peppers.  It was pretty decent, not fabulous by any means and for sure not very healthy.  Thankfully the Chop Chop salad was more nutritious.

After dinner, there was more swimming while I washed up.  I got the air mattresses blown up and by then it was getting dark.  There was a night burning only stipulation, since we'd had so little rain, so we had a very small fire, then went to town with many, many buckets of water to put it out.  I was so paranoid about it, I had Squatch pouring water on the ground all around the outside of the fire pit the whole time it was burning.

We headed to bed, and talked for a while.  The tents were right side by side, since the site was really small and barely had room for one tent.  Once it was fully dark, Chris and I went out and looked at the stars.

We brought Biscuits sleeping bag this time, and it helped a lot with settling him down.  Normally he paces...all night.  This time he spent the whole night sucking on the blanket.  He gets a wad of it in his mouth then snores because his nose is pressed against it.  By morning the entire thing was soaked, but it kept him quiet for the most part.  Until the sun came up at least, then he resumed pestering us to get out.

Morning Coffee on Kingscote Lake
The night was almost strangely quiet.  There were bullfrogs on and off, and of course a lot of loons but no crickets or insect noises.  It was a little unnerving.  In the past, occasionally there will be a few minutes were all the night sounds die off and my mind wanders to tales of supernatural creatures scaring the nocturnal creatures into silence.  The kids were just happy there were no Whippoorwills around.

While we were mostly warm when we went to bed, with our site being on the eastern shore, it wouldn't get sun until around 11am, so we all woke up chilly.  Oatmeal and coffee helped with that, then we set about packing up.

Biscuit fell off the rock ledge into the water trying to get a cracker from Chris.  That was the first time he's gone on past his belly and he looked horrified.  Chris was able to easily pull him in, the water being only an inch below the top of the rock.  I was worried he'd try and hide like he used to...by climbing under the tent fly and stomping down the tent but he didn't.
Morning on Kingscote Lake

It was such a beautiful calm morning, we didn't want to leave.  We took our time on the paddle out.  Biscuit would get antsy when the kids canoe got close because he wanted to switch back and forth, so we had to get ahead of them so he couldn't see them as well.

We had planned to explore more of the southern part of the lake, maybe check out the other campsites in the south east but I forgot to put sunscreen on the kids and it was after 11 when we got on the water.

After a quick stop at the Pine Grove Point campground to get some Gatorade and snacks, we headed home to repack our gear for the next trip.

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