On May 26th, the 2008 Outdoor Ed class headed out on the spring canoe trip to the Barron Canyon in Algonquin Park. Travelling to Algonquin Park this time of year will guarantee 3 things, bugs, bugs and more bugs, but with the bugs there is warmer water and less people.
The bugs didn't disappoint, as they welcomed us to our 1st campsite on St. Andrew's Lake. They were pretty fierce that first night, but we really couldn't complain as we didn't have to do any portaging as we crossed from Grand Lake to Stratton Lake and from Stratton Lake to St. Andrew Lake. The water was high enough to lift over our 1st portage and run the stream that bypassed the 2nd portage. Besides that, the weather was excellent with very little wind and plenty of sunshine. Also, the Chicken Sate Stir Fry was excellent and the attempted Birthday cake was more than we could chew (literally).
The weather got even better on the 2nd day, as the sun was out and the temperature cooled to a point where the bugs stayed away. This allowed us to have a great day, as we spent the morning solo canoeing and building fires, while the afternoon saw us sliding down the Otterslide and exploring High Falls. The food on this 2nd day also didn't disappoint, with bannock on a stick for breakfast, plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers (plus some soya burgers) for lunch, topped off by a great spaghetti dinner.
The 3rd day was started with some pancakes and bacon, which set the stage for our biggest portage day. With 3 portages, including a 700 m one at the end, the group showed their strengths, not only physically, but as a team. Everyone did their part and then some, ensuring that all got across the portage in good time and that we had enough wood in the canoes as we paddled to our campsite on Opalescent Lake. There was a nice breeze at this beautiful campsite, keeping the bugs at bay as we lounged and napped the afternoon away. The sunset set the stage for our wonderful quesidilla and fallafal dinner.
The last day saw a quick and efficient departure as we headed for the 100 m walls of the Barron Canyon. A couple of quick portages and a beautiful paddle with the wind in our backs, saw us reaching the parking lot and the end of our trip by noon. A wonderful trip that had it all, good weather, good food, great experiences, and wonderful company.