Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Colours in Algonquin Park on Trip 1

The 1st canoe trip departed Sunday, September 30 at 9:00 am from C.W. to head to our put-in at Squirrel Rapids on the Barron Canyon in Algonquin Park. With all our gear and food barrels packed, it became quite obvious on the drive up that we timed our trip perfectly. The fall colours were right at their peak.

The first day was our toughest, with 7.5 km of paddling and 4 portages equalling about 1700 m. It was also one of the most scenic as we made our way up the Barron River through the Barron Canyon, with its 100 m high cliffs, and passed Brigham Falls on our 2nd portage. At the end of the day we were rewarded with a beautiful campsite on Opalescent Lake, set up with a great fireplace and comfortable lounge seating. Dinner was also a wonderful chicken dish.

The 2nd day started with some fresh pancakes and a solid 650 m portage. It was all easy after that, as we had a short 200 m portage out of Ooze Lake, followed by a 440 m portage out of High Falls Lake into St. Andrews Lake, where we would be camping for the night. Once our tents were set up and the grilled cheese sandwiches were coming off the fire, the sun decided to come out and expose the beautiful colours of the leaves. The afternoon was spent swimming at the water slides at High Falls. The evening started off clear with plenty of stars and the late night chatter out of some of the tents was rewarded with numerous wolf howls and Barred Owl calls from across the lake.

The 3rd day started off with signs of rain on the way and as we broke camp, it started to rain. By the time we were in the canoes, the rain had become a downpour and didn't let up until well into the night. Everything got wet and starting the fire, hanging tarps and setting up tents became a bit of a challenge. Once everything was in place, the tarps provided plenty of shelter from the rain that was coming down very heavy at times, we settled in for some spaghetti dinner and a good game of lick the stick. It was a night where everyone went to bed a little earlier than usual.

The last day we travelled across Stratton Lake to the dam, where we coffin carried the canoes and finished our canoe trip down Grand lake to Achray Station. The next trip was waiting our arrival. After a quick switch of gear and a lunch on the run, we were loaded up and headed back to civilization.


franklin said...

I would first like to say thankyou to Mr.Brower for taking us on the trip. The first day was the hardest with all those portages. The best part about the end of the days was the meals. Number one meal was the grilled Chesse. On the second day we went to the falls that was the most memorable part of the trip. it was so much fun going everyone down the slide at once. The jumping rock was also fun. Finally on the last day we had to meet the second trip it was really hard to paddle with all the waves(we beat Ryan. although it was a fantastic trip it was great to be back on the bus.

Kayaker said...

One trip one there were lots of personal highlights for me. One of my personal favourites was going to the slides. Although i have been there a few times before it was still very fun. I have never done this trip during the fall, i found that the colours on all the trees were just amazing. It was defiently a nice time to have the trip. We also had ample amounts of free time throughout in which we had lots of activities. There was a solid game of lick the stick, some bushball, the obstacle course as well as many others. Some things that i might change for the trip were, some more smoothly running cooking, and maybe less rain. Personally the things i could have changed would be bring some warmer clothes and have less little stuff to carry on the portages. Overall I think trip one was a wonderful trip. HFMMA

heather said...

The canoe trip was definetly one of the harder things that I've done so far in my life. I was so far out of my comfort zone because, before this trip, the closest thing that I had done to camping was sleeping in a tent in my friend's backyard. So needless to say I definetly struggled a bit on this trip.

I'm pretty sure I must be one of the worst portagers of all time. And I'm sure that anyone who saw me drop the canoe on myself or fall over with the barrel on my back would probably have to agree. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who had to be in a canoe with me for having to put up with my terrible paddling, I really did try my hardest. I especially owe Colleen an apology, sorry for not realizing we were about to hit a rock until we were on it, and then still insisting to call out "ROCK".

The only good thing about everything being new to me was that I learned a lot. I'm still terrible at just about everything related to camping, but I like to think that I've improved just a little bit from the first day. I learned how to make a fire and how to find dry wood even in the pouring rain. I also learned that seeing a squirrel is not something you should get excited about because you will probably get made fun of for it and also that Keith is not a bear.

There were definetly some great moments on this trip. Going down the water slide and jumping off the rocks was definetly fun, and as hard as I try I don't think that I will ever be able to totally block out the image of Jordan changing on the rocks. I also thought it was great that I met some people who I'd never spoken to before and that I also got the chance to become better friends with some people.

All in all it was a great trip and I would like to thank Ms. Gardner and Mr. Brouwer for giving us this amazing opportunity. I don't know if I'll rush back to the bush anytime soon, but it was still an unforgettable experiance. I gained some important new skills and learned a lot about myself along the way. There isn't a whole lot that I would change about the trip except that maybe next time I would try to be a little bit less spastic and I would also try to fall down a little less.

Thanks again for a great trip!

R-W said...

To be quite honest I am not the biggest fan of school. I hate sitting in one spot and listening all day, five days a week. With this in mind I signed up for Outdoor Ed looking for something different. So far it has not disappointed!

When I was told that we would be going to Algonquin Park for 4 days to live in the wilderness I didn't know what to expect. Looking back I now know that this is an experience I will not soon forget. As with everything there were positive and negative aspects which I will list.

Negative: On the canoe trip there were many cases in which it was important to be able to carry your own weight. A prime example was on portages. Along with some others I did every portage a minimum of twice carrying equipment and canoes. This was obviously fatiguing and I always looked forward to a good rest. This is where the negative aspects come in, I never got a good nights sleep as I had never slept outside before and was not used to it. The only other negative I had from the trip was the last night with all of the rain and wind. This made it extremely uncomfortable.

Postives: I enjoyed everything from the canoe trip especially being outside with everyone and having fun doing pretty much anything. I also very much enjoyed the falls as it was something truly unique to Algonquin. Other highlights were lick the stick, Maxwell's Grilled Cheese, Glen, DAY FOUR!! and obviously.... BUSHBALL!! When I weigh the positives against the negatives it is obvious that the canoe trip was extremely successful and talking to my friends I know the share the same feelings.

Through out the trip my opinion of many people changed, and the biggest change was to my opinion of Mr. Brouwer. Sports are a big part of my life so I am in pretty good shape. Needless to say when I was walking up a rocky hill with a canoe on my head I was feeling pretty good about myself, until Mr. Brouwer jogged past me carrying a canoe and the heaviest barrel. It really gave me something to aim for and improved my work ethic. One of the best ways to see what people are truly like is to spend a lot of time with them and thats another thing this trip allowed me to do and I am thankful for that.

Overall this was a wonderful life experience and something I will never forget. Thank you so much Mr. Brouwer and Ms. Gardner for your time and effort and keeping us in line.


qwerty said...

Trip one was clearly the best trip, there is no question. We kicked off the trip with a long canoeing/portaging trip to our first campsite. The whole first day I was happy simply for the fact that it hadn't rained yet. By dinner time I was starving and any food would taste great.

After the worst sleep of my life where we had 5 people sleeping in a 4 person tent, and a tree root where I put my head, and some people kicking me throughout the night, I was relieved to wake up to some pancakes.

In the afternoon of day 2 we went to the slides which was great, even though the water was freezing cold. The clear highlight of the slides was Jordan changing in front of everybody and telling us to look away. We ended up eating some beautiful, tasty gorp that I probably wouldn't have liked if I weren't camping in the wilderness.

That night the group was wild. Everybody was yelling and shouting, most likely disturbing the campers on the other side of the lake. The obstacle course and the game of bushball were fun.

Then the next day was miserable. It rained all day. We played lick the tent/tennis ball/dirty wet sock/stick/shoulder/floor all afternoon. The rain was horrible, but we coped with it to the best of our abilities.

The best part of the trip was day 4 by a landslide, as it was our last day and we knew we were going home. Even though it was raining all night we were happy that we got to go home. The canoe back to the bus was fun, as we could see the bus from across the lake but it was extremely hard to get there with the wind.

When we got on the bus, we had a great time talking about our trip and reliving the best moments, most of which involved the heroic Jordan Ahmed.

The few things I would have done differently is that I would have probably cleaned up even more around the campsite, because we were a bit slow to do what we wanted to do. I brought the right amount of clothes, but I definitely would have brought one extra sweater and a bigger sleeping bag.

Thank you to Mr. Brouwer for bringing us on the trip.

C.T. said...

Trip one had some pretty awesome times. The best part for me was going to the slide and climbing up the current as far as we could. If I ever go back to Algonquin park, i will be sure to visit the slide again.

Throughout the trip we came up with a lot of games to keep us entertained. We came up with a game called Wood Ball, it consisted of a tennis ball, a board and a court. The object of the game was to bounce the ball of the board and make it hit the other players court without him catching it. It was definitely one of the highlights of trip 1.

I would like to thank Mr. Brouwer for a great trip and Mrs. Gardener for dealing with us throughout the trip. I found out that Mr. Brouwer is a machine (pack on his back and a canoe on his shoulders).


Stina said...

This canoe trip was an amazing experience for me.
Before the trip someone said I'm crazy, because I go on this trip and know all the people for only some weeks and I've never camped like this before. The only time I slept in a tent was with my friends in my back yard. But I really didn't have to be worried about it, because everybody was so nice to me and helped me always when I didn't understand something or needed help.
My highligts on this trip were the sailing.. it was so nice doing nothing enjoying the landscape. The landscape was awesome. The trees turned already in all different colours and I think I've never seen so much nature at once :)
I also liked our meals, I think we had some very good cooks at our trip.
Fun was also when we feeded the blue jays. I was waited with Miss Lalonde for the other at a portage when she saw a blue jay. She told me to grab a piece of bread and put it in my hand and the bird will come. I didn't think that this will really happen. But it happened and a bird came and took the bread out of my hand. that was amazing!!
I didn't like the weather that much. It was always cold (fortunately it didn't rain) and I wore alway a lot of stuff so I didn't freeze. But the canoeing and the fire in the evening warmed me always up.
The nights were probably the worst part of the trip. On night we girls set pur tent on the hill, so that we slided down during the night. In another night I slept on a root. It isn't very comfortable.
But all in all this trip was amazing and I will never forget it. Thanks to Mr. Brouwer and Miss Lalonde who made this trip possible and organized all for us! It was a great trip!!

Colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler Dubue said...

Canoe trip one was an interesting trip. From Jordan changing on rocks to him bringing out his umbrella the day after it rained, when it wasn't even raining anymore.

The first day gave me the impression that the rest of the trip was going to be hard. We had to do a couple of huge portages (1700m), and had to canoe for 8km. Luckly the next days we didn't have to portage as long. We set up camp the first day and went looking for some fire wood to start cooking supper, which was delicious. The first night wasn't that bad, we woke up and had some pancakes and took off for our next site.

Our second site was a cool site, we had two different places to set up tents, and of course our tents were set up away from the teachers. As the day moved along, we went to the natural water slide where the water was ice cold. I don't think I've ever experienced anything so cool in my life. The thing I can remember the most is when my body froze instantly once I hit the water which jetted us out to the bay.

I found that this canoe trip really tested my physical ability. From portaging canoes, death box & barrels to canoeing with one paddle and Jordan.

I would like to deeply thank you Mr. Brouwer & Ms. Gardener for putting up with our .. routy nights, times that we didn't co-operate as well as we should have.. day four.. many more. It was a great experience that I will never forget.

Kayaker said...

The canoe trip was a great success and was lots of fun. From the start to the finish there was always something to do and there was lots of scenery. Lots of memorable moments on the trip, from late night obstacle courses, rats in the tent, sk alone, who's got glen, and bushball, were moments I will never forget. Another highlight of the trip were the slides, even though the water was freezing, a fun time was had by all. Great trip alltogether.


hfmas said...

By far the canoe trip has been the best part of the Outdoor ed class. Ever since I was in grade 9 I had always wanted to go on the outdoor ed trip and now it was my turn.
There was a lot of preparation prior to the trip. The most important thing we had to prepare for was paddling and learning how to stir a canoe. We practice our canoeing on the Ottawa river, but to get there we had to portage. Portaging is when you have to carry the canoe on land in order to get to the water. Once it came to time to canoeing I wasn’t very good a stirring so I put myself in front, and I used my power to pull the canoe forward

Also in preparing for the trip we had to make a stop at grocery store where we got our food for the 4 day trip. Once we got the food we had to place them in the specific barrels, such as the bread barrel fruit and vegetables barrel and snack barrel.

Also we had to pack our clothes, we were giving each one dry bags where we would put all of our clothes in. The bag was small so we had to minimize all of the clothes we were going to bring

We took off on the trip Sunday morning, we had to be at school at 7 am, and pack all of our bags and place the canoes onto the trailers. It was about a 3 hour drive to Algonquin park.

Once we arrived we unpacked and divided ourselves up into pairs to canoes. Each pair we giving a barrel and a bag to carry. It was about 10 in the morning when we set off on our four day adventure. The first day was the most tiring day for me I found, because it was one the first day that we had all of the longest portages to do. One of the longest portages we had to do was 750 metres, may not seem that far but when u have a 50 pound barrel on your back it can get pretty tiring. Also you had to go back about 3 times at each portage to make sure you had brought everything.

Every camp site we visited was beautiful. They each had a beautiful look across the water. It was during the fall that we went on the canoe trip so all the trees were just changing colours making the scenery just beautiful.

During the trip I learned many thing such as the proper way to build a fire using either the log cabin or tipi. Also I learned how to find the perfect camp location. I also learned how to paddle properly cause before I wasn’t the best paddler, and a bunch of other things that will help me if im ever lost in the woods

One of the highlights of the trip for me was for sure the falls. At the falls we were able to go down a water slid and swim. Even though the water was freezing cold we still had a great time. Also we did some cliff jumping. Also one of the highlights of the trips was playing 21 question while were canoeing we played this for hours making time fly by fast. Also at night playing lick the stick by the fire have marshmallows.

What I would have changed about the trip is to have cleaned out more around the campsite. During the night we all often left out our stuff outside. This was a big mistake because any animal could have gotten into our stuff taking everyting and that would have ruined the trip. Also one thing I disliked most about the trip was the portages. It was very painful carrying the heavy barrel back and forth from lake to lake.

In the end the trip was probably one of the greatest time of my life, being able to talk to my friends sharing story’s and getting to know everybody, I found the trip a great success and can’t wait to do it again next year!

Just like to thank Mr. Brouwer and Miss Gardner for taking the time to go on this trip with us, it was a great time!!!!!!!!!! TRIP 1 DAY 4!!!!!!

Jordan said...

The canoe trip was a learning adventure!

Colleen said...

When we first started the trip I didn't think I was going to make it through the four days alive. I was so cold and couldn't imagine paddeling and portaging the whole time. After the first day of getting to camp I was so tired from all the potages and was happy to be able to relax. I didn't know that we still had so much work to do and wouldn't be able to rest until later in the night. The next morning I was not really motivated to get up but after we got out on the water again I did not find it too bad. The rainy day was awful though, I was soaked and cold and just wanted to give up. After we got the tarp up, the fire started, and some food made it was an enjoyable night. The last day was definatly the hardest. I was so motivated to get to the shor where we could see the bus waiting for us. I was so tired and we were paddeling against white caps and it felt like we were going backwards. We would paddle hard and move 1 meter and then take a brake and move 5 meters back, it didn't help that we had to haul an extra load in the middle of our boat. But looking back on the whole thing there were lots of good times. Getting stuck on so many rocks was so funny, Ryan and Keith almost tipping, Heather trying to get into the front of the boat, the scenery, and anything Jordan said or did. Thanks Dave for putting up with me and Heather we would still be on the lake if you didn't help us. It was a great trip and thank you Mr. Brower and Miss Gardner for taking us on it.

Kayaker said...

I thought that the camping trip was one of those ones in a life time adventures. One of my favourite experiences was the way my group worked as a team to set up the lunch on the second day. What I thought was so great about that was we worked well together even though we were so incredibly hungry; we had the same goal that we wanted to achieve. I thought that I could have improved on my organization. Whenever we finished unpacking I could have placed my equipment somewhere that made better sense, such as the time when I found my sleeping bag cover on the beach the next day. Another thing I would improve on is how hard I worked when we chopped wood for the fire. I felt I wasted way to much time talking and socializing. I thought that too few people gave it there all when we did group activities like chopping wood. I enjoyed how I worked when I was canoeing, partly because I felt very comfortable on the water but I felt like I helped others with there stoke when they were paddling. I enjoyed the portages because of the way people took it on themselves to carry as much as they could as well as taking multiple trips back and forth.