Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trip 2 in Algonquin Park

The 2nd trip started with the switchover of gear from trip 1 on the beach of Grand Lake. It was obvious that trip 1 had a very wet day the day before, as all the gear was soaked. The weather that we saw at that moment was what we would get for the remainder of the trip, clous with some sunny breaks and cool temperatures. Cool it was, especially with the wind. We became champs of the tarps very quickly.

We posed for a picture in front of the colourful trees on Grand Lake to start the trip and managed to get right in tune with nature as we were joined by a deer who was attempting to swim across the lake. We headed to the camp on Stratton Lake that was set up by trip 1, with the tarps and cooking areas already set up. We got to business right away, setting up tents, adding tarps and cutting firewood. Hot dogs and hamburgers were dinner with a lovely brownie cake for dessert.

Day 2 started off chilly and windy. As we took down the tarps, we ensured that a couple were set up as sails, which were raised as soon as we hit the water. As one large floatilla, we sailed down Stratton Lake, without having to put a paddle in the water. The exit into the creek was also quite spectacular and smooth, the campers at the end of the lake were quite impressed. After two short portages, we gathered our lunch and hiked into High Falls. Here we checked out the falls and went for a swim down the water slides. Amazingly, the sun decided to join us for this occassion and provided us with the warmest period of the trip. Mac and cheese with hot dogs and a nice salad was on the menu for lunch, with some cookies and jujubes and licorice and ...

After lunch we made our way across High Falls Lake, Ooze Lake and across the 660 m portage into Opalescent Lake. Before launching to our campsite, we loaded two canoes with wood to ensure we had enough for our stay. Once at the campsite, we rebuilt the seating area for maximum comfort, rebuilt the fireplace for optimal cooking and counter space, and created a phenominal tarp set up to eliminate the cooling effects of the wind. Set for the night, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of chicken wraps, an amazing chocolate cake (double the size, as trip 1 had forgot to pack theirs), and a spectacular display of the Milky Way.

On day 3 we warmed up quickly with a 750 m portage, quickly followed by two more portages and a beautiful paddle down the Barron River Canyon. Did I mention that we loaded up on sugar (jujubes, licorice, cookies, granola bars, etc...) at the end of the portages? Right after the steep walls of the canyon, we found a great campsite that was out of the wind. It also had some local otters and a moose looking for a mate. The latter we figured out as the girls were cutting wood and the cow moose made a mating call which seemed to come from the other side of the bushes. After plenty of exploring, we didn't find the moose or any sign of it.

The final day was a leisurly paddle down the river, with one minor portage, to the take out at Squirrel Rapids.


Taylor said...

The trip two canoe trip was absolutely amazing. Some of the highlights of the trip for me was meeting new people. Before this trip I've never really had a chance to get to know anyone from the trip and it turns out that most of us ended up having a great time together, and that includes the time that I had the best foot massage from Kira. Cooking the double-sized cake and going down the water slide was definitely something to remember. Sailing was also extraordinary, but the best part was reaching the final spot, and knowing that I had reached the goal and finished the trip.

Though not everything was awesome, some problems were that I felt sick and couldn't eat the spaghetti, I ripped my new pants from falling(which I did a lot of), sleeping on a giant tree root, being cold sometimes, and being scared a few to many times in the dark. But... I enjoyed the food, canoing, getting a good workout plus the new clothes for the trip. Not to mention that the all time best part of the trip was the smell and view of Algonquin Park. I just adored it.

Now considering it was my first time ever camping, I would call it an experience. And I learned a few things along the way like: how to make a fire with what kinds of wood, how to saw properly(I've never used a saw in my life before either), what were the proper clothes to wear, how much I can or can't carry on portages(I had attempted to carry a sack and a canoe, which didn't really work out), what a moose sounds like, how to cook using a dutch oven, what I should and shouldn't pack to carry with me, how to stuff my sleeping bag into the dry bag(that was an experience in it's self, I was made such a fool of because of this), that my shoes won't catch on fire and that I should trust Justin Birch's judgement on that, not to change by the edge of a cliff with Laura standing beside me(because she almost pushed me off), and how to make smores(which I've never done before).

And from what I learned I realized that I need to improve on my canoe strokes, get going faster on portages(I talked too much in the beginning), to paddle harder and/or faster, and that I could help out a little more.

Over all I had an experience of a life time and I'd like to thank Mr. Brouwer and Miss Lalonde for the experience. I've definitely been inspired and I hope to continue camping, canoing, and visiting Algonquin Park.

Colin George said...

The canoe trip was an experience of a life time. It started off with going for a small paddle through the lake where we found and followed a deer swimming through the lake. Our first portage was under 100m and we just coffin carried the canoes across it, but we took the extra time to take a picture on the little dam. we the day with canoeing up to our first camp site that had already been mostly set up by the first trip. The highlight of the day were watching trip 1 come in and knowing that i would get to start my trip once they come in.

The second day started off with a packing up and making sails from the tarps. We rafted up and opened the sails then went down the river effortlessly. We had a long day full of portages. After portageing across High Falls we hiked up to the waterslide and had lunch. It was cold so we only went in a couple of times untilk hiking back and going to our longest and last portage of the day. Finally, we canoed to our seconds and best camp site, set up, and sat at the campfire until we all went to sleep.

Day three started with a small paddle to our first portage. it was the longest of the entire trip. After it we had a small paddle to our a small portage, another small paddle to another a little bit longer portage, and then we canoed in to our last camp site. Most people went out and gathered fire wood or set up camp. Some of us stayed up late around the fire.

The next day was our last and we all got ready to go home. We canoed into squirrel rapids and waited for the bus as we ate our last lunch. The bus ride home was a lot of looking at cameras and sleeping.

I have learned a ton of new things like how to build a fire well and how to use a hacksaw. I would like to say thank you to Mr. Brouwer and Mrs. Lalonde for taking the time out of their lives to bring us all out to the best camping trip I've ever been on.

Laura said...

Canoe trip two was an amazing experience for me. Since i had never been much of an outdoor person before this class, I had no clue what to expect from this trip. I was actually very scared. Scared for bears, scared to trip and fall off a cliff, and scared I was going to fall out of my canoe and get hypothermia. In the end, everything was perfect, I was no longer scared, and I was just having a great time!

The first day we got there, we got off the bus and were waiting for the other trip to come and exchange gear with us. We were looking across the lake and saw their canoes making their way closer to us. Once they finally got to land, I looked at all of them, I was terrified. They looked frozen, miserable and soaking wet. They warned me for what I was about to experience. Even Ms. Gardiner was giving me tips for how to stay dry and comfortable for the next 4 days.

I think our trip had much better weather then trip one. It rained only a little, and I was never nearly as miserable as they seemed throughout the entire trip. I had so many great experiences I would never of had if I didn't go in this trip. Our cooking crew was pretty amazing, the brownies were delicious! I will never forget going down that water slide! Changing, on the edge of the cliff, almost falling off pulling Taylor down with me! Sailing was incredible also!

Everyone on my trip worked as a team and were always encouraging eachother. I think that's why we might have had a better time then trip one, we worked as a team.

I learned so many new and interesting things on this trip! From learning how to build a fire, and the kinds of wood you need to start it, and keep it going. What my strengths were on the portages, what I could, and could not carry. Learning how to layer myself to stay dry. Learning to not leave my mittens beside the fire(burned my mits and then i had to wear them with holes and burnt wool from then on). And so much more!

From what I learned on this trip, not only skills, but about myself. I realized that I need to improve on my canoe strokes and starting the fires!

Overall, I had a great time and met new people that I didn't really talk to before. Thank you Mr. Brouwer and Ms. Lalonde for bringing us and allowing me to have this experience! I will never forget it!

zoe alcorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zoe alcorn said...

The Algonquin trip was definitely a great experience. I made some new friendships, and made old ones stronger. I had so much fun, and the scenery was gorgeous. There were some good points, and of course bad points, which made up our trip.
One of the not so brilliant things this trip had, was our trouble with hills. The first night, we slept on an angle so one side was going down a slight hill. We thought it wouldn't be too bad..Until we woke up with someone on top of us. Its something to laugh about now, but that night, I didn't get a lot of sleep. One of the other nights, we slept on another incline. So we woke up closer and closer to the door of the tent. Besides that, and the fact that I felt like I was sleeping in an icebox, it wasn't too horrible.
I learned some new things on a trip, like how to attract a moose. (and what they sound like for that matter) I also learned how to cram three days worth of warm clothes into a dry-bag the size of a pillow case. That was something I wont forget! We did have a lot of laughs trying to do so. The food was satisfying after a long day of paddling and portaging. The weather was actually favourable for our trip. The first trip came back soaked, looking miserable,and complaining. At that point, I hoped we would have clear skies, and sunshine. We did for the most part, and we even had enough wind to sail down the lake, which was so much fun. It was especially relaxing for the first day on our trip.
I am very thankful to our wonderful teachers for planning this all out. These memories will last a lifetime, and I would love to do it again!

teddybear said...

I was glad to be part of the 2nd canoe trip with such a great goup of people. As our group got off the bus and watched the 1st trip paddle to shore, many toughts were going through my mind. How hard is it goin to be, how bad will it be if it rains, and is this trip going to be fun? As we packed our canoes i was soon goin to find out. The first day started off great, it didn't rain and we saw a dear swimming across the lake. Everyone really worked together on the portages, gathering firewood, and setting up and taking down camp.

The second day the group worked together just as good, as we sailed across the lake. It only rained a little that day but that didn't put anyone in a bad mood. The portages were longer and took a lot more effort. Mr. Brouwer taught us a game called lick the stick and i almost went the whole game without licking it but i eventualy ended up having to. It was also real fun climbing trees at night and scaring the girls.

On the third day the lack of a good sleep and the cold was taking its toll. I personaly liked the last day the most because everyone was sharing their favourite moments of the trip and how the trip has changed them. I also liked the last day because i knew i was goin home and i could take a shower and be clean! It's nice to know that Taylor isn't shy around me and will actualy talk to me now, Kira likes to stare at people, Laura burning her mits, and Jeff's song as we paddled down the river. But the funniest moment i had was when i got launched 6 feet in the air when Jeff, Laura, Kira, and I were looking for fire wood we all laughed so hard! It was also nice to have nutella for the whole trip, isn't that right Mr. Brouwer? Nutella wraps aka skid wraps.

This trip was a great experience and i would do it again for sure. It brought the best out of everyone and it brought everyone closer together. Thanks to everyone in the group for making it such a great time and experience. I would also like to thanks Mr. Brouwer and Miss Lalonde for working so hard to make this trip possible and for giving up their time to take us on such a great trip! Thank you!

kira said...

The second canoe trip was one of the best experiences I've had! The first trip didn't sound like it would be so fun when we met up with them. Tipping the canoes, wet gear, no sleep.. To say the least i wasn't looking forward to the trip. But at the end, my thoughts were completely changed.

Everybody on our trip was amazing! We all worked together so well. We recognized each others strengths and weaknesses and worked with them to make the best of the situations at hand. For example, the guys being stronger, would carry the canoes most of the time, but the girls would still carry most of the packs, paddles, and other gear.

Sometimes it wasn't all fun, like having to carry things during the portages, but for 99% of the time it was so much fun!

One of the trip highlights for me was going on the Otter slide. Even though it was freezing cold, it was still so much fun. Another highlight was when we were in the bush collecting wood, a tree uprooted and sent Justin flying 6 feet in the air. Not many people were there but for the people who were it was so funny.

Some things i learned on this trip were how to pack lightly! It was so important because for one you'd be the one carrying it and it wouldnt fit in the dry bags. I also perfected all my canoe strokes so i could easily manoever past rock and log mazes in the lakes.

If i could have done anything differently, i probably would have packed even less clothes because i didnt end up wearing half of them. Another thing would be to maybe pack my own pocket knife because they came in very useful on various occasions.

All in all, this was the funnest field trip ever! Thanks to Mr Brouwer and Ms Lalonde for a great experience!

Jeff D said...

So I am finally getting this done after about 3 months, Outdoor ed was a class I have wanted to take since before high school mostly because I knew they did this trip and when I did it 6 years ago it was great. So I was extremely excited for this trip but once we got there and saw how miserable everyone was from trip 1, I didn’t understand and was worried our trip might end up being terrible, but the trip turned out being far better then I had even hoped

The biggest thing about this trip for me was probably getting to know everyone on it much better, seen as how I wasn’t even sure about some people’s names at the beginning. We quickly got to know each other and started to work much better as a team then I had imagined we would.

The water slide was a lot of fun except that the water was freezing cold, another highlight was while gathering wood, trying to knock down this thick old tree only to have Justin come to help, and the tree flip him up in the air on its way down. The coolest thing I think we got to do was sailing down Stratton, as sailing with canoes was something I had been supposed to do on other trips but the wind was never good enough.

The biggest thing I learned on this trip was how to use a Dutch oven, I had done a lot of camping in the past but I had never actually brought one along to use, and to my surprise it actually cooked great food.

The most important thing I could have done better I think would have been to be more involved for example in gathering and cutting firewood.

Overall this trip was great, I had a far better time then I did 6 years ago and it was because of everybody on trip 2, I would also like to thank Mr. Brouwer and Miss Lalonde for taking time out of their lives and because without them there would have been no trip.

James said...

The trip to algonquin park was an expierence that i have been looking forward to the past couple of years. The canoe trip was one of the main reason i wanted to participate in outdoor ed, and i have no regrets joining this class or going on the trip.

When we first arrived at the park just being in the outdoors gave me a relaxing feeling and i was egar to get out on the water and head to our first campsite. Although when trip one arrived at the beach they would only talk about their bad expeirences and that relaxed feeling slowly faded. They talked about how bad the rain was and how cold and uncomfortable they were throughout the trip. This made me worry. When we first got out onto the water within 15mins into the lake we had our first outdoor encounter with a deer swimming across the lake. We followed the deer for awhile but it swam too fast and reached shore before we got close enough to get a good look at it.

The campsite and the food was fun to prepare and setup. The only bad part was making it to the campsite with all the canoes and heavy packs to carry. Although once we were settled in for the night it was enjoyable and fun to do. On our last night there one of the funny thing i remember was the moose every kept hearing and then our adventure looking for the moose. Another animal encounter that was a memory that will last is the birds that literaly took food out of your hand.

Over all I had an experience of a life time and I'd like to thank Mr. Brouwer and Miss Lalonde for the experience. I've definitely been inspired and I hope to continue camping, canoing, and visiting Algonquin Park.

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!!

Matthew Goddard said...

Canoe trip two was one of the most relaxing things I've ever done. Of course there was work but just enough to keep us busy. I do have to admit that even though i enjoy the outdoors, i love things like my cottage and all that jazz, i had never really gone camping before. This was a new experience for me. When we arrived i had my doubts about going because i wasn't sure if i had proper gear , and the first trips response when we switched canoes and packs, frankly scared the shit out of me. The first day was the easiest cuz everything was set ,thanks trip one. It was relaxing and i suffered good food. Definitely the best part was the sailing across the lake, the sails kinda of fell apart but it was awesome just the same. I would say that the nicest camp, where we even got stars during the night was the second one, the giant rock , it was cool. The rock slides were also cool plus the hike and the lunch. Through out the whole trip i had some of the best food i think i've ever had.
Really i don't know what happened on the first trip but ours was totally a vacation. Thanks Brouwer i had never gone real camping this was the best thing.