Wednesday, October 16, 2013

PAD3O/4O Algonquin Park Canoe Trip

The first week of October, the grade 11 & 12 class headed for their canoe trip to Algonquin Park. It was a spectacular week, as the fall until now was warm and beautiful and this week promised much of the same.

This trip also started with some bus issues, as the bus broke down in Arnprior and we had to wait for a new bus to be delivered. This put us back about 2 hours, but that was not really an issue, as the entire class were strong paddlers and there were no other people on our route that we had to challenge for campsites (at least not on the first day). A quick set up of camp, including a large load of firewood and a great meal, got us settled for the evening. Following a beautiful sunset, the moonless sky provided a spectacular display of stars.

A perfect blue sky, a glass lake and spectacular Fall colours was the backdrop as we woke up for our second day. A wonderful breakfast of eggs and sausages started us off on the right foot, which was necessary for the portages ahead of us today. The highlight of this day was definitely the water slides at High Falls. This was probably the warmest that I have ever experienced the waters on a Fall canoe trip and it was obvious, because everyone was swimming and for quite a while too.

After a few more portages, we made our way to Lake Opalescent, but not before we loaded a couple of canoes with firewood on the last portage. We again made it into camp late, but some great team work ensured everyone was fed and well taken care off. Another cool night with an amazing star display as we enjoyed our time around the campfire.

The next morning started off with a bit of pink sky. A sign that the weather was changing? Not for the near future anyways. Again given a gorgeous day to complete the last of our portages, some of our longest, and enjoy a leisurely paddle through the Barron Canyon. We arrived at our next campsite for lunch and spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing in the sun.

The rains did arrive through the night, but were not too bad as we paddled towards the end of the trip at Squirrel Rapids. It was truly an amazing trip in October. The weather was great, but the students did an excellent job of organizing and running this trip to make it a special one.


Pablo Mirete said...

I was really excited since I knew about the Algonquin Park canoe trip. For me, it was the first time I would had such a “long” outdoor experience so, that made me feel a little bit nervous I guess. Apart from that, I had never been canoeing before so I was scared we might tip the canoe. Anyways, it has been the best and most Canadian experience I have lived so far in this country.

During this trip I have learnt some useful things such as looking for and cutting firewood, making a campfire, improving my paddling... Besides, I learnt how to better work in a team, how to be more organized with everything in general and how to leave the campsite as I found it.

To be honest, I have eaten pretty well along this trip (I must include the roasted marshmallows here). I think we were able to organize the meals, quantities and time properly. In my opinion, portages and teamwork got better each day. On the other hand, we (our group) forgot to take the tent poles and pegs so we had to improvise and use ropes and trees to hold up our tent. That made the tent be smaller than it should be.

One of the activities I would repeat are the waterslides. Personally, I did not know these kind of places exist so, it was a great surprise! We had a great time and the water was not too cold (that is why I could swim everyday in the lakes). Thanks to this trip, I could enjoy lots of things that we do not have in my hometown such as: the fall colours, the starry sky… Moreover, it felt really good being 4 days far from modern technology. The days after the trip I couldn’t stand using my cellphone!

What I enjoyed the most was being able to get to know my classmates better. The worst part was obviously when we had to portage. It hurts a lot! I knew it was going to be hard but… not like that. I am sure everyone did their best. Anyway, the weather was gorgeous so, I guess that made everything a little easier.

Summarizing I can say that although it was hard, it has been one of the best experiences I have ever had.

When I arrived home I spent almost the whole weekend sleeping and trying to take the campfire smell off from me. Worth it!

Damian H said...

Canoe Trip Reflection

The Algonquin canoe trip was by far my favourite trip I’ve done in outdoor ed so far, and not just because we missed 4 days of school.
Even with all the practice and preparation we had done, it was a lot more difficult once you get out to the park. I decided to bring my own bag and pack light so the portages would be easier and i could carry my stuff and a canoe at the same time. Upon reaching our first portage, we almost seemed lost. Everyone was scrambling for their own gear and not helping others who were struggling with theirs so it took us a lot longer to get to our camp and set up. As the days progressed we started to see more teamwork throughout the group which didn’t just make it seem faster, but much easier and more relaxed.
I really enjoyed doing the slides on the second day and staying up late to watch the stars. You really don’t get to see these things in the city so it was a great experience. We also had planned our meals in a sense that they wouldn’t be such a hassle to make, but also would be nutritious and filling. We also made the smart choice of if you have 3 people in your tenting group, bring a 4 person tent. It makes for a much more comfortable sleep.
Overall the trip had way more ups than downs and was just a great experience with great memories. I can’t wait for future trips to see what they have in store for me.

Dylan Jesso said...

Canoe Trip Reflection

During The outdoor ed canoe trip I learned many valuable lessons. I now understand that its important to double check no matter what the situation. You should always come prepared for emergencies and never put yourself into harms way. This means never taking injuries lightly. And lastly those camping should also focus more on the idea of teamwork rather than eating and sleeping.

On the first day of the camp, our group opened our tent bag and realized that there were no poles or pegs. This was due to lack of communication when planning the trip. None of our members discussed whether we had checked and we ended up with a slight setback. Luckily due to emergency planning we used a few ropes from the group bin and held our tent up. If I could go back and change one thing about the trip it would have been checking the poles. It made us waste extra time we could be using helping around camp or nourishing ourselves. I learned that its always good to double check no matter what the situation.

Next I learned that its important to stay away from dangerous situations. In one instance there were a few of us who decided to drink water from the flowing water slides. I may not have had any long term affects, and the water was very tasty, it was still unwise to drink knowing that I could be infected afterward or sick. Its always important to know exactly what you are doing when you are doing it. One other example of safety would be when another camper decided to sharpen a stick. His camp site had no first aid kit and it would have been wise to think before using a sharp blade. All was well in the end, but it was still a good lesson for all of us to be safer.

The last major lesson I learned was teamwork. Many people set up their tent as a team and then just wandered off, ate food, and sat by the fire. It is very important to have everyone working hard and contributing as a team. This means helping other groups with tent issues, collecting firewood, helping the cooking group prepare a meal, and even something as simple as purifying the water jug. When everyone works as a team we get more done in a shorter time. A great example of this would have been the third day of camp. Our portages were very crisp. We all carried our share and loaded the canoes as quickly as possible. Next was our camp time. We all chipped in with firewood and we all helped out the cooking group to make for a nice early supper and maximum relaxation. I believe the third day and night of the trip was the best experience for all of us.

All in all I had an amazing experience on the canoe trip. Our paddles and portages got better as the days went on making for a great time. My favorite part was the third night, hanging by the fire and talking. My least favorite was bitter sweet. It was the last day because it was raining and we had to leave, but its still nice to get back to technology. I greatly enjoyed the colors and nature, and the canyon was gorgeous. The water slides were a ton of fun and free time canoeing was hilarious. In total I learned a lot of valuable lessons and had an amazing experience with some awesome people. I would definitely do the trip again in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Canoe Trip Reflection

This year, as grade 11s, we went on a canoe trip through Achray, in Algonquin Park. We didn’t have a great start on the way to Achray, since our bus was having problems, so we had to pull over and wait for a new bus to come and get us. Everyone worked together well when we heard that we would have to transfer all of our equipment to a different bus. All of us lined up along the bus and passed our packs along since it was more efficient than everyone grabbing their own equipment.

When we finally made it to the park, we had to start our 4 day canoe trip. The canoeing on this trip was phenomenal. All trip, I was in the stern of the canoe, while Ellen was in the bow. I started off the trip not being very confident in my steering capabilities; however every day I would feel more confident in my steering and we would have less trouble catching up with the other canoes. We even went down small rapids instead of portaging, which I was nervous to do at first. However it ended up being quite enjoyable, except for the fact that we got stuck on I rock and I ended up having to jump out and pull our canoe off the rock, just to jump back in fast to steer the canoe through the rest of the rapids. Over the course of the trip, I would have to say that canoeing was one of my favourite parts of the trip.

What I would have to say is my least favourite part of the trip was the portaging. While portaging, I would usually carry bags from one side to the other and once I arrived I would either go back to pick up anything that was left behind (i.e. taps, water bottles, etc.) or I would stay on the other side with a few of the other girls and we packed the canoes, since heavy-lifting is not one of our best abilities.

While at the campsites, I found that everyone helped out with whatever was needed. This included finding firewood, setting up, cleaning up and cooking. On the first night, it was our group’s turn to make dinner. For dinner that night, we decided to make a chicken stir-fry, which ended up being a very good choice. The stir-fry was very easy to make and took almost no time. Everyone also had a job. For example, I was in charge of cooking the vegetables and the chicken in the Dutch oven on the fire. On the third day, we made lunch, which was wraps with a variety of meats or nutella. This was another good choice since it was fast and tasty. However next time, I would bring more wraps and meat and something to eat on the side, for example vegetables, because there was not quite enough food. The last meal that we had to make was breakfast on the last day, which was my favourite breakfast all week. We made oatmeal, English muffins, bacon, hash browns and fruit. It was fast to make and easy to clean up. Since we would have to leave right after breakfast, our cooking group split in half, so that half of us cooked, including me, and the others packed up their equipment. However all, I think that the food on the trip was excellent and that we made great decisions while coming up with a meal plan.

Another part of the trip that I loved was relaxing on the campsites. My favourite campsite over the course of the trip would have to be the second on that we visited, since there was a large area by the edge of the water, where most of the class decided to sit at night to watch the stars. I felt as if while sitting around the fire or just talking on the campsite, we all got to know each other better and we are more comfortable with each other, which will improve the atmosphere of the class for the rest of the semester. All in all, I really enjoyed myself on this trip and I wish that I could go on it again.

Briana Day said...

Canoe Trip Reflection
Briana Day

As grade 11’s in the outdoor ed program here at CW we got to experience a four day canoe trip to Algonquin Park. During the trip we got to experience beautiful weather, along with not so nice weather, working as a team to set up camp, portage our gear and canoes through some difficult terrain and making sure nobody was left behind as we canoed through the beautiful bodies of water inside Algonquin.

The first three days of the trip were great, I found that the group of students that were on this trip worked really well together and got things done. Every day we ate well starting with a big breakfast and ending the day with a filling and delicious supper. On the second and third day we portaged a lot and that's what I found the most difficult thing about this trip because I don't have the best upper body strength. It definitely helped to have such supportive team mates that didn't hesitate to offer a hand.

The last day was short and pretty easy but the one flaw from that day was the rain while we were packing up. It was not enjoyable but I think in the end it made us work faster to get out of the campsite.

My least favorite part of the trip would be a tie between the really long portages and the way some of the boys were babying me. During the portages I wanted to participate as much as I could so I would go back and get more stuff, even though I was in a lot of pain and was ready to give up at some points. It wasn’t easy for me because of my lack of upper body strength but I pulled through. At points in the trip I felt as though some of the boys were babying me, I can’t remember exact moments but I remember it as a whole. I know that they were probably trying to help and be nice but it got to a point where I got irritated because I felt as though they didn’t believe in my abilities. Although I may not be strong physically, I am definitely strong mentally and I knew that even if some times were difficult I wouldn’t let myself give up.

My favorite part of the trip was probably while we were canoeing, partially because we weren’t portaging but also because I love to canoe and I find it so much fun. I didn’t even notice how long we had canoed for because I was having so much fun.

Overall I think I would do this trip again but I would probably want to do it like in grade 10 where we were serving meals for groups of 3’s or 4’s because it was easy to please everybody rather than the whole group that went. The water slides were fun but I couldn’t go in because I forgot my bathing suit and I don’t know if I would have wanted to go anyways because it was cold and I didn’t want to feel wet and uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

Jack Fleming said...

Algonquin Park Reflection
This was a three nights and four day trip to Algonquin Provincial Park. Before the trip I was unsure if I would enjoy myself because of all of the canoing and portaging. In my opinion the trip was very successful and very fun.

Obviously the trip wasn’t perfect,especially right at the start of the trip. About an hour into the bus ride to Algonquin park the bus started to have some problems, the bus ended up breaking down and we had to wait about 30 minutes for the new bus to come and get us. I don’t think that anyone expected it to, but I do think that it went better than expected. I think most of the problems came during the portages, especially on the first two that we did. I found that the first two portages of the trip were very unorganized a lot of the canoes after being brought to our put in point not many people were filling up the canoes with packs the packs were all over and people were standing their digging in there packs trying to find bathing suits that should’ve been at the top of their bags ready to go to the falls. After that once we go the hang of it the portages went much smoother.

My favorite part of the trips was going to the falls. It was great fun sliding down and jumping off the rock countless times. Also swimming everyday at all the different campsite, although the water was cold it was fun. On third day we got to the campsite and went swimming, when we got out of the water someone pointed out that I had a leech on my foot which was pretty funny trying to get it off.

I think that all of the meals were good but not very organized all the time the meals that my group cooked were pretty good we started with the first breakfast of the trip we made eggs, sausage and bagels with Peanut Butte/Nutella/Cream Cheese. The next meal that we made was lunch which was very unorganized and took a long time to make. Our plan was to make quickly some Kraft Dinner but it didn't end up being a quick and easy lunch but it tasted fine. On the last night we made dinner which was Spaghetti and Meatballs with Ceasar Salad and Garlic Bread on the side it turned out really well but the clean up was hard.

Overall I thought it was a very fun experience and everyone got along really well. I think that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it's something I would definitely do again!

Ross Peverley said...

OE Canoe Trip Reflection

I learned a lot on our canoe trip. Most of it was about organizing a camp with a large group of people. The trip was some of the most fun I’ve ever had, but there were also a few frustrations involved. In a lot of ways the size of our group was a bonus; we could divide the work among more people, and have some time to rest when we were done. But sometimes it felt like only a small group of people were doing everything. This was often small things, like putting away the food barrels at the end of the day, but at times it was something more important, such as getting to the end of the portage and seeing five people sitting around doing nothing. My worst experience of the trip was probably before it started. I volunteered to take the chicken home to cut and cook it, but when I went to pick it up Mr. Brouwer mentioned that no one came in at lunch to repackage the food, so I stayed alone after school doing that. When Liam and I began to cut the chicken we realized how big a mistake it was to buy chicken thighs instead of breast. My parents had to help us finish cutting the chicken, and we realized that it wouldn’t be enough chicken for seventeen people, so I went out and bought several chicken breasts to supplement it.

All of the meals were pretty good, especially the dinners. One thing that I noticed was that the group that I thought was just going to do all of the easy meals (KD and hotdogs, spaghetti, eggs and sausages,) actually made some of my favourite meals of the trip. I think that this is because it was easy, tasty, and they had plenty of it. When it came to my own cooking group, I think that we worked well together and everyone pulled their own weight. I think that all of our meals were good, but they would have required a little more, like larger quantities of food, or some kind of dessert.

Aside from a few frustrations, the trip was amazing. High falls was an awesome experience, and loads of fun. Every day we went swimming, which felt great after a long day with many portages. One of the best parts was staying up until late at night with people that I don’t usually talk to. All in all, a pretty great trip!

Anonymous said...

The canoe trip was a very fun experience. It definitely lived up to my expectations. I was more involved in getting everything prepared so I ended up learning a lot more than last year. Not only did I learn new things but I discovered more about important camping knowledge that I thought I already knew. What I enjoyed most about the trip is that I tried to push myself when I came to portaging and canoeing. I tried to do more than I usually would and I was happy with myself after. I also enjoyed when we finished all the work and we could all just relax. What I enjoyed the least was sometimes when i was trying to push myself and others weren’t and didn’t go back a second time to help other people, and only thinking of themselves and the stuff they’re going to carry. The next time I would be more careful about equipment I didn’t bring from home. The tent was our biggest and most fatal mistake. It gave us trouble, and it used up the rope that we could have used for something else and it restricted us when we were trying to find campsites due to the fact that we needed 4 nicely aligned trees. I’m happy that we were able to improvise with the ropes and make a decent tent, I feel we did a good job on that part but it could have all been avoided if we had checked our tents and next time I’ll be more careful about it.

The weather was very nice throughout the entire trip except the last day. The fly of our tent wasn’t very nicely set due to no poles, so our tent was greatly affected by the rain. It woke me up many times and it definitely was difficult to fall back asleep after. For our food I think we did a pretty good job. The only day I feel as if we could have done better would be the third day lunch. We were a little slow and not every had helped with the entire meal, only Dylan and I were preparing before we left the previous campsite so that we could make everything more efficient when we arrived at the next campsite. I feel the meal itself could have been better as well. We had to have another group’s salad dressing in the place of a sauce for our wraps because we weren’t too prepared. The bright side was that there were no dishes except for the cutting board and maybe one bowl. The first day on the other hand was very enjoyable. We were able to portion the rice and water for the stir fry properly and the stir fry itself was nicely cooked. We let other people have their portion of food then we had our own, then we did the same when it came to everyone having second portions.
Like the first day I feel the last day when we made breakfast I felt that not everyone was helping out. The breakfast itself was great but I feel some other people and myself as well could have done more. The rain was kind of a problem when we started the fire but we found a way around it.
I feel when it came to canoeing I did well. I think i should have been sweep at one point to help the people who were behind but im glad I was able to test and practice my ability when we were ahead and had time to do so. When it came to chores to do at the campsite, at times I would do my share and more but at times I don’t think I did all that i could. I was tired and didn’t want to do anything but looking back i feel as if I should have helped more. When we got to the campsites, even though we have no poles, our group would be one of the first groups to finish so our group of three, would always help out with other stuff first. I feel we did good when it came to setting up our tent. There were some days that it wasn’t as well done but overall I feel we did good. When it came to efficiency. In my opinion, being efficient is one of the most important things.
When we were portaging and canoeing, the view was amazing. Although I was afraid to take pictures on the canoe due to my camera not being waterproof, I’m glad that I was able to see views like that for myself. It was a great experience and I would very much to go again, using the experience we learned from this trip to be even better next time.

Matthew Bell said...

What a great week! For beginners, our four-day Algonquin Park canoe trip was a success. There were a few hiccups along the way to slow us down, although we got better at dealing with them by the end of the trip. For instance, after loading the bus on day one, all seemed good until we broke down a couple hours into our drive and had to wait on the side of the highway. Because of this early delay, I think we came together as a team. Knowing we were behind schedule, we worked well to make up some that lost time with our paddling so that we would have enough time at the campsite to do everything we needed to before sunset. I felt the entire camping group did very well at that first camp as we set up tents quickly, collected wood, and enjoyed a great meal. There was lots of extra time that evening for socializing and watching the stars. I even saw a few shooting stars.

Nature's unspoiled beauty can leave you in awe, so we worked together in the morning to clean up thoroughly with no trace of anything left behind. Teamwork was really important to get everyone on the water close to our desired departure time. Our first portage was our first biggest challenge and it didn't go well. The entering point was small so we had to work efficiently, but the canoes and packs started getting cluttered up and blocked the route at the other end. This really was stressful and slowed us down even more. To me this poorly executed portage was due to lack of communication, on-site planning and a lack of teamwork among all groups. We didn't really learn from this and suffered again on our second portage.

Poorly executed portages can really mess up a schedule as we ended up being late for following portages and our lunch by a couple hours, and then arriving late at our campsite. We did eventually figure out how to be more efficient because the last two long portages on day two were the smoothest and fastest due to proper planning and teamwork. Unfortunately, by taking too long earlier meant that we did not get the prime campsite that we wanted, but we still had a great night and everything ran smoothly from there on. Live and learn - the third day started well because we figured out what worked and what didn't! We also got to know each other a little better as a result. Right from the get go we hit our longest portage which proved to be the toughest, but I think we did this one the best.

The canoeing was fabulous, especially the relaxing paddle through the gorgeous canyon - this was the type of scenery that I imagined for my first canoe trip! My favorite part, however, was at the falls, as it was a blast sliding down and jumping off the rock. I also enjoyed swimming at the different campsites, although the water was extremely cold, but the beautiful weather made up for it. Portaging can be both challenging and rewarding, yet it was my least preferred aspect of the trip, but I would do them again any day just because they're necessary. It must have been hard for the voyageurs!

I think that all of the meals were good, but food preparations were not always the most organized at times. My group's meals were pretty good, starting with the first breakfast when we made eggs, sausage and bagels. For our lunch, we were quite unorganized and it certainly wasn't the quick and easy Kraft Dinner meal we envisioned, although it tasted fine. On the last night we made spaghetti and meatballs, with Caesar salad and garlic bread on the side. It turned out really well, but the clean up was hard because we dirtied almost every pot. With our meals I think we brought about the right amount of food that allowed everybody to eat as much as they wanted.

Overall I thought it was a very rewarding and memorable experience because everyone got along really well, and we all enjoyed ourselves. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself and your friends when you do things that you normally don't. I realize there is so much beautiful nature to explore close by and I look forward to more adventures like this!

Anonymous said...

Canoe trip reflection
The canoe trip was really fun. Despite all the hard work needed on the trip it was probably the most fun I have had on an outdoor ED trip. Even with the late start the first day it went by very quick.
The first day was a long day but probably the easiest of them all. We made it to camp late but it was not as bad as the second day. The first night was a lot of fun sitting around the campfire playing games and watching the stars. It was a relatively calm night and easy going night.
Day 2 of the canoe trip was really long and probably the least enjoyable of the day. It took everybody a long time to get moving. Our first portage which was not even that long took the most amount of time overall the portages. We arrived to the slides late which was alright at the time because we got to play around in the water and slide on the rock slides. After the rock slides we started towards a camp ground for lunch it took a while to get there and lunch took a while to be prepared. After lunch it took a long time to get to the campsite. If we had worked a little better together that day instead of each person focusing on getting their own things we might have made it to camp a lot earlier. Regardless my group had to cook that night even though it was starting to get dark. We managed to get dinner ready really quick. Unfortunately we did not estimate correctly on the amount of chicken we needed and we did not have enough seasoned chicken. Luckily there was unseasoned chicken left over from the night before for all the hungry people to make fajitas.
Day 3 went a lot better and we made it to camp with lots of time to hang around the campsite. The third campsite was really nice in my opinion it was probably the best campsite. There was a lot of room and a very nice view of the water.
The last day came by really quick and was a little depressing because of the rain. However after the first 20 minutes of rain I did not even notice or care anymore about that. It did not take long to get moving and soon enough we were on the bus home.
If I were too go on this trip again I would definitely consider bringing an extra pair of shoes because mine got wet earlier on luckily it was not cold or my feet would have gotten really cold. I also would recommend making sure that everybody works together so that portages, dinners and fires can be made quickly and relatively easily. As well double check portions and amounts of food to ensure that there is enough for everybody. Overall though I would definitely say this has been the best outdoor ED trip so far.

Cameron McLean said...

Achray Canoe Trip Reflection
Ever since I was a kid I have been doing annual canoe trips with my family, so you could imagine how excited I was to be doing what I love with all of my friends and classmates. The trip exceeded my expectations to say the least. Even though the trip to the starting point was long and frustrating, we persisted through troubles such as engine problems and still got to the drop off point as happy and excited as we were when we left. I was happy that we did our best to make up for our lost time on the bus by unpacking and getting the canoes into the water and spotting our turn and destination in a matter of minutes. As soon as we got around the corner and out of sight of the beach, I knew the trip had truly commenced.
The first day was great, we had no portages and a delicious chicken stir fry for dinner. As soon as we woke up my group had to get going on breakfast, which was much more difficult than I expected. I learnt a few lessons like never underestimating how long it can take and to be sure you do not let your fire get too high; cooking fires should really be small and steady. Sadly, the day got slightly worse.
We had a terrible portage which really dampened my spirits and made everyone realize that this trip was not going to be an easy task. Luckily that displeasure did not last long. We left straight for the falls which was probably the most fun I have ever had outside of civilization. Once again my expectations were exceeded and I was fairly disappointed we had to leave. Hopefully I will be going back there many times in the future. Once we got started again we upped our productivity and really pushed for the next two portages to make up for the disastrous first one.
The next day was more of the same. I woke up early with some sore muscles, scrapes and bruises from the falls, but other than that I came out relatively unscathed. Seeing the breakfast group already up and starting the food really got me going and made me excited to get started on the day and the hard portages ahead. This day was very fun, we had some tough portages but I was glad we got them out of the way. Then there was the canyon. Although it was nothing compared to the mountains and cliffs I was used to from B.C. (having just returned from vacation and a car ride through the Rockies) they were beautiful and breathtaking nonetheless.
I was incredibly grateful that we arrived at the campsite so early. We had a delicious lunch and finally got to relax. I was also really happy we could swim because for me a day is never complete until I’m in the water. This time my group was on dinner duty, and if I do say so myself, it was incredible. Everyone loved it and ate plenty of it, not to mention that fact that it was probably the first time we had enough for leftovers. This day made me realize how much of a bonding experience trips like these can really be.
On the last day, although it was sad to be leaving the beautiful wilderness, I was glad to be on my way home. It was fitting that it was rainy because it made you miss the warmth of a hot shower and your cozy bed. All in all the whole experience is not easily described in words. It is something one can only comprehend by doing it themselves and really embracing the environment and wilderness. While thinking back on it I realize how worthwhile these trips really are; the outdoors is not to be underestimated and not to be forgotten. It is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Graham McArthur said...

Achray Canoe Trip Reflection

“Where is the……, I can’t find the……” were words that were said way too much on the canoe trip. It always seemed like we had lost something the night before, or forgot to bring it, but with more looking and searching through our barrels we would seem to find it. I think this was from the lack of preparing our meals properly, and not packing our barrels in a proper way. But in saying this I still had an amazing time on the trip, but it would have been a lot better if I could have changed a few things.

Yannick, Travis, and I are all in Grade twelve. So you (Mr. Brower) gave us the opportunity to do the trip by “ourselves” in the way that we were secluded from your camp site and had to collect wood, make our fires, clean up, and do everything else all by ourselves. I would say for the most part we did well in doing all of that on our own, but we did run into problems at points. Our first major problem was our meal plan. Our meal plan made it seem like every night we were eating either hamburgers or hotdogs, which is true. We did not pack anything healthy to eat for dinners, it was all just some sort of meat product which gets very tiring after awhile. What I would change about our meal plan is pack more healthy by bringing more fruit and salads and other things.

One thing that I find my canoe group (Yannick and I) did very well were the portages. On the portages I would that I could portage the canoe the whole way no matter what so I didn’t need to switch half way through, which gave Yannick the responsibility to carry both bags, which he did in one trip. So we had our canoe ready to launch on one trip which made it easier for other groups because we would send one of us in the canoe, and the other would go help out with carrying more stuff to the launch point. This would make the portages way faster for the other groups which would speed up the time we got to the campsite.

Another thing our group did very well was collecting fire wood and cooking the meals. Before we left to go on the trip we decided that Yannick and I were going to collect the fire wood for the group and Travis would cook for us. This made it easy because we would collect one round of wood, so Travis could get the fire going and we would get more wood and by the time we were done food would be ready to eat. We would then eat our hotdogs or whatever meat product we were eating that night and then we did the dishes.

Lastly the clean up at every camp site went by very smoothly because we had our garbage bag out every night and we would just put all the garbage in there, and when it was time to leave we would do a quick check of the area to see if we forgot anything.

So all in all the trip was very fun and I had a lot of fun and I would recommend to anyone to do this trip. I learnt a lot of new things on this trip including how to make a good fire to last, what fire wood is good fire wood, and that I am the worst cook in the world. But it was one of the best trips I have ever been on.

Yannick said...

Canoe Trip Reflection

In the canoe trip our group did well for the most part. Mr. Brouwer gave the grade twelves a great opportunity to challenge ourselves as we were camping by ourselves with no help whatsoever. We did great getting the firewood and the fire started. We had planned out our trip and meals very well and were rarely hungry (except when we missed breakfast)

There could have been better planning for our meals in the way that we could have eaten much healthier. We had burgers and hot dogs basically the whole trip. That is not good food to eat on a trip that is so physically demanding. We should have packed food that would have given us protein or carbs to keep us strong.

One thing we did as a group that I thought was good was we went to bed early and got a lot of sleep. This meant that when we woke up we were completely replenished and ready to go. Our portages were very good, we made excellent time as one person would take both of the packs and the other would take the canoe. This allowed us to finish the portage in one trip and made a huge difference in time, because the portages are the longest part. The actual canoeing was good as well, Graham and I would go together and Travis and Kevin would go together. We were all equal in skill so it was easy and quick. Everyday we would switch from bow to stern to make it fair.

By the end of the trip our group had fallen into a routine where as soon as we get to the camp-site Graham and I would go out and search for wood and Kevin and Travis would set up the camp with the tents and fireplace and then they would come help us find more wood to ensure we had enough for the night.

I learned a lot and had a lot of fun in this trip. I learned that the best type of firewood takes time to find but is defiantly worth it because it burns like no tomorrow a. My favourite part of the trip would have to be the high falls and just being in the wild and looking at the wonderful colours of the trees. There was not much that I didn't like during the trip but I would have to say the worst p[art would have to be sleeping on a root. For the first night I didn't sleep to well because we didn't put our tent in a very good place as there were a couple roots and rocks underneath us.

Ellen Kinsey said...

Canoe Trip Reflection PAD30
Ellen Kinsey

Outdoor Ed has provided me with many memorable experiences last year and the canoe trip this year did not disappoint. The four day canoe trip in Algonquin park was definitely memorable and a great learning experience. The canoe trip entailed a lot of preparation before hand such as planning the meals and other necessities however it payed off in the end.

On the first day we arrived after some delays from the bus and began paddling to our first campsite. It was a short trip across the lake and we had to cross a damn by carrying our canoes over the ledge. It required teamwork and communication and we did that task well.

That night it was our cooking group's turn to make the first meal. We made stir fry that was frozen before hand we managed to make the meal in good time however, if we were to redo it we would use less dishes. The first day in all was not too demanding but a good start to the trip.

The trip was both very fun and tiring. The second day we had portages which were difficult and physically demanding. I was not able to carry a lot of heavy equipment but I carried the bags across on the portages and helped packed the canoes. My partner and I being the only two girls to a canoe were not as strong as the rest of the group but we stayed with a reasonable distance to them while paddling on the lake.

The following days were just as successful and we were lucky to have such good weather on the trip up until the last day. The canoe trip was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

John M said...

My first outdoor ed canoe trip was a memorable one. The Algonquin canoe trip has had high reviews from people who had previously been, and this trip did not fall short of my expectations.

I had a feeling from the start of the trip that there were going to be transportation issues, after over hearing the bus driver say “he kinda knows the area” when asked if he knew where he was heading. Of all things I didn’t think we were going to be delayed over an hour because the engine was over-heating. It was a complete bummer to say the least. At that point in the trip, I was getting anxious to finally hit the water, and I especially hate being behind schedule. With this being said, it was not a great start to the trip.

From then on, it all started going up-hill. The first stretch in the canoes was relaxing, with beautiful landscape in every direction. It was exactly what I was hoping for, and the weather that followed continued the trend: absolutely perfect! All in all the time spent in the canoes was not an issue. I didn’t feel like we (Jack and I) were struggling to catch up, nor were we struggling to slow down for the groups behind us. As a class I thought the paddling was well executed. One of things that was not well executed however, were the portages.

The portages during the trip had their ups and downs, metaphorically, and literally. The inclination was something I found surprising. I didn’t expect to truly be hiking with a canoe on my shoulders. No one likes having tons of weight added onto their neck, shoulders, and back, nor do people generally like being enclosed in an eight-foot long “tunnel” from the neck up. With this being said, I did however find things to enjoy from put-in to take-out. I learned to take in the beauty around me, and appreciate the sights and sounds of the trails. This made the 700 meters feel like almost half. As a class, we lost a ton of valuable time at portages. Whether it was from a lack of participation, experience, or teamwork, there is no reason why we should have had fajitas in the dark on day 2.

The meals could be separated into two categories: appetizing, or edible. No matter what it was we ate, or what the culinary experts would have to say about the meal, they were all edible, filled our stomachs and provided energy (for example the “kitchen sink” wraps). However, some meals were delicious and complete. Either that, or by then I was really hungry and anything tasted good. One thing I learned about cooking on a fire, is that cooking on hot coals is easier, and the big flame isn’t the best option because food burns too quickly on it. In the end, the meals prepared were well done and there were no huge mishaps that occurred.

Throughout the trip, there was no better feeling than docking up on the campsite after a long day on the water. Setting up the tent, getting comfy clothes on, and having a meal are the cherries on top. Around the fire and on the rocks looking at stars with a group of people from all different social groups is another incredible experience. I felt like I had a connection with everyone from the class at some point. It was also nice to see certain people come out of their social shell, and realizing how funny some of my classmates truly are. This is part of the outdoor experience that is second to none.

The PAD30 Algonquin canoe trip 2013 was one I’ll never forget. I made new friends, shared good laughs, became a better team player, and learned some Spanish. Nothing short of excellent.

Liam Meek said...

Canoe trip reflection

I think this years canoe trip was a really good experience and I had an awesome time. My decision to bring my own pack, life jacket, and paddle was a good one because I was comfortable at the start and almost the whole trip, except for when I lost my paddle. Once we got on the water, I found we were fairly fast so we made up some of the time we lost because of the bus breaking down. Once we got to the campsite it was a fairly quick setup. It took a bit of time to get dinner started because people where looking for equipment in the wanagan, but once dinner got going it was a really great meal. After washing dishes we sat around the campfire and it was a good time.

The rest of the trip went fairly well. I found that our group progressively got better over time and by the last day we were a well oiled machine. One thing that bummed me out was that I was on my way back to the take out of the second portage of the second day, but I was told that everything was brought over and I could go back. I later found out my paddle had not been brought back and I was a little disappointed and I liked that paddle a lot, but better it then something important like a sleeping bag or food. I found that my group was quick for our meals and they were tasty, and we generally had enough for everyone.

Ive been on a lot of canoe trips over the years and I can genuinely say this one was a favourite.

Liam Meek