Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PAD3O Algonquin Park Canoe Trips

At the beginning of May, the grade 11 classes headed out on their 4 day canoe trips. With winter ending very late this year, the lakes had just been freed from ice only a couple of days before. This promised two things, very cold water and no bugs. The late snow melt and the amount of snow would also give us higher then normal water levels.

The weather for the two trips promised to be a real mix of sun, rain, wind and temperatures that would fluctuate between the freezing nights to early summer warmth. A true spring in Ontario and during the trips, we saw it all.

The first trip came in with wonderful sunshine. The longest and toughest day of their trip saw them start at Squirrel Rapids, travel through the Baron Canyon to Opalescent Lake. Quite the trek, which included the longest portage of the trip, done in a great time. Four hours of hard work paid off, as we just beat the rains to set up camp and have the tarps to hang out under.

The second day started with a lot of wind, but it was dry, allowing us to dry off our tents and equipment before packing them up. This day was also a big day with a few short paddles intermittent with a few long portages. The day started with one student injuring his finger, bad enough that a trip to the hospital was warranted. As the student and I made our way for some treatment, the rest of the crew completed the day just in time to claim the best spot on Stratton Lake. When we returned in the evening, the camp was well set up. From the stories, they had to race another school for the site and a major thunderstorm hit as they were trying to set up the camp.

The third day was a relax day. With most of the distance travelled, we were staying on this site for two nights. A nice relaxed breakfast, followed by a few runs down a little swift around the last portage of the day before, topped off with a swim at the natural water slides at high falls. The slides were the highest I have had ever seen them and the water was the coldest I have experienced them there, but that didn't deter the majority of the group to go for a little dip.

The final day was a relaxed paddle out to meet the next crew that would be coming in for their trip. The relaxed paddle was made a little more challenging by the wind that was starting to kick up. Although it was nothing compared to what the 2nd group would be facing as they started their trip.

Grand Lake proved to be quite a challenge to cross, as the winds were hitting the beach directly. A first attempt to cross as a group had to be abandoned, as we were just taking on too much water in the big waves. A short portage up the shoreline got us into a better spot for a short crossing to a wind protected shoreline and a much easier paddle. That was until we hit the extreme wind coming out of Carcajou Bay. This proved to be a real challenge in steering and canoe control for a few of the groups. Everyone did very well in the circumstances, but it was not quite what most of the students had envisioned for the start of their trip.

The second lake, Stratton Lake, was way more enjoyable, as the wind was in our backs and it was strong enough to blast us down the lake at high speed. With a perfect blue sky, all were glad to make it to our campsite for the night, which was wonderfully left set up by the previous group. A quick Quesadilla dinner brought the energy right back and for a great evening under the stars. The next day started the same way the previous one had ended, without a cloud in the sky.

We knew it wouldn't last, so we took the opportunity to go for a visit to the water slides and the waterfall at High Falls. About half of the group decided to give the water slides a try, which was still extremely cold, but the warm sun made it easy to warm back up. The afternoon saw us travel across 4 portages, with a few short paddles in between, to Opalescent Lake. Just before we finished our last portage, the rains moved in. We had just enough time to put up our tents and collect some firewood before the rains really set in for the night. It meant an early night for most of the students.

The third day started off dry, it almost looked like the clouds would break up. It gave us just enough time to take down our equipment while dry, which is always more pleasant. Now we would have had a completely dry start to the day if breakfast didn't take 4 hours to make. A wonderful pancake breakfast took the record for longest breakfast to prepare. By the time we cleaned up and were on the water, it was lunch time. Luckily, the day was not a long travel day, although we would be starting off our day with the longest portage of the trip. Throughout the morning we heard rumblings in the sky and most of the time it came from Base Petawawa, as the army was practicing, but heading into our 2nd and final portage, those noises changed slightly, along with the colour of the sky. What followed was a lot of rain in a very short amount of time. A quick tarp shelter was erected, as well as, a number of students hiding under a canoe that was propped up on a fallen tree. Once it finally looked like it was slowing down, we packed up and loaded the canoes, only to be hammered by a 2nd wave and a 3rd wave of extreme rain. When we knew that the lightning had finally passed, we headed on the water. As soon as we were on the water, the rain stopped and we had a great paddle through the canyon to our final campsite.


We were again allowed to set up our camp while it was dry before the rains would again set in for the evening. Similarly in the morning, we were able to break up camp before the rains returned one final time. By the time we got on the water, the winds had died down and the rains had stopped, leaving us to admire our canoes reflecting off of a mirror like lake. A great way to end our trip.

32 comments:

Ryan Barnett said...

The Algonquin Park Canoe Trip was a lot of fun and had plenty of learning experiences. Over the 4 days of the trip there were a lot of different activities that the class did. The first day was a hardest and longest day. It was very tiring but it was good that we got it out of the way first. That night we stayed at our first campsite. It was relatively dry to start but overnight it got very wet. The second day we continued on and proceeded to our next camp site. This site we stayed at for the final two nights. On the final day we had a very long paddle to achieve. The wind was against us the entire time and it was very exhausting. The bus ride back to Cairine Wilson was very different from the ride there. The whole class was exhausted. While on the trip the food was very well done. There were a few mishaps here and there when cooking the food but overall I believe it was well done. I think that I enjoyed cooking the meals for the class the least. I would have preferred watch someone else cook. There was enough food for everyone and most people enjoyed their meals. It did not rain too much on the trip. It only rained (downpour) on the first night. Unfortunately we did not have a tarp under our tent and it was not very dry in the morning. We remembered to put the tarp down for the following two nights. Our tent worked fine for our group. There was enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably. When it came to doing chores around the camp I tried to make myself busy, whether it was gathering firewood or cleaning. The campsites our group got were great. There was enough space for everyone and they were in good locations. We luckily beat another school to our second camp site. It was very close but we ended up with the site. The canoeing while on the trip was tiring. We did a lot of canoeing in four days but it was worth all the fun our class had. I defiantly enjoyed looking around at all the scenery the most when canoeing. When it came to portaging a lot of people put their heads down. It was very tiring and not fun to do. There was a lot of equipment that had to be taken across the portage, but it had to be done. As well there were plenty of portages our group had to do. Overall the Algonquin Park Canoe Trip was a lot of fun. I learned a lot of different things and I would defiantly do it again.

Jake Daigle said...

From May 8th to May 11th a group of 16 students and 3 leaders participated in a canoe/camping trip in Algonquin park.
The weather throughout the entire 4 days was not half bad, we barely had any rain but the few times we did it was perfectly timed from sunshine and warm weather while we portaged, paddled and setting up camp to clouds, wind and rain when we were all settled in and finished setting up tents. And the nights weren’t too cold but just the right temperature and weather to have get a nice camp fire set up every night, and the mornings were cold and damp but weren’t the worst except for the first morning where all of us hid in our tents playing card away from the thunder storm and pouring rain that was going on outside.
The food we had was a lot better than what I had expected it to be, everyone on the trip including the leaders all got a chance at a second serving at each meal some even thirds, we also had enough extra food left over after meals from the previous days to make little after supper meal/snacks if people wanted any (Jareds meatball mush). All meals had a vegetarian option and I enjoyed each meal. It was nice always leaving the campfire with a full stomach and then going to sit by a nice relaxing campfire in the evenings especially after the great supper of the third day.
For this trip each of us had a small barrel to shove all of our clothes needed into and one large backpack to put yours and your canoe partners barrel into along with your tent, mats and extra clothes (raincoats/pants).
During the entire trip I found that there where moments were I had a lot of fun or there were those few moments where I didn’t enjoy much at all. I mostly enjoyed myself over the 4 days on the trip, paddling in the canyon was one of my favorite part of the trip on the starting day because I liked seeing all the cliffs that raised up stories above our heads, then there were the waterslides which I had a lot of fun at, being dragged by the current in water that was bone chilling but yet very refreshing, also the rapids that we went down in our canoes, sitting by the late night campfires with the tenting groups and just in general helping out the group. I was satisfying helping out and doing some chores feeling that your helping out was fun to me, instead of sitting around doing nothing but hogging the heat of the fire. Ever if it wasn’t my cooking group that was cooking the meal or washing the dishes id try and help out in a way and help them get things done. The parts that weren’t so enjoyable on the trip were definitely the portages . There was also the strong current and wind that I didn’t like very much near the end while we where paddling because I had some trouble steering the canoe because at the beginning of the long paddle across the lake to the beach our canoe picked up a bit of speed but it quickly slowed down from me trying to steer the canoe in the right direction, I would always steer us in the right direction then start paddling forwards and just a couple strokes into paddling I would end up having to re adjust our canoe again from the waves and wind pushing us off course. Out of all these events and through out the entire trip ive learned a lot. Ive learned how to steer a canoe a lot better, that you definitely need to take more than 1 buddy to go gather fire wood , use a relay system when portaging the small items.
Despite Dupes accident portaging the canoe I had a fantastic experience on the canoe trip and had a lot of great memories come out of it and would definitely do it again if I ever got the opportunity.

Debbie Zhang said...

This year's canoe trip was a new experience for my group members and I. There were many new things I had to learn to prepare for this canoe trip. On the first day we all canoed across the lake to the other shore. It was very windy, making it quite difficult to paddle across the lake. Once we made it to the other side, it became less windy and it was smooth paddling from that point. By that evening, we made it to our first campsite of the trip. It was already laid out for us from the previous trip. That night, we had Quesadilla's with chicken and peppers for dinner. The next morning, our food group made had hash browns, sausages, eggs, bacon, apples and oranges for breakfast. We then arrived to our next place, the water slides and the waterfall at High Falls. The view was very nice, although I didn’t get the chance to go on the waterfall. We hiked down to the bottom of the falls and hiked back up. The day was filled with portages and canoeing. By the time we arrived to our next campsite, it began to rain. We had to set up a tent quickly or everything will get soaked from the rain. For dinner, we had Stir Fry with chicken, beef, peppers and sauce. For the 3rd breakfast we had, pancakes. Which took a while to make. We then packed our things and set out for our 3rd day of portages and canoeing. While we were portaging, it started to rain heavily. We had to set up a tarp shelter and stay under it until the rain stopped. While we waited we ate apples, granola bars and candy. Then, when the rain stopped, we put our canoes back in the water to canoe through a canyon. The canyon was the nicest canoeing part of the trip. When we exited the canyon, we reached our final campsite of the trip. Our food group made spaghetti, Caesar salad and Garlic Bread, which was delicious. When we awoke the next morning we had oatmeal and bacon. I learned how to work with other group members to make a meal for the entire group of 27 people. Preparing the meals for the group was not as difficult with other people making it as well. My favourite part was when we paddled in the canyon. My least favourite part was the portages. If I were to go on this trip again, I would bring more food. Our group set our tent up without any difficulty and put away the tent without any difficulty.

Alex Dupuis said...

The 4 day trip was tough, but rewarding. The portages we completed at school, although were longer, were not at the same level of difficulty.

When we arrived, we were quick for getting in the water. I was expecting this park to be filled with stunning glimpses of nature, and it did not disappoint. Within the first 10 seconds of canoeing, a small, white and yellow water snake had quickly slid by our canoe rubbing against it. This set my expectations even higher of what we could see out in the nature. It was a nice day with the sun blaring down on all of us. After a short paddle we had reached our first portage. I expected it to be easy due to it only being 100 meters long, but I was wrong. The terrain of it made it more difficult than the ones we accomplished at school, which made me incredibly nervous for what was to come. When we made it back on the water, it was nice and calm, and to our surprise we saw bits of snow on the cliffs that surrounded us. Sunscreen was another factor of this trip. Several people’s arms turned dark red as they did not have any sunscreen on. The longest portage of our trip was by far the most physically demanding, aspect on the trip, but once it was accomplished, we realized we had survived and still had enough energy to finish the rest of the paddling. The surprising glimpse of nature of that portage was a baby salamander the size of a finger. We had one easy paddle left, and once we were set up for camp the rest of the day was easy. Everyone was anxious for dinner that night and the tacos turned out great.

The next day we were all pumped for the adventures that were to come. We cleaned up our camp, but were still behind schedule due to a late breakfast. Once on the water we set our minds on making it to the next camp site. We reached our first portage and I began to carry the canoe across. Part way through, I slipped on a wet rock and injured my finger. I had to reach the hospital to make sure there wasn’t any infection, and to see if I would be able to continue this trip. I was frustrated with the fact that there was a chance I might not be able to return, but the doctor said the choice was up to me. Obviously, I chose to return. During this trip, there were many unique experiences, including seeing an owl fly awkwardly through the air, going through rapids (it was my first time and I had no clue what to expect), and spotting a heron. All of these sights were new to me.

Waking up the third day was tough, but luckily it was the most relaxing day of the trip. We were not changing campsites and this made everything easier. We all saw incredible views of nature while at the high falls and paddling through the white waters. The menu plan worked out great for us.

The next day it was obvious that my cooking group was well rested because we were all awake 2 hours before everyone else. We made everyone bacon and oatmeal and it was surprisingly satisfying. Knowing this was our last paddle, the main determination was getting home as soon as possible to shower. The vivid blue sky and green forests surrounding us were very noticeable on such a beautiful day. The current was against us while paddling, which only made our tired bodies struggle even more, and it was by far the strongest current we canoed through. We had to take a longer route in the shape of an arc to fight off the current, but it was worth it at the end.

This was my first canoe trip, and although it did not turn out how I thought it would, it was a unique experience that I hope to repeat again. I learned a lot on this canoe trip about the basics of camping, like how to handle rough terrains and how to handle bad weather. There was no difficulty sleeping in our tents. The experiences I enjoyed the least were without a doubt the long portages and the packing that we had to do to switch campsites, but with that being said, canoeing and interacting with others on the trip were the most enjoyable experiences. For next time, I have to make sure to plan the menus more efficiently.

Jeremy Campbell said...

Algonquin Canoe Trip Reflection Part One

Canoeing in the beautiful Algonquin Park for four days was definitely my favourite Outdoor Education trip so far. There were plenty of small mishaps, but luckily nothing serious went wrong and we were able to have a great time.

Although weather was the best at the beginning of the trip, the start was in no way the most pleasant aspect of the trip. After trying (and failing, because of the waves caused by the wind) to set off by rafting the canoes together, we headed back and portaged to a more friendly launch point. Once we had finally made it clear of the most difficult paddling, we noticed that a life jacket was missing, so consequentially, a canoe would have to retrieve it back at the beach. Luckily, as we returned to the beach, the wind was at Mrs.Trumpower and mine’s backs, so we were able to make it back very quickly. Catching up to the group was a different story. Once we had finally been reunited with the group, we enjoyed what I found to be the most enjoyable paddle of the trip down a narrow lake with the wind at our backs. The next day, we had a great morning swimming at the falls despite the cold water. Unfortunately, that was the last we saw the sun for more than a few minutes at a time for the rest of the trip. It just happened that our cooking group had to prepare three meals in a row, which altogether took almost ten hours to make. They say a masterpiece cannot be rushed, and this was no exception; our stir-fry, pancakes, and grilled cheese sandwiches were delicious. The weather was only really a problem after a portage where we couldn’t get back in the water for almost an hour because of a thunderstorm. Once the storm had passed, we had another pleasant paddle through a narrow section surrounded by tall cliffs, which was quite scenic. Luckily, our last day was quite easy, and it was bittersweet to leave the beauty of Algonquin Park and return home to my comfortable, dry bed.

Jeremy Campbell said...

Algonquin Canoe Trip Reflection Part Two

Although I had a terrific time, there were many things that could have been improved on to make the experience of the trip even better. Obviously, it would have been much better if the meals we had prepared were quicker because wasting time like that while the weather is decent often means getting caught in the bad later, which we did. On the upside, however, had we not taken so long on our breakfast, we may not have had the privilege of handfeeding that pair of birds that hung around our campsite. Our preparation for the trip as a group could have been improved upon as well, as we discovered that we were missing a barrel pack or two upon arriving at the park. Unfortunately, Jack and I had to suffer the consequences, but it didn’t turn out too bad because we were able to use a little bit of room in other people’s bags. Something that we did well with for most of the trip was staying as a group while on the water, nobody ever fell too far behind, especially in the more difficult stretches of paddling. My favourite part of the trip was without a doubt sliding down the slide at High Falls and just sitting on the rocks and enjoying the sun. Surprisingly, when we had to stop and wait for the thunderstorm to pass over, I had a fairly good time. We set up quite a good shelter and enjoyed some snacks and each other's company, despite the not so enjoyable weather. Another great part of the trip was our paddle down the narrow lake with the cliffs on either side. The water was calm, so we could take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Algonquin Park. One of my least favourite parts of the trip was when we had discovered the missing life jacket, and it was Mrs. Trumpower and I who would be the ones retrieving it. Going back and having to catch up to the group wasn’t fun, but luckily, it could have gone a lot worse. Waking up on the last morning was tough as well, as it had rained a fair bit the previous night and our tent had gotten quite wet because our fly had not been tight enough. Next time I’m on a trip, I’ll be sure to set up all aspects of my tent properly because waking up wet is never fun. Some of the portages were quite difficult, especially on the second trip. However, getting that last canoe off of your shoulders at the end of a long portage really brings a nice sense of accomplishment after persevering on the trail.

In all, the Algonquin Park canoe trip was a great success and an even better time. There may have been some difficult parts, but the benefits of soaking in the outdoors and accomplishing what we did far outweighed the bad. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and recommend that anyone who’s skeptic about about going on an Outdoor Ed. trip such as this to just give it a shot because you’ll have a great time.

Jack Guthrie said...

Coming into the Algonquin Canoe trip, I was incredibly excited. I’ll I could remember was the great time I’d had the previous year on the hiking trip, and I was hoping to have an even better time this year. I was on the second trip, and as we arrived at the site, I’ll I heard was positive reviews from the group leaving. All it did was increase the excitement I had for this trip even more. It turns out that we were missing some bags. Unfortunately Jeremy and I suffered the consequences of this, as we reserved a bag, and someone had taken ours. Thankfully, those around us were helpful and let us put some of our things in their bags! To add to this poor start, the winds were picking up, and made the current very strong. Our original attempt to cross the lake as a group, tied together, had to be abandoned, as we were just taking in tons of water. We returned to shore, and began to reorganize canoes so that skill and weight could be evenly distributed. By this point, my excitement had started to fade; needless to say, this was not the start I was hoping for. The canoe across was a challenge, and by far the hardest one of the trip. However, eventually after some time, we managed to cross it. I could now look forward again to some nice relaxed paddling. We were able to paddle with the wind until we arrived at camp. Because of the rough start, we were late getting to camp, and the whole group was starving. We were able to fill up on a great meal of quesadillas. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go to the waterslides that night, but I was eagerly looking forward to them the next morning! We spent the night around a fire, stargazing and talking, a great way to end the first day! The next morning, after we had packed up, we headed over to the falls. I heard a lot about them, and it was probably the thing I was most excited for, and they didn’t disappoint! After I got over the extreme cold (it even made it difficult to breathe), I had a great time! By far the highlight of my trip! The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly, and I was even able to go down a set of rapids, which was really fun! After a few more paddles and portages, we’d made it to camp. It was our turn to cook, and it turned out we had to cook 3 straight meals! Stir Fry for dinner, pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and grilled cheese for lunch. While I felt we did a good job preparing and executing on the meals, we took far too long. Our pancakes took us at least three hours to feed everyone, which is something we will have to work on for next time. Thankfully, it wasn’t a very strenuous day (however there was an 800 metre portage, which was very difficult), so our late start didn’t make much of a difference. We were held up at the end of one portage, when a thunderstorm took shape overhead. So we created a small shelter to hide under until it cleared. One thing I learned from this trip, seeing as it was almost always raining, is that you always have to be prepared for the elements. You never know whether it’ll be rain or sunshine when you wake up each morning! When we arrived at camp we set up our tents and had a great spaghetti dinner. We headed to bed very early, as we were all exhausted after the first three days. As we woke up the next morning, we could tell the end was near. Some were looking forward to it, while others wished we could stay longer. Personally I was still enjoying myself, and would’ve loved to stay out longer. After a couple paddles and portages, we reached the bus in the early afternoon, and before we knew it, we were back at school. While the trip definitely had its ups and downs, including one student leaving behind their life jacket at the beach, the positive far outweighed the negative. Overall, I had an incredible experience, and it will definitely go down as one of my favourite memories from high school!

Calum Jeacle said...

I would call myself a lover of the outdoors, I’ve camped, I’ve canoed, but my favourite experience of them is doing them both in the same trip. Not only did this trip bring me a stronger love for the outdoors, it made me want to go out and enjoy fresh air more than I already do.

I was nervous about the idea of this trip before embarking, what do I pack?, what will I need in rain, heat or cold temperatures?, it gave me eustress towards a trip that had a large amount of required planning. Throughout the duration of the trip, I found myself to be well prepared with minor equipment/clothing missing, but that is always expected when trying something new. I experienced a large sum of pleasure from going on this trip, I had rare moments of unpleasant emotion. This was accompanied by a great deal of laughter, adrenaline, adventure and overall enjoyment.

Day 1 was very stressful due to several lemons, some out of our control, some very much in our control. The wind gave was a large obstacle in reaching our first campsite, immense waves and strong waves were the natural lemons that were out of our control. Our forgotten life jacket mishap created a multiplied risk factor and increased chance of death due to hypothermia if the canoe were to flip. It was a learning curve and a very rare condition to be canoeing in. The final paddle of day one was downstream which brought our spirits up after the series of unfortunate events that had just occurred. Looking back, this day felt the longest of them all ironically enough.

The first morning was a slow start, but I found it to be quite pleasant and nicely accompanied by a good breakfast. There was no rain and few clouds to block the sun from coming through, this meant we could go to the falls and enjoy the waterslide and the great weather. This excursion set us back for time but not too much to cause potential danger related to our arrival time at campsite #2. As the sun went down, so did the rain, and it poured enough to bring lightning making us take a pause for the day and seek shelter about halfway through the total distance of day 2. After 4(3 due to water height in a rapid section) potages and 5 long paddles, we made it to a campsite where we split into two groups. One group featured my friends and I, the other featured the trip leaders and other classmates along with the main fire. I really wished that the second night had no rain so that we didn't have to all hang out in our own tents before bed, but it was a punch that we were willing to roll with.

Calum Jeacle said...

The third day of trip began without rain but still yielded dark skies which was another warning sign to venture with caution. Our meals and travel time got mixed up so we ended up eating lunch as an appetizer for dinner, both at the final campsite. The day was fairly plain; a few long portages and on and off rain but the absence of sun didn’t manage to ruin all of our spirits.

Hearing the details of our final day was a sigh of relief for all of us. No matter how many lemons we could’ve accounted for, a trip with this group of people for this duration of time was very strenuous making everyone ready to go home. If my memory is correct, there was no portaging, or if so, only one which was a large bonus along with an absence of rain. Although we had been fairly behind schedule throughout the whole trip, we managed to be punctual during our final paddle, it was a great end to an amazing trip.

I am now a more knowledgeable and experienced paddler and I’ve grown to really enjoy it as an activity and as a sport. I was quite unrehearsed in my camping abilities as I hadn't truly camped in several years, I don’t believe camping trailers qualify as a shelter for true camping. I learned how to deal with others in elongated periods of time as well as making myself tolerable to others. I am very happy that peer pressure worked heavily in my favour on the second day. I will never forget those falls and how much fun it was to experience it with some great friends, not to mention the footage I got on my GoPro camera! Would I ever do it again? How many minutes are you giving me to pack? I had a amazing time and I would definitely do it again, in fact I am planning to do this trip (or similar) next fall!

Dominic said...

This trip is known as the pinnacle of the gr.11 outdoor ed program, and it definitely lived up to its hype. I had so much fun throughout the 4 days in Algonquin Park, and the experience has taught me a lot about canoe camping.
I’d been looking forward to the trip for a while, so you can imagine the scare I got when on my way to school on the morning of the trip, the highway came grinding to a halt. Luckily I made it to school before the bus left, and after a few pokes at my slowness we left for Algonquin Park. When we stepped out of the bus there wasn’t a cloud to be seen or a gust of wind to be felt, and so our trip started with everyone happy to be on the lake. The scenery on the first day was beautiful, especially the massive cliffs we paddled under. This day was probably the longest, with a couple portages and even some rapids to paddle up. The rapids were actually one of the most challenging parts of the day because we had to paddle in exactly the right spots where the current was minimal. When we got to the campsite everyone was glad to be done for the day, and my stomach was especially grateful for the delicious tacos that night.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain. My first thought was that I wasn’t getting out until the rain stopped, and true to my word, I didn’t get up until 9am. After a rather late breakfast we were back on the water. We had some pretty long portages that day, notably one where some beavers had built a dam and we had to canoe though part of the portage. The longest portage of the trip was a real pain because it had so many elevation changes, and after my 3rd trip I was feeling exhausted. Luckily the last portage was a breeze, and as Andrew and I headed onto the open water with the campsite in view, we spotted another group heading for the same spot! Andrew and I paddled hard to the shore, and we reached it soaked in sweat and tears (minus the tears) just a few seconds before the other group. Victory was ours! It felt like we were in a race to colonize a new continent and had won.
The third day was really relaxed. We mostly lounged around in the morning, helping out with small tasks around the campsite. In the afternoon we went to the falls which were really awesome to look at, but I wish I had worn my bathing suit so I could have gone down the waterslide. Even so, the great scenery and games we played like “ground is lava” made it a great outing. Later in the evening, like every night, we hung around the fire before going to sleep. The large amounts of koolaid powder consumed during this time made it a great event.
The last day flew by, and even though we were battling the wind, I was still in good spirits. That’s not to say I wasn’t happy when we finally landed on the beach at our pickup location. The trip had been an amazing experience for me. All our food had been easy to make, tasty, and easy to clean up. The weather had complied and I don’t think I ever got wet. Everyone helped out and almost no one complained. All in all, I don’t think I could have asked for a better trip.

Brandon Hartford said...

The outdoor Ed canoe trip was really fun when you are able to relax, paddle and do whatever you want. Sometimes it can be tiring when you have to carry a lot of heavy things and paddle for a while when you are tired. I wish that it did not rain so much because my only sweater was soaked and mad everything seem gloomy. Overall the experience was really awesome. My favourite part was when we visited the natural water slide. It was warm there but there was also a nice breeze, which made it very enjoyable. The worst part of the trip was the first initial paddle. I had fallen behind from the group and we had taken on a lot of water. Big waves began to dump into our canoe and we got so close to sinking. Luckily we didn’t sink because we were far from shore and it was pretty cold. I learned that I should bring better rain gear and have it more easily accessible. Next time I would have more raingear, remember to bring dishes and bring some entertainment. I did little chore work; I should try to help out more to lessen the burden on others. For next time I will find a better tent spot. For two of the campsites a little bit of water pooled at the bottom of our tent and there wasn’t enough room in the ground to put the peg in.

David Watson said...

PAD30 Algonquin Park Canoe Trip Reflection
The 4 day Algonquin Park canoe trip was a lot of fun and overall was a great learning experience.
To start off the trip, we had about a 3 ½ hour bus ride there which got a little boring by the end of it. When we got there, we had the longest and hardest day ahead of us but I think that was probably good because we were rested and anxious to get going. Luckily the water was fairly calm. I was pretty happy when we had reached our first camp site. Ryan, Tyler, Aaron and I were assigned to make the first meal that night, which was a little hard since we didn’t really know what we were doing at first. It was a bit complicated because it was hamburger and chicken tacos with some fixings, as well as rice. It was raining, and that made it a little harder too. I was pretty happy once we got that first meal done because it was the most difficult one to make. Even though, I think it turned out the best of the meals we were responsible for. It rained quite a bit that night and our tent and some of our stuff got pretty wet. I learned that we should have made sure all of our belongings were in the tent or under the fly. The next day was similar with canoeing, portaging, and cooking. There was a little less paddling than the first day. Saturday was kind of a “take it easy day” since we were staying at the same campsite for Friday night and Saturday night. We cleaned up around the camp, collected fire wood and sat around the fire. Later in the day, we went to the water slides and that was very cool (both to see and in the temperature of the water)! I did not go in the water but it looked like a lot of fun. After the slides, we went to the waterfall and that was also neat to see. On Sunday, we had quite a bit of paddling to do to get to the end destination. It made it a lot harder since we were going against the wind and current. Once we got to the beach, we unloaded and made lunch while we were waiting for the bus.
One of the things that I learned was that Algonquin Park has a lot of great scenery, canoeing paths and hiking trails. I had never been on a canoe trip before other than the one day Ottawa River trip in grade 10. I think that the part that I liked the most was the scenery as well as hanging around the campfire at night telling stories. The part that I liked the least was either the portaging or cooking for the whole group. I didn’t really like being responsible for getting the whole group fed, especially when everyone was pretty hungry. I learned that we should have brought another box of pancake mix because we didn’t really have enough mix and only had enough for one or two small pancakes per person.
Overall, the canoe trip was a lot of fun, great exercise, there were a lot of great learning experiences, and I know I would look forward to going again.

Tristan Allaire said...

This years canoe trip proved to be even better than expected. It was highly anticipated amongst my classmates and I, as we still had very fresh memories of last years hiking trip.
As we started loading our barrels and putting on our life jackets, we could see the winds start to pick up. The first group seemed very pleased with their experience, although they were happy to head home. It was a rough start for our group as we were all very nervous about crossing the large, windy lake at Achray. After a couple of different attempts from the first beach, an attempt while rafting together, and finally an attempt from the beach that was more sheltered from the wind, we had a better path to get across. After a few hours of paddling across the next lake, we set up camp at a very beautiful site. My cooking group made a great dinner and it made for a very nice night with lots of fun and laughs.
The second day started off well with a nice trip to the falls. After the falls, the rain had started. This was the time when you started to see who was prepared to be out on a four day canoe trip. After the portages with heavy rainfall, most of the group was fairly uncomfortable. Little did we know that the rain wasn't about to let up any time soon. I found that on the second day, I was very well prepared in terms of clothing. I never felt too cold or too hot and I was always able to adjust, which was especially important while portaging. The second night was a little more dissapointing, as there was no fire and instead of a nice relaxing wind-down after a good day of hard work, we all just went to sleep early.
Day three proved to be just as rainy. A good breakfast made it at least a little easier to get up after such a mediocre sleep and transition into the quick portage. After a few intervals of heavy downpour on the water and while portaging, we made it to a nice camp and again, had an early night.
By day four, I was for sure ready to go home. I felt as though I had gained lots from the trip, but at the expense of being very uncomfortable throughout the day at some points. Although the rain was one negative aspect of the trip, there were more positives.
After this trip, I feel like I could take on any canoe route. No matter what the weather or terrain has in store, I feel confident. Something I learned from this trip is that "smooth seas make for poor sailors", and we definitely didn't have smooth seas. Overall, I would do this trip again, even in the next week if given the chance. It was a great experience and I can't wait for next years moving water trip!

EamonnSO said...

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip Reflection

Eamonn Stinson O'Gorman
PAD3O

Algonquin Park is a beautiful place, I can honestly say that I didn't think it would be as stunning as it really was. The canyons, the falls, the lakes, everything about this park was more than breathtaking. Once you have in mind places like Lake Louis in Banff National Park you may start to think there is not possibly anywhere close that could even compare in sights and appeasement of your inner peace. That is wrong however. I realized such being away on this canoe trip with eighteen other fun and thoughtful people.

On the first day of the trip, the air was buzzing with excitement from just the thought of getting there and I was told the bus ride to the park was an ecstatic one. I wouldn't know myself as I was asleep the entire bus ride because I wanted to build up some extra energy for the trip. Thanks to this I got the nickname of “hibernation” for the duration of the trip, and some good laughs were had by all at mine and others nicknames. The best part of the first day and the intro to the trip would have to have been canoeing through the canyon and getting some great pictures of the formations in the rock. The worst being carrying the wonagan for the seven hundred and forty meter portage, but that wasn't really an issue at all, the whole day just went so swimmingly in my mind that that's the lowest ranked of everything we did on that day for me. On the second day, everyone was a bit more in tune with the flow of things and it was somewhat more relaxed for the most part. This being aside from Alex injuring his finger... When this did happen though, as Trevor and I were close by I did my best to help him out. We couldn't find the sterile alcohol pads or something proper to clean the wound with so we did the best we could with purified water from my bottle, then wrapped it in a manner to temporarily slow and staunch blood flow while Aaron ran off to find Mr. Brouwer who could more properly deal with the situation. So without a doubt, this unfortunate event made for the worst day of the trip. Thankfully Alex was still able to come back and carry on with us for the rest of the trip after a long while at the hospital. The next day; however, was the best. We got to stay in the same campsite, so there was no portaging bags, and we got to go to the High Falls; not only a beautiful site but they were also connected to a natural water slide slightly further up from the actual waterfalls sect. Having been a very cold day, there were only a few of us that had immediately jumped on the opportunity to ride down the slides, and we started to think it was a poor idea once we realized how cold the water actually was there. But then as we went down our first times, almost painfully cold and confused from the semi-whirlpool at the bottom of the slide, and still wanted to dive in for another go. This ended up encouraging more people to try it out and we all ended up cold and incredibly exhilarated together. The day then wrapped up quite nicely. There were some problems with our meals but there seemed to be some sort of problem with nearly every meal we had made on the trip, so there was definitely room for improvement on that planning front. The next day went by quite quickly; we packed up camp and set out on our way to the bus location, encountered some rough winds in the open bay areas of the lakes, but made it back with some time to spare before the bus came to pick us up.

All in all, the trip was a fantastic one, and I didn’t really want to come home. Experiences like this are the kinds that people would look back on time and time again throughout their days and I know that I will be doing just that. Even the main troubles we did have with slight lack of preparation, specifically with food, ended up being more of something to laugh about then a true issue. Everyone even got along amazingly and the trip was a great bonding experience for us all.

Emily Tomlinson said...

Canoe Trip Reflection

The Algonquin canoe trip was an unforgettable experience that I will never forget. While I was packing and planning out for this trip, I was very skeptical, nervous and eager. Over the four days, I laughed, I cried, but most importantly I became closer to nature.

On the first day, I was super excited on the bus ride and really excited when we arrived at our destination until I realized that Tara and I were missing a big red bag to hold our two barrels in. We then found ways to portage the barrels and we gave our mats to separate groups to squeeze in their bags. I was relieved once I found out that things were settled with the "bag situation". I was then stoked and ready to get on the water! I felt more comfortable canoeing in a pack all joined together but quickly realized that there was too much water coming in. When we went back to shore and you told us to get in a group with strong canoeing, unfortunately I didn't feel fit enough to stand up to your standards, so I sat in the middle of Jason and Travis' canoe. I practically shook the entire time until I knew I was safe on the campsite. That night our group was assigned to make dinner, which went pretty well! When dark finally came around, I crashed and didn't wake up once until I heard the voices of others.

The water was absolutely beautiful the second day, I was well rested and nourished so I felt pretty confident and safe. It was now back to our original planned canoe group, Tara and I. The second day we went to the high-falls which were super exciting although I didn't end up going in them. I didn't find the portaging that tricky even though wherever the food barrel I was carrying over my shoulder went, I would go! That night I didn't sleep that well because we didn't set up our tent properly which lead to some leakage. We also set our tent up on a rock.

Not gonna lie, on the first and second night I wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed, but as the third night came through I didn't want to go back, I wanted to live in the Algonquin parks! The best thing about this trip was definitely the sun even though it rained the almost the entire trip. The worst thing about this trip was by far the thunder box. It was very unpleasant and not very private.

Overall, I never realized that one person could learn so much in such little time. I also learned that I am a hands on person and learn by experience and doing things myself.

Leul Daniel said...

The Algonquin Park Canoe Trip was an incredible learning experience and was pretty fun too. Although the weather wasn't promising, everyone mostly maintained a posative attitude and delt with each condition with great motavation. There were many things that I learned on this trip. I learned how to steer a canoe. I also learned what ways to cross the water when the currents are too strong. when rafting up is a good option and when to go around the water and avoid rapids. I really enjoyed the long canoe rides because this ususally meant a short portage. I geneally found portaging not a big deal at all except when the rain would hit the uneven pathways insuring a few falls along the way, other than that they were very doable. One of the best parts of the entire trip was the first night. We had no rain, a beautiful campfire and it was overall a relaxing evening.The rain throughout the following three nights was the worst thing about the entire trip. Two things i would advise for future grade 11's going on this trip next year would to bring two plactic bags to ensure your shoes stay dry and to set up your tent before anything else after reaching to your camp site just incase it rains later on. Overall I can honestly say it was a good learning experence. I had a fun time but this trip is something would only want to do once.

Jared McWilliams said...

Jared McWilliams
PAD30
Trip 1

Algonquin park is absolutely breathtaking, between the beautiful scenery, the fantastic flora and fauna, and the refreshing natural air, you are left with an aura of peace and prosperity. The canoe trip itself was an insane amount of fun, as well as a tremendous experience for my classmates and I.

The trip started with a fun bus ride up, which was filled with buzzing and excited guys who were all ready for the challenge. Nature names were handed around, mostly due to my clever nomenclature gift, and people started assuming their various social roles for the trip. We departed on the water soon after arriving at our drop zone, and everyone was filed with adrenaline and testosterone that was pumping through our veins, we couldn't wait to be under-way. The most exciting part of that first day, besides all of the amazing humour in the air, was when we passed through the canyons. God created the world with so much passion and beauty, and I'm so glad Mr. Brouwer gives us all of these experiences to witness and appreciate it, because there truly were a plethora of amazing natural things to see on the trip. My group, among a couple others, made camp on the camp site across the lake that first night, yet this distance between us did not prevent the other groups from hearing our roaring laughter long into the night. Our tent was pitched well, so albeit the rain we stayed dry through the night. The following day was another long haul, but yet again filled with humour and adrenaline and excitement and fun. The portages were straining, and many a time Mr. Brouwer could be found chasing kids with a whip (I kid of course), but it was worth it in the end. Our camp site for the following two nights was a beautiful spot, that we nearly lost to another school, and it truly was in an ideal location. We pitched our tents a small distance away from the others, in another camp site, with the same group as the following night. Once again our voices could be heard long after the hour of the wolf. We had lost a man on the journey today, but Father Nature brought him back to us at night, so we had a bonfire in honour of his return. The following day we visited a small rapid, and then the waterfall waterslide. The waterfall waterslide was the highlight of my trip, and I am glad that my impulsive nature led me to go for it without hesitation. The water was cold, but nothing I couldn't handle, so I did the slide along with the polar cliff dive. Upon returning to camp we made the most delicious supper of the trip, spaghetti and meatballs, and the people loved us for it. That night was another one of excitement, but we went to bed earlier than we had before. Finally it was time to go home, which we all did with heavy hearts. We had an exciting paddle to our rendez-vous point, where we were picked up for the journey home. This bus ride was much less spirited, as most of our valiant little troopers were sleeping, and despite my best efforts I could not rouse them to join in my celebrations. When we arrived back at school we, the merry men, were disbanded, which was probably for the best as we had tired each other out, and we all went home.

All in all the trip was definitely one of the most exciting experiences of my life, and I would absolutely do it again with the same group of people. Having all boys, other than Ms. Ewart of course, was a neat experience as well, and it provided for a whole lot of comedy. There weren't any huge problems, other than a lack of desert and condiments, so none of us went hungry. Once again it was a wonderfully compelling and spiritual journey, and I am very thankful for Mr. Brouwer and the incredible Outdoor Ed. program at Cairine Wilson.

Jared McWilliams,

Out

benoit fortier said...

PAD3O Canoe Trip Reflection
I went on our yearly class canoe/camping trip to Algonquin Park a few weeks ago. We were gone 31/2 days. We canoed and portaged every day through and to other lakes. Algonquin Park is a very beautiful and super large place.
I learned it takes a long time to put up a tent in the rain. By the time it’s up its already soaked. I had never cooked bacon, hash browns, or other type of foods on the fire before besides soup, hotdogs, hamburgers, and other easy things to cook on the fire before. I learned fast how to burn foods which I did and how I you don’t which I also did. It takes a lot of time to cook around 70 pieces of bacon and 50 large hash browns.
I loved the whole thing, the swimming, the camping, the fellow campers, the canoeing, the water fall. The cold water made swimming more exciting and more challenging than just swimming during the summer at a beach just for an example.
There was only one thing I didn’t like about the trip. It was the time I fell in the freezing cold water. It was raining buckets of rain water everywhere and super cold almost cold enough to get hypothermia. It happened so fast. One moment I was putting my left leg on the shore and then the boat went to the right and I fell in right to my neck. I was very cold. After that I only had one pair of dry clothes and shoes that I wore for the next two days until I got home.
I would do many things differently like bringing more clothing. I wish I brought a sweater to keep me warm doing the mornings and nights. I loved the fact I didn’t need to put any bug spray on all the time. I find it funny I didn’t pack any because somehow I just knew I didn’t need any. I did bring two bottles of sun screen which I only used on the first day because it rain every other day.
Overall I had a blast; it was a fantastic, fun, and exciting experience. I met new people from the other class. There were some funny moments on the way. Yes I would do it all over again. I can’t wait for the trip next year in grade 12.

Megan Foy said...

Canoeing around the beautiful Algonquin Park for 4 days was a trip to remember. Although the rain couldn’t hold off, we made the best of it.
I think we could all agree that the first day was tough but we got through it, still smiling. We had a few minor setbacks throughout the day starting off with waves which were too strong to raft together. After returning to our starting point, we then split up the canoes and were arranged into groups of two or three with at least one strong paddler in each. We then made our way across the aggressive waves. Once we crossed the roughest part we came to the realization that we were missing a lifejacket. Luckily, Mrs. Trumpower and Jeremy, who are strong paddlers, were able to retreat back to the starting point and get it as we continued. Because of these few setbacks we arrived at our first campsite a few hours later than expected which delayed our dinner. I found the first day challenging but still enjoyable because it allowed me to improve my skills.
I really enjoyed going the falls even though I didn’t participate I still wish I would’ve just sucked it up and went down at least once. I feel as though we could’ve improved the amount of time it took us to get on the water each morning because it would’ve kept us from getting caught bad weather later in the day. Also by shortening the amount of time we took in the morning, we could’ve reached our campsites earlier and started our dinner so that we didn’t eat as late as we did. By getting caught in bad weather it also slowed down our cooking process.
My groups meals were delicious especially the first nights dinner which were quesadillas. Although they tasted great, they took awhile to prepare but we worked as fast as we could knowing everyone was starving from the long day. The wraps we prepared on the third day didn’t work out as well as we had hoped. We forgot to add more vegetables in them so that Mrs. Trumpower wouldn’t of had to find an alternative since she’s a vegetarian and they weren’t filling enough to stand on their own. Because most of us weren’t full we passed around apples.
I enjoyed the first night where we could all relax around the fire. Unfortunately, the rain kept us from being able to do that the next two nights and we had to set up tarps around the fire. I did find the portaging was tough and I was quite sore by the end of each day.
Overall it was a great trip where a lot of memories were made. It was definitely a highlight of my highschool experience shared with a lot of great people. I’d definitely do it again.

Josh Wood said...

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip Reflection
Josh Wood

The Algonquin Park canoe trip was definitely an interesting experience that I hope to try again someday. Before the trip, I was a bit weary of going because it just didn’t sound very appealing to me. I’m clearly not a very active person so three days of canoeing sounded like a waste of time. However, one of my classmates assured me it wasn’t something I’d want to miss. It was a bit of a rocky adventure but well worth it.

The preparation for my cooking group seemed a little disorganized. We were all under the impression that we’d be paying for our food and not the school until the last 2 days before the trip, which created a lot of confusion. I definitely should’ve done a better job myself(as well as the group) getting informed about the food plans. Other than that, the preparation went relatively smoothly. Even though it was pretty disorganized meal planning, we still had decent meals with enough prepared for everybody. It’s unfortunate we were so disorganized at first because we could’ve made much nicer meals. I just wish I brought my snacks, which I regrettedly forgot to bring the morning of the trip.

Although the trip went smoothly, I made some mistakes. Something I have to keep in mind is properly avoiding contaminating the water. I honestly think it’s a bit ridiculous to have to walk 100 metres or so from any waterfront(which is what I was told) in order to dump something properly. Even if the water did rise, 100 metres is a major exaggeration. It’s just not practical either. Another mistake I made was overpacking on my clothes. I underestimated the amount of weight it would add for just a few shirts and such, it made me regret packing so much.

I learned a lot about canoeing on the trip- seeing as though I had no prior experience and missed all the prior lessons, it was definitely a slow start for me. Of course, after getting the hang of controlling the canoe, it becomes a lot easier.

It’s hard to say what I enjoyed most because it was such a great experience. To put it into perspective, I’ve never actually done anything like it(besides camping) so it all felt somewhat adventurous and new. I honestly can’t wait to try it again with somebody in particular, if I ever do get the chance. Maybe later in life if I have the money and experience. It’s definitely not safe to go without more experience unless I’m with someone who can guide me.

Ryan Tomlinson said...

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip

After the amazing hiking trip in grade 10, I could not wait to go on the 4 day canoe trip. This trip was a lot of fun and a learning experience for everyone. Initially, I planned to go on the second trip but with events outside of school I was unable to make for that trip. Luckily, I was able to contact Mr. Brouwer the night before the first trip who told me there was room for me to join that trip. This meant I was going on the trip with no preparation with the others and help with planning. Thankfully some of my other friends were on this trip and I was able to join their tent and cooking group with no problem as if I they planned I was coming.

The first day was the longest but payed off with the beautiful weather, and no clouds of wind in sight. As we paddled to our destination the scenery and amazing routes we took made the day feel like no effort. The only downside was the portages but we were able to complete them with not much of a problem and get the long portages out of the way. Throughout the trip the weather was fairly nice and only some rain in the evenings after we all set so there was no problem except for the second morning where we woke up to a thunderstorm and heavy rain which delayed us that day as we only began to cook breakfast the time we were actually supposed to leave. This put us at a minor setback but we were able to make it to camp with plenty of time left in the day and prepare to set up. Thankfully other than that, the cooking groups were on time and prepared when their turn came. The meals were surprisingly good and fed the group with often there being seconds or thirds. Throughout the four days everyone put their fair share into helping out with wood, cleaning, cooking, helping around camp and more, but I still think we could have done better with portaging and bringing the supplies to our destination. Often the same people had to go back multiple times to get the rest of the gear while others waited until it was done. By the end of the trip everyone started to help out and it became much more efficient.

I enjoyed this trip a lot and didn’t have many negative thoughts about it other than the wind constantly being against us although thats natures choice and nothing I can control. Canoeing through the beautiful canyon and being surrounded by the forest made the days feel effortlessly. We also managed to have time to canoe small rapids as well as spend a few hours at the waterslides (which looking back at it regretting not going in the water). I am also pleased with the work I did around camp with hiking kilometers back and forth collecting the perfect pieces of wood for the fire. In addition, cooking the meals and cleaning the dishes.

During this journey I learned how important it is to work as a team when you are transporting supplies, or cooking for the entire group. Compared to the hiking trip in grade 10 where you were in charge of your own meals and belongings, this was different as you were a part of a group of 18 not a group of 5. Overall, this was an incredible experience and nothing compared to what I have done in the past. I will never forget about this trip and I expect it to be the same with others!

Spencer said...

PAD3O Canoe Trip Reflection
Spencer Knowles – June 2014
Part 1
I thoroughly enjoyed the four-day canoe trip in Algonquin Park. It was very successful with a few minor setbacks. It exceeded my expectations in more ways than one, including difficulty, excitement, beauty of the outdoors and fun adventure. This was my interpretation of the trip.

When we arrived at the starting point, we were all fueled with adrenaline and eager to get going. It started off easy because we were so excited and it felt like we had unlimited energy and the beautiful wildlife and scenery made us even more eager to see what was to come. The first portage was easy because it was short and we still had a lot of energy. This changed when we arrived at the second portage. The second portage was much longer and more difficult. The portages at school were easy and did not prepare us for the rough terrain on the trip. After the second portage we started to notice that we were tired and portages were going to be challenging. When we arrived at the canyon it boosted our spirits again because it was so beautiful. Soon after, we arrived at our first campsite and I was pleasantly surprised to see the nice fire pit. It took us a while to get started because we were realizing that we had sunburns and how tired we were. It was a fun experience canoeing across the lake to find firewood with friends and relaxing a bit. We set up our tent quickly because we knew dinner would be ready soon. It was nice that there were cooking groups and we were able to take turns cooking. We rushed back after dinner to secure our tent because it started to rain. We were rushing because it was raining so our tent was not set up as well as it could have been. When the rain stopped, we were tired so we decided to have a campfire. It was a fun bonding experience with all of my friends and we shared great stories. That night there was a thunderstorm and some water got through our tent making sleep somewhat uncomfortable and more so because I had a cold.

The next morning we were tired but it was our turn to make breakfast. We ended up behind schedule but ultimately breakfast was a success. We served breakfast wraps with sausage, egg and cheese. It was a busy morning we also had to dry out our tent from the rain the night before. This was the hardest day because we all got less sleep and it started showing on the longer portages. It was Day 2 when Alex fell and hurt his finger that left us a little discouraged knowing he had to leave and maybe not return. However, it was a fun experience to portage the canoe with Eamonn for Mr. Brouwer and Alex over a large fallen tree in the middle of a path because of the great teamwork that was necessary. After I returned to the group with Eamonn we set off again. It was weird at first canoeing without Mr. Brouwer, but we were able to manage. When we finally arrived at our second camp site we were all very tired but at the same time excited because we knew we would be there for 2 nights. We set up our tent right away this time to ensure that we had enough time to do it properly. Then set up tarps and gathered fire wood. After dinner we had a campfire and then were very happy to hear Mr. Brouwer and Alex had returned.

Spencer said...

Part 2
The third and fourth day seemed to pass quickly. We enjoyed the opportunity to canoe down a small rapid to prepare us for the moving water trip in grade 12. At camp we stocked up on fire wood for ourselves and the next group. Then the most anticipated part of the trip came, the waterfall. I was eager to slide down right away as were a few others, and after a while almost everyone was going for a swim. The waterfall was also gorgeous and sights like this make we want to participate on even more trips! After we returned to camp it was my group’s night to cook dinner. It turned out well and there were leftovers. That night I was very tired so I didn’t stay at the fire for as long as usual and went to bed early. I had a good sleep and woke up early to pack in advance so I could have the chance to go fishing. Fishing was fun and then we had breakfast and left. The water was rough and the wind was strong so we had to paddle along the shore on Straton Lake and paddle in an arc on Grand Lake. It was an awesome paddle but left us tired when we hit shore. My cooking group quickly set up lunch and we had extra time to unpack our things. I can truly say this trip was amazing!

I came out of this trip a changed person. I made new friends and learned a lot. I was not very good at steering when we started but became much better during the trip. Also, I improved my time management, I realised how important it is to have enough time to cook and to set up camp because you never know what can happen. Moreover, I learned how to portage with more equipment and how to be efficient. This trip has inspired me to search out more beautiful places in the outdoors and go on more trips. Some of us from the trip have started planning a trip for the summer! My abilities we tested on the canoe trip and I was really able to benefit from this experience.

Jason Wells said...

I was very excited since the start of the year for this canoe trip and it didn’t disappoint! When we met up with the first trip at Algonquin Park, we got all our gear unpacked and had a quick little portage before getting on the water. The winds were really strong that day so we decided to rope together all are canoes to form a raft. This idea didn’t work very well because of all the water the canoes took on. So after a short paddle back to the beach and some thinking we decided to take a quick portage to another beach, distribute the weight evenly and pair up the strong paddlers together. After all of this was settled I was paired with Travis, with Emily in the middle of our canoe. The first paddle was a bit of a struggle but once he hit Stratton Lake we had the winds at our backs and it was smooth sailing from there! We got to our first campsite, and after everything was set up we had dinner and the quesadillas gave everyone some energy again. After that me and a couple other guys tried to go for swim that night. The water was extremely cold but really refreshing. Luckily there was a fire lit after we got out! That night was great, we all sat around the fire talking and enjoying what nature had to offer. The first sleep I didn’t know what to aspect. After getting no sleep at winter camp I didn’t want to have the same experience for three days here. I had an amazing sleep that night and woke up fully recharged and ready to go. That morning we bacon, eggs, sausage and hashbrowns. We packed up camp and headed to the falls! Going to the falls was one the best part of the trip! Even though the water was freezing I still went down the slide seven times. After a little bit of warming up and a walk to see the falls, we were back on the water. When we hit are first portage, I planned with Travis that we will switch who portages the canoe at every portage…that plan unravelled fast. I carried our barrels over and went back to check for any loose items when I came back I found four more canoes and multiple barrels. So I ended up portaging a canoe as well. For the rest of the trip Travis and I both had to portage at every portage. That day it started to rain and it didn’t stop for the rest of the trip. We reached are second campsite it was our turn to cook dinner, we actually ended up cooking the next three meals. Stir fry for dinner, Pancakes and eggs for breakfast and grilled cheese for lunch. It took us a while to get dinner going because we underestimated how long it would take to cook all the rice but it was still a very good meal with tons for everyone to eat. Making breakfast the next morning took even longer, we probably made more than 80 pancakes that morning. It didn’t really matter how long we took because we had an 800m portage to start are day. It was long day, on one of our portages we had a 40min delay because of a thunderstorm. We set up a shelter to cover ourselves from the rain and after the storm passed again we were off to the final campsite. Once we set up camp we cooked the grilled cheeses as an appetizer to dinner that night. That morning we had one last paddle before we got to our pick up sight. Everyone was looking forward to going home to sleep in their own beds that night! Personally I couldn't have asked for a better trip other than the weather there is nothing I would change on the trip!

Jason Wells said...

I was very excited since the start of the year for this canoe trip and it didn’t disappoint! When we met up with the first trip at Algonquin Park, we got all our gear unpacked and had a quick little portage before getting on the water. The winds were really strong that day so we decided to rope together all are canoes to form a raft. This idea didn’t work very well because of all the water the canoes took on. So after a short paddle back to the beach and some thinking we decided to take a quick portage to another beach, distribute the weight evenly and pair up the strong paddlers together. After all of this was settled I was paired with Travis, with Emily in the middle of our canoe. The first paddle was a bit of a struggle but once he hit Stratton Lake we had the winds at our backs and it was smooth sailing from there! We got to our first campsite, and after everything was set up we had dinner and the quesadillas gave everyone some energy again. After that me and a couple other guys tried to go for swim that night. The water was extremely cold but really refreshing. Luckily there was a fire lit after we got out! That night was great, we all sat around the fire talking and enjoying what nature had to offer. The first sleep I didn’t know what to aspect. After getting no sleep at winter camp I didn’t want to have the same experience for three days here. I had an amazing sleep that night and woke up fully recharged and ready to go. That morning we bacon, eggs, sausage and hashbrowns. We packed up camp and headed to the falls! Going to the falls was one the best part of the trip! Even though the water was freezing I still went down the slide seven times. After a little bit of warming up and a walk to see the falls, we were back on the water. When we hit are first portage, I planned with Travis that we will switch who portages the canoe at every portage…that plan unravelled fast. I carried our barrels over and went back to check for any loose items when I came back I found four more canoes and multiple barrels. So I ended up portaging a canoe as well. For the rest of the trip Travis and I both had to portage at every portage. That day it started to rain and it didn’t stop for the rest of the trip. We reached are second campsite it was our turn to cook dinner, we actually ended up cooking the next three meals. Stir fry for dinner, Pancakes and eggs for breakfast and grilled cheese for lunch. It took us a while to get dinner going because we underestimated how long it would take to cook all the rice but it was still a very good meal with tons for everyone to eat. Making breakfast the next morning took even longer, we probably made more than 80 pancakes that morning. It didn’t really matter how long we took because we had an 800m portage to start are day. It was long day, on one of our portages we had a 40min delay because of a thunderstorm. We set up a shelter to cover ourselves from the rain and after the storm passed again we were off to the final campsite. Once we set up camp we cooked the grilled cheeses as an appetizer to dinner that night. That morning we had one last paddle before we got to our pick up sight. Everyone was looking forward to going home to sleep in their own beds that night! Personally I couldn't have asked for a better trip other than the weather there is nothing I would change on the trip!

jessica lind said...

This years canoe trip was an unforgettable time with lots of ups and downs, but I learned a lot and had a great time.

In recuperation for this trip, I was very anxious about everything working out. Members of my group and I went on a shopping trip the day before the trip to buy all the food our group would need to prepare our meals. We then spent the rest of the day cooking, preparing, and packaging our food and packing it in the barrel. Another challenge I had leading up to the trip was knowing how much I could pack, as we did not have the barrels we would be using until the day of the trip, it was difficult to judge what would fit in the barrel and what was too much.

Finally, starting off the trip had its many challenges as well, such as getting all of our equipment exchanged with the other group and getting ready to take off. Once we were all eager to get our paddles in the water, we came to the realization that the lake would be extremely challenging to cross. We tried many different starting points and different techniques to get across. It took a very long time to finally cross, but once we did the portages and paddling was much easier after that point. After a very long day our cooking group prepared quiesadillas for the rest of the group, and it was a success, the preparation we had done in advance really paid off as the process was very quick and everyone had lots to eat.

The second day started off with a detour to the falls, where everyone had a good time, although I must say I do regret not going. After the falls we continued on our path to our next campsite, with many portages and a few long paddles, and even some rain near the end we all made it to the second campsite, where it poured all night making it slightly less enjoyable as we could not have a fire on our campsite across the lake.

The third day seemed to fly by.. Although it rained a lot, it seemed that we were really starting to get the hang of portaging and paddling, they seemed to not take as long and seemed more natural, as we knew what to do. On the last day we were packed up and on the water just on time, ready to start the journey home. The paddle was not long at all, without many portages. It was a very easy day. This trip taught me a lot about being prepared with everything and just going with the flow of everything. We worked very hard and over came many obstacles, but all in all it was a wonderful time that i would definitely do again.

Leslie Hunt said...

I was on the second canoe trip this semester. The result of this we had to do extensive planing about our packing. We did not have our barrels to pre-pack so I was worried that I would over pack and not have enough room, so I only wanted to pack one of everything. This was probably a mistake because I only packed one pare of pants and it was fairly cold for the majority of the trip. I also only packed one sweater and it was a cotton base, so when it rained it stayed wet for the rest of the trip. The food was difficult to shop for because I have never cooked for 26 people before, so portion sizes were difficult. In the end we over bought almost all of our food because, I didn't want to not have enough. I still have spaghetti sauce in my house. I had a little bit of panic when placing all of our repackaged food in the garbage bags that were going to transport the food to the food barrels I realized how much food we actually had, but once we got to the bus and realized how much everyone else had I calmed down a little.
When we got to Algonquin park we had to transfer our gear form garbage bags to the barrels, It was a little chaotic as we found out we were short a canoe pack (a bag that holds 2 barrels). This made portaging harder because we had more little pieces to carry across, but other than that it was just an inconvenience. Starting off our trip was a little more complicated than I had expected because on the weather. The sky was clear but it was extremely windy, therefore the water was full of waves. I was placed in the stern of one of the canoes, at that point I was fairly confidant at my steering skills at that point, that changed quickly. I found that steering in the waves was near impossible and that I was not strong enough to manoeuvre the boat in the rough water. That was the worst of the canoeing portion of the trip.
The setting up of the camp sites went fairly well. The second night we had to set up in the rain but we were at the campsite long enough that the tent was a little dryer when we go in to sleep. With the rain being a problem Brower set up tarps to cover the fire. This made of a cozy sitting area for everyone and allowed us to cook. Our group had to cook breakfast on the first day, and this was the only day that it wasn’t a gloomy morning. I found for this meal that we there was enough food for everyone but it took a long time to cook it all. Dinner was our next meal and this was done under a tarp as it was showering intermittently, and it was spaghetti and ceaser salad. We under estimated how much lettuces we were going to need, but we knew we has a lot of spaghetti. The sauce went well and there was lots for everyone, we burnt the pasta to the bottom of one of the pots.
Over all I enjoyed the trip, but I would make some adjustments to how I planed my portion of it. Being on the second trip caused some anxiety for me, by not feeling fully prepared when we left on the bus. I would have also handled the snacks differently throughout the trip. I feel as though there was some confusion where the snacks were concerned as they were there for everyone, but people tended to only eat there own or non at all. The snacks could have been better regulated to what people were going to bring and who was feeding people each day. The way it worked out on the trip was that many people did not eat the snacks. I had fun with my friends on the trip and learned a lot about the value of planing ahead and coming prepared. I have improved on my canoe skill and am more confident in the boat. I know what I would need to improve on next time and would enjoy doing it again.

Tyler Lehouillier said...

I personally thought that this canoe trip was really good. I thought it was one of the best trips I’ve gone on for school yet. On the trip learned a lot of skills about canoe and how it feels to go on a long distance canoe trip. This trip was the longest trip I’ve been camping for and it was really fun. On the trip it rained a lot and we had to put up the tarps to protect the fire, the second time when you we helping Alex we had Trevor set up some tarps and we learned that you made it look a lot easier to do than it really was, half the time wile I was trying to make the fire I had to hold up the tarp so it wouldn’t go into the fire. All of the food on the trip was actually really well done, all of turned out way better that it actually did, well until you found something that we forget to bring. Going down the rapids was really fun and a lot easier to do than I originally thought, when we stared to go down I thought for sure some going to flip but yet no one did. Going to slides was really cool, I really regret not going down it when we went, but seeing the water fall just down stream was really sick and the best view on the trip by far. Over all I thought the trip was grate I would defiantly do it again.

Tyler Lehouillier said...

I personally thought that this canoe trip was really good. I thought it was one of the best trips I’ve gone on for school yet. On the trip learned a lot of skills about canoe and how it feels to go on a long distance canoe trip. This trip was the longest trip I’ve been camping for and it was really fun. On the trip it rained a lot and we had to put up the tarps to protect the fire, the second time when you we helping Alex we had Trevor set up some tarps and we learned that you made it look a lot easier to do than it really was, half the time wile I was trying to make the fire I had to hold up the tarp so it wouldn’t go into the fire. All of the food on the trip was actually really well done, all of turned out way better that it actually did, well until you found something that we forget to bring. Going down the rapids was really fun and a lot easier to do than I originally thought, when we stared to go down I thought for sure some going to flip but yet no one did. Going to slides was really cool, I really regret not going down it when we went, but seeing the water fall just down stream was really sick and the best view on the trip by far. Over all I thought the trip was grate I would defiantly do it again.

Tyler Lehouillier said...

I personally thought that this canoe trip was really good. I thought it was one of the best trips I’ve gone on for school yet. On the trip learned a lot of skills about canoe and how it feels to go on a long distance canoe trip. This trip was the longest trip I’ve been camping for and it was really fun. On the trip it rained a lot and we had to put up the tarps to protect the fire, the second time when you we helping Alex we had Trevor set up some tarps and we learned that you made it look a lot easier to do than it really was, half the time wile I was trying to make the fire I had to hold up the tarp so it wouldn’t go into the fire. All of the food on the trip was actually really well done, all of turned out way better that it actually did, well until you found something that we forget to bring. Going down the rapids was really fun and a lot easier to do than I originally thought, when we stared to go down I thought for sure some going to flip but yet no one did. Going to slides was really cool, I really regret not going down it when we went, but seeing the water fall just down stream was really sick and the best view on the trip by far. Over all I thought the trip was grate I would defiantly do it again.

Robert Dupuis said...

The Algonquin canoe trip was my favorite trip of all in the two years I have spent in the outdoor ed program. We had to put in at the take out of the previous group at Achray. Immediately we were faced with a huge challenge, super strong winds. We had decided that the best course of action would be to raft up and try to get everyone across together. We started taking in too much water, so this turned out to be a failed plan in the end. We had taken apart the raft in order to let everyone go with only their other person(s) in the canoe to help them along. After a lengthy paddle into the harsh winds, we arrived at out campsite to have dinner, which was prepared by the cooking group for that time. The night didn't bring much, we spent some fun time by the fire and eventually we all went to bed. In the morning we awoke to have breakfast, on the menu today was; Eggs, bacon, and sausage. This was a great meal overall, but the one fault was that some were left having missed certain parts of the meal. We eventually put in and paddled to our second campsite, there was much paddling and portaging to be done this day. We eventually arrived at the second campsite and decided to get our tents set up as quickly as possible, as we were expecting rain. For dinner to0night we had a stir fry, composed of; Chicken, beef, rice, and different types of sauces. We spent the night and not much came of it. (except of course morning light) In the morning we had made pancakes, which took so ,long to be made that we had finished them and it was nearly time for lunch already. After a group vote we decided it would be best to put in and head for our next campsite immediately. We eventually got there and had Lunch and dinner at the same time which filled everybody up well, We had cheese-filled tortillas, and spaghetti. We spent the night being pummeled by rain, along with the sounds of the nearby military artillery testing. In the morning we decided to get moving quickly after having oatmeal and set our minds on the finish. after a Good lengthy paddle it started to downpour, we had to set up an emergency shelter. after the rain had subsided, we finished our paddle and then the trip, I'd like to thank Mr. Brouwer, All volunteering parents, and all the great friends I was able to share my outdoor ed experiences with, I will keep these memories throughout my life and at the new school, Thank you all :)

Travis Jonas said...

The canoe trip much like the hiking trip last year was one of the highlights of my school year. When we first got off the bus I looked at the water and thought wow this is very wavy and is going to be very hard to get across; I was right. After we got off the first lake the wind was going with us so it was pretty easy paddling. Once arriving at our campsite after a very long day of paddling I was exhausted. I tried relaxing with some fishing before dinner but unfortunately my fishing rod wasn’t very good and ended up breaking ☹. We had quesadillas that night for dinner, which were great! I was not sure how I was going to sleep that night but I ended up having a great sleep. The next morning when I woke up I was freezing so I curled up in my sleeping bag and went back to sleep for another half an hour or so which was nice. After breakfast we headed to the falls. Once I saw the falls I was skeptical of going down but I did anyways, it was awful. Once I sat in at the top of the falls I lost my breath immediately I tried to get up but it was too late I was in the current. Sliding down the falls probably would have been fun if I weren’t trying to catch my breath the whole time. Once I hit the bottom of the slide I did a backflip because the current was so strong, before I knew it I was near were I was supposed to get out but I didn’t swim out of the current far enough so I was trying to swim against the current which I felt like was an impossible task. Finally I swam to the side then I could swim out. After that we hung out for a bit then continued our journey. Leading up to our first portage I didn’t know what to expect, they were pretty long and difficult but I enjoyed the challenge. That night we split up into different campsites that were across the lake from each other, which was kind of cool. By this point in time it was pouring rain. We had he duty of cooking dinner that night, we made stir-fry and it was delicious. We should have brought more sweet Thai sauce though. Other than that the night was mostly spent in the tent hiding from the rain. The next morning we were in charge of making breakfast; we made pancakes. The pancakes were really good but took a long time. After a pretty chill morning we headed back on our journey. That day there was a lot of portaging. But we got through it. We got held up at one point due to a thunderstorm so Ben, Calum and I built a little shelter out of tarps to hang out in until the weather cleared up. After I cleared up we kept on paddling. Once we got to the campsite my group made appetizers, which were really good. Once again it was raining so we hung out in the tents most of the night. The next day was a pretty short day of paddling. We made it to the bus in a couple of hours. The bus ride back felt like it took FOREVER! Overall it was a really fun trip and I look forward to doing the white water trip next year!