Meeting the intrepid explorers

Trip Start May 29, 2010
Trip End Oct 09, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Sunday, May 30, 2010

As much as we enjoyed our time in Toronto were not really on this trip to see concrete and buildings so the first opportunity we had to get out of the city we grabbed. Kelly and Fred are friends of Charlotte's from Germany (not actually from Germany just working in Germany we best make that clear otherwise Kelly wouldn't be a friend for much longer) had been in Canada on a canoe based trip since the start of April and just happened to have finished a two week expedition through the Algonquin National Park lakes and were recouperating in a place called Huntsville just outside the Algonquin park area.  We rented a car from a place called "rent a wreck"  which pretty much does what it says on the tin and we ended up with a a knackered old automatic which veered to the right when driving above 20km/h and had a mind of it's own as to whether it would allow the doors to be opened. 

We nicknamed the green bulk David Banner, like the hulk before his transformation.  We just about made it to Huntsville and checked into the same hotel as Kelly and Fred. 

You know you have good friends when you don't see people for 12 years and it feels like it's been 12 days.  Al hadn't met Kelly and Fred before and it took him about 5 minutes to find common ground with Fred whilst Char and Kelly caught up at breakneck speed at a pitch only dogs could understand. 

We set about planning the next days' adventure and decided to go up into Algonquin and walk a few trails, the main route running through Algonquin is highway 16 and there are many trails running off, on foot and on water via canoe.  We settled on the Big Pines trail first after stopping at the visitors centre.  The route is a 2.9 km walk through an 1880s logging camp the rare big pines that still manage to thrive in Algonquin are highlighted along the route, they grow up to 45 metres in height and 1.2m in diameter at the trunk base; a pretty amazing sight and they are thought to be over 210 years old.  We saw lots of chipmunks and a garter snake but no bears much to Al's dismay and Char's relief!

The next trail was the Lookout trail, a 1.9km loop with a breathtaking view of 700sqkm of Algonquin.  The highlight is a vantage point high on a rocky ledge.  The forest is so vast it almost looks unreal, like broccoli going on for miles, hard to comprehend the size of the place but very comforting to know it is still there and protected.  We wondered how many bears were down there...over 2000 currently in the Algonquin area alone so we're told.

The last route we took was the Hemlock Blush trail, a route that takes you through forests with the distinctive Hemlock's tiny pine cones scattered on the forest floor, the highlight on this walk is a view high up over Jack Lake, amazing though the mosquitos were out in force so we made a hasty retreat to the Banner mobile.

Our first experience of Algonquin made us want to see more so we decided the next day we were going to set off early on a canoe trip and find a wilderness campsite to make the most of our time there, back to the ranch for beer and planning...after a dip in the lake in Huntsville to cool down which was a surreal experience and we all agreed we were the luckiest people alive to be able to live our lives this way even for a short time.
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Kelly Richardson on

Hey guys!
We laughed out loud reading your entries about our fun in Algonquin! Great pictures by the way.
Much love,
Kelly & Fred

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