We started planning the trip about a month ago. I really love Algonquin Park and I had wanted to return ever since my trip with my Toronto friends a few year’s back so I put it back on this year’s Summer Bucket List. One night, while watching TV, I quickly booked 2 campsites on the lakes that I recognized and knew canoe routes to and rented a food barrel and canoe online with the Portage Store. We decided to bring Rogue with us as she’s been in a canoe before and managed it fairly well. Poor Havoc is a pacer so it would’ve been difficult having him with us so he got to spend quality time with my parents for the weekend. Which meant my Dad got a buddy to chat with by the front living room window and feed treats to 🙂
We started from the Canoe Lake access point and headed for Tom Thomson Lake for our first night. I remember this trip taking us around 4 hours to achieve 4 years ago and we basically only had 3 until sunset from the time we left the dock so we had to hustle pretty hard but we managed. After only 1 portage from Canoe Lake to Joe Lake, we found the route through a beaver dam to Tom Thomson and circled a portion of the lake until we found an empty campsite. With very few words we got to unpacking and setting up camp. Mike with our tent and me unpacking the stove and starting on dinner.
We ate my favourite lentil soup and diced chicken from MEC which we discovered as a favourite on our Winter Camping adventure. After swatting away the deer flies (which were horrible at this campsite), stringing up the food barrel from a branch we then ran for the tent to pass out.
In morning, after looking at the Canoe Route map I realized that on our last trip we went up and around and took 6 – 7 portages to get to Burnt Island Lake when realistically we only had to do 1 long one so we opted for that one and took our time Saturday morning making coffee, breakfast and slowly packing up camp.
Breakfast may not look the most appetizing but it was a good attempt! I purchased gluten free pancake mix from Rainbow Foods in Ottawa, we fried up bacon during the week and brought it pre-cooked so I simply added water, an egg to the pancake mix and then poured half the batter over 3 strips of bacon and made each of us a massive pancake to keep us full most of the day. I devoured mine, but Mike only ate half of his so I’ve decided it wasn’t a huge hit.
He may not have enjoyed breakfast but he’s pretty crafty with his paddle placement on portages so he could be arms free for selfies.
On our last portage, we met up with the cutest family who had 3 sheepdogs with them. One being only 4 months old, named Duffy who played with Rogue on the portage for a bit and was so puppy klutzy. I kept wanting to yell “It’s SO FLUFFY!” They headed out on the portage before us as we ate sandwiches to fuel us for the walk. We then met up with them at the end of the portage as they were setting off onto the lake. We had waited a bit back so they could get out on the water and suddenly 2 canoes came up the portage and instead of following portage etiquette and letting Mike put our canoe in first they pushed right passed us and put their canoes in where the canoes had just left. Drama on the portage!! We may have then been a bit competitive in beating them to a good campsite on the lake. We found an amazing spot that was wide open, had a great breeze to keep the flies away and had several spots we could choose to set up our tent.
It even had the perfect tree placement for a hammock 😉
After getting all set up, Rogue and I decided it was nap time in the tent and Mike passed out in the hammock. Paddling is hard work guys.
We woke up to collect firewood, make dinner (which isn’t even worth writing about other than the dried beef & green beans by Alpine Foods is ok for my meal restrictions but just not savoury enough for us) and head to bed at sunset to sleep the night away. I guess I could improve on the meal by maybe packing some gluten free pasta and maybe a sauce and adding that to the mix. Lesson learned for our next trip… I’m definitely going to try shopping online for meals as MEC has a limited supply of choices that I can actually eat.
Ok so more about the trip… I woke up in the middle of the night to hear the Algonquin Wolves and stayed awake a bit to see if the howls got closer (which thankfully they did not).
Sunday’s breakfast was much better than Saturday. Eggs, bacon, avocado & coffee – oh my! Our trick for camping with eggs is to bring them in a plastic bottle with a bit of almond milk before, fry up the bacon ahead of time and cut up the avocado fresh on site 🙂
Camp mugs are care of Crowfoot Media. A company created and run by one of my childhood and high school friends.
Our last day was a decent 4 hour trip with only 2 portages home. One from Burnt Island to Baby Joe and from Joe to Canoe Lake.
One of the best parts of the trip was seeing how happy and calm Rogue was out in nature. She’s definitely not a city dog and I can’t wait to take her on more adventures where she’s in her element. She had such great recall on this trip and she very rarely ventures far from either Mike or I. One happy puppy = Happy Mike & Robyn.
Happy Canoe Tripping!