Algonquin Park Canoe Trip

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Get ready for a picture overload!

I am loving my summer bucket list. It’s making me love life and super happy to have all these experiences. Early in the Spring I was invited to join a canoe trip up to Algonquin Park and couldn’t have been more excited. I met everyone through the Lululemon Run Club on Queen Street West that I attended throughout the winter & spring and have formed great friendships from it.

So six of us headed north last Friday morning on our wilderness journey. We rented ultralight Kevlar canoes from the Portage Store on Canoe Lake. We had mapped a decent route that would take us to Tom Thomson Lake the first night and then Burnt Island Lake on our second night.

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We hit the water on Canoe Lake and due to my obsession with the death of Tom Thomson begged and pleaded to go see his “initial” gravesite. He’s not actually buried there anymore but in Mowat cemetery on the same lake. Rumour has it that he was dug up and buried on his family plot near Owen Sound Ontario but many years later a body was dug up at the site we visited. At first it was believed to be an aboriginal but due to forensic advancement it was proven to be Tom Thomson. When we hit the dock to the gravesite memorial I went running up the hill leaving Michael my canoe partner madly holding onto the dock. I was that excited to see it.

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20130730-162936.jpg Sarah and I even did some good old fashion wilderness yoga in front of the totem pole memorial and there may have been some levering done by Sarah & Marek on the cairn. I may have yelled at them to get off but then went with it because the picture is kinda epic. Please oh please may we not get in trouble for this.

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I had to include this picture. Because my friends are hot and have sexy muscles canoeing 🙂 So we headed off to handle 4 portages. Picture below of Marek powering through with the canoe and Daniela with the “Taj Mahal” (our massive tent)! Our canoeing teams traded off carrying the canoe each portage. Everyone carried their pack and Sarah who is an absolute rockstar carried our heavy heavy food barrel every single trip. She’s badass. Michael definitely did most of the heavy lifting for our tandem and saved me on two portages when the canoe was threatening to flatten me to the ground. I would like to believe I redeemed myself on the last day on a long portage. Even dropped the canoe and realized my hat was missing and had to trail run it back to the hat and back to the water. My trail runners finally got good use!

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So we actually ate like kings and very healthy! I’m going to post tomorrow our menu as this post was going to be way to long with all the food recaps. We splurged on desserts and bulk barn candy to snack on but that’s a ok because we really did burn a ton of energy paddling & portaging. We definitely didn’t slack and I felt like we were constantly racing to the next portage or lake or campsite.

To make camp on Friday night we found an amazing campsite on the East side of Tom Thomson lake so we could watch the sun set. An integral part of the first day. The first picture in this post is just when the sun dipped below the trees. Daniela, Michael and I set up the “Taj Mahal” as we called it as soon as we hit the campsite. This tent was magical. It could seriously fit at least 7 people like sardines so 4 people in the tent was glorious. We even had a divider for girls & boys sides. Yes we’re adults. See photo below. I swear I did more to help than just hold one set of poles but the picture was snapped at an amazing time to make it look like I just hold poles 🙂

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Firewood was needed. Machete’s were used, axes were broken out. Rocks were broken. See second picture below. The boys grinned and giggled like little kids and the girls cautioned safety! Typical right…

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And then we just relaxed and enjoyed the perfection that surrounded us.

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Daniela and I were both Camp Tanamakoon campers as kids. We may have serenaded Michael on the drive up to the park and then on the water with countless camp songs. Daniela also remembered a canoe trip tradition of bringing rope for bracelets. Yay canoe trip friendship cheesy bracelets. Below was the wind shelter constructed to burn the ends of the bracelet so we could melt the ends and connect them.

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First night nothing crazy to report. We passed out before 10pm. Rockstars we are. After we packed up the next morning and did some Macgyvering on the Taj Mahal as the bag kinda sort of broke we headed back out on the water for a doozy of a day. 8 portages in total and we knew pain was coming!

20130730-203650.jpg On Saturday we found an island to have lunch on. Just picturesque.

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We found the most amazing campsite on Saturday night. We had paddled a bit around the lake and even raced three canoes from a boys camp for a campsite but we were patient and finally found a huge site. It even had a fireplace!

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We lucked out with weather and it only started to rain as we headed to bed that night. Again around 10pm and we even had an afternoon nap. I think we’re old. Thank you Mother Nature for the amazing weather! I only had to pull out the rain gear once at 2 am for a middle of the night trip to the throne box. If you don’t know what a throne box is…. you’re missing out on life lol.

And then it was time to pack up and head back to the city, but not before one last picture with my girl. I’m so glad I got to spend time with Daniela. More canoe trips please!!

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The last day of paddling was hard. We had some epic winds and waves. Marek captured a picture of Michael and I powering home. The picture is deceptively calm because we paddled through some pretty strong head winds our entire third day on the water.

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The crew below. From left to right. Sarah and her man Ian (who are freaking adorable together and Ian is freaking hilarious – we were never bored with his jokes) I had only met them once before through Marek but eased into a great time with them. Sarah was way too awesome to hang out with and more canoe trips need to be planned. Marek (or mini Marek, he’s tall but decided to squat like he had to pee for this pic) is third from the left then Daniela, Moi & Michael!

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I already want to go back. The beauty of Algonquin Park can really not be captured in pictures. You must go and experience it and let it soak in. Stay tuned tomorrow for all the amazing food we ate while tripping.

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