Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler - Triplog#26 - Access#11 - Opeongo - Days 4,5 & 6

Triplogs / Triplog#26 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Days 4-6

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Opeongo(IN) - Proulx L - Opeongo(South Arm) - Opeongo(OUT)

Day 4

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Fog shrouded our site on the morning of day 4


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Picture perfect: what a sight to wake upto, September rules in Algonquin!

It was another beautiful foggy morning on Proulx Lake. September tripping in The Park rocks!
The moisture clung to everything, making everything glisten, and the morning coffee just kept getting better and better. By 8:45am we were on water, heading up to the Crow river. It was a perfect morning, the sun had burned off the fog, and warmed our backs, not a person was in sight, none of the other sites up along Proulx Lake were occupied. no mammals were spotted either. Just loons, which is always great, but was hoping to spy a moose or two, no such luck though.

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The North end of Proulx Lake: somewhere ahead lies the Crow river


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The entrance to the Crow river: dammed by beavers

We paddled up to the mouth of the river, where it became very narrow and shallow, and then blocked by a beaver dam. It took us 20 minutes to get there from our site. We paddled back, occasionally dropping a line, not one nibble. We headed back to camp, for another day of lazing around, Bo continued to read the books generously left behind by another tripping soul. I napped in my hammock most of the afternoon. Night time was un-eventful as usual. Bo liked to go to bed early, and I usually stayed up an extra hour longer, until the snoring started to drive me nuts, Bo was right, he certainly was a loud snorer. Can't blame the fellow though, what better place to do it? I myself sleep better in the bush now, then I do at home. It is quite restful.

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American Red Squirrel: Observing this fellow,
I discovered he had many caches for his food supply
, not just one

Day 5 - Moving to Lake Opeongo

Not much in the way of fog this morning, but a blazing sun rose over our campsite, as we broke camp and headed back to Lake Opeongo. By 10:00am we were on the north arm proper. It sure was nice to see a calm lake of such large size. From the many stories I've heard, Opeongo can be quite a scary place to be in a canoe. Not this day though, as we paddled west across the north arm. After a time, we reached the west end, I was looking for the last site, close to the entrance to Hailstorm creek. I was hoping we could camp there, as I wanted to paddle the creek, looking for moose and possibly deer as well. As it turns out, the last site was occupied, and the people had a nice cedar strip canoe to boot. Although we didn't realize this was the last site, till about 30 min. later as we continued to paddle southward, following the west shoreline. Yup, me in charge, had messed up. At least we weren't drowning or lost. I had misread the lake. I seemed to have a bad habit of misreading circular shaped lakes. I had the same happen to me on Welcome lake the same year. On Welcome Lake, I misread the lake thinking the lake was bigger than it actually was(campsite placement). On the north arm of Opeongo, the last campsite before Hailstorm creek, seemed to me to be the second last site, so in this case, The lake was bigger than I thought, or so I thought. No I just missed spotting an 'x' number of sites, and became confused. I think that my perception gets a little messed up with circular shorelines, and trying to interpret a sense of scale from the map. We continued to paddle downwards, and eventually I spied a small landing, and got out to stretch my legs. Wondering around I discovered the landing was actually the portage to Langford Lake, though the portage sign was missing(later reported to park authorities). So now I knew where we were. The question was where do we go from here?

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Many islands guard the mouth of the north arm


Personally I didn't feel like spending money on a water taxi to get back to the access point, and since it was a nice day out, I suggested to Bo, that we paddle south a bit to the mouth of the north arm, and check out the island sites there. We paddled and around noon. observed that all the good sites were taken and so we continued farther down. Bo was of the mindset of staying in the south arm, as it would gives us an opportunity to visit some smaller lakes on a side-trip, to do some Speck fishing. I was surprised as we paddled Opeongo as to why Bo never bothered to troll for Lake Trout. I learned from Bo, that he doesn't really fish for Lake Trout.


Speckled Trout is Bo's preferred fish, pretty much his only fish he likes to catch. Just before 1pm, we arrived at our site for the next 3 nites. It was a fantastic site! Located on the western shore, at the top end of the south arm, situated on a point, where I could sit by the water up on the rocks and watch the motorboats zoom by. I didn't mind, I expected motorboats here, it just that I didn't expect them on Proulx, which made me miserable for an hour.

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A close-up of just some of the 59 loons we encountered in one flock!

One very interesting thing both Bo & I observed was a gathering of loons. It was the largest gathering of loons either of us had ever seen. We both counted 59 loons! yes..FIFTY-NINE! Unbelievable. Bo surmised that there was a celebration or perhaps a wedding going on in the loon world. I figured they were feeding in a popular spot, according to the Lake Depth Maps of Algonquin, the part of the lake where the loons were, was the deepest in all of Opeongo(all arms, including Annie Bay). Maybe there was schools of trout they were snapping up, or maybe it was in fact the buffet dinner at the reception of the loon wedding, who knows.

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Exiting the north arm, I spied what looks like a wind vane

                    

Day 6

I was awoken up at 4:30am by a motorboat passing by! I went back to sleep, and slept in till 8am. It was yet another fantastic September day, and the lake was even calmer than the day before, it was almost like glass.

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Watching the world go by: Opeongo Outfitters water taxi


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Lazy days of September: Some folks take relaxing to the extreme!

 


Sunny skies with puffy white cumulus clouds...fair weather. This day we both lounged around. Bo reading his books, got his finger bit by a chipmunk. Me, I read, took pictures, and watched the world go by. 

       north arm image

        Calm waters on Lake Opeongo



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This chipmunk was hungry for Bo's blood

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     Our campsite on Opeongo's south arm

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         Sunset on Lake Opeongo

 

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