Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler - Triplog#3 - Canisbay Lake

Triplogs / Triplog#3

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This was a quick 2 nite trip to the paddle-in sites on Canisbay Lake. I had tried all summer to get up to Algonquin, but my work schedule wouldn't permit it. Finally on Friday September 27th i was able to get away at 1pm. It was pouring rain in Toronto that day, and my friend Jp & I drove up in the pouring rain. Once we hit Gravenhurst, I started to get worried it was still raining. Luckily, by the time we hit Bracebridge, the rain stopped. We stopped in at Algonquin Outfitters on Oxtongue Lake, The staff there were friendly and very helpful. Next we drove straight to the campground office at Canisbay Campground. We were directed to park and launch on a small beach west of the larger beach at the campground. finally just after 5pm, under cloudy and cool skies we launched. I had never camped in the fall before, and although I had much to learn, I knew enough to look for a site on either the west or north shores to keep out of the wind, and to catch the morning sun. This was not to be so. The first 2 sites on the west shore were occupied. it was starting to get dark out, and unprepared to paddle in the darkness, we started to paddle faster. Jp suggested we paddle to the first sit eon the east shore, as it was unoccupied. I knew why it was unoccupied, but it seemed we had no choice, so we landed and began to set up camp, only 30 min after we had started off on our journey.

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Dusk on Canisbay

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With a disposible camera, I tried to catch
the fading rays of the sun on the water


The landing had a nice sloping rock face, and a huge firepit, with a high backed rock to protect it from the wind. The night was cool, but it did not rain as we huddled around the fire, as night fell quickly. The next day it was cold, and because we were on the east side of the lake, we got no sun. There was still full foliage on the trees, so the shade was heavy. I set off exploring the forest and managed to stumble upon the next site farther up the lake from us. It was a small dreary site, and was thankful for the one we had landed on. By Lunchtime, Jp was huddled in the tent as she was cold, for the sun was still obscured by the trees. I set off exploring the forest some more, this time south of our position. I came upon a point, and around the point was a small shallow bay, with lots of rocks to sit upon, under a gleaming september sun! I ran back grabbed JP, and we spent the afternoon basking under the sun. It was warm, and the water here too was warm has it was shallow with a sandy bottom. We saw a few loons, and a canoe paddle by.
By evening the wind started to pick up, our fire ended up being a really bad smoky affair. with the wind coming off the lake, the smoke blew back in our faces, and standing to either side of it, we were either on our heels(slope), or we couldn't feel the heat, as the wind whipped the flames in different directions. it was cold that night, but it did not rain. We slept in summer sleeping bags on a huge queen sized air mattress. A big mistake. For the next morning, Sunday it was, we woke up and were stiff as boards. The wind during the night went right thru the air mattress, chilling us.

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The rust coloured shoreline on Canisbay


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Here the hills weren't as red, but they still appeared brown in colour

While packing up, we could hear moose calling on the opposite shore in the hills, it was the time of the 'rut'. We never did see any moose, but just after we heard the moose, I heard what at the time I thought was multiple gun shots ring out in the morning foggy air. Thinking back i realize now that what I had probably heard was a 'bear-banger' going off, and the sound of it was echoing around the surrounding hills. It came from the north end of the lake, but was never repeated. We could also hear traffic from the highway, the fog carrying the sound much farther than usual.

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The Warmest part of our trip:
Sandy, warm, sunshine filled shallows


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The view form the Visitor's center: Looking northwest


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Visitor's Center: A good view of the formation of a Spruce Bog

Once packed, we paddled back to our car and headed to the visitors center for breakfast and to have a look from the observation deck. Out on the deck it was a warm hazy day, and we were able to see some fall colours. Although all the colours we had seen, were rusty looking. I'm not sure if this had to do with the drought from the year before or what, but we never saw any yellows and very few oranges. Lots of red, and in most places a pale red, that gave the impression that the trees were rusting. Walking thru the visitors center, we felt like a couple ninety year olds. My back was so screwed up, from the cold winds sweeping thru our bodies the night before. Jp who does not suffer from back problems, was in just as much pain as I was, and it was all we could do, to hobble back to our car and drive home.

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Finally! Some orange with a hint of yellow as we traversed the highway

This was probably the worst trip I ever had, short and not very sweet. Yet for all the pain, it was great to be back in The Park again.

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