Canadian Odyssey – Part Eight

Steve and Ken at Founders Lake. We didn’t drag our canoes there; we just walked around the lake and a bit. And snacked on raspberries along the way.

Steve and Ken at Founders Lake. We didn’t drag our canoes there; we just walked around the lake a bit. And snacked on raspberries along the way.

I’ve never been a fan of base-camp  canoe tripping. Algonquin Provincial Park is an exception to that rule.

By base-camp canoe tripping I mean setting up camp in one spot, paddling during the day and returning there to spend the next night or so. That sucks for river tripping. For me, the attraction with river canoe camping is the ever-changing scenery and a feeling of constant movement through time and space.

But Algonquin is  a different animal. It’s primarily chains of lakes — with occasional streams in between, many of them unnavigable. Steve, who’s been going there for three decades, is familiar with many of them and that helps. It also helps that he’s a naturalist. Steve appreciates the subtleties of the landscape and readily shares his knowledge of it. In other words, he’s a walking encyclopedia. And he makes a great supper to boot.

As mentioned in the previous post, we spent a couple of days camping on Kirkwood Lake. While there, we took day trips to explore Phipps Lake and Founders Lake. There is no marked portage to the latter; you have to do some serious bushwhacking to get there. Steve said we probably were the first humans to set eyes on it in over a decade, which made it kind of special.

Steve checks out some Indian pipe on Phipps Lake. He got some great shots using a hand magnifier and his iPhone. By the way, it happened to be his birthday. He made Ken and me promise not to sing Happy Birthday. Although we were allowed to recite random lines from the Beatles song.

Steve checks out some Indian pipe on Phipps Lake. He got some great shots using a hand magnifier and his iPhone. By the way, it happened to be his birthday. He made Ken and me promise not to sing Happy Birthday. Although we were allowed to recite random lines from the Beatles song.

§ § §
Look out guys! Thumbzilla — about to crush Ken and Steve. (I think this was taken at Founders Lake.)

Look out guys! Thumbzilla — about to crush Ken and Steve. (I took this photo with my GPS camera at Founders Lake.)

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Phipps Lake — one of several we explored on our day excursions.

Phipps Lake — one of several we explored on our day excursions.

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Ken strikes an outdoorsy pose at the falls between Phipps and Kirkwood lakes. Notice the chiseled feature, the rugged demeanor, the hole in his boot ...

Ken strikes an outdoorsy pose at the falls between Phipps and Kirkwood lakes. Notice the chiseled features, the rugged demeanor … and the hole in his boot.

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Steve holds a developing frog at Founders Lake. This poor guy probably won’t survive because of the leech attached to his side. Speaking of leeches, I still need to reimburse Steve for my share of our back country fee.

Steve holds a developing frog at Founders Lake. This poor guy probably won’t survive because of the leech attached to his side. Speaking of leeches, I still need to reimburse Steve for my share of our back country fee.

§ § §
Mama loon stretches her leg while her baby pretends to be camera-shy.

Mama loon stretches her leg while her baby pretends to be camera-shy.

Next: Back to Harness Lake

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