Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mizzy Lake Trail, Algonquin Park

One of my favourite trails in Algonquin Park is Mizzy Lake. It's apparently a trail where you will see lots of wildlife, but you will see more if you arrive very early in the morning. 

The trail is 11 km long and although not very taxing with respect to climbs up and down, it is a rugged trail with many roots and rocks all along the trail. With all the rain we've had this year from spring and right through summer, the trail was a muddy mess too. There were so many muddy areas that we had to squeeze around and tip toe over, that it really slowed down our progress. Usually this trail takes us about 3 hours to complete, which include a couple of breaks at pretty lakes and time for snapping photos. This time it took us 5 hours to finish!! We were slowed by the mud, we were slowed by the photos and we stopped under a relatively dry spot for a while during a heavy deluge of rain. My husband was not a happy camper. I enjoy the trails no matter what the weather, but he got awfully grumpy during the rain. I'll admit it wasn't that pleasant at that point, and actually by the end of the trail I too had had enough of balancing on rocks and roots to get across mud, but it's such a pretty trail that I shouldn't complain. When it rained, we were at the bottom of a hill and the water was instantly running down the path from above us in a solid river of water! The ground is so completely saturated right now that the water is unable to disperse. I doubt this trail will be dry even by the fall. There was one trail that was closed completely "due to flooding" ... never seen that before.

My husband claims he will never walk that trail again, but I hope he's not serious because I love the tangled woods we get to explore. We didn't see any moose, but we were following fresh tracks after the heavy rain of one soggy moose. We saw where he disappeared off the trail, but couldn't see him at all. Here are some photos of the trail ... hope you like them as much as I enjoyed walking the trail. 

lots of pretty creeks alongside the trail, the sound of gurgling water drew us
away from the path a few times

Not even the beaver dam at the bottom of the photo is holding back all the water this year!

This was the "drier" half of the trail

My happy husband ...  before the rain storm

a bit of mud ... it got a lot worse, but no more photos of that

a melancholy cormorant

he didn't bother with us walking past him ... he just wanted to sleep

Wolf Howl Pond

I love this beaver meadow. It's completely still, completely quiet.

We surprised a loon that was right up beside the path.
Beautiful markings when you see them so close like that.

Not sure if this was the same loon, but he sure made a racket flapping across the water.
I think he was trying to distract us from a family, but we didn't see any babies in the water.

The last water shots were at Dizzy Lake, the last small lake on this trail. It's always a relief to see that final numbered post here and know that you're close to the finish of your long walk. 

Thanks for stopping by today!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rock Lake, Algonquin Park

I know I've been adding posts quite rapidly here this week ... I'm still on vacation ;)  Most likely I won't get a chance to visit the computer much again for the rest of the summer as all my daycare charges return tomorrow. These past two weeks have absolutely flown by, as good holidays always do. We returned home from camping on Tuesday and have spent this week really just chillaxing around the house. We are always so busy in the park, that coming home is quite a let down for me.

Anyway ... thank you all for your kind comments on my dad's birthday yesterday. I was surprised at how sad I was all day all over again, but grief is a process as I've learned already when my mom died years ago.

Today's post is to show you a very pretty rapids we found this summer. Rock Lake is a beautiful lake within Algonquin Park. There is a crowded and not-so-nice campground along it's shores, but the lake itself is very impressive. There are very high cliffs in a couple of spots around the lake. One has a hiking trail across the top with great views overlooking the lake. The other cliff boasts some ancient pictographs painted by aboriginal people. You can only view the pictographs by boat.

We took our canoe out on Rock Lake one morning and paddled around it for about five hours. We visited the east side of the lake which has the pictographs and my husband took a few shots there. I have to say that we purchased a new camera (at long last!) just before we went camping. My husband likes to work through the manual and figure out all the settings. (I just like to take photos.) Needless to say, I was not given much opportunity to use the camera unless we were back in our campsite. I kept my comments to myself, and just admitted that this summer I would not be taking many photos. The following photos were all taken by my husband. When we paddle in the canoe we cannot easily pass things between us (unless we can toss it ... can't safely toss a camera), so once my husband had the camera in his hot little hands he kept it for the entire journey :(

The pictographs are wearing away, and some of the rock face has fallen away and taken some paintings with it. Below is the shot of a figure of a man with rabbit ears (centre) and some red slashes. Difficult to see, right? 

I've highlighted it in an older photo below.

It's a shame there's no feasible way to protect these fading images, so we like to have a look at them whenever we're on this lake. We then paddled down a long arm of the lake where it ends at a portage. What a busy portage!! There were many canoes and lots of folks getting in and out of their canoes. We decided to paddle past the portage and pulled up in a quiet spot on our own to wait for some of the crowd to thin out over at the portage. Where we stopped we could see the pretty rapids tumbling at the end of its run. Eventually enough people left the portage spot so that we had room to pull our canoe up. The portage leads you to a smaller lake, Penn Lake, and there are quite a few back country campsites there. We often just hike along a portage trail to the next lake before we decide whether or not we want to paddle on it. This trail had a detour to see the rapids, so we took the detour.

The bottom of the rapids were we first stopped.

The following photos are the rapids further up the river. The roar from these rapids was enough to drown out our voices when we stood right beside them.

Here's where I got the camera ... I told my husband he had just walked through poison ivy and should probably wash off his leg. If you wash the oils from the plant from your skin immediately, it won't turn into a rash. He asked me to hold the camera while he daintily stuck his leg into the frothy waters ;)

This is at the very top of the rapids where there was a nice log jam. Beyond that is Penn Lake.

When we got back to the portage, there were still more people pulling up to make the trip through to Penn Lake. We were both surprised at the number of canoeists there, especially for middle of the week. It's funny seeing what people bring through the woods. One lady with a group of older women was pulling along her suitcase with a long handle and wheels! Bumpity bump! along the rocky, muddy trail.

the start of the portage
 That was it for us. We paddled our way back to the truck and my husband took some photos along the way. The worst part of him having the camera was when I would see "a shot" and had to ask him to please take a photo ... sheesh!

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Birthday

Today is my dear ol' dad's birthday. As most of you know, he passed away in March of this year, and sadly we will not be celebrating with him anymore. Today he would have been 94. He had a good life, but I sure miss him today.

Happy Birthday Dad!

These photos are how I remember him best ... always enjoying a good long bike ride 
and enjoying the sunshine.

cycling in rural Burlington where he lived

his only back country camping trip on Little Joe Lake (his name was Joe too) in Algonquin Park in 1958 ...
they sure rented out nice canoes back then!

Cheers Dad!

love you and miss you,
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