Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring is finally here!

It's official.  At least here, it feels like spring.  Today's temperature is supposed to get up to +11 and the sun is shining. (And won't it be great to get back into the habit of not having to specify a plus or minus when discussing the temperature?)  After yesterday's rain, our yard closely resembles a swamp (I kid you not, I heard Red Wing Blackbirds out there this morning, so I'm not the only one who confused the area with wetlands.)

Apparently, in Algonquin Park, it's a different story.  We are heading up there tomorrow, but from what I've just read, the Cross Country Ski trails are still open, though conditions might be iffy.  We'd planned to just have a picnic, maybe see if there's enough melt going on for there to be moose hanging around the roadsides, but it doesn't sound likely.  We'll still picnic and maybe feed the birds at the Spruce Bog
Trail, it'll still be great.

It's not too long till the opening weekend, and for anyone looking to head out to the back country as of the last Saturday in July, you should be aware, Algonquin Park has posted an advisory saying they won't be issuing back country permits until at least May 8th.  A really cold winter and slow spring thaw has resulted in apparently, record high levels of ice depth for early April.  Now we could still get a few weeks of super hot weather and lots of rain, but as of now, canoe camping is being delayed by a few weeks.
From Friends of Algonquin Ice out Page

There are some people who are mad, mostly people who have already booked their trips for that first weekend of trout season, and I get it, I do.  Getting time off work can be tough, rescheduling it even tougher.  Not to mention, after a long cold winter, we're all aching to get out there again.  On the other hand, some good arguments can be made.  Booking a trip for opening weekend is a risky proposition.  If the ice is actually out the dangers of being on the water are very, very real.  But even disregarding the safety issue, in the last few years, ice out hasn't been early enough to allow water travel on the last Saturday in April.  The trend does appear to lean towards earlier ice outs over the long term, but that's no guarantee.  If you aren't willing to risk having to change your plans, just plan your trip for a few weeks later right from the start.  Or switch to front country camping.

As much as my husband and I have been itching to get out in the canoe, neither of us are willing to risk an accident when we have kids depending on us.  So we'll wait a few extra weeks, do some car camping…and stare out at the lake willing it to warm up.

Has anyone got trips booked for early May?  What trips are you most looking forward to this year?

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