Friday, May 29, 2015

Trip Log: Algonquin Park: Rock Lake, August 28-30, 2011

Still trying to catch up on old trip logs.  As my actual notes on this trip weren't very detailed, it's not a very extensive report, and I don't know where the pictures are…

Mum had so much fun on our trip earlier in this year, but her only issue had been with the tent. Her and dad had slept in a tent they'd gotten from my brother, a little 3 man just barely big enough for their air mattress.  We'd found a good deal on an 8 person tent and picked it up only to realize later that there was a spot on the seam where the floor and tent wall meet where the stitching had come undone.  It was easy for mum to fix up though but we didn't actually notice it until we set up at Rock Lake on this trip.

We arrived around 6:30 and quickly got the tent set up and had dinner. BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, chicken and some minute rice.  There was a beautiful sunset that night.  The kids and I were able to get some good shots of the fading light hitting the face of Booth's Rock. 

Getting a fire going that night was difficult.  I think we bought 2 bags of wood and the first one must have been a bit wet (as per usual) but eventually we got it going and the kids toasted marshmallows.

It was pretty cold in the night. I remember I spent most of the time making sure the kids were covered up (they weren't cold apparently but I was worried they were and so didn't sleep)  Bubbie and I got up and went for a walk before everyone else got up.  Breakfast was eggs, bacon, toast and baked beans for the adults…the kids had Cap'n Crunch.

After breakfast, the kids and I attended a kids nature presentation at the Visitor's centre about Algonquin in winter then we went back to camp for lunch, then back to the visitor's centre for a presentation about how to cook over a camp fire.  After that hiked part of the Booth's Rock Trail.  We went backwards, and spent a lot of time exploring the shoreline of Rock Lake where we could get off the trail.  We found a really nice little beach and rocky area that would be perfect for picnics.

We found walking the trail backwards was tough.  At that point, I hadn't done it the proper way, and now that I have, I think doing it backwards was a huge mistake.  Going the proper way, you climb hills (steep, rocky ones) but it's in fairly short bursts.  Going backwards, you basically climb about 200 steps which was really hard on the knees.  We didn't realize it at the time, but we didn't even make it to the top.  We got to a spot where you could see out over the lake (actually close to the top…another minute would have gotten us there) and had our granola bar and water.

When we got back the kids played at the beach and we got a good fire going.  It must have been the only bag of fire wood we've ever bought in a park that was dry.  It was the camp fire we always mention as the best ever.  Awesome bed of coals that would have been perfect for cooking over, never had to fan it with a lid from one of the food bins.  It was pretty damn epic.

This was the trip I'd bought the Jiffy Pop holder on, and it worked really well.  I was so excited about it.

We got some new neighbours that night.  A family arrived at the site behind and one over from us.They had a trailer full of gear and the first thing they did was steal a picnic table from an empty site.  They had 3 or 4 kids, I can't remember how many, but everyone was loud and running around like crazy.  The thing that drove us crazy though was that after they got set up (they'd arrived pretty late, like 8pm) they piled into their van and drove to the comfort station for showers (this was at about 11pm now) with the trailer still hitched up.  It rattled like crazy all around the campground, and down the road.  Then half an hour later they came rattling back to camp, and left their van lights shining into our tent for half an hour as they got everyone ready for bed.  The kids still refuse to go back to the non-electrical section of Rock Lake because of these people.  I mean seriously, they'd been there 2 hours, did they really all need to shower?  And couldn't they have been a little more careful about not disturbing other campers?  The kids were yelling and fighting, the adults were yelling at the kids…it was super annoying.

We got up fairly early and packed up.  It was raining but thankfully dad had put a tarp over the tent the night before.  This actually helped with the night chill as the tent didn't feel as damp even with the rain. We had breakfast, did the Peck Lake trail, then went to the Tea Lake dam for lunch.  Dad hauled out the BBQ and we had hot dogs.  

You know how on a camping trip, there will be a memory that stands out?  On this trip, the rude campers was one memory, the other one happened as we ate lunch.  As we were sitting down at a picnic table to eat, I asked if the bun bag was empty so we could put garbage in it.  Mum says "Fun bag?" and I started laughing so hard I nearly choked on my hot dog.  Every time I tried to explain what was so funny, I'd start laughing again.  A few weeks before, Chris and I had gone to a wedding and there was an older woman in a very revealing dress.  Chris's brother made a comment about Granny fun bags which at the time I hadn't found funny, but for some reason now it seemed hilarious.  Now we always have a "fun bag" on a camping trip.  It started out being a name we called the bag designated for garbage, but eventually became the bag my mum carries with her full of prizes and little treats for the kids.   

Looking back on this trip now, it's kind of funny.  The loud campers have become something we talk about at almost every camping trip when you hear someone being loud at night.  "Yeah, but at least they aren't as bad as those people from our first trip to Rock Lake."  And they weren't the only campers who still stick in our minds.  The people directly behind us was a couple, maybe in their forties.  Every meal they would bring out a checkered table cloth, a candle and at dinner, a bottle of wine.  It looked very romantic and sweet.

It was also the first trip where Chris wasn't there for even part of it.  It kind of forced me to do some of the things I'd always relied on him to do before.

I'm going to apologize now for the lack of pictures.  I have pictures of this trip I just can't find them so I'm posting the log as is, and will add them in a few days…I hope!