Algonquin - A Perfect Weekend page #2
 
Vanna, one of our party, who happens to be of the canine persuasion (a Norwegian Buhund to be exact), inspected everything and gave it her highest level of approval. She then proceeded to find a nice little hiking trail that goes up behind the campsite to the bluffs. The view from the top is excellent.  
 
After a refreshing swim, we made preparations for dinner. We had all brought different pre-process camping meals to play a little ratings game. These packets, while expensive, make for a good meal. Most of them require little in the way of cooking (with some just calling for boiling water) and are very easy on fuel. Dehydrated, they have little bulk and weigh next to nothing.  
 
As far as palatability, most we’ve tried are good and some of them are excellent. What we really like about them is the variety. Thai chicken, beef stew, chicken primavera, spaghettini Italiano and even turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes - in a pouch no less. What can we say. After dinner, the ratings game started as we chilled out around the campfire. None of the dinners got less than a seven out of ten with the chicken getting a nine. We’ve come a long way since the times of "canned beans and today’s catch (that is if you're lucky)."  
 
The next morning was foggy and cool but as the sun rose higher, the mist soon lifted. Breakfast ranged from packaged instant porridge (not half bad, really), to pancakes with blueberries. One couple opted for (yikes!) Raman soup. The best part of the meal was when some wonderful sharing person (me, as a matter of fact) opened a package of the new pre-cooked, no refrigeration required bacon, for everyone's appraisal and review.  
 
Holly, the bacon hound (no she’s not a canine although her sister has a dog named Holly) wolfed down several slices and begged for more. (I’m shameless.) The bacon only has to be heated and it cooks up on a fry pan in seconds. Everyone agreed it was good. The downside is the price, which will keep most people away from this variation on bacon and eggs as an everyday meal.  
 
During the evening we acquired neighbors, a group of young woman, and this morning they were making good use of our diving rock. It appeared clothing was optional over there, so we tried to be discreet and keep our eyes to ourselves. After breakfast it was definitely time for a paddle, so we all set out on the water together. In no time we were going in different directions following assorted wildlife in hopes of getting a better view. As we passed a campsite directly across the lake, we noticed a group of six, eighteen to twenty something, guys fighting over a single pair of binoculars. We were impressed with their nature-loving ways until we looked back and realized the birds they where viewing didn’t have feathers, or even bathing suits. They were training their gaze on our neighbors, which explained why they were bickering over the glasses so much. Ah nature. Ah hormones. Ah teenagers.  
 
On such a beautiful day, it was surprising how few paddlers we encountered. Fortune smiled, as the only other canoe we passed carried a couple eager to share some of their secrets. We slowed to talk and they let us know of a nesting loon in the bay ahead. We moved into the bay cautiously, not wanting to frighten her, but when she saw the boat she immediately approached us.  
 
She put on an amazing display, swimming back and forth under the canoe, and then rising up out of the water with wings spread just a meter from the bow. We were overwhelmed by her beauty and unique behavior but decided to turn around and not disturb her further. We realized that this was her way of distracting us, to keep us from finding her nest.
 
Back at camp, our neighbors had left, so we were again able to make good use of the diving rock. The temperature was perfect, the water warm, and only our hunger made us finally get out of the water. Dinner was another round of dehydrated meals; once again they garnered good reviews. The evening extended through several hours of lighthearted banter, until the smoke from the fire made us lightheaded and drowsy and eager to crawl into our beds. We fell asleep to the serenading loons.  
The next morning presented us with pleasant temperatures and more blue skies. This made it difficult to start packing things in, but our time was running out. We pushed off from shore and couldn’t help glance back with some regret. Everything had meshed so perfectly, and everybody had such a great time. The paddle out wasn’t eventful until we reached the middle of Canoe Lake. The sun’s warming rays brought the wind up and the lake started to white cap. We had to do a little extra distance to ensure we were never broad side to the waves. We all reached shore intact and gathered for one final review. There were no differing opinions on the weekend. Everyone gave it a perfect ten.
 
 
 

Algonquin Provincial Park

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