Algonquin Park July 2010

A 32 km hike over a three day period.

No problem for some people, but as a first backcountry trek?  Many people may think this is crazy however if you like to prove people wrong this is the hike for you!  Especially if you love a challenge.

The first day (about 12 km) and straight up a hill.  This is no joke.  The huffing and puffing began towards the break point, Maple Leaf Lake, about half way to our destination Maggie Lake.  This is when you start to question why you decided to pick Maggie Lake as the first stop and not Maple Leaf Lake.

Maple Leaf Lake

Maple Leaf Lake

Maggie Lake

Five and a half hours after our first step we reached our first destination Maggie Lake. Words to describe the lake: beautiful, serene and peaceful.

Green trees.

Blue water.  Water perfectly ready to be jumped in for a quick shock of cold.

The best part about nature is leaving the electronics behind.

Time to set up camp, eat and enjoy the star filled night.

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Night time in the middle of Algonquin… always have ear plugs!  With ear plugs you sleep like a baby.  The next morning you will feel refreshed and appreciate the advice.  Without ear plugs all those sounds in the distance will play tricks on your mind.

The next 12 km. Day two.

Think since you are on top of the hill that it should be smooth hiking?  Wrong!  So wrong!  Up and down hills for another day (about six hours).  Make sure you filter enough water.

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Panther Lake.  The name says it all.

Covered in sweat and salt, dehydrated and tired.  Animal feces around the campsite and the sun starting to set.  This was not looking good.  We set up our camp and made our food (burned some left over bacon from breakfast – no joke), the usual.

Always find the spot where you want to hang your food while it is still light.  It can take a while to get the rope over a tree branch.  Sometimes the rope gets caught in the branch (be sure to have extra rope).

The fun started as the sun was going down.  First, our rope got stuck up in the trees we had to cut our rope shorter.  Finally, we were able to get our food up.  We had to discard our dinner.  We decided to walk a few hundred meters away from our site and discard of the food.  On our journey out, I spilled the chicken soup down my leg.  I started to panic because now I smelled like chicken.  What if an animal could smell it?  I went back to the site and scrubbed my leg with soap.

Panther Lake camp site

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Panther Lake

Day time: beautiful, sparkling, peaceful lake

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Night time: eerie, creepy lake

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The ear plugs did not come in handy, every animal noise could be heard.  Something was roaming around our site.  Needless to say, neither of us slept that night.  It was only when the sweet sounds of the birds in the early morning that we fell asleep.

7 am the alarm sounds.  High speed pack down, eat a snack bar and leave at 8 am.  Never looked back.  Back at the car in about four hours (must have set a world record).  Finally, people!

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The lesson from this back country trip: do not camp at Panther Lake

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