Algonquin – day 11

Day 11.  Daisy to Magnetawan. 5.8km travelled, 555m portage

It rained throughout the night until just before dawn, when it let up just in time for me to find my way through the dark, hemlock crowded path to the box at the top of the hill some 50 meters at least. I was not at all certain that I would find it! Returning to the campsite, I was saddened to see that our little mouse visitor had drowned in our water bucket sometime during the night.

We sat on the rocks overlooking the long view south, where departing clouds, dotting the now-blue sky, reflected wondrously in the calm morning waters. A slight convection fog trailed the water around the east side of the island where morning loons swam up the lake.

Awash with emotion, I packed up camp for the last time on this trip, surprised by the intensity with which I felt my sadness. I continued to cry during the paddle through Daisy.

I really did quite love that picturesque and welcoming site and hope to share it one day with family or friends.

Too soon we were at the dock that began the portage to the Pond, passing through the narrow, lily pad-lined channel on the way. Then, we were on the Pond itself and soon skirting our way past the small 55m portage between it and Hambone by getting out of our canoe and wading, while lining the boat over the rocky but watery-enough passage.

The morning was a beautiful one in which to end our days, with blue skies and a cool breeze. We paddled past a few campsites on Hambone, imagining future trips introducing family to the park. On one, a family was camped and they said it was the largest site in the park and a real beauty (in their opinion). The view across the lake from it was lovely too.

On to Magnetawan, where we paddled past the takeout to explore the shoreline and campsites there. Around to the southernmost campsite we traveled, to a site with a great outcrop of granite overlooking an island studded bay, where I imagined myself perched and writing… a solo trip one day? Sadly, the site itself was in poor condition, but its sense of privacy still led me to believe it could be redeemed.

All of this extra paddling made us more tired than we’d thought it would as we made our way back to the takeout, where crowds of weekenders were headed out for Ralph Bice Lake. Note to self- avoid Fridays at this access point in the future. The culture shock was intense after 11 days of silence. It hit me like a diver coming up from the deep too fast.

The same condition was present at the lodge, where we spent much of the afternoon unpacking, drying out, sorting and doing laundry to begin our preparations for next week’s trip back in to the Park.

We texted our friends some brief news of our trip , using the Wifi signal in the restaurant, and were dismayed to learn of the shooting death of a woman in our beloved hometown. More culture shock… so much pain exists in the world of humanity.

I am so very sleepy now, as is evidenced by my handwriting here. It is a boisterous crowd of weekenders here at the Lodge, drinking and partying around cabin porches and campfires. Quite a bit different than our experiences at Hay Lake Lodge. The peace of sleep will do me good.

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