EGL Fall 2013 Trip Report - Rainy Skies and Pumpkin Pies
Rainy Skies and Pumpkin Pies
Four days of late autumn canoeing in Algonquin Park, Ontario. Although the fall colours were a few weeks past their prime, the forest still carried a subdued beauty, with pale yellows and leafless greys contrasting with the deep, dark green of the conifers and blues of the cold lakes and sky.
Seventeen people braved the cold and the rain to get together and chat hammocking, compare gear and have some laughs. For about half the group, this was their first hang and it was a pleasure meeting them. The other half was a motely crew of familar faces, and it was good to see them again. Some of them, like Kasuko and Jiblets go way back to our first hang back in the spring of 2011.
True to form, the weather didn't let us down, it rained on and off for the first three days but it never got below freezing and a nice fire knocked out most of the chill. It felt like the Park was trying for a last gasp of summer before letting winter take hold.
Photo Courtesy ggreaves
Goulash and pumpkin pie in the piney woods! It doesn't get much better than that!
More to come....
P.S. Hot chocolate heaven. We Canadians take our Coffee Crisps seriously!
Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live
Upcoming EGL Hangs: Winter Backcountry 2014. For EGL notifications, subscribe to the EGL Hang Notification Thread
EGL Trip Reports: Spring 2013-Late Thaw Lakers , Fall 2012-Grey Skies and Chowder, Winter 2012-Snowshoes across Algonquin , Fall 2011-Sunny with a Chance of Flurries, Video: Algonquin - Spring 2011 - Part 1 of 2
Last edited by Chard; 10-21-2013 at 15:45..
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Belleville, ON
Hammock: Hammock Universe Double
Tarp: Hennessy Hex 70D
Insulation: EE RevalatonX 20
Suspension: Ring Buckle
Best camping trip ever.
Toots and I were glad to meet all of you, and what a nice bunch of helpful folks. Looking forward to hanging this winter, too!
Despite the weather I had a great time as always. It was nice to see familiar friends and make new ones! Here are a few phone pics.
Superfly in the rain on my first night on Rock Lake. Couldn't make it to Pen lake before sunset.
Nice pic of Pen Lake on the last morning. Why couldn't the whole weekend have been like this?
Chilling with the morning coffee
My set up on the second and third nights. When you expect rain, bring two tarps.
"Kitchen rock" where many of us cooked and ate and chatted.
First trip for my Firebox Nano
Don't let life get in the way of living.
Thanks for the reports and pics. Not gonna lie, whenever I see that Chard has posted a TR, I get a little excited to see the write up and the pics. Canoe camping is the best.
I had some of that Coffee Crisp cocoa....mighty fine. Used all mine up. Been on the hunt but it is elusive.
Love the Tarp City.
Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!
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My First EGL Hang
I started hammock camping just this year, having purchased my Hennessy Deep Jungle XL in the spring. Since that time it's been put to good use on a few canoe trips and numerous backpacking outings over the summer. Always looking for like-minded people who shared my passion for the outdoors swinging between trees, I came across the Eastern Great Lakes group on Hammockforums. I eagerly read all the trip preparations and reports from previous forays into Algonquin Park organized by Chard. When the EGL trip planning thread came up over the summer for a late fall canoe trip and hang, I immediately planned to attend. I spent many summers in my childhood visiting my best friend's cottage on Smoke Lake near the west gate. We would often take the canoes in the morning and be gone all day exploring the many lakes and ponds in the area. I was really looking forward to seeing the park again.
I arranged with work for 2 days off so I could make a long weekend of it and fired up the dehydrator to get some meals ready. Our canoe is an ancient fiberglass monster reinforced for river tripping so I was looking forward to paddling something a little lighter. I arranged for a 45 lb kevlar canoe from Algonquin Bound Outfitters in Madawaska which was much easier to carry.
The plan was to leave from Rock Lake, paddle down and portage into Pen Lake and camp on one of the islands on the north end of the lake. There were 5 of us who planned to go in on Thursday, with the rest arriving Friday and Saturday. When I arrived at the outfitter there was another fellow there grabbing his canoe off the rack and he helped me secure mine to my vehicle. Once we chatted a bit, it turned out it was Chenvre from the forums and he was also on his way to the EGL hang. We shook hands and introduced ourselves and finished tying down the boats. Having gathered our permits at the east gate we headed to the Rock Lake put-in on a river at the north end of the lake. There we met Kasuko, who would be my paddling partner in the bow and waited a half hour or so for Jayson and his wife Tracy so the 4 of us could set off together. The 5th member of the Thursday group, Iguana had paddled his giant Grumman in solo earlier in the day and grabbed the west island for us which had 2 camp sites on it, perfect for our planned total of 17 hangers.
The weather forecast for the weekend was generally lousy with cloudy skies, on-and-off rain and possibly even snow flurries for the last day. It didn't matter to any of us though, I think. We all just looked forward to meeting old and new friends, checking out gear, warming up around the fire, and having some good conversation. And ... food. Lots of great food.
The paddle down Rock Lake was nice with calm waters and very little breeze. The portage, while a little mucky in spots was pretty easy. Since Kasuko took our boat over the portage, I went back and carried Chenvre's, who had soloed down Rock Lake and carried his pack over the portage already. Luckily, the rain that had been forecast held off until after we had reached our destination on Pen Lake. As we approached the west island, we saw someone sitting on a rock watching us. When Jayson's "Whoooooo Buddy!!" call was answered with a friendly wave from Iguana, we all knew we were in the right place. After spreading out and setting up our rigs, we had dinner and a small fire then retired to the shelter, warmth and comfort of our hammocks for the evening to listen to the patter of rain on our tarps.. I always sleep well in the hammock, especially with my CPAP machine. 12 hours later...
After waking up mid-morning on Friday and eating breakfast, Jayson and Chenvre set off with saws and canoes to grab some dead-fall from the mainland while the rest of us set up tarps over the fire pit and kitchen area. Expecting the worst, I picked up a 15'x20' poly tarp at Canadian Tire on my way to the park. It did a pretty good job of keeping everyone dry by the fire pit over the next few days. By late morning or early afternoon (who bothers looking at a watch in Algonquin?), another influx of hangers was inbound in their canoes and we welcomed them and helped unload the boats. Our trip organizer, Chard, steered his red Chestnut Prospector with Bubba in the bow. Also coming in were Jiblets and Keg in a Swift Kipawa (I believe), Wolvaroo and Rofo, and Quiet in his Souris River solo. We learned later that Chard and Bubba came in on Thursday late and instead of paddling in the dark, they camped on Rose Island on Rock Lake.
By now, our group had laid claim to the entire island and all had found their own little piece of island paradise to borrow for the weekend. Food was prepared, wood was processed for the fire and, with a small piece of char cloth from the tinder box he won at the spring EGL hang, Chard started the fire that would continue to be resurrected and burn until Sunday's departure. I spent the rest of the day meeting new people while others chatted with old EGL friends. We compared gear, started fires, boiled lots of water, grilled, ate and stayed out of the rain. Later in the day, Hotone arrived with his son Hottwo to join our group. Stories and laughs continued around the fire into the late evening before everyone hung their food and themselves for the night.
The first couple nights were cool with temperatures in the low single digits Celsius but, with few exceptions the underquilts and overquilts / sleeping bags kept everyone warm. Saturday turned out to be the worst day of the weekend weather-wise with light rain pretty much constantly throughout the day and changing winds. Our last arrivals 80083r and Toots arrived on Saturday afternoon. Also, unfortunately, two people had to leave a little earlier than planned on Saturday. Iguana zipped out to be there for his daughter's birthday and Chenvre was suffering from allergies that were really bothering his eyes and decided to leave before they got any worse. The highlight of the day was the community meal of Hungarian goulash, prepared by Chard, Bubba, Rofo and others using Chard's recipe. It was a really tasty stew that hit the spot after a long cold rainy day. Others prepared baked dishes (bannock, banana bread) that added to the meal. Near the end of the night, after some had gone to bed, a couple venison tenderloins were thrown on the grill for a late night feast that rewarded those who stayed up for it (Thanks Jayson, for the tasty treat!). It got down to 2 degrees C overnight.
We woke up to clear skies and cool weather on Sunday morning. As I was heading for the tarps I met Chard already packed up and having just come from a morning swim. From reading previous EGL trip reports, it seems that as long as it ain't frozen, he'll swim. Actually, I'm pretty sure if he had an ice auger big enough, he'd swim. We had breakfast, packed up camp and left the next set of campers a nice pile of firewood. Our flotilla of canoes was a little spread out but all arrived at the put-in after a leisurely paddle up Rock Lake just after 1pm. Canoes and packs were loaded into vehicles and good-byes were exchanged as we headed out. I was heading east so I didn't partake in the usual calorie consumption in Huntsville that usually follows an EGL trip to Algonguin. I arrived home having really enjoyed making some new friends and getting myself back in a canoe again. I was also very pleased with the way my equipment performed. Everything from the canoe to the SLD Winter Haven tarp to my fancy feast stove worked just as I'd hoped it would over the weekend.
I look forward to a winter hang with the group in the coming months. I really enjoyed my first one. Thanks everyone.
A lotta ins... lotta outs... lotta what-have-you's
Last edited by ggreaves; 10-23-2013 at 12:49..
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hammock: WB BB 1.7DL
Insulation: HG Incubator 0°
EGL Fall 2013 Trip Report - Rainy Skies and Pumpkin Pies
Sounds like it was a great time. I really wish I could have made it. Hopefully the spring EGL hang.
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SW Idaho
Hammock: Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
Tarp: AHE Shangi La
Insulation: KAQ Prototype
Suspension: AHE Whoopie Slings
+1 on Shug's post...me want that coffee crisp coco.
Looks like a great hang.
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Hammock: WBBB 1.7dbl
Tarp: Chinook 14x12
Insulation: Shamu IX
Suspension: Adjustable Webbing
I followed up on a few interesting points raised:
- I got some cheap goggles off ebay for around the fire
- I tried some Dutch salted licorice (triple salted variety). It was like eating a spoonful of cheap table salt.
- Mr. Canoehead! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnhCg...yer_detailpage