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September 2019
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The bear necessities

So school’s out for the summer, and the girls have just finished their first week of summer camp, loving every minute of it. So much so that Millie came home on Wednesday night and asked to go to bed, as she was so tired after all the activities.

School ended on the Wednesday lunchtime, and we then had a great evening at Tammy and Jon’s bbq, including a brief discussion on the merits of leaving the house at the crack of dawn when going on holiday to get on the road as early as possible and not waste the whole day. Is it a surprise that all the dads wanted to leave early and all the mums wanted to stay in bed and leave later?

Thursday 24th June is St Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec – the French Canadian National holiday, where everyone is almost forced to take it as holiday (as opposed to the 1st July which is Canada Day (the English holiday), and Quebec almost forces you to spend the day working or moving house. So we took the opportunity to make a long weekend and head to Algonquin – and to try to see a Moose. So I was up at 6am, loaded the car, and then after waking Jo and the girls and putting the canoe on the roof we were off by 7.20am and at the East gate of Algonquin by 12.30pm.

A quick lunch and a stop at a garage to fix the windscreen wiper that decide to not to move during one of the biggest rain storms we’ve driven through. It makes you realise the openness of Canada as for the last 250km it was just trees and lakes, we must have only passed through a few small towns.

Friday saw us heading into the park for a day’s canoeing. We went to the Source Lake access point and paddled three lakes, with short portages in between. Our first family canoe trip. The girls did a little bit of fishing as Jo and I paddled, but most of the time they were happy just to talk and watch the world go by. Moose sightings – zero!

As we woke on Saturday it was heaving down with rain, which eased a bit during the morning. With the girls not wanting to budge, I headed out in the canoe onto Hay Lake (right next to our cabin), and enjoyed a couple of hours paddling and fishing in the rain. As the sun came out in the afternoon we went back to the parc and visited the Algonquin Logging Museum. This was well worth a visit, there was a short film and then a series of exhibits along a 1.5km walk. It showed you want life was like for the early loggers, and then how things changed as the industry moved on. Then it was onto a another short walk and and the chance to see more beaver dams and lodges. Moose sightings – zero!

We drove for around 50km through the parc to see some more (and to try to see a moose), and ended up a canoe lake for an evening meal. We’d been told that moose sightings were more common either in the early morning or at dusk. So early evening we slowly headed back along highway 60 trying to see a moose, but no luck. We pulled into the visitor centre, and headed out onto the observation deck with a real impressive view over a wide valley below. Moose sightings – zero! Bear sightings – ONE!!!!! It was great to see a bear even if it was some distance away.

So we left Algonquin with the following wildlife stats, Bears – 1, Skunks – 1, deer – 1, beaver – 1, chipmunks and squirrels – loads, Moose – zero, trout – zero!

A good weekend.

1 comment to The bear necessities

  • The Penhalluricks

    Hi guys, glad to see you’re having fun! Unlucky on the trout and moose, maybe next time. We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks time when we’re over on our road trip, and hope that it’s not TOO wet!

    All the best,

    The P’s (Andy, Fiona, Eva & Beth)

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