Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Perfect Day

Friday July 24, 2009 was the perfect day. Sitting on the shore at dinner time on a rocky point on Ralph Bice Lake, a perfect flame broiled burger perched on one knee and a cold beer in hand, I surveyed the scene of perfection around me. Spectacular Alquonquin Park scenery, incredible silence and a feeling of accomplishment surrounded me and I was at peace.
What made the day so wonderful was the effort that was required to be here. We had set off early that morning, my brother Ryan and I and our boys, his two sons and my two, four excited boys all under the age of nine.
After registering in Kearney and checking in with the outfitters, we proceeded for a 50 minute drive into the park down a sometimes very narrow logging road, arriving at our first checkpoint on the shore of Magnetawan Lake. We loaded up our gear into the two canoes that were waiting there for us and started out across this very small lake, arriving at our first portage point in minutes. Walking the trail with a canoe on my shoulders, I was happy that the first portage was a short one and we were soon again paddling, this time across Hambone Lake and deeper into the park. By the time we crossed Hambone Lake, completed a longer portage into Ralph Bice Lake and found our site it was mid afternoon. We set about putting up tents, gathering wood and exploring the area around us.
The discovery of bear droppings near our site and the sound of loons swimming by caught the attention of the boys and they marveled at the quiet and beauty of our new temporary home. By the time dinner was ready, we were all starving hungry and the meal was delicious. Sitting in front of our fire, with the sun setting and the loons calling was a great way to cap the end of our first day in beautiful Algonquin Park.

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