Day 1 - August 21, 1999
Route: Magnetawan L., Hambone L., Ralph Bice L., Little Trout L., Queer L.
Distance: 8 miles
Portages: 135, 295, 435, 175
Travel Time: 2:00
We started the day near Niagara Falls, NY. We drove to Algonquin Outfitters
to pick up our canoe and headed to the access point - Magnetawan Lake.
We reached Magnetawan Lake nearly 3 hours later than we expected. We would really
have to move quickly to reach our campsite by dark.
We had been planning to change into our jeans before hitting the water. Since it was
warm and sunny, we opted to wear our shorts into the park rather than jeans. This was not
a decision we would regret.
We quickly crammed everything
that wasn't already packed anywhere it would fit and got the gear to
the water. We finally get under way at 3:50. It had been eleven
years and it was great to be on the water of Algonquin again. Much
to our own surprise, we moved quickly and reached Queer L. in just
over two hours.
We found a campsite on the Southeast side of the lake. After setting up the tent,
we went to fetch water. Unlike previous trips, we were using a water filter to get
our water. Since neither of us had used one before, we both wanted to pump the water.
As the trip wore on, the novelty of the water filter wore off and fetching water was
the most disliked chore.
Before entering the park, we
stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants in Kearney. While there,
we decided to buy some marshmallows. Who cared if they weighed a
pound. They would be great for toasting and for our hot cocoa. After
our water gathering, we discovered that a chipmunk had gotten into
our marshmallows. Fortunately, the chipmunk munching had been
concentrated on one spot and we were able to salvage most of the
Sunset on Queer Lake
After dinner, it was time to hang
our food pack. I had brought a rope which had a pulley attached to one end. The plan was to toss
the pulley over a branch, string another rope through the pulley and hoist the food pack. One
problem with this plan was that this campsite had no branches that were large enough to
support a food pack. Instead, we spent the next 45 minutes feeling like idiots while we tried to
hang our food pack with a rope tied between two trees. We did get the pack up but it
was barely much better than having it on the ground.
With the food pack hung, Seth
started the fire so we could roast some marshmallows. While around
the campfire, we heard several loons in the distance. We went to
sleep between 10:00 and 11:00.