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.

Cutting Firewood

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 marshmallows.

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.

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Last updated on 09/01/2003.