Algonquin Park: Shall – Dickson – Booth

Day 4: Ottawa, Monday, September 9, 10pm

Today’s theme was lingering around trying to squeeze every possible minute out of our trip. We didn’t have far to go, had every reason to believe Sunday’s weather would continue, and were guaranteed not to get any more of this wilderness-y camping stuff until next year. So we started off by sleeping in. It was, in fact, 8am before both of us were up.

The next delaying tactic was, of course, pancakes for breakfast. This year, rather than the fry one, eat one approach I used to take, I rigged up a sort of warming table, using the left over boiling water from the coffee in the pot, a bowl on top of it and a lid for the pot. It seemed to work. Our pancakes were still hot and we got to eat them all at once, seated leisurely on the rocks on the beach.

The leftover dried cherries made a nice addition.

We were on the water by around 9:45 or so. We didn’t have far to travel, and had two short portages back to Shall Lake. Wind was present, but not a factor as we headed south and east toward the 550m from Booth to Kitty Lake. We passed another rentable former ranger cabin on Kitty Lake. Hard to say which of Kitty and Tattler is the better choice.

We saw two parties along this short stretch of park. Both the first portage and the second – marked as 90m between Kitty and Farm Lake are straightforward and over easy terrain.

But for the fact that silt, sand and reeds have turned the east end of Farm Lake into a sort of beaver meadow, where the topo and the park map both show open water, getting back to the car was straight forward. The channel through the beaver meadow is along the south shore, by the way.

We arrived around 11am. We chatted briefly with a group of Americans off to spend a week base camping out of Ryan Lake. Went back to the permit office to say ‘nanny nanny poo poo’ to the ranger who doubted us. Loaded up and were on our way.

Is there something about the way the wind hits a car heading east – as opposed to west — that makes it impossible for foam block tie-downs to work properly? The setup didn’t totally fall apart like last year but there were moments where they wobbled and flopped over. We stopped three times to readjust, re-tighten on our way back.

On the upside we stopped at the Wilno Tavern for some proper Polish fare. Sausages for Martin, Pierogies for me. We were home just after 3pm. Done for another year. Where should we go next year?