Bonnechere River Trip

Algonquin Park, May 10 to 15, 2005

Day 1

Riverland Camp Ground
Bark Lake, near Madawaska
11:20pm, May 10, 2005

Many things are worse than having to set up your tent in the rain.

Anyway, that was this evening. We drove out to the park from Nigel's place, leaving just after 6pm. The trip took about three hours for Terry and I. We just drove straight to this trailer park campground, where for $10 per tent per night you have a launch pad to all the access points along Algonquin Park's south edge.

Nigel, John, Scott and other John, who later we would name "Naked John", went to drop the car at Basin Depot, close-ish to where we'll be finishing on Sunday. This is a significant change. The original plan (back in late March) had been to go to Round Lake, but Nigel's subsequent research suggested that that was a touch ambitious. If we do make it to Round Lake, Nigel reckons we can get a lift up to Basin Depot to get the car.

We drove through some rain and arrived here just before 9pm. The sky had cleared and we saw the moon and stars. We were pretty sure the weather gods were just teasing. But just before 10pm, the rain started.

Terry and I holed up in his tent, waiting for the others to arrive and for the rain to stop, yea not in that order. We got half of our wishes.

They got here around 10:30pm and we hung out in cars and tent until we either exhausted our patience or surmised that the rain was in for a long visit.

Eventually, something brought Scott, Nigel and the two Johns out of the car and we moved as quickly as we could to set up the tents as the rain came down.

Tip of the day: yes, you can set up an MEC Wanderer 2 without getting it wet, but you must do it in the following order: fly, footprint, tent. Nigel politely waited while I did footprint, fly, tent and got the footprint soaked.

Bonus tip of the day: don't get separated from your gear. My gear was in Naked John's car, while I rode up with Terry. Had it arrived with me, I would have had my tent set up well in advance of the rain, and wouldn't have had to suffer through Terry's jokes. Kidding Terry. Really. Mind you, I wouldn't have been able to bring you the first tip of the day.

So what to say about our campsite. It's a trailer park. I'm afraid we won't have much protection from bottle kids in these tents. Good thing we're only staying one night.

It's a private campground, probably a good staging point for access points on the south side of the park. But it's not scenic, there's lots of noise from highway 60. There's a toilet, a sink, and a shower which may or may not have hot water, and a bar - the Black Bear lounge. We didn't go to the bar. At least not that we're admitting to.

More things that are worse than putting up your tent in the rain:

Okay. This means I need to quit whining and go to sleep. The rain seems to have calmed down now, and the barometer is steady. Wish us luck.