06 April 2008

Algonquin Adventures-"Park Opener" Galeairy Lake

Well it’s official; I’ll be heading out, (ice permitting of course) on a Algonquin Adventures “Opening of the Park” weekend on Galeairy Lake the weekend of April 25th. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive at first, as I am a new “member” to the Algonquin Adventures, but after a few postings, comments and enquires I have quickly learned that the group is comprised of very wise, open minded and above all else kind folk.

The idea of getting back in the park is incredible exciting to me, especially this year as it will be the first year I have my own canoe. That added with the fact that I’ll be able to put faces to some of the people on the Algonquin Adventures web sit that I have gotten to know over the past month on the sites Forums, makes for a nice “added bonus.”

Heading out solo but ending up with a group is also really appealing, for while I have camped in groups many times, I have yet to solo a trip; perhaps this will be a good intro to soloing, of which I plan on undertaking this year in the park.

Since I have always camped with a group, or with my boys, my equipment has always been selected to accommodate at least 4 or 5 people. While I love the choices I have made over the years in terms of gear, most is just too heavy for soloing, so in preparation for my trip I got to buy myself some new “toys.” My favorite being a new light weight tent made by Marmit. I selected their Limelight 3P model, not only for its weight and size, but also because it is one of the few 3 season tents I found that offered so much “ceiling window space” for nighttime stargazing, when the Tent Canopy is off. Man, I can’t wait to try it out!

As for the trip, I’m planning on entering the Park via access point #13 in Whitney and heading west along the north shore of the lake towards Farm Bay. According to the
Natural Resources Canada, the crossing of the lake is about a kilometer, so I am planning a direct crossing from the launch point, although I’ll know for sure once I get their. (This is my first venture into Algonquin Park from Access point #13). Once I’ve crossed Galeairy Lake, I’ll head towards the Park interior via the southern route towards Echo Bay and the 100m Portage. Luckily, my destination is one of the three campsites on the east side of the portage by Aubrey Lake, so I’ll be able to paddle into my site directly from Whitney with no portaging, affording me the luxury of a little extra gear.

I figure the canoe in will take somewhere around 4 hours, as I plan on taking my time, but that should leave me lots of daylight to arrive at camp, set up and met the other people who will be attending the “Park Opener,” as I will be leaving early in the morning. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Bo Knows and Markus Rubino of Mark in the Park, as they have been particularly welcoming to me.

Later in the week I’ll be posting ice updates, as right now Canoe Lake is still under about 2 feet of ice, but with the warm weather that we’ve been experiencing, along with some recent rain, I’m confident that Galeairy Lake will be thawed in time for the planned opener.

In any case, I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and enjoying the anticipation of returning to Algonquin Park.
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