After leaving the cities, we stocked up and headed back west to Algonquin Provincial Park for 9 days camping in the forest (I should mention, “parks” in Canada are huge, wild, natural places, not the tidy, preened type we get in England). Algonquin is the oldest provincial park, having been created in 1893 to protect the forest and beavers, a place free of hunters and trappers.
It’s still a wonderful place abundant in wildlife, and Peb camped here ten years ago so he was incredibly happy to return. Our campsite, Lake of Two Rivers, was beautiful—situated at the edge of a big lake halfway across the 56-mile park. Not only had we arrived at a great time to see the blooming autumn colours of the park’s maple trees, we found numerous adorable chipmunks running around the campsite, and at night time, so far away from the city lights, the sky looked like a massive dome of stars from the lake.
After the extensive heatwave, we were a little shocked by the sudden drop in temperature, as the first few days were cold and it rained torrentially, but we went for a few walks around the nature trails and bogs anyway to look for moose, which Algonquin has more of than people. We didn’t find any, despite going out almost every day to the marshy areas where they’re often seen. In fact, one day we even met the CEO of the park, which is probably statistically less likely than seeing a moose!
Some mornings we went out at sunrise to look for them, which despite being fruitless in terms of moose, did provide us with an unbelievably spectacular sunrise over the lake. Not to mention, one morning a beaver put on a little display for us up close. We saw some amazing dams and lodges built by beavers, and one entire pond created by them—clever little critters.
There were a few hot days and we took the dinghy out on the lake over to a little island in the middle. On the nights, we had roaring campfires and s’mores (a sandwich of crackers filled with marshmallow and chocolate, wrapped in tin foil and cooked on a fire). With time to relax, I sewed new seat covers for our van and pressed some red maple leafs. All in all, a lovely week in beautiful surroundings.