So a few weeks ago I finally made it to one of the most beautiful places in Ontario… Algonquin Park. I don’t know why I waited so long to make a trip there but it was definitely worth the wait.
I should mention that I have never officially camped in my entire life… I mean I have slept in a tent in my backyard and I camped in the Australian outback but it was nothing as crazy as this. I am lucky my boyfriend had every single possible piece of camping equipment necessary for living in the wilderness, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.
We packed our bags, packed a cooler and a food barrel, piled all the equipment (tarps, sleeping bags, axes, mallets, a stove, pots and pans, a tent, canoe paddles, and life jackets) in the car and we were set. We were going to bring Nick’s canoe on my car but we axed that idea at 3 in the morning when we were packing everything and didn’t feel like lifting a canoe. You can rent a canoe at Algonquin Outfitters once you’re in Algonquin Park, which is really nice. I think we only paid about $30.00 a day for the canoe and we both agreed it was well worth the money. You can also rent life jackets and paddles but we didn’t end up having to do that since we brought our own.
We left Stoney Creek, Ontario at about 3:30am and we made it to Algonquin Park by about 7:30-8:00am. It was a beautiful drive as we watched the sun rise in front of us and drove out of the busy Toronto metropolis. Luckily we were smart enough to pack our Go Pros and film some of the drive.
Once we arrived at Lake Opeongo we parked our car, unloaded everything at the dock, got our canoe, grabbed fire wood and any last minute things we needed, and loaded the canoe. Algonquin Outfitters is located right where you check in for your campsite and depart from shore so it was convenient if you forgot anything. Once the canoe was fully packed I can’t even tell you my level of fear that we had too much and we were going to tip and lose everything, but we did make it alive and dry.
The best part of the trip is that you get to canoe to whatever campsite you decide you want. The campsites are all marked with orange signs and if you see one that you think looks like it will make a nice home for a few days and is vacant then it is all yours. We canoed for about and hour (in beautiful weather) until we found the perfect spot.
It took a few hours to set everything up and it was a lot of hard work but it was a really great feeling after knowing that you put in all that work and you had four days to relax and enjoy it. I am also super lucky I am basically dating Survivorman… he knew literally every single thing we needed to do and how to do it properly. Nick even scraped sap out of a tree, cut up the end of a stick into four sections, put the sap and little twigs inside, wrapped it in paper, and lit it to make a torch that kept bugs away and gave us light, a true outdoorsman.
So… the rest of the trip… let’s just say that the weather was actually, only nice on the very first day we arrived (which was a blessing for canoeing and unpacking). We woke up on our second day and it was dark, cold, and raining… this didn’t stop at all for the rest of our time there. Normally I am the type of person where the weather makes or breaks my mood and determines how much fun I have but this was different. I actually wasn’t that annoyed with it… we still had so much fun. We took a Go Pro and explored the island in the rain and it was beautiful rain or shine. We still had an awesome fire on the second night and fished a little bit (didn’t catch anything). On the third day we moved our tarp/eating area to a more sheltered spot because it was so insanely windy and cold where we had it… but we made the best grilled cheese sandwiches and scrambled eggs I have ever had. The food just tasted better there and we agreed it was probably because it was so much more work and we were out of our comfort zone so we cherished the small things. Finally on the last full day that we had, we woke up in the morning and I suggested that maybe we pack up a day early and find a hotel in Muskoka because the weather wasn’t letting up and everything was so cold and damp. If Nick would have wanted to stay I wouldn’t have had a problem with it but he agreed he could use a hot shower, a real toilet, and a warm bed too.
We canoed in the rain back to civilization and it was a slight relief to see other people and know we made it back without tipping. We packed the car and drove to Muskoka where we decided to be ballers and stay at The Residence Inn – Marriott Hotel for $300.00 a night (neither of us have that kind of money but sometimes it’s nice to pretend you do and go all out, treat-yo-self). We stayed in a room with a view overlooking the Mukoka Warf, which was unbelievable. We had dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the lake. We had hot showers and had a lovely sleep on a king size bed. It was a nice way to end our holiday.
The next morning we woke up, got in the car, and drove home. As we came into Toronto, Nick said “ahhh it’s Wonderland!” and I said… “Let’s go”. So… we ended up spontaneously spending the day on roller coasters, water slides, and eating funnel cakes at Canada’s Wonderland (oh and we bought fast passes too just so we could keep feeling like VIPs – highly recommended). After our day at Wonderland we headed home, unpacked, and relaxed with an episode of Lost and a box of pizza.
Needless to say, spending four days in Algonquin Park, followed by a night in a beautiful hotel in Muskoka and a day at Canada’s Wonderland was one of the best trips of my life… and if you read my blog you know that I travel a lot. It was my first time doing a trip with Nick and I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun we had together, we got along so much better than I thought we would, we didn’t fight, we agreed on everything, we both helped out equally, and we laughed a lot. I am happy to know that next time we travel somewhere it will be the same… oh and we will probably be heading back to Algonquin next summer too.