on November 11, 2000
When we checked in with Parks Ontario at Canoe Lake, we were given our little yellow garbage bag, and warned about bears. The bears, it appeared, were bad this year.
'Hang up your food,' they warned. We had rope and a food barrel, and we were prepared to hang our food. Each site we camped at, we made sure we found a good, tall tree with a nice, strong branch so we could hang our food. Whenever we met up with Park Rangers, they asked if we'd seen any bears...or told us of bear activity in the area.
As we paddled, we kept our eyes peeled (ouch! that always sounds so painful!) for wildlife...bears, seen from the safety of a canoe, would have been cool. A moose, or even deer, would have been neat, too. Did we see bears? Did we see moose? Did we meet Bambi?....NO!
What did we see?
Loons. These water birds are quite common in Algonquin Park, and if you sit still in your canoe, making no noise, you can probably get them to come within a metre of your canoe. Their familiar call was better than any rooster at waking us up in the morning.
Frogs & toads. How do you tell the difference? The warts, of course! We found them on land, at our campsites, and occasionally on the portage trails.
Bugs. Mostly mosquitos, but the occasional deerfly or horsefly came by as well. I was just happy that blackfly season was over...they're worse than mosquitos in my book.
Raccoons. The only run-in we had with Rocky was our last night, our second time on Burnt Island Lake. As we sat around the fire, we heard something in the food tree. We shone our MagLites up at the food barrel, and lo! and behold...a family of raccoons was in the branches around our food, and one of the little ones was even sitting on top of the barrel. They didn't get in to the food, but they did chew their way into one of the backpacks...and ate most of a bottle of vitamins. We figured they ended up really healthy or really sick.
So, no moose, no bears, but lots of loons and bugs. Typical.
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