Massasauga Journal - 2006
Massasauga Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Therese, Stephen, Billy, and I left our farm in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. and arrived at my brother Dave’s house in Lucas, Ohio, (while he and his family were out of town) to spend the night.
We got up, visited with my parents (who also live in
Lucas), and left by 8:30. We had
breakfast at McDonald’s in Mansfield, Ohio,
and lunch at a submarine restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Traffic was nonexistent through
After breakfast at the hotel, we got on the road by 8:30
and eventually found Pete’s Place by 11:00. We found that
Massasauga Provincial Park, in the Thirty Thousand Islands
area of Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, has many beautiful granite islands
sprinkled throughout (along with some cottages as well).
We passed several of these islands against the wind, but the wind
and we made little headway. We
stopped at site #306 (in
The wind had picked up even more since we had stopped at the campsite, so we had a decision to make: should we push on for three more miles against a steadily-increasing headwind, or should we camp at a site other than that for which we were registered? Nobody had come to claim the site by 7:00, so we decided to set up camp and move on to #333 (our registered site) in the morning (after the coming storm front had moved through).
The storm moved in around 8:00 accompanied by fierce winds and an awesome show of lightning. Long, rolling thunder cannonaded off the surrounding granite and rumbled on for ten to fifteen seconds at a time! The cold front and rain provided some relief from the oppressive temperatures (over 32ºC/90ºF) of the day. After the first line of storms passed, we were treated to an unusual pink rainbow that occurred right at sunset. We went to bed at 10:30 while the entire tent was still being lit up by lightning and shaken by thunder. The lines of thunderstorms continued throughout most of the night.
After the night of storms, we arose around 8:00 to a soaked campsite. We all had oatmeal for breakfast, packed up camp, and were on the water around 10:15. What a difference a day makes! The sun was shining, and the winds were calm, promising a much easier paddle to our campsite than it would have been the night before.
We made it to site #333 in about an hour, after winding our way
through many more beautiful islands. The
campsite (which is on
We ate an excellent meal of FBC* “Thai Curry
Chicken” and then set up camp. Therese
and I relaxed while the boys played in the sand.
Later we all went swimming out from the campsite.
It was great for the boys because the water got deeper very gradually.
After a great afternoon, we had supper of Mountain House “
Deer flies were out in force all day, and mosquitoes joined them as dusk fell. All of us had welts and blood (especially on our feet) from the fly bites. We retired to the tent and played “Go Fish” until 9:30 and then went to sleep by 10:00. We slept with the rainfly off and had great views of the stars and moon. Loons called to us throughout the night.
* FBC: recipes from “Freezer Bag Cooking” book by Sarah Svien
We awoke between 6:30 and 7:00 to a glorious morning. The boys wanted to play “Uno,” “Go Fish,” and “War” before we got up. We made FBC “Morning Potatoes” (very good – excellent) for breakfast.
Stephen and Billy couldn’t get enough of the beach at our campsite. They made up an endless assortment of games to play with each other. They played “surfing” with their paddles, made sand and rock buildings, dug holes, threw rocks, caught frogs, grasshoppers, etc., and did numerous other things that I wasn’t even sure what they were.
We read a bunch of books to the boys before having lunch of Mountain House “Chicken ala King with Noodles” (excellent). Next to our campsite was a trail that led up to the top of a cliff. After lunch we hiked up the trail to find a stunning, panoramic view overlooking the surrounding water and islands!
Later we paddled out to and explored some islands near our campsite. We found a beautiful
black hornblende and mica sand beach and interesting erosional patterns in the
granite. According to the Massasauga
When we got back to our site, the boys and Therese took a
nap while I paddled up through the middle of
After the boys’ naps, we all went swimming from our campsite and floated on an inflatable raft. Supper consisted of Mountain House “Beef Stroganoff with Noodles” (excellent) and FBC “Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Rice” (excellent). In the evening, several float planes flew low and close to our campsite. Interestingly, after every flyby the nearby loons began calling. Later we read books and played cards with the boys.
A good breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay but had no effect on the deer flies. When it got dark, we lit a small campfire that Stephen and Billy had built during the day, and we sang campfire songs together. We were in bed by 10:30 and enjoyed another glorious, clear night without the rainfly.
We awoke around 8:00, and again the boys wanted to play some cards before breakfast of FBC “Morning Potatoes” (very good – excellent). Stephen and Billy played around camp and then played cards and read books with Therese and me. When we began to hear thunder, we quickly prepared and ate lunch of Mountain House “Chili Mac with Beef” with crumbled parmesan cheese (excellent). It began to pour down rain just as we finished eating. We all made a mad dash for the tent.
During the afternoon, it alternated between patches of rain/drizzle and just overcast skies. Of course, the boys wanted more card games and books. They also made up their own games while we were tent-bound. In addition, after days of watching me write in my journal, Stephen and Billy both decided to write their own. Stephen wrote “I like going to the island and finding the black sand with the sparkles in it. I like climbing the rocks and seeing a beautiful view, and on the way back I found the way through the bushes. I like it when we ate Cheesy Chicken Rice for dinner. I like playing Uno and Go Fish and War with my dad and my brother and my mom.” Billy wrote “I like swimming and playing with Stephen in the sand.”
In the drizzle/rain we made FBC “Salmon Rice” (good – excellent). After exploring around our island, we packed up everything that we could in preparation for our departure tomorrow. The boys, of course, wanted to play cards in the tent before we went to sleep around 9:30.
We arose early this morning (7:00) to get a good start on
our way out. After eating oatmeal
for breakfast, we took down and packed up camp. Therese
wanted to get a head start on the paddle out, so she left at 8:30, and the boys
and I finished packing up and left at 9:00.
We agreed to meet at site #304 in
The boys and I arrived there at 10:00 and heard a story from Therese about her paddle over. She had gotten lost among the many islands (which looked very similar) when a slowly-puttering motorboat happened by. She showed the driver her map, and he put her back on course (in the opposite direction to that which she had been traveling and off course by about a mile). She then made her way to site #305 (#304 was occupied) just a few minutes before we arrived. [Therese wanted to have this story included as a cautionary note about navigation. While she has been on numerous trips with me, she has always relied on my navigation and has not had to make her way on her own. She said that soon after she got out paddling, she became turned around among the many similar islands. Luck was with her when the motorboat stopped to help].
All of us enjoyed a tasty lunch of peanut butter or FBC
“Hummus Wraps" (very good – excellent) on tortillas.
Then we headed toward the take-out at Pete’s Place, arriving there at
12:15. We were loaded up and out by
1:15 and stopped at Moon River Marina for pops and ice cream.
The drive toward home took us to a Travelodge in
The four of us arose early and headed home.
We crossed the border at
[ My Other Trip Reports ]
|Provided by website-hit-counters.com site.|