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Catch-all Discussions » Leech Removal » 7/25/2020 9:24 pm

hiker72
Replies: 12

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I read this thread just before our trip this past week. My wife and I both had a leech on us and we used a drivers license card to remove them. Worked like a charm - thanks for the tip jd!!

Trip Reports » July 5-7 - short trip on 3rd loop of WUT » 7/09/2020 4:51 pm

hiker72
Replies: 0

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It was a real last minute thing... the forecast looked very hot, and I figured Algonquin would be a great respite from all of the work I have doing lately in the heat. I was flipping between a three and four day trip, with my original plan being four...Finding sites was tricky to say the least, with everything being over 95% booked - ugh. Miraculously though, Little Hardy was open for the 5th. South Pincher was available for the next night, but only Gervais or West Otterpaw was available for the next night (Rainbow and everything south of there was booked). I decided to book Gervais, knowing it would be a long walk out on the final day. After some reconsideration, I checked the map again and noticed a spot on Brown was open on the 5th. Figuring the 3rd loop would be much less busy, I changed plans and decided to go to Brown, South Pincher, then out, changing my hike to three days.

I arrived at Rain Lake at 3pm, raring to go. The forecast promised lots of sun, with a slight chance of rain Sunday night. As I started on the section of trail along old rail line, I could see the sky was getting greyer and I decided to keep up a fast pace. The mosquitoes and deer flies weren't great, but mostly tolerable. I passed a couple other backpackers, then another solo backpacker along the way, not stopping for any breaks. I could hear the rumble of thunder as I got near the end of the flat section and prepared myself for the possibility of getting soaked.

As I neared Brown Lake, I met another solo backpacker with his dog. He was clearly exhausted and was looking forward to getting to the lake as he was also camping there. Lucky for both of us, the lake was only about a km away. I bolted to the southern site on Brown as the sky turned darker and the thunder rolled. I quickly setup my tent and threw my pack inside. I then changed into my sport shorts to try and sneak in a swim. No sooner was I in the water when lightening started, and I figured it wasn't the smartest place to be.

Trip Planning » Wow, the backcountry is overrun! » 7/04/2020 5:41 am

hiker72
Replies: 14

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Hey everyone,

I decided to book a short spur of the moment backpacking trip early next week on the WUT and nearly fell over when I saw how booked up everything was. I was lucky to still figure out a workable trek, but none of the sites I was hoping for were available. Over the years, weekends have become harder to navigate, but weekdays usually held a number of good selections still - not this year! I looked at the Calendar view for a number of sites and they are really filled up. Seems like a bad year to permanently close a section of the trail to boot. Excuse my rant, but if anyone out there is thinking of a trip at some point this year I would recommend booking asap!

Trip Planning » A way to find available number of campsites with the new system! » 6/29/2020 8:06 pm

hiker72
Replies: 21

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Dave, I hear you. I used to advocate for something I called 'Rapid Acceptance Testing' in addition to paradigm-based UAT scripts for this very reason. I practically begged to do this on my own initiative as I knew how the designed systems 'should' work based on daily user experience (and the myriad of choices/sequence of events) but it didn't follow the 'model' of how things were tracked and measured. Too much rigidity, too little common sense. 

Trippy, I tend to agree that this information was purposely hidden. I used to be part of the backroom meetings discussing software designs and I can see how displaying the number of sites booked on a lake would have little or no benefit to the 'shareholder' while acting as a deterrent to the user/purchaser. It's not difficult to display an existing field property on a UI - especially if it's a critical field property that must be inherently accurate to correctly process a transaction to begin with.

Equipment » Canoe Seatback » 5/11/2020 4:32 pm

hiker72
Replies: 11

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ShawnD wrote:

Pretty sure Swift recommends these in their boats. Sorry I’ve never used one.

https://www.gcioutdoor.com/canoe-seats/sitbacker-canoe-seat/

We have this exact seat. I bought it as a gift for my wife before we went on a week-long 3-person canoe trip several years back. It stayed in the middle of the canoe, so I can't speak to how it fit in other areas. I sat in it a few times during the trip and found it quite comfy.

Trip Planning » 2020-21 Hiking map error-Western Uplands trail » 4/28/2020 4:08 pm

hiker72
Replies: 13

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Wow, that is super unfortunate. I can't wrap my head around why they would do this. I've always enjoyed how quiet that section of trail is and it almost sickens me thinking I may never experience it again. Combine this with the per site flat rate mandate likely coming into effect in 2022 and solo hiking in Algonquin is becoming even less attractive. I'm thinking of investing some time and money into exploring Crown Land possibilities in due course considering the downhill and backward direction of Ontario Parks.

Trip Planning » 2020-21 Hiking map error-Western Uplands trail » 4/26/2020 3:03 pm

hiker72
Replies: 13

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greenthinker wrote:

I bet everyone who's done that upper loop knows that spot. It seems like you should go up a short steep hill (and there is a worn-enough path to suggest many folks try that), when really you have to make a sharp right, and follow along the edge of a creek. There's not a trail marker anywhere to direct you until you get very far along the creek.

Yeah, that's it exactly! Another spot I got stumped on first time was heading west toward West Otterpaw Lake. There's a small creek (maybe Otterpaw Cr?) where the path appears to go straight over but then just ends . Upon looking closer at the map, I saw that the trail appeared to follow the creek north for a piece. It was then when I spotted a small piece of flagging tape on a tree a short ways up the creek, no doubt left by another hiker who encountered the same issue. Humbling...

Trip Planning » 2020-21 Hiking map error-Western Uplands trail » 4/26/2020 7:48 am

hiker72
Replies: 13

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That’s right. I remember the first time I hiked the WUT and temporarily losing the trail at a large pond area in that vicinity. May have had something to do with beavers. The spot I am thinking of is south of Rainbow on the 2nd loop.

Trip Planning » 2020-21 Hiking map error-Western Uplands trail » 4/24/2020 11:43 am

hiker72
Replies: 13

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Just wondering if there are any updates on this? Assuming parks re-open this year, I'm hoping to at least squeak in a late summer or early fall trek and this section would be part of the plan!

Trip Planning » First trip post lockdown » 4/19/2020 1:14 pm

hiker72
Replies: 15

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I was hoping to do another canoe trip (which is rare for me as I typically hike) with my wife and best friend; I was just about to call Algonquin Outfitters to coordinate a trip out of Cedar but then everything imploded. Fingers crossed July may still be possible, and if so doing a loop through Cauchon, Club/Mouse, Osler, Nadine and down the Nippissing back to Cedar. Our last canoe trip was 3 years ago from Round through North Tea, Lorne, Fassett, Manitou and back. Amazing trip and yearning to get back in a canoe ever since! 

Steve, that's so awesome that you've spent so many years tripping with your dad and I especially hope things work out for you guys!

Cheers,
Rich

 

Equipment » Food Barrel vs. Bag Hang » 4/16/2020 7:44 am

hiker72
Replies: 20

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Reading solos' comment gave me a good chuckle and a general reminder to prep a hanging spot before Happy Hour...
I predominantly backpack and have a small Ursack where I put the actual food in and a dry bag for cookware etc. and hang them together. The Ursack is more of an 'insurance' than anything else, although I've never encountered a disturbance. We rented a barrel on our canoe trip several years ago - it came with backpack straps and it carried less awkwardly than expected. I have to admit it was nice not having to hang each day. Having said that, I'm hoping to get away with single carries on our next trip and will be reverting back to hanging to achieve that. 

Trip Planning » 2020-21 Hiking map error-Western Uplands trail » 4/11/2020 12:55 pm

hiker72
Replies: 13

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Thanks greenthinker, I really hope they don't decommission that section as it's one of my favourite areas on the trail. I love the north/western site on Loft and would be super bummed out if it were no longer a trekking/site option. I can't imagine why they would phase out a section, seeing as backpacking has increased in popularity. Fingers crossed that it's an error/oversight... Please let us know what you hear back.
Cheers,
Rich

Catch-all Discussions » Barter in the Park » 4/10/2020 7:39 pm

hiker72
Replies: 11

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Okay, not Algonquin, rather Pukaskwa. After a good hike in, my wife and I came to our camp spot only to see it occupied by several tents and no one around. The other site in the vicinity was - let's just say - less then desirable. The site occupants returned and I approached them on the matter. It turned out there were 6 of them, including two father-son groups, who had to reschedule last minute and didn't realize their site had changed. They were very apologetic and offered to trade spots but there was no way we would do that to them. As a kind gesture, they said they would go out fishing some more and share any catch. It was not a platitude, as less than an hour later we were presented with a fully filleted side of pickerel along with the cheeks. An unexpectedly delicious dinner was had by us, and the good will all around made for a super awesome 'barter'.

Fitness » Isolation fitness » 4/10/2020 7:28 pm

hiker72
Replies: 9

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My back pulled a serious hate-on for me a month ago and so I've been doing lots of stretches and core exercises to get myself back in order. Thankfully it's nothing permanent. Going forward, I plan on keeping up my stretching and core exercises. I also do a lot of (relatively) long distance running and plan on getting back to this once able. This typically involves one or two weekday shorter runs (5-8 kms) and a longer weekend run (10-18 kms). I find this great from both a cardiovascular and mental health perspective. Thankfully, I live in a rural setting so no worries about other pedestrians. I've also been thinking about getting back into a mild weight routine just to tone up the aging body a bit. This would involve dumbbells only, including arm curls, squats, presses, stair lifts etc. 

Trip Planning » Maggie Lake by canoe? » 4/10/2020 2:39 pm

hiker72
Replies: 3

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Hi Gord,
I don't know anything about the unofficial portage, but have hiked by Maggie Lake a number of times. As it is relatively close to the trailhead, the sites can fill up with hikers, especially on weekends. I believe you are correct that canoeists can only reserve the island sites. It may be the better choice for natural surroundings as the hike-in sites I've seen are well worn. I see the canoe sites are labeled black on Jeffsmaps, which means they are poorly maintained, most probably due to lack of use (which may be a bonus diamond in the rough, who knows!). 
Hope that helps.
Rich

Trip Planning » Reservations before May 14th » 4/05/2020 9:32 am

hiker72
Replies: 64

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Thanks Barry - your words regarding collective health certainly resonate. I actually laid awake thinking about this topic (and the situation overall) weighing out personal/mental health, responsibility and probability factors. I scrapped my thoughts of an outing days ago, but held to a belief that it may be done cautiously and judiciously by some who truly need the outdoor fix. I did not catch yesterday's amber alert until this morning (my bad for not having my phone), and it does make it clear to stay home unless absolutely necessary. As we are well aware, this situation is rapidly changing and I typically try my best to keep on top of the news. A very large concern involves people traveling/migrating to their cottages and potentially spreading infection in those communities. Not good.
FYI, the province's list of essential services has also been reduced:
http://www.northchannelcurrent.ca/169717

Thanks again for running such a respectable forum. Peace and safety to all.

Trip Planning » Reservations before May 14th » 4/04/2020 8:12 pm

hiker72
Replies: 64

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I understand how emotions are running high here. My mother, who is in advanced stages of dementia, is in lock down and it's painful to think I may never see or talk to her again.

But I refuse to correlate this to others acting within their interests provided it's not irresponsible. So how does one define this? Is it irresponsible to enjoy something planned - as second nature - with the greatest of caution, not harming others, knowing there's a ridiculously remote chance something bad 'might' happen that requires intervention? I go for daily walks and run the risk of getting mauled by a dog, hit by a car, or struck by lightening - is this irresponsible of me? Should one who grocery shops weekly vs. bi-weekly be labeled doubly irresponsible? Should one who is away from civilization be considered more irresponsible than others who are still interacting/living within metres of others? How do we define this and where do we draw the line? Our government has deemed the LCBO as essential, but we are to pass judgement on a considerably less harmful activity that is so vital to someone's health?

100% with Bo on this.

Board footera

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