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10/08/2022 2:29 pm  #1

Highlands end of September

Well, I did venture out the last weekend of September on the Highlands backpacking trail.  Forecast was not promising and was quite accurate for the duration of my trip.  I do live a number of kms from Algonquin so my intention was to drag this out over 4 nights, but it became 3 nights instead.  I spent the first night at #2 on Provoking - fun site with so much acreage multiple people could stay there and not see each other.  Glorious day walking the trail - sunny, cool and breezy.  Once I was set up, I stretched out on a rock to soak up the afternoon sun.  A pleasant evening listening to loons on the lake.  I was in the tent early because I was dreadfully tired from a late night before.  Starting to doze I heard an animal's footsteps and something running by my tent at an incredible speed.  This was followed by barking.  Then a light bobbing in the darkness.  I said "Hello?".  A voice asked in a rushed manner "where's the trail? I need to get to the trailhead!"  I tried to communicate with this individual however the dog barking was overcoming our voices.  I asked if this person had a map - they responded, "it quit working".  Oh boy.  It is pitch dark, I am a solo woman backpacker and I'm going to leave my tent to respond to someone who I'd identify as in "bush panic" mode.  I lumbered out, set him on the course of the trail, and eventually got back to sleep.  Luckly, all the other days held no excitement.  Saturday was another great weather day on the trail.  I stayed at Harness #1.  I've stayed there before - brilliant rock overlooking the lake.  Chipmunk welcoming committee that quickly dissipated when they learned I wouldn't feed them.  I awoke Sunday morning to a slight drizzle.  Broke down camp before things were too wet.  Sunday I walked to Head #2.  Short hike and lots to consider for the next day.  Rain/drizzle all day.  I was fully prepared for rain but I wasn't interested in sitting under a tarp for two days looking at rain.  My time at Head Lake was super.  There were multiple grand cedar trees at the water's edge that acted like a tarp from the rain.  I sat at the water's edge for hours, reading and drawing in the scenery.  So much boat traffic on the lake.  This made me nostalgic for the days of canoe tripping.  I consider myself terribly fortunate to have seen much of Algonquin by foot and by boat.  The following day I made a choice to walk out to my vehicle a day early.  I weighed many thoughts I as maneuvered the trail, as rainwater cascaded down the "ups" onto my boots. I knew it would be another held under the tarp or by shield of a tree.  While I was completely prepared (gear wise) for that, I just considered how much I'd get out of one more night.  I do keep track of my nights in the backcountry but this night was not meant to be tallied. Shortly after I started out on Highway 60 the sky opened up with showers.  I can only recall two other times I've left early from a backpacking trip - one was a weather forecast that called for a ridiculous amount of rain that would have made leaving on the road treacherous, and one when a person I encountered on the trail left me with an uneasy feeling that I just couldn't shake.  I am pleased that I got to Algonquin this year; it was a challenge to get a reservation but of course worth it. 


Board footera

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