May 8 - Day 2
Snowstorm at the meadow

We were all up around 7:00am, despite the big party of the night before my head was fine - I didn't drink too much. Outside though, the weather was ghastly; heavy overcast with winds picking up and some light fog. By 7:30am it started to snow! The wind brought heavy snow squalls across the lake and then the unthinkable... Thunder-snow and lightning.

white partridge lake

SmedleyCo & Bo Knows enjoy a warm morning fire as it began to snow


tarp setup
Preacher's tarp set-up... No tent, just a bevy sac and a tarp

By 9:30am the snow was starting to accumulate, we weren't going anywhere today! It was at this time that the snow was beginning to fall heavily and our hosts departed with haste else they might not be able to get out; The possibility existed the horses and wagon would get bogged down in snow & slushy mud. We bid Andrew and Tony farewell as they left in the middle of an Algonquin spring snowstorm.

WP horses

Andrew, Tony and friend head out in the snowstorm

By 11:00am several of inches of snow had fallen and I was growing bored. Staring at all that snow gave me an idea. I would build a snowman at the meadow! I threw on my fire gloves and went to work. The snow was perfect; Heavy wet packing snow, rolling easily into a ball, pretty soon I had a boulder of snow and then everyone jumped in to help and within the span of a few minutes we had 6 guys pushing around three big snowballs in the meadow. It was hilarious!

snow at the meadow

SmedleyCo (Scott) watches as the snow continued to accumulate


john Scarlett
john Scarlett collects a fresh bucket of water from the lake amid the heavy snowfall

John Scarlett donated his orange hat, some sticks and a carrot for a nose. Someone managed to find two fishing bobbers and used them for eyes. Some jokester put breasts on our snowman making it into a snow woman which also leaned to one side. Someone put a plastic bottle of beer in one clawed hand and a fishing pole in the other; Our camp mascot was complete and we all stood for a photo-op with 'Ilene' our drunken fishing gal of the meadow!

snowy canoe

Nearly four inches of snow fell in a few short hours at the meadow


Ilene: The first ever snow-gal on White Partridge Lake!

More shenanigans happened as two of our American friends decided to go for a polar bear swim. Mike & Pete stripped naked, then posing for a for a candid photo with Ilene headed for the lake. The duo then dove into a frigid White Partridge Lake and then came out of the water looking rather chilled to me.

algonquin polar bears

Algonquin polar bears: Mike & Pete get naked for a dip into the drink


Mike & Pete casually stroll into the frigid waters of White Partridge Lake

By 2pm a bunch of us went down the cart trail and joined up with the creek. Julian and I fishing some of the rushing waters as well as a few pools here and there. I caught two of the smallest speckled trout I had ever seen, small fry they were and were quickly released.

the gang at white partridge lake

Our group of ten posing with "Ilene" our mascot of White Partridge Lake

Working our way back up the creek, I caught up with Scott and joined him as we jumped across the creek and climbed through some brush unto the portage proper. The trail was actually an old road and as we followed it south we could see that it had not been maintained as a portage for some time. There was plenty of blown-downs across the old road, which would make carrying a canoe across a real pain in the back.

White partridge creek

Julian fishes White Partridge Creek


white partridge creek
Scott walks along a marshy yet navigable section of White Partridge Creek

We traversed down the road till we got within sight of the creek were it entered a marsh. Once at the marsh, one could paddle through the marsh, picking up the portage again further down the creek (where an old bridge has been removed) and crossing the removed bridge, join up with the portage again. This would save several hundreds of meters of carrying.

We headed back to camp and for the rest of the day and evening hung around the fire as it continued to snow off and on. For such a bad day weather wise, we had managed to turn a negative into a positive... Imagine that! Even in the worst of weather, Algonquin Park can be a fun place to be. It was quite the day with the temperature high of only 4°C.

the snow meadow

Keeping warm and dry around the snow filled meadow


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