September 19, 2007 - Day 4
"Racoon" Arrives!

So much for frosty nights! It was getting warmer and by 8:30 am it was already 18°C. Numerous song birds appeared on the campsite. One particular bright yellow bird kept singing and jumping around from tree branch to tree branch. I enjoyed the visits as I lazed around camp. The wind picked up a little and although the waves and wind were manageable, I decided to stay ashore this day. By lunchtime the temperature had soared to 25°C and there was a hazy look to the air.

Lake Opeongo haze
The warmer temperatures brought a haze that settled over the lake

I wanted to explore the forest behind the campsite, yet there was a thick wall of bush and fallen timber blocking access. Bushwhacking my way through this was tiresome and hot work (I was wearing pants this day). After about 15 minutes I was through and into open forest. I love a good walk in the forest and in September it is fabulous, no bugs! The autumn colours weren't there yet, but you could smell in the air, that autumn was here. I made a mental note of my direction and landmarks along the way, as I headed for an unnamed lake behind the campsite, perhaps some 600 to 800m distant.

Algonquin Park forest
Walking through the forest, there was still plenty of green to be seen

After about 40 minutes of slowly wandering through the forest I noticed the land began to descend, then I came across a game trail and followed it to the water's edge. It was just after 4:00pm when I arrived at the lake. As I gazed upon the lake, I wondered what fish might be in there and wished I had had the courage to carry my canoe to the lake. It was a nice size for a small lake, easy to paddle too by the looks of it. I made my way east to where the lake emptied into a creek. I followed the creek as best as I could, back to Lake Opeongo, where I bushwhacked my way back to camp.

unnamed lake near Lake Opeongo
A lonely unnamed lake behind my campsite

Just after 6pm I decided to head out and try my hand at fishing. As I prepared to climb into my canoe, I heard a motorboat coming my way. I started thinking back to earlier in the day; The motorboat had returned again that morning, almost in the exact same spot. In less than five minutes though, the motorboat had sped off. How odd? This motorboat was closer to shore and seemed to be looking for something. Within a few moments my friend "Racoon" pulled up, cut the motor and clambered his way ashore with his black lab "Dee-Dee" in tow. This was terrific, I had guests!

Racoon inserts a canister of butane into a newly bought $5 stove


Dee-Dee loves to play fetch - No matter the size of the stick

Racoon busied himself while he set up his tent and put together a butane stove he had bought for a mere $5. Racoon had brought along some fresh salad as well as steak for a tasty dinner, this went down very well as I enjoyed both the meal and the company. Dee-Dee kept me busy as I played "fetch" with her for an hour or so. The dog loved the water and I think during the waking hours, she spent more of her time in the water then she did on dry land. Our sunset was cut short that night as a cloud bank moved in. However, the evening temperatures were indicative of mid-August, not mid-September and the hours spent around the fire-pit were very pleasant and comfortable. The lake was very quiet and by 10:00pm the temperature was still above 15°C.

Lake Opeongo sunset
Cloud moved in, obscuring our sunset, but keeping temperatures warm


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