August 19 - Day 2
The short move to Linda Lake

We were up and out of bed by 7:30am. I would've liked to have been up earlier, as I always like to get up early on moving day, but we slept so well! We had breakfast and packed up and just before 9:20am we were on the water, paddling north under a gloomy looking sky. The forecast had called for late-morning thunderstorms and I hoped we were early enough to get to camp on Linda Lake.

polly lake campsite
A last peek at the campsite on Polly Lake before we departed

By 9:30am we arrived at the 930m carry-over to Linda Lake. As before, we geared up for single-carry. The trail was like any normal portage, yet it was manageable, I was starting to get the hang of this single-carry thing, but oh boy, it was painful, ‘need a lighter canoe’, I kept reminding myself, that and my darned back needed to get fixed!

As we crossed the bike trail and started our descent towards Linda Lake, I came across a canoe rest and gladly rested my canoe upon it. As I rested for about a minute two young girls carrying packs passed by, their faces straining under the weight they were carrying. As I prepared to lift me canoe back onto my shoulders a young man came by with the biggest smile upon his face, while a canoe was perched on his shoulders. Such enthusiasm, nice!

polly lake
Looking back at Polly Lake from the portage to Linda Lake

As I headed down the trail I caught unto Joan who had just finished talking to a young woman who also had a canoe and was preparing to heave it onto her shoulders. Joan had learned that a particular campsite on Linda Lake was a very nice place to stay. I kept it in mind as we emerged onto Linda Lake at 10:00am. Thirty minutes to complete the carry-over, and we didn't have to go back….single carry was really beginning to grow on me!

We launched onto a calm Linda Lake, however the sky had a stormy look to it. Our time was running out. We paddled towards the first campsite on our right. I ignored the campsite close to the portage to Owl Lake as I had read up Barry Bridgeford's account of the campsites on the lake. That campsite was East facing and might not get much afternoon sun. We passed by the campsite that Barry had stayed on and kept moving, heading towards the island campsite.

linda lake
Arrival on a stormy looking Linda Lake

Within ten minutes were walking around the island campsite and not liking what we saw. It was highly exposed and the tree arrangement meant tarping would be a pain. We quickly got back into the canoe and made our way to the last campsite near the portage to Iris Lake. The campsite turned out to be a gem. It was south facing and had lots of Canadian Shield shoreline rock, great areas for swimming and sun-bathing.

The campsite itself had lots of tree cover and a tidy fire-pit with a bench system that was old but in good shape. The official campsite signage came complete with a couple of condoms stuffed in behind. So that is why the young fella was smiling!

We set up my tent in a clearing near the front of the site in the vicinity of the fire-pit. We had one tarp and used that to cover the fire-pit area. After about an hour or so, it had begun to rain and thunder, we had just finished setting up camp and together we huddled in the tent. It rained for almost four hours, sometimes heavy. By 3:30pm we were out of the tent and walked around a drippy campsite.

linda lake
Finally the rain was gone: The sun began to emerge in the late afternon

By 4:00pm the sun had come out as the clouds began to dissipate. It was such a joy to stand out there in the sun that neither of us wanted to go out in the canoe, we preferred to relax on the rocks and soak in the sunshine. It really was a nice campsite to lounge on.

camp on linda lake
Late afternoon around our camp on Linda Lake

By 5:06pm a couple of canoes paddled by coming from Iris Lake. It was five girls; two leaders and three young girls. They headed for the island campsite, out of sight but not sound! Later on, screams of glee and mock terror could be heard. The young ones were having fun; a treasured memory of an August afternoon in Algonquin Park.

By 7:00pm we had a dinner of campfire cooked chicken served with rice and mushrooms which were also cooked over the fire. By 9pm the girls had settled down and we had a few drinks on the rocks as we sat under a near full moon, the silence was pierced by the call of a wolf, produced by one of the girls on the island campsite.

A tasty dinner of chicken over the fire with rice and mushrooms

We listened and waited as the call was repeated many times. Joan had wanted to call out too, but the girls at the island had beat her to it. Unfortunately no wolves returned the calls. We enjoyed the rest of the evening as silence once again prevailed over the lake and surprisingly the odd sound of traffic could be heard coming from highway#60. I had thought we were far enough away from the highway corridor to hear civilization, I was wrong.

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