Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hiking to Grey Owl's cabin, June 26 - 28

Sunset over Kingsmere Lake

One word that could sum up our experience in P.A. National Park would be "Wind". It was windy the whole time we were there. Other than the wind it was a great weekend concidering that the day after we left Saskatoon the forecast was calling for 60% chance of thunder storms, we really lucked out. It was sunny and fairly warm the whole weekend. After registering at the information office we set out from the parking lot at the kingsmere river at mid morning. When we were in the woods the wind couldn't touch us and we enjoyed a peaceful walk along the tail. Zoe hasn't done a lot of back country camping and was pretty nervous about bears. She especially didn't like it when I would point out all the bear signs that we came across along the trail. We had gotten in the habbit of hanging the bear spray from the back of her pack so that it was within easy reach for me if we happened across a bear. I also carried bear bangers in my pocket.

Kingsmere River

We made it to the Sandy Beach campground where we had planned to stay the night. When we got there we were the only ones there and we could pick the best of the camps sites. We weren't there more than an hour and we had a fox walk right threw our site. And that wouldn't be the only time that we would see him. On another occasion he came threw camp with a feathery mouth full.

The route to Grey Owl's cabin as recorded by Zoe's running watch, the laps are where we stopped to rest.

On the second day we left our camp set up and set out for a day hike to the cabin. Again it was a warm but windy day and when we got to the north end campsite we found it was empty. We decided to sit a while and rest. Again we weren't there more than a half hour and another fox trotted by with in 20 feet of me.

Kingsmere Lake and storms clouds to the south

By the time we got to the cabin it had started to sprinkle just a bit but not enough to get wet. A couple of weeks before we had planned to be up there a forest fire had been burning only about 4 km from the cabin and the hoses and sprinklers were still set on top of the cabins to keep them from burning. After eating lunch and resting in the cabin to get away from the bugs we headed back. Along the trail just down from the cabin we came across a black bear busily eating along side the trail. We were down wind of him and he had no idea we were there. After taking a few pictures I fired off a bear banger. He took off into the woods but with in a couple of minutes he came back to the trail. This time I made sure that he saw me by stepping closer, raising my arms and shouting. Again I fired a bear banger and this time he left the trail and didn't come back. I was very proud of Zoe for keeping her cool and not panicking. We were pretty close to the bear when we rounded the corning and saw him there. I'm glad that her first experience with a bear was a positive one, though she remains nervous of them.

Our bear on the way back from the cabin

As usual the food is second to none, even when we're hiking. Items on our menu for this trip included green chicken curry, lentil chili and corn bread, coconut cream hotchocolate and lemon grass and coconut cake.

Zoe preparing green chicken curry for supper

1 comment:

Pawistik said...

Hi Mark,
How is your wrist coming?

I now have that photo of the sunset as my desktop background. It was either that one or Zoe's eyeball from the previous post!

We were up to Kingsmere in early August & saw your name in the guest book up at the cabin. The sprinkler was still there on the roof.

Wind defined your trip, then a lack of wind defined ours. We had warm gorgeous weather and most of the time it was calm. We paddled back from the cabin to Southend with glass calm conditions.

You can see my report on our Kingsmere trip on my blog, http://pawistik.blogspot.com, but not until later tonight.

Cheers,
Bryan