Got an e-mail from my friend Alan in Newfoundland who wondered why I've been so quiet lately. I've been fishing, Alan! Dave'll tell you – I haven't been quiet, I've just been noisy in a different, internet-free place.
Kiosk is one of the northernmost camping areas in Algonquin, one of Ontario's most famous and largest provincial parks. The are no roads into its vast interior, just a loose waterway of canoe routes, lonely dark lakes and black forests. The bottom end of the park has a highway and several campgrounds running through it (we go to one of those campgrounds regularly, Lake of Two Rivers), but there are really only two campgrounds in the north part, Brent and Kiosk. Both are at the end of long dirt roads stretching through Crown land. Both are former sawmill and railway villages, now ghost towns with only foundation remnants as clues of once thriving communities. And both are launching points for adventure-seekers looking for true wilderness experiences.
While Dave and I have camped in the interior, our trips to Kiosk are far more comfortable. We bring our trailer and our aluminum motorboat and spend four days every spring and every fall looking to catch and release some big fish, spend some time together and catch our breath. No jobs, no kids, no pressure.
The weather was downright terrible. Grey skies and rain the whole time we were there – except on Sunday, when it was time to pack up and leave. Oh well. We've never let the weather put a crimp in our style. We fished, we rode our bikes, we read our books, we played cards. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in a place we have both come to love as much as we love each other.
|I took this picture to show you the difference between water levels in the spring and in the fall. This past spring we couldn't get under this bridge because the water was so high. Last weekend the water was so low there was barely enough water for our boat – the difference is at least four feet. The bridge, by the way, is part of the abandoned railway line built by lumber baron J.R. Booth in the 1800s. It's the main reason Brent and Kiosk existed, with sawmills cutting up the rich forests of Algonquin and shipping them, via railway, all over the world. Before Algonquin was cut bare of trees, it was mostly giant pines and spruce that grew here. The regrowth has brought maple to the park, making Algonquin a gorgeous place to be in the fall.|
|Dave also caught a nice bass - not as nice as mine, though. .. jest saying...|
|And a trip to Kiosk just isn't complete without a lake trout. Dave was happy to snag this one.|
|Isn't this ridiculously cute? I know. You should have seen her waddling around in it.|
|When I was taking this photo I couldn't see Misty in the viewfinder – she completely blended in with the orange leaves and dark water of the Amable du Fond waterfall.|
|Our busted bird feeder with poo in the background.|
|The top of the feeder the bear had ripped off.|
|The wire that had held the feeder until the bear decided to have a closer look.|