Monday, September 26, 2011

Kiosk Fall 2011 and Bear Poo

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.

Normally you would never be able to perch on a rock in the rushing Amable du Fond, the river that connects Algonquin's northern lakes: Kiosk, Manitou and Tea. We've never seen the river so quiet but took the opportunity to walk up the waterfall and take some photos. Dave brought his line and tried to wangle a brookie onto his line but even the fish thought there wasn't enough water.

This was my fish, a nice 4 pound bass. Dave, of course, did fish holding duties, baiting the hook duties and looking good in his rain suit duties. I did all the real work, wrestling that beauty in, kicking and screaming. We posed him for a pic, than he flicked his tail and disappeared into the water. 

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.

Because my friend Linda requested it, here's the bear poop in our front yard. Yup, we went all the way up north to see wildlife and we come home to see that a bear had ripped down our bird feeder and then crapped in our front yard. Linda, you can see the pitts of the choke cherries the bear had been eating. Judging by the freshness, the bear had been there within the last day. And judging by the size, it was a BIG bear. For ages we were under the false impression that there were no wild animals in our neighbourhood, other than a few foxes, raccoons and skunks – but now we know there are bears so we have to be a little more careful. We did see some wildlife in Kiosk – on our way there we had a rabbit run right towards our vehicle – Dave had to swerve to avoid it. The hare had eyes as big as saucers. A little bit down the road we saw the reason why: a fisher hunting it. "Run, bunny, run!" we shrieked out the window. Dave honked the horn and scared the fisher into the bushes. We hope we gave the bunny enough of a break to survive.

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.  


  1. What a lovely get-a-way you had. Your fish DOES look better doesn't it? lol.
    Wow!! What the heck had that bear been eating? They can cause some damage can't they?

  2. Glad to hear all is well in Cathyland. Dave's lookin' good with the time, we want to see YOU strike a pose.

    Out here on The Rock, it's moose we have to swerve to avoid, not rabbits. Mind you, we don't have bears crapping in our yards! The poop reminds me of Jet's presents in the back yard. Except Jet's aren't as solid... :(

  3. Forget about the fish...I came back to see the bear poop! :)

  4. Damn, you guys are good! Did you catch the little furry black thing too? Wait, that's your dog....

  5. Mark, that furry little black thing is what actually made the bear poop...he used to be twice his size before he dumped that...

  6. Looks like a beautiful place--a real getaway. Enjoyed the photos--well except for the bear poop--that one is not a keeper for me.

    Tossing It Out

  7. It is first time that I see that someone took a poop pictures. It isn't quite common.

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