Algonquin Park: Camping Trip Logs: 033 - Winter Camping 2015 - Access Point #12
Trip Log: February 12 - 16, 2015 Pinetree Lake.
The annual winter camping trip was scheduled for the Family Day weekend as usual. But this year it was a double whammy as Valentine’s Day fell on the same weekend. I guess us guys don’t have much of a love life as we had more people attend than ever before! Martin had just purchased a new stove and tent and was eager to put them to use. With other people coming in for a day trip visit we were expecting up to 9 or 10 people on the Saturday.
The location set for this year’s excursion was Little McCauley Lake, a randomly picked lake off of Highway 60 at Brewer Lake. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
February 12, 2015 – The Trip In
I was on the road at 5:30 AM with the plan to be at the West Gate of Algonquin Park when it opened to meet up with Markus and Glen. It took a bit of extra time to get my new eight foot long pulk loaded up, it stuck three feet out the back of my truck. It was the usual quick run and I was soon at the gate where I was the last to arrive as always.
We were assured, for the third time, by Park staff that parking at the Brewer Lake pull off would be no problem at all. As we drove up to it I could see that it wasn’t recently plowed, but Markus drove straight in any way! Promptly getting stuck. The wind was howling and it was twenty below as we mucked about trying to park and decide what to do. Knowing the route into Little McCauley was going to be tough, we were already frozen and the parking situation wasn’t good we made an on the spot decision to change our destination. While doing all this another Park staff came along and told us our parking location, especially Markus half way into the pull off, couldn’t remain the way it was. Thanks, where were you the first three times.
After about half an hour dragging Markus out of the snow bank we continued down the highway to the Pinetree Lake Access Point. We’d been to this location two winters ago and knew what to expect, plus the parking area was plowed out. Arranging the vehicles so as to leave room for the rest of the crew coming in this weekend, we unpacked and loaded up the pulks.
February 13, 2015 – Preparing For The Cold
We woke up to a very cold tent, well not those of us smart enough to pretend to be still sleeping until Glen got the fire started. Then it was perking coffee and thawing out breakfast ingredients. Markus gave an attempt at making French toast but was only moderately successful. He gave up part way through and switched to scrambled eggs.
We pretty much spent the next few hours at this task. We snowshoed down the lake and up into the woods looking for dead standing trees. Then we dragged large pieces back to the open lake surface where we cut them to stove length. Loading up the sleds with cut firewood was a lot easier than dragging big pieces to camp and trying to cut them up in amongst the trees around the tent.
Not everyone is as stupid as we are though.
Trip Log 033
Access Point #12
Pond near Pinetree Lake
Around the fire.
A bitterly cold long weekend trip to familar Pinetree Lake. A large crowd showed up for the annual winter trip.
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