Monday, August 17, 2015

Oh Canada

This past weekend we camped at Algonquin Provincial Park.  This is the oldest park in Canada so even though I'm not really familiar with a lot of the actual history that surrounds the park, I could still feel the past in our visit.

The past is with us all of the time of course, but there is something different about this park because we were there doing the exact same things as people did before us.  We camped, we canoed, and we enjoyed the great outdoors.

Something that is pretty cool is that there are old ranger cabins you can rent that you can only get to by canoe.  Knowing that those even still exist is amazing, I love that you could stay in them too.  Walk (or paddle) in the path of those that came before you, those people that made this park what it is.  When E is a little older and we can better handle a canoe camping trip we would love to go out there.

We also talked to some people who have been going to the park for years (43 years in fact), and they know all the trails and lookouts.  When I was young there was never one place that we went to every year, so I romanticized the idea of always going to the same summer camp, cottage, resort, or campground where you had friends that only existed in those places.  Our family is still young, but over the years I hope we can create some of these same traditions like camping at Algonquin.  There are so many things to do there, of varying levels, the experience can really grow and develop over time as we get older and more experienced at camping.

Also at the park were people from different countries.  Not sure if they were all visiting or if they were Canadians who just happened to have accents and flags flying at their campsite.  For some people, when they think of Canada, they think of exactly what Algonquin Park is.  It's not a bad image really, the blue water and sky, the tall green trees, canoeing, bears, moose, loons, etc.  I know that we new Canadians come here they want to try camping to get the real Canada experience.  I've even seen classes offered on how to pitch a tent, bear awareness, etc.  I love that, I love that things that are second nature to us are so fascinating to other people.

Camping isn't for everyone, but everyone should get out and enjoy this beautiful country at some point.  We are very fortunate with what we have.  People dream of living here in this land and we were lucky enough to be born here, so I try to remember that when I start taking some things for granted.

Photos and a recap of our trip will be up later this week.

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