Moose Adventures

Winter Moose Adventures

March break was fast approaching and we were excitedly planning our next winter camping trip.  The pre-requisites for the trip were simple-  pristine wilderness, unlimited white powder snow, 60 cm of ice on the lakes, -15 to -20 C, blue skies, outlook for 15 cm of new snow, and no one else registered in the Park (Park always refers to Algonquin Provincial Park, our favourite).

We registered for our trip at the west gate and asked the MNR staff if anyone had registered for the week.  Two groups of two had, but their trip was for the weekend only.

We traveled to our starting point, and with great anticipation and excitement loaded up our pokes and set out for our week of enjoyment and therapy.  A few final adjustments to our packs and our poke (not paulk), on with the snowshoes, grabbed our ski poles and we are off on our adventure.

As we were snowshoeing our way along, our thoughts of what we might see  were running rampant in our minds.  I know this because the Mrs. and I talk about the imagination we both have.  Back to conditions on the trail- blue sky, -8C, no wind, 60cm base with 20cm of freshly fallen snow--yipeee!

We poked along (pun intended), arriving at the edge of the lake we are to cross.  Kathleen had broken trail for us to make it easier for me and my poke.  It had taken us about one and half hours with one water and gorp stop.  We decided to take another break here and reenergize for the lake part of our trip.  Refreshed, and knowing the ice was safe ( MNR keeps everyone informed of the ice conditions), we set off for the  next part of our trip.

The lake trip was breathtaking, picture this.  Blue sky, no clouds, 60 cm of blue ice, no wind, and 10 cm of fresh snow.  As we were crossing the lake, we could see to our right two winter adventurers packing their poke for their return trip to civilization.  We both said we hoped they had a great trip and enjoyed some of what we were about to enjoy.  At this point we noted that at the West Gate the MNR staff had said there were two groups of two going in at the same starting area.

Another one and half hours of travel, water, and gorp;  we arrived at our destination.  It was getting on in the day, 3 pm, and we were glad to be in camp remembering the sun starts to go down around 5 pm. 

Setting up camp is always a pleasure- the mind really starts to work overtime now with the thoughts of what we are going to experience on this trip.  Animals, birds, sounds of wolves, and movements in the trees and trying to identify what they might be.

Setup went well- that's MY job, and the little one setting up HER kitchen,. I say this because as a guy you try and help her and she yells at you  'cause you are taking over her responsibilities.  She of course is right, so I sneak away sheepishly back over to finish putting the fluffed up winter bags in the now set up tent.

Now dark and everything set up it is time to eat.  Kathleen has prepared one of our favourites, beef stroganoff with our own de-hydrated ground beef and vegetables.  Juice and hot chocolate (lots of fluids).  And a special treat chocolate brownies baked in our out back oven (works like a charm).  As we finish our meal and drink our hot chocolate and watch the colours of our fire, we ask each other our favourite part of the day.  It is always nice to share these thoughts with the one you love.

Just before hitting the sack we always go for a short walk and if lucky, look at the stars, have pleasant thoughts about how lucky we are to have each other and all of this.  Then it happened.  From around a point we could hear the human sound of someone trying to make moose calls.  The quietness and beauty of this place was broken by a pathetic effort to communicate with the moose of Algonquin Park by this other group of two who had come in the day before but had not left.  Quietly so the sub humans could not hear me, I started a barrage of swear words I had not used in a while, how could those #*&^%@! break the silence of this night with this so called human attempt to imitate the mighty moose!  As we crawled into our sleeping bags I could not leave it alone. Finally Kathleen said to not worry and GO to sleep.

A great sleep was had by us both, ah breakfast, how about some blueberry pancakes, bacon, real maple syrup, and a pot of coffee (perked of course).  After cleanup of the breakfast dishes, we decided to go for a ski.  Got our day pack ready, water etc and arranged our skis and poles.  As we left our campsite I started again about those sub humans imitating the moose, and of course Kathleen encouraged me to let it go. And I did.

We rounded the point where we had heard the moose calls and you would never guess--yes you did, a mother moose and her two little ones grazing on the side of the shore.  I was getting indigestion from eating all my words said the night before.  

We enjoyed our time with them and quietly moved by for our day of exploring.  We had a wonderful day travelling to other areas and lakes and taking in all the joy we have when we are there.  Once back in camp we had a snack and heard movement up the hill behind us.  We grabbed the camera and went up the hill to spend, as it turned out, an hour trying to film and experience time with the three moose.  The mother and her two little ones knew we were there but did not seem to mind.  Following them in waist deep snow was difficult but to see them maneuver through the snow was a treat.  We only stopped and went back to camp when mother had found a place to rest where she could keep an eye on her little ones, who had also settled in for the night.

Our trip ended 3 days later and of course I was full of words I had said about the sub humans.  We reflect on this trip often and the joy we have in the outdoors, even if at times you are humiliated by a mother and her two little ones.

Moose At Dusk


cbmoose2.jpg (20180 bytes)                                                 cbmoose3.JPG (19797 bytes)                                         cbmoose5.JPG (17579 bytes)

Mother Moose                                                    Baby One                                                  Baby Two