And Now I Have a Heart of Gold!

Post by Chris Gilmour, Wilderness Guide

Hello Friends of the Edge,

Chris Gilmour here (guide for this years Heart of Gold Canoe Trip). It is Wednesday afternoon and I sit on my couch watching the leaves drop outside my window. Yesterday at this time I was fortunate enough to be paddling west across Kawawayamog lake (I wonder if that is spelled right?) with a nice gentle eastern wind behind us. This was my second year in a row leading this fall colors trip and I can honestly say my heart and spirit feel like gold right now!

We left for Algonquin Park last Thursday, a beautiful sunny fall day, just as the fall colors were beginning to peak. Each day ( and even every few hours) the colors looked a little different. Patricia, my canoe mate for the week, commented that on the first day the landscape looked like a bright acrylic painting and by day 5 it looked more like a fading old oil painting, warm and familiar.

I don’t know if I could pick one highlight of the week but a few that really stand out to me include our early morning paddle out to bigger lake where we watched a large bull moose, a cow, and baby moose feeding along a marsh edge. We were able to get with in 30 ft of them for some great photo’s. The following day we decided to go for a hike along the portage trail out to Cayuga Lake with a picnic planned on the other side. While hiking the trail we came across a very fresh wolf track that may have been hot on the trail of a running deer (we found the deer tracks as well). After putting a bit of the story together we were hooked and spent most of the hike staring at the ground looking for more tracks and another part of the story of the wolf and deer. We also came across some very fresh fox tracks on that same trail.

That night, after a rice and peanut sauce stir fry, we gazed at the brilliant sky above and used our star chart to find a few of the constellations. No one on our trip should ever have trouble finding north on a clear night again!

Other highlights of the trip included: loons calling at night, swimming under a waterfall, smores on the camp fire, of course incredible colors, and great company.

Fall is probably my favorite season to be in the park, the mosquitoes and black flies are gone, the water is still warm, the nights are cool, and you almost have the park to yourself. Before heading out I was having a little trouble accepting that the summer is gone and the winter on it’s way but after this trip I think I am ready, I have a warm Golden Heart to warm me during the cool nights to come.
Thanks to all who participated in this Canoe Trip and everyone who helped make it possible,

Warm Greetings to the Northern Edge Community and all their Friends,

Chris Gilmour

Wilderness Guide/Outdoor Educator