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Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

Sheffield, United...
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Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

This covers the part of our trip between Ottawa- Gravenhurst, with an overnight stop in Algonquin

We left Ottawa around 12.30 heading towards Highway 60. Dull scenery initially, but from Golden Lake onwards the scenery improved and was very pretty, though the rain became heavier so we pressed on. After entering Algonquin, we stopped at the visitor centre to look at the exhibits and noticed that the wildlife log had listed bears and cubs for an hour earlier that day seen at the visitor centre. We rushed out to the viewing platform and the bears were still there about 200-300 yards away, so we watched them through binoculars for a while.

Next we drove to Canoe Lake where I checked out canoe hire, potential routes and what I’d be able to see, before moving onto Algonquin Inn at 6pm. The route through the park had been through fall scenery which looked beautiful even in the rain.

Algonquin Inn (separate review) was just by a large lake. We went for dinner at the Inn, and shortly after sitting down, suddenly saw a raccoon’s face at the window right next to our table! The raccoon went round the corner, and seemed quite tame, with all the Inn guests going out to take photos, which didn’t scare it in the least. Next we saw two young raccoons with the mother, and then climbed up in a bird table and started eating the seed – presenting a perfect photo opportunity. (I’ll attach a photo if I can work out how to do it). The raccoons stayed just outside the restaurant window all through our meal. The hotel staff warned us not to get too close as although they look very cute, they can be surprisingly vicious and aggressive.

Sheffield, United...
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1. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

SATURDAY (Day 9)

Up early today to make the most of our day in Algonquin. Sunny! Not only that, but there were steam gently rising from the lake, which looked beautiful. After breakfast I decided to take one of the Inn’s canoes, which were free to guests, while it was still quiet everywhere. Canoeing on a Canadian river or lake was something I’d really wanted to do and had been really looking forward to.

I paddled under Highway 60 and turned the corner into a really quiet stretch of lake. There was no wind, and the trees were perfectly reflected in the lake surface. When I lifted my paddle out of the water, there was just complete silence. This was quite magical and everything I’d hoped it would be. At the far end of the lake, I drifted up to a heron, getting quite close before it flew away. I returned to the Inn after an hour, and we drove into the park.

We decided to do Mizzi Lodge, which was a 6 hour trail, and a notice at the start of the trail warned it might be muddy, and some bits were, particularly at the start of the walk, with some sections on a boardwalk. After a couple of miles, the trail joined the line where the railway used to be, so opened out a bit, and we saw quite a few people here, so guessed it came close to a road. We then went back into narrow paths in the woods, and it got quiet again. I’d wondered if we’d be apprehensive about walking in bear country, but we’d read the advice on dealing with bears, and also realised it was very unlikely that we’d even see one.

Walk took us about 5 hours and then we drove out through more great scenery via Dorset towards Gravenhurst where we’d booked a B&B for the night (Westover’s 320 see separate review). Found out from fellow guests that undertaking on the freeway is illegal – whoops, as we’d been doing that every since we arrived! Still, lots of other people seem to do it as well. Went to a lakeside inn and had our first ever Manhattan and martinin cocktails before a thanksgiving meal at a lakeside inn.

Thanks to everyone for their advice on Algonquin and canoeing - it really helped.

Royal Palm Beach...
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2. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

After reading the first part of your post I didn,t think you gave Algonquin Park a fair shot. A few hours of bad weather , a lucky site-ing of a brown bear by the visitor centre and a stop a the Canoe Lake Portage Store. At least you returnrd the 2nd day to do the Mizzy Lake trail which is one of the few trails that require more than a bit of significant effort. While you no doubt appreciated your short canoe ride on Oxtongue Lake there is nothing better to appreciate about a canoe than it gives you the freedom to travel to your own inland lake, no electricity few if any persons around, no roads. What I mean of Couse is the Park Interior and that is what algonquin is really about. Of couse better whether or earliar in the season would have made that possible and you should think about that in the future. If you liked the little taste of Algonquin think I think if the weater were only 20C more ,you wiill no doubt be back.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

In defence of David I assume this was part of a larger trip to our province/country, and with limited time and the season of the year he actually did quite a bit to see parts of the Park. I agree that the true nature of the park is by throwing a canoe on your back and portaging deep into the interior, but we all enjoy the park in different ways depending on the season, time available, and our skill level.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

If by undertaking on the freeway you mean passing another car on the right, I don't think it's illegal (though passing on the left is preferred whenever possible). Looks to me like section 150 of the Highway Traffic Act (canlii.org/en/…BK219) allows it so long as there are two or more lanes.

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5. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

An often debated subject...

Passing on the right is legal. Passing on the left is preferred. Driving in whichever lane you want is legal, driving in the right lane is preferred.

Where there is an emergency service, highway crew, or police offcer parked on the shoulder, it is appropriate to leave the adjacent lane open. You can be fined and held responsible if in the course of driving past, road debris or a part of your vehicle strikes a person working adjacent to the roadway.

If your vehicle impedes another entering the highway you are to move a lane to the left if it is safe to do so.

As my wife and I both work along travelled roads and see first hand the results of folks not following these basic rules and courtesies, we would very much appreciate it if you were to:

1. Slow down.

2. Pay attention

3. Drive in the appropriate lane for the situation.

/Soapbox.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

But doesn't the person driving slowly in the left or middle lane drive you crazy! You should be in the right lane unless you need to pass someone else in that lane!

Sheffield, United...
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7. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

On the Friday we had accommodation booked just west of the park, so had to drive through the park to get to inn. Was always our intention to spend a day in the park itself. Would have liked to have stayed longer, but we had a crowded itinerary, taking in sights from Niagara to Quebec City.

Royal Palm Beach...
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8. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

Hopefully you will return to Algonquin Park and enjoy better weather and stay longer. I note you recently commented on Nice. I was there 10 years ago as a side trip from Monte Carlo and only stayed 3 hours, much like your trip through Canada where you have so much to see and too short a time to see everything.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

RE - Ontario Driving

CPOTVIN73 is right, the Emergency Vehicle Section of the Ontario Highway Act has been revised in the last couple of years, but NOT ONLY can one be fined if road debris or a part of your vehicle strikes a person working adjacent to the roadway... TO NOT MOVE OVER is now an offense.

According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Website = …gov.on.ca/english/…emergency.shtml

<< Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act requires motorists when approaching a police, fire or ambulance vehicle stopped with its red lights flashing in the same direction of travel, either in a lane or on the shoulder of the road, to slow down and pass with caution. If the road has two or more lanes the motorist must move over into another lane, if it can be done safely.

First Offence - $400 to $2,000, plus 3 demerit points upon conviction

Second Offence (within 5 years) - $1,000 to $4,000, possible jail time up to 6 months and possible suspension of driver’s licence for up to 2 years. >>

This of course has come about sadly because of several incidents where Emergency Personnel (including Police) were struck and killed.

As for the "Driving Lane" vs the "Passing Lane" Debate, it is indeed legal to pass on the right if need be. Weaving in and out back and forth is however illegal, and considered Dangerous Driving.

The preferred method in Ontario is to pass on the left, with SLOWER Traffic "staying" to the right... However as ONTARIOCANUCK has pointed out, there are lots of folks unfortunately who don't seem to understand the concept of Driving Lanes vs Passing Lane (singular). To them the words "Right Lane" seems to mean they see themselves having "the Right" to sit at whatever speed in whichever lane. If people actually followed the Guidelines and drove in the lane with which they were travelling at speed... then the traffic would generally move at a quicker pace as no one crawling along would be in the wrong lane. As well the far left lane would not become overly congested and would work better in the case of Emergency Vehicles requiring access. Unfortunately, a lot of folks don't seem to read or comprehend the fine points of the Highway Act and how it is applied in real life.

=== === ===

As for Traveller DAVID4758,

Sadly he told us he was on a very limited timeframe for this holiday (we who helped him up front were hoping he'd be able to add a couple of more days to round it out to 2 weeks from just 11 days). But with the criteria that he wanted to see as much as possible... as he was unsure when he'd get back next... I have to say YES his holiday was busy, but I do think he saw a lot of great things, and got a "wee taste" for this part of Canada.

Hopefully, he is intrigued enough, to plan a return visit in the future.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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10. Re: Trip report - Oct09 Days 8 & 9

As usual, a well thought out post WINE-4-2, however you missed some of the most basic reasons that the right hand lane is th edriving lane.

Reason 1. Emergency vehicles should hav e a clear lane to travel in. They should be able to get in the left lane and not move until they reach either an accident scene or hospital.

Reason 2. Drivers should be able to pull to the right instantly if have a mechanical emergency. If in th ecentre lane (or any lane other than th eright lane) they will have to cross the path of another lane to get to the shoulder and wait for assistance. With a blown out tire, failed transmission, or other major event, this could be very dangerous.