Bo, I was so looking forward to reading your log and am very impressed with your promptness. My trip was too short, and I didn’t even get the chance to challenge you, Sir, in a game of “Skip BO” – next time though.
Also, Bo, I would like to thank you immensely for your very kind words to Bearcub and I upon our farewell at the Big Stop this past Saturday. They will resonate with me for a very long time. I was not only sad to say goodbye to White Partridge but also sorrowful that our time with you and Sheila had to end so soon.
Rain or Shine, the White Partridge Express (Algonquin Adventure) ROCKS!
WEDNESDAY – On the road at 8:10am, so anxious to arrive in Pembroke and meet Sheila, Racoon and Stewart in person that I was speeding the entire way, passing every car I came up to – well, except in the construction zones (that’s dangerous!). hehe
Needless to say, I arrived early at the famous Big Stop (where Sheila and I were thrilled to finally meet in person – what a connection!), and where I accumulated more treats to bring to the boys (including what became the notorious Buns). Being a ‘Newbie’ I was determined to keep them on top of everything and arrive at WP with freshly baked ‘puffy’ buns. Well, well, after having kept a close eye on them and strategically placing them in Racoon’s van for the trip from Stewart’s to the Spur, that dream got ‘squeezed’ when a bike was placed on them upon unloading. Our first joke was created, whereby I told Racoon he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ‘squeeze my buns’ since I didn’t think my hubby would allow it once at WP. ;)
Stewart & Friends
Oh yes, I must mention that quite some time was spent on this day finding a spare tire for Stewart to have on hand (I wonder why?) and only one scary mishap/delay was encountered en route when his fan belt broke, (luckily) in front of Simon’s house where Sheila and Racoon were waiting for us after picking up Bo’s tire. I thought to myself, oh boy, where is that handy Simon when we need him? Stewart was without tools but by golly, did happen to have a spare fan belt. Coincidence?
Wells (I mean) while Racoon was of tremendous help, Sheila and I could relax as we waited....
Our adventure into the infamous Lake was so much fun and very exciting – finally, I was on vacation! It seemed long, especially with the anticipation of seeing the gang and what we would find ourselves into at the other end – ALTHOUGH as Racoon has mentioned, somehow not as long as coming out (in the rain on Saturday, and with the disappointment that our journey was coming to an end).
We encountered a wagon on their way out, who mentioned there were a couple of ‘lonely’ guys waiting for us along side of the road up ahead. Phew, what a wave of tremendous relief I felt. Now for the strange part and I hate to admit it, but only having seen Bo in pictures, I actually recognized him BEFORE recognizing my Bearcub! Chris and I hadn’t been apart from one another for that long in a year, he had a hat on, a beard and major tan happening and looked like he had (thankfully) been very well fed. It was shocking but I quickly clued in and wish that someone had taken a picture of me enthusiastically jumping into his arms with both legs wrapped around him, kissing and staring at him with such delight.
It began to rain at the Meadow, and still enthralled with eagerness (as I had been all week), it provided me with the perfect excuse to not let ANY time be wasted loading up the boats for the pursuit to our campsite on WP. I really appreciated that Bearcub was anxious to share this fishing experience with me, and we went right out there for a ‘quicky’ (catch that is – haha). Upon our return JeffreyM, Andrew and Allan had returned from their 3-day/2-night portage and we shared our Lake Trout caught only minutes prior. It was my first eaten fish, ‘freshly’ caught and ’freshly’ cooked. Yummy!!
Bo & Sheila leaving the Meadow
That night by the campfire, as you can suspect, was possibly the most boisterous of all although hard to say. As Racoon mentioned, the fire even had some fun trying to pull (some of) us into it! Or maybe that was just the result of feeling tipsy after being on the water after such a long winter. ;)
THURSDAY – Yawning, both Sheila and I admitted to have not slept that well. Could it have been from being over tired from the wonderful previous day & night? OR, from the rumbling thunder (snores) surrounding us? Hmmm, we’ll never know exactly. I do know that I also had to ‘go’ most of the night and without contact lenses on and being tipsy upon bedtime, was not able to locate my glasses or a flashlight (even the flashlight Racoon apparently lent me and indeed found the following day, after his departure), plus a little fear set in so I was NOT ‘going out of that tent’ by myself! Very needless to say, my Bearcub not willing to wake and help me, did receive some (loving?) advice from his wife.
No rain (Alleluia), Bearcub and I quickly went out in the zodiac to try out our luck (and skills). It began so relaxing but soon turned into an invigorating ‘thrill of a lifetime’ when I caught my first Lake Trout ever, then a 2nd one! I never said ‘NO’ to my husband as often as I did on this trip (haha), because I would not allow him his generous offer to help me (of casting for me, landing for me, unhooking for me or cleaning the fish for me). I wanted the full experience of doing it all on my own, welcoming of course his great advice, but was most satisfied not letting him DO anything for me – umm, except cook.
Denise (aka Mrs Bearcub) caught her first 2
By the time we returned to camp, everyone else had eaten and/or was having a snooze. I seriously wondered if the ‘rumbling’ was from Racoon or from DeeDee (his puppy). For lunch, take a guess, more fresh Trout – for us and the seagulls.
It was delightful to see how fascinated Andrew was to experience this leg of his adventure with us.
Andrew & Bearcub
Too ecstatic to relax just yet, Bearcub and I were soon off, at it again. I believe this is when I got to share with my husband of two years, that while he was in the Park we had received the final approval to go ahead and purchase our first home together; which happens to be my family home in New Brunswick (great fishing too), the first ‘home’ I lived in and the first home I get to purchase. Yet another special moment for us, at such a special time and place!
It wasn’t until Thursday night upon our late return, that he took the opportunity for a change in menu, and we had some of the Curried Venison & Veggies with Spirited Rice that I cooked at home and brought along with me (just in case) and some of those nicely ‘freshly squeezed’ buns with butter. We were famished, but my hubby will have to attest to his own enjoyment of it all.
Allan, Sheila, JeffreyM
Glorious White Partridge Lake
Sheila with the most energy of all the LSOBs, JeffreyM, Bo Knows how, and Racoon
telling a fish tale, or possibly encouraging us to catch one with a tail that long?
That night the plan that Sheila and I had was to walk to the other ‘open’ campsite and do some star gazing, which I thought others had agreed to accompany us on, although being delayed due to the enjoyment we were having by the campfire. And, unfortunately Bearcub and I were both exhausted so I proceeded to bed with him in order to try and fall asleep FIRST. Nonetheless, I reassured the gang and especially Sheila, that if I didn’t (fall asleep first), that I’d be right back to join them!
The Bearcubs’ Home
I also should thank Bearcub, because at this point he finally uttered the words I had longed to hear: “That when he saw me arrive on Wednesday, I was a sight for sore eyes!” Awe.
FRIDAY – Early to rise, taking the opportunity to bid farewell to Racoon again, warm up by the fire which Bo built and to the sound of some rock N roll. Huh? This was the first sound of music at WP (via radio) I had heard, and at 6am? Hey, why not. But somehow it didn’t last that long; maybe someone was asked (or advised?) to turn it off. Bo, I do need to reiterate to you that I didn’t get enough of your guitar playing. Next time, okay?
Again this fine morning, we (hubby & I) chose to go fishing rather than eat. It turned out hot (weather wise & bite wise); and I so welcomed that beautiful sun shining upon my face. Even changed into shorts & a tank top that afternoon! Yikes, no pictures please gang.
I have to say, my favourite picture of the Bearcubs! 2 + 2 = 4 fingers.... Yippee
Allan, Andrew, Jeffrey with their Big catch – BTW, I believe Jeffrey had some as well
I guess the night before turned out to be a late one for our Master Bo (11:30pm did you say?), because no matter how hard Sheila and I tried to persuade him into staying up with us this night, it was in his opinion a ‘no go’. Albeit Bo, we did indeed appreciate you not retiring to your tent just yet, and sharing the moments with us in your chair nearby the fire. Also, all of your advice that night was duly noted:
I KNOW that had it not been dark, we would have found the left over WELLS and had a later night, although would have obviously been worse for wear the following day.
SATURDAY – Shucks, we had to leave. Luckily we spent time the evening prior getting organized and packing. My ambition was to fish just one more time, but discovered there was no time – shucks again! The Bearcubs unloaded by offering some of our ‘real’ food (a joke we made), including such things as marinated pork chops, Spirited rice, a pound of bacon etc., to our appreciative new friends Jeffrey and Andrew which we hope they enjoyed. As Chris was on his first load out, it began to rain and poor fellow was drenched and cold over the following 7 hours! Relieved that I had kept my rain coat as a ‘wind breaker’, I was anxious to arrive at the Meadow to locate my rain pants. Being wet and cold is not my cup of tea, and how lucky I was to find them and endure the downpour yet to come.
Goodbye White Partridge!
The Meadow had become a very busy place over the weekend. Spirits were not dampened by the rain, although some seemed a little melancholy that no fish had yet been landed by their crew. We chipped in to help them out; providing them with tips on where the fish were biting. They were encouraged and thanked us immensely. Now, to get this wet show on the road (takes time). My thanks go out to Sheila and Bo who knew what they were doing!
Getting the show down the road
Away we go
Relaxed and sad to be leaving yet looking forward to getting dry.
These beauties were very impressive
At the Spur, ....unload, lug, organize, carry, reload... (you all know the drill by now) Ready to rumble on motorized wheels, we bid farewell to Allan in hopes to meet again and see at least some of the numerous pictures and video footage he took. I wanted to exchange email addresses with him, although understood that he will soon be joining us on AA. Allan, are you out there? Racoon, any pics to share? Our email is HealthCare@HFHG.ca.
Bo, Sheila, Bearcub and I, needless to say, were quite pleased to arrive at the Big Stop for a large feed, get warm and the men dry off – the ladies, again needless to say but I will, were equipped to change into dry clothes. ;) I ordered the first things that I saw on people’s plates and almost all I could focus on was that big plate of poutine, trying not to think about the long 4 ½ hour drive that lie ahead by myself.
Bearcub and I came very close to not making it on this glorious trip into Algonquin Park, which we had planned with everyone involved over many previous months. It would have been a grave disappointment to have missed what we anticipated to be amazing, but thank goodness we worked it out and thanks to the generosity and encouragement of others, we experienced the trip of a lifetime!
Bo and Sheila, we look forward to another trip; it was difficult to say goodbye. Sheila, I look forward to our Spa day – could use it now!
For the record, my landing count over two days (Thu & Fri), was 4 + 4..... 8 Lake Trout! A total thrill and memories shared with wonderful people that I will never forget.
Denise (aka THE lucky Mrs. of the best fishing partner in the whole world – thank you my Bearcub for the precious moments)