We made lunch after our swim; wildrice, tuna and noodles with our leftover tomato from breakfast. We read for a while more before building a big fire to sit by, using the wood we had collected on our adventure earlier. We played Bonanza, Jaipur, Cathedral and Carccassone while listening to Rip Slyme.
Much later we heated up water to make our weird space meals we had purchased at the outdoor store. I had chosen a shrimp and rice curry and Jives chose a veggie lasagna meal. You boil water and pour it into the pouch with the freeze dried food, then you wait 8 minutes before shaking the pouch and letting it sit for another 8 minutes. Jives’ lasagna was great, my shrimp rice was edible. We then played cards and sat by the fire listening to music. I set up a timelapse to capture the sunsetting over Laurel Lake. It got dark so quickly, so we housed our bear pinata into the tree and got ready to retreat into our tent. All of a sudden the moon rose over the trees, the brightest I had ever seen! The light was sooooo bright, so we decided to sit outside a bit longer and watch it rise higher. We finally called it a day at about 10pm.
I woke up at 7am to lots of mist on the lake and in the sky. The mist was hovering over the hills and the sun was just peaking over the top. I made a coffee and sat in my rock chair at the water’s edge, soaking in the sunlight. Jives woke up a bit later, and we loosely planned to leave our site by 9:30am. We had a breakfast of oatmeal with apples and bagels toasted over the fire. Jives made a fire to burn our last burnable waste. We packed up and headed away from our amazing site at around 10:10am. The first paddle was very short, just to the end of Laurel Lake, in order to portage to Aura Lee Lake.
We successfully managed to portage back in a single portage to Aura Lee Lake. Jives carried the canoe and I carried everything else, this saved us a lot of time. Aura Lee to Cedar Lake is my favourite part of the trip. We passed the site on Aura Lee that I had stayed at on a previous trip, and then passed through the bridge tunnel under the train tracks. We took our time and marvelled at the gorgeous scenery and day. Once we got to Cedar Lake, the paddling became rough. The waves were much bigger than before and we really had to push to make any headway. We stopped at a site with old train tracks leading into the water, before the last leg of the paddling, the worst paddling we had had all trip, with very large waves. We arrived back at the Brent Store around 2pm and returned our boat and paddles.
The Brent Store guy chatted us up as we left, he is a truly wonderful person. He told me not to embarrass myself by telling people it had been 10 years since I had last visited Algonquin Park. We then started our drive back out of the park, stopping at the crater viewing point on the way out. The drive back to the Trans Canada highway was about an hour, but uneventfully (the Brent store guy warned us that on Friday afternoons the logging trucks were the worst as the guys were trying to fit in more runs before the weekend). We then took the Trans Canada highway into Quebec to get to a Metro grocery store, as Jives wanted to buy his favourite Quebec beer. The detour took about 2 hours, but we saw a cool covered bridge and the scenery was so incredible. The rest of the drive home took until 11pm. We stopped at a rest stop to get A&W veggie burgers, but otherwise it was uneventful.