Wednesday, August 16, 2017


It was my second visit to this park in 2016, this time in the fall, when the bugs and most tourists were gone! We booked a campsite on Blackstone Harbour, not far from the channel leading to Woods Bay. I had camped on this campsite several times in the past and it was certainly one of the best in this area. This time I came with Chris and we brought several fishing rods, hoping to catch at least enough fish for dinner.
Our campsite on Blackstone Harbour in 2016
It took us less than 20 minutes to reach the campsite; it had not changed much since my last visit, yet some of the trees head been gone and the fire pit re-located. We quickly unpacked and set up two tents. The newly installed bear-proof food container was extremely useful, saving us a lot of time and effort hanging the food up in the trees. A shrewd chipmunk had a burrow just next to the food bin and each time we left the bin’s lid open for just a few minutes, it was rummaging inside, trying to steal as much food as possible by stuffing his cheek pouches!
At the same campsite in 2010!
There were very few people in the park. Only once did we see the adjacent campsite (a few hundred meters away) being occupied. A couple of times a fishing boat passed by, but we did not see its occupants catch any fish. Almost every evening we paddled in the bay and did some fishing, but only managed to catch several pikes. Later we found out that other fishermen, who spent more time on the water and brought plenty of fishing equipment, did not even manage to match our very modest catch!

From our campsite we could see a cottage (but nobody was ever there), as well as an island and another campsite (the one on which Catherine and I had spent 10 days camping in June/July, 2016). We really enjoyed the view and often brought our chairs to the rocky shore facing the island.
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
Although I prefer reading non-fiction, I brought several paperbacks and horror stories. According to the reviews, they were supposed to be very good, least to say. Unfortunately, after reading the first 50 or so pages, I gave up, they were not good at all. So, I ended up reading a bunch of magazines (“The Economist”), which I subscribed to. It is a very intelligent magazine, which offers in-depth and discerning analysis of current political and business events—but at the same time it is very liberal and politically correct. Well, it only shows that intelligence and stupidity can go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive.

One evening we were fishing between our campsite and the cottage; suddenly we saw a black contour near the cottage. Initially we thought it was a dog, but in no time we realized it was a mother bear (sow) with two very small cubs. Darn, just that evening I did not bring my camera! Even though we paddled relatively close to the shore, the bears were not frighten by our presence and for at least 30 minutes we were observing it as the sow was wandering on the shore, the cubs following her.

The next morning, about 7:00 am, I heard some unusual noises, as if toddlers were whimpering or yelping. Since we heard plenty of birds every morning, I thought it was a bird making those sounds. I opened the tent's door and stuck my head out for a better look: it was the sow with her two cubs wandering on our campsite and they were making such noises! I did not think she saw me, but by the time I got my camera, the three bears were gone.
Perhaps Chris is so sour-faced because we are going home tomorrow...
Once we saw a fox, but he fled very quickly, not finding any food. I also spotted a very long water snake in the middle of the campsite! I called Chris to show it to him—the snake headed directly towards Chris' open tent and almost got inside. Chris actually grabbed him by the tail at the last moment. What was my camera again???

Twice we paddled to the parking lot (Pete's Place), chained the canoe to a tree and drove to the town of MacTier and later to Parry Sound. While in Parry Sound, we went to the Hart Store, No Frills and spent almost an hour in the bookstore called Bearly Used Books (excellent!). Later we drove to the docks where, under the CPR Trestle over the Seguin River we had our lunch (Catherine and I had been coming there for several years to have snacks and drinks while watching the passing trains above). By the way, just two days before Catherine had also visited Parry Sound while driving to the USA; we even thought about her coming to and staying on our campsite for a night, but it would have been too complicated.

One afternoon, as I was sitting at the campsite on the rock and reading a book, I heard some people talking—long before I saw them, as they were emerging from the channel and heading towards Pete's Place. There were three young guys in a canoe, apparently having a very good time! After a while I again heard some voices coming from the direction of their canoe, which then was quite close to Pete's Place—the canoe had capsized and they were in the water! I believe they were wearing life jackets, so they were more-less OK. A motorboat approached them and took them and some of their floating stuff aboard—and soon the park's boat got their canoe and towed it to the parking lot.
Almost ready to leave!

The last few days we did not see any other campers on Blackstone Harbour, we were the only ones. When we finally packed up on October 5, 2016 and paddled to the parking lot, I was quite surprised to see just ONE car in the whole parking lot—mine!

As long as the weather is good, September and October are excellent months for camping and canoeing!

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