The celebrated artist Tom Thomson and his comtemporaries in The Group of Seven spent a great deal of time in Algonquin Park. The Park was more rugged then, and more quiet I’m sure. But despite the changes over the years, this Park remains as inspiring as ever.
Hubby and I have had a long-lasting love affair with this Park. So much so that I wanted to name our son or daughter Quin (short for Algonquin). We’ve spent countless hours alone in the park. On islands adrift in lakes, with no one around but the stars. And we’ve proudly brought visiting family and friends from outside of Canada into the Park as well.
These trips were all before children. I was much hardier then. Our trips into the Park were more like adventures — tons of canoeing and lots of portaging — where we would seek out spots few others had been to. Now, I use our two children as an excuse for not undertaking this kind of trip … they wouldn’t be able to physically do it, we’d be too far from help if something happened, it’s too complicated with diapers, etc. But really, it’s me. Somehow motherhood has softened me rather than toughened me up.
But this past weekend I returned to the Park. Hubby is determined to bring me back to my former camping self. With baby steps. Baby steps that include a tent trailer.
So rather than head out into the wilderness, we parked at a tent site with our trailer. Although we are admittedly “camping snobs” who don’t do “car camping,” we’ve resigned to swallow our pride for this portion of our lives with young children. And I think you’ll agree after looking at this photo, that really, it wasn’t that tough to swallow our pride afterall.
Algonquin Park is enormous, so it does help to know where you’re going. We had that to our advantage, but now you will too! This is camp site #23 at Achray.
As far as car camping goes, Achray campground does manage to preserve some of our most treasured camping elements: peace, quiet (no radios allowed!), and treed sites that are quite private. And it’s also the locale where Tom Thomson painted his famous Jack Pine. In fact, you can take a short hike (very easy, kids can handle it no probs) to the exact spot where the pine tree was!
But alas, the pine tree no longer stands there. It died, and then some stupid campers cut it up for fire wood.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. We relaxed, we ate, we hiked, we spotted wild life.
All was good in the world. (And then it snowed on Tuesday.)