It felt weird for us not going home to be with family for Thanksgiving. Instead we decided to take the long weekend and go on canoe trip to Noganosh Provincial Park. I have been extremely busy since starting school full-time, and really needed some down time.
I’m usually the planner in this family of 3 (B, Banjo and I), but because I was so busy B took on the responsibility of organizing our weekend away. Friday evening was a scramble as I got home from school late and then had to do some shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner at camp.
We were up early on Saturday to drive 2 hours north from Muskoka to Noganosh Provincial Park (non-operating) and launched our canoe at Flemings Landing. We paddled against a light headwind to our first portage. The portage was super easy. From there we paddled through a wetland/beaver pond, did another portage into another wetland/beaver pond and finally into Smokey Lake. I’d say the portages were about 300meters each.
Smokey was a beautiful lake. We paddled by a fishing lodge with rustic cabins. It didn’t look very occupied, or the guests were really quiet.
We were still paddling against a headwind and it had been lightly raining on and off all day. We decided to paddle to Noganosh Lake to spend our first night. We took a site that was really exposed to the wind. It really kicked up on this lake. B set up the shelter so we had some blockage from the gale-force wind. It was bone chilling!
It was already late in the afternoon by the time we arrived at our site so we settled in with camp chores and got a fire going to keep warm. It felt amazing to be outside getting some much needed Vitamin N.
It’s neat to witness the sun set at 6:30pm. It felt so much later than it really was. We were in bed probably by 9pm and up after 8am. The sun is rising around 7:30am. That’s a long time in the tent!
Sunday morning was a beauty! Mist dancing across the lake, the sun beaming over the coloured trees, and that amazing golden tone when it really starts to power up in the morning. The sun is so powerful and warming.
To make Monday a shorter day and paddle, we backtracked to Smokey Lake and took a site on a peninsula that gave us an awesome view of the lake.
We had so much fun here exploring, setting up camp again, and working on photography projects.
B also had planned a grand Thanksgiving dinner for us. The recipe came from Kevin Callan’s The New Trailside Cookbook and it didn’t disappoint! I made a centerpiece for our celebration and we enjoyed our hearty warm casserole from Grandpa’s Cookpot.
I can’t say enough about how beautiful this day was. All 3 of us had an incredible time being together outside. Especially Banjo who found her fair share of sticks (mostly from B’s wood pile!), who insisted we throw them for her all day long. She was happy.
We had a floatplane land and take-off twice on Smokey Lake, which was fun to watch.
I discovered that my sleeping bag sucks in shoulder seasons. I have a Marmot Trestles 15/-9 (I’ve had it for a few years now). Even though I had 2 pairs of wool socks on, my feet were still cold. I tossed and turned and bundled up in my sleeping bag as cozy and tight as possible. Getting up in the middle of the night to empty my bladder took many counts up to 10 until I finally couldn’t take it anymore. It was cold.
Monday morning was spectacular as we broke camp just as the sun was coming up. There was so much beauty in nature that it completely filled my prescription of Vitamin N. I loved this paddle.
When we got closer to the wetland/beaver ponds they were covered in frost, and ice had formed in the shallow water in the creek sections. It was cold. But beautiful!
Back to Kawigamog Lake to Flemings Landing to end our awesome weekend.
For me, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the things in life I’m thankful for; my best friend/husband, my fur baby Banjo, and the natural spaces that fill my heart with wonder and inspiration. It’s not about how much I get out, it’s about quality time and really appreciating and being present in my surroundings.
This guy ran out in front of us on our way home! Third bear I’ve seen in 2 weeks!
Thank you for reading! I really love posting these adventures in nature and hope to inspire others to explore these areas too, or just to get outside. Let me know if you have any questions or drop me a line in the comments section 🙂
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