Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wanderlust Wednesday: Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

My friend Krista (the one I went to Europe with this past summer) is an amazing photographer. In September, I told her I wished we could have a photography day this fall where we got together and took pictures. She suggested we head  up to Algonquin Park, which is about 2.5-3 hours north of here. She usually goes up there around Thanksgiving with her family, but has wanted to go earlier in the season to see the leaves. We kept an eye on the Algonquin Twitter page, which said the first weekend of October would  be the optimal time, so we planned our photography road trip. 

Well...the Twitter page lied, and there was very little change, but the park was still gorgeous and we had a great time. We thought we'd wander around and take pictures, but ended up doing a lot of hiking. After sitting at my desk all week (and a lot of the time in general), my body was like WTF ARE YOU DOING, but it was great to be outside in the fresh air, surrounded by nature.

If you ever have a chance to visit the park, keep that in mind - there's a lot of hiking, and it's strenuous. Much of it is uphill and there's a lot of giant rocks and tree roots and HILLS, did I mention the hills? The views are worth it, though. Make sure to dress appropriately - comfy shoes with good soles, and a sweater or jacket if it's cool weather, because you're at high altitude and it's quite windy. I was glad I had a sweater with a hood, and the second stop we made in the park I ended up putting on an extra sweater, which I needed for a bit, and then tied around my waist. Be sure to bring a camera! I mostly used the camera on my phone, but I had my point and shoot, too. There's little to no cell service inside the park, so be aware of that. And finally, watch for animals. We didn't see any (I was disappointed!), but apparently there are bears, moose, wolves, and beavers in the park. Keep an eye out for them, don't feed them, don't approach them, etc.

Beaver dam! I'd never seen one up close before.

Krista the Duck Whisperer. We went exploring in this secluded area that was NOT a trail to take pictures of my Funko Pops (yes you read that right...expect to see said pics in another post eventually), and these ducks swam over, climbed up a giant hill, and came right over to Krista and got within inches of her and just hung out. It was so funny...and yet not totally uncommon, because animals LOVE her.

Have you been to Algonquin Park? Or any Provincial (or State) Park? Do you like to hike? Take photos of nature? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

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