Algonquin Park: Camping Trip Logs: 004 - White Partridge Express - Access Point #A29
Trip Log: May 7 - 14, 2010 White Partridge Express.
Through some friendships developed from being a member of the Algonquin Adventures forum I was offered the opportunity to go on the 2010 edition of what has come to be known as the White Partridge Express. This is a trip that heads in to White Partridge Lake, but avoids the grueling 14 kilometer portage to get there by taking a wagon pulled by a pair of horses. It was a unique adventure, filled with lots of first time experiences and one I enjoyed a great deal.
This was a week long spring fishing trip, going for Algonquin Park Brook and Lake Trout. You'll have to read on to see how we did!
The first day of this trip was just getting to the east side of Algonquin Park (an eight hour drive for me) and getting our canoes and gear to the teamsters farm to load on the wagons. We all stayed in a rental cottage (Pine Ridge Park) on the Ottawa River in Petawawa with plans to get an early morning start. We sent a crew into town for beer and burgers and settled in to watch some Stanely Cup playoff hockey.
We were all up at the crack of dawn raring to go. Well some of us were. OK, we got up grumbling and cursing but still excited to get on the wagons and hit the trail. A quick run into Timmies and we drove to the teamsters for the final loading before driving to the Sand Lake Gate to get our interior permits. Arriving not long after 7:00 AM we realized there was still almost two hours before the office would open. We weren't waiting for that, so we took advantage of the self serve registration box and continued on the way to Stuart's Spur.
It seems to be an unwritten rule that detailed descriptions and photos of the wagon ride in to White Partridge be avoided, this is to encourage future trippers to make an effort to experience it first hand. But here's a little sneak peak!
Two and a half hours later, after a fun filled good time riding in we arrived at "The Meadow" on the shore of White Partridge Lake. This is a grassy spot well used by campers to fish the area, there are some structures here as well for housing the horses and making life a little more enjoyable. Our teamsters hung a tarp over one to make a large kitchen area and parked one of the wagons alongside it. A tarp over this and we had a comfy, dry place for us to sleep. It was like a mini-town by the time they were done.
Andrew, Tony and their assistant were amazing. They quickly got things squared away, had some cold beverages for us and then Tony began cooking our supper. Since I had the covered wagon to sleep in (on 6 inches of foam!) and nothing else really to get done I decided to join John, Pete and Jeffrey for a little exploration of the area. We headed northwards on the P2315 towards White Partridge Creek before turning eastward along an old, well overgrown lumber road. I think this was the moment I decided I needed to be in better shape. It was tough work keeping up with the US Army Ranger and the 60 year old gentleman!
On our return we found some people gathering their strength before dinner and Bo returning from a quick trip to see how the fish were biting. He caught a nice Lake Trout not far from shore. Tony had spent the afternoon cooking up an amazing turkey dinner - turkey, mashed potatoes, salad and buns. What a way to start an Algonquin Spring Fishing Trip.
After such a delicious supper we all settled in around the camp fire, enjoying some beverages and talking endlessly about Algonquin and past camping trips, fishing and other tall tales. The weather was turning colder with periods of rain/sleet. It was a long day with an early start so I headed off to my sleeping bag in good time. Most others had the same idea.
That was the end of day one, what would the rest of the week bring?
Trip Log 004
Access Point #A29
White Partridge Lake
North Branch Lake
The infamous WPX 2010 trip! Three inches of snow, bushwhacking here and there and a nice walk on the Loonskin Lake portage. Oh, and lots of delicious Brook Trout!
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