Saxso and Casey crashed after the trip
Marcel Labelle with his hand crafted canoe constructed from a single piece of birchbark.
Tom on Casey with Saxso packed to go brushcutting; Ann Gillis relieved to have her canoeists back!
Saxso packed water in and the saddle out
In mid-August, 2008 Beloeil was recovering from an injury so we hauled Casey and Saxso east to ride with the OTRA (Ontario Trail Riders Assoc.) riders in an area just north of Mattawa. I took the pack saddle and all the trimming gear as it was billed as a working ride to open up some more trails. Nothing ever works exactly as planned! Marvin Halladay, the ramrod for the trimming end of things, was unable to bring his horses so the work party didn't develop as expected; however, he did point me in the right direction and I got a bit of trimming done.
Some excitement developed after two canoeists who were part of our OTRA group set out for a float down Antoine Creek about 5:00 p.m. All of us became worried when they didn't return by dark.. To make a long story short, the search and rescue guys from Trenton brought them out by helicopter just before daybreak. They had come to a falls which none of us knew about on the river and pulled the canoe out. It was almost dark at that time and the bush was thick so they wisely stayed put. It's the first time I've been up all night in a long time.
The highlight of the week was the Saturday corn roast and entertainment arranged by our camp hosts Greg O'Connor and Colleen Maxwell.
The Algonquin ride had an unexpected event. A horse (not one of ours) had a large stick puncture its crotch and exit the right rear buttock, a serious injury. We learned of the incident as we rode back to camp from Sunday morning breakfast at the Mad Musher. After some considerable time and effort, we got the horse and rider back to camp and he immediately loaded the horse and headed out to find a veterinarian. Despite a concerted effort on the part of Park staff, no vet could be found to come to the Park on Sunday afternoon of the long weekend. The last we heard was that the horse was recovering.
The rides over the three days were well attended and, with a bonfire each evening, there was ample opportunity to renew acquaintances. The beautiful trails in Algonquin remind us of the ones here at home, but the footing is better in Algonquin.
Sunday morning breakfast at the Mad Musher
OTRA rescue crew at Thistle Cabin