We visited Algonquin Provincial Park last month. It was wonderful! Algonquin has breath taking beauty of Canada, and one can see nature at its purest there. Every time we visit there, we always see a Moose. So many activities, so few people. We just love it.
We did make a mistake though. After covering some short trails easily, we took on an 11 km trail. Mainly because this trail had wildlife sighting. First problem we faced was mud! Ground was muddy because of the rain last night and our speed was very slow! My sister was with us, who is not very skilled in such activities. Another problem was mosquitoes. As soon as we started sweating, mosquitoes attacked us. As my 12 year old brother, Bumpi said, "We are all-you-can-eat buffet for mosquitoes".
Within first hour, we all thought that it's stupid to go back now. That was a mistake, as there were 9 more kilometers ahead, and due to our slow speed and mud, it turned out to be 4 more hours!
We saw in first 15 minutes that few people are turning back. We thought nah! They are losers. We can do it. It's no big deal. It's just mud; we'll wash our cloths later. After that for next 4 hours it was just us, no one else! We and voices of some birds. Honestly, I was little scared. If it was just me and Irfan (brother younger than me, 23), I won't be. But it was my whole family, my sister, 12 year old Bumpi and my father. I think my sister Ayesha was a bit scared, but she would never admit :)
Anyways, trail became muddy, dry, steep, and easy and we kept walking. My father, Bumpi and Aysha surprised us, specially my father; he was with my sister all the time and he never asked for a break. Maybe that was because of our slow speed due to mud.
2 km before the end, I saw a big foot print in front of us. I and my best friend, Bumpi were leading. We paused, discussed for a while, then I send Irfan back with Dad and Ayesha. Bumpi and I took the lead again. This time I asked Bumpi to stay few feet behind me, in case the foot print owner is near by! Print seemed very new, and I picked a fat looking stick from the ground. Wasn't sure if I can fight with it.
We resumed, a bit cautious. Now we were walking in thick grass, four feet tall! Algonquin park has done a great job putting marks on the trail, otherwise it was hard to differentiate track from the wilderness. Mosquitoe attack was intense. I must have lost few table spoons of blood! Bumpi was extremely annoyed by mosquitoes now. We were wearing bandanas, as you can see from his picture, but our hands and faces were being gnawed off! Bumpi was at times, dancing because of bugs!
It was the last kilometer, poor Bumpi was dog tired now and he wanted to take a break. But we couldn't stop because we were running away from the damn bugs! We kept walking, and I started 'motivating' Bumpi. Like just a few more steps and we are there, just behind that rock, just behind those trees etc.
After a bit of these 'motivation', Bumpi, dog tired, mosquito bitten, extremely thirsty turned towards me and said, "I think you are bitten by too many mosquitoes. You are getting Illusions!". I felt like an upline whose downline searched the internet!
Worst part, I didn't make any money at all ;)
PS: I made Irfan canoe carry the family with me after that.