Algonquin 2012

Posted on September 24, 2012


What has always been a start to my autumn was my trek towards Algonquin Park.  I don’t think I would ever get tired of seeing all the possible tones of red in such a wide expanse.  Each time I come near it, I feel like I am home.  For seven years now, my friends and I have visited this park, staying at the Logging Chain Lodge for the weekend.  Last year, I came here with the uncertainty of how we could sustain our friendship if we were on different jobs and careers.  This year I came back with more security that my friends and I would overcome the need to be working in the same place to identify with each other.  It was fitting that I got to see an encouraging quote hanging on the wall that weekend.  It said “Don’t dream your life, live your dreams”.  With better confidence on my footing now as a photographer I smile as I took the picture.  It made a difference knowing now that I have more semblance and direction. I have a better understanding of myself and I see progress on the work that I have done last year. As my friends and I came back to Algonquin, it was comforting to feel the tight hugs and see the warm smiles.  As I said, Algonquin has its magic of making things feel right.

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This year was a mix of old and new.  I still do rise up impossibly early, wanting to see that amazing sunrise as it always try to tame the mist that hovers over the lake.  That gentle nudge of the morning sun on the misted red leaves always catches my attention.  I must have thousands of images of the same sort but it doesn’t really matter.  For two hours my friends and I would be indulging ourselves taking pictures of what was around us.  It sure is more enjoyable that I share this love of photography with Valerie and Natalia.  What was new was the management of where we pick up coffee to help us jump-start our brains.  Dwight Coffee is now Erika’s Coffee and Bakery.  What was good was the expanded menu from what it was before.  They offered savory breakfasts together with their freshly baked muffins.  What caught my eye was the breakfast pizza.  We came too early for it on our first day but Natalia and I got to try it the following day. It was decadent and sinful and I ate up half of a serving.  I definitely wanted more but that richness I have to keep check.  With the change of management, I was glad that the quality of the coffee stayed top-notch.  Robust and fresh, it has always been a real treat to be sipping one that early in the morning.

Having been here a few times, my friends and I decided to go on our favorite trail, the Booth’s Rock. I have walked up the steep hills of Booth’s Rock so many times and I do believe it is the best walking trail in the park.  The sentiment about this trail I shared with the group and we set off to hike it once again.  After a few hours of steep hill hiking, we finally reached our favorite rock.  Even if it wasn’t as red as in the previous years, I still appreciated the view.  There is something about just sitting and looking towards infinity that was absolutely calming.

Weekend finally came and just like how we end each trip, we have to do one more of our highlights.  This is our trek to Henrietta’s Pine Bakery. This novelty bakeshop in the middle of Dwight, Ontario was the local favorite.  Each time I get here, I always make a point to bring home their Muskoka clouds.  Creamy and sweet with a hint of tartness from the cranberries, this soft pillow of decadence is quite addicting.  I was heartbroken that they didn’t have any German raisin breads that day.  That was another favorite of mine.  The Muskoka clouds kept me cheerful though.  ;)

Before heading home, Valerie, Natalia and me swung by Huntsville, Ontario on a lookout for antique stores.  Just a five-minute drive off Hwy 60, Huntsville Main St. is an eye candy to any tourist.  Littered with small artisan shops and a good sprinkling of restaurants, it has a vive of a heritage town.   It streets were picturesque and artsy, some building walls holding massive reproductions of Group of 7 art.  This trip we discovered The Mill on the Main.  Both Valerie and Natalia went for the daily special of sweet potato and pumpkin soup and a lamb burger while I opted for the same soup and a 20-hour slowly cooked beef brisket.  The soup should be a mainstay at their menu.  It was such a treat on a cold day.  Despite the tenderness of my beef brisket I was not able to finish it.  The soup was heavy enough to last me through the rest of my afternoon.  Wanting coffee after our meal we crossed Main St. and walked towards The Nutty Chocolatier.  I could never go into this store without getting a sugar jolt.  This year, I picked up fudge.  There was no way I can resist it when their seasonal flavor was bacon maple.  I love bacon!  Wasn’t it obvious??? :)))

Ah, but just like any other weekend, this one ends too.  But I never fear anymore as I know I would be back there walking the trails once again next year.  Algonquin Park would definitely always stay a part of me for years to come.

The Mill on Main on Urbanspoon
Henrietta's Pine Bakery on Urbanspoon
Erika's on Urbanspoon