I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

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I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

Postby flyover » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:13 pm

We do a week-long wilderness canoe trip every year.

Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW, often simply referred to as the BWCA) is a gem, but often "crowded" by our standards during summer school break. Accordingly, we prefer Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park which is just north of the BWCAW and can be paddled into from the American side, provided one obtains a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit, by mail, from Canadian Customs in Thunder Bay.

The Quetico, especially the southern half, is much less busy than the BWCAW. For example, last year during the 3rd week of August we paddled an 86 mile loop through some of the Park's most scenic lakes and went a full three days in the middle of the trip without seeing another soul.

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The landscape is dominated by some of the oldest rock on the face of the planet.


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Pictograph


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Our daughter, making herself useful on a portage.


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Twilight reflection


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This year in May, we made conflicting permit reservations for both the Quetico and the BWCAW in hope that the border would open before the start of our trip.

Unfortunately the border remains closed, so we will be paddling on the American side this year. (No hard feelings, Canada. If we were you, we wouldn't let us in either right now.)

Fortunately, the Canadian dollar has gained value against the American dollar since May and Ontario Parks was cool enough to give us a full refund for our permit in light of the closed border. The end result for us is a US$26 profit. :lol:

Suddenly I have some enthusiasm for cancelling my February tour with Mustang.
Last edited by flyover on Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

Postby Sbooker » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:49 pm

Looks like a lovely spot.
The pics were taken in May? So spring time?
I yearn to live in a location that gets cool enough in spring to require a hat for warmth.
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Re: I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

Postby flyover » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:11 pm

Sbooker wrote:Looks like a lovely spot.


The Boundary Waters and Quetico are big spots, too.

The BWCAW is nearly 1.1 million acres (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_ ... Wilderness) and the Quetico is nearly 1.2 million acres (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetico_Provincial_Park), making for contiguous controlled-access, non-mechanized wilderness with maintained canoe routes of 2.2+ million acres.

Sbooker wrote: The pics were taken in May? So spring time?


Actually, the permit we cancelled was reserved in May. The pics are from our trip in the 3rd week of August last year, technically, the dog days of summer.
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Re: I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:13 am

flyover wrote:Suddenly I have some enthusiasm for cancelling my February tour with Mustang.

Today $1 CDN = 75 cents USD, exactly the same as when we checked out of Mustang Feb. 24.

$CDN hit 69 cents on March 18 and was still 70 cents on May 2, rising to 73 cents by May 30.

Is there a bug problem in those parks? If so is it a short burst that can be avoided going before or after it as I've observed in Tuolumne Meadows?
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Re: I ought to cancel more vacations to Canada.

Postby flyover » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:39 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Today $1 CDN = 75 cents USD, exactly the same as when we checked out of Mustang Feb. 24.


Buzzkill.

Tony Crocker wrote:$CDN hit 69 cents on March 18 and was still 70 cents on May 2, rising to 73 cents by May 30.


We made our permit reservation on May 4.

Tony Crocker wrote:Is there a bug problem in those parks?


There are some mosquitoes anytime between a little before last frost (historical average early-mid June) to a little after first frost (historical average early September). IMO, bug tolerance is pretty subjective, but here's our take: by August of most years the mosquitoes are generally easy to manage. Black flies generally run their course by late June or so. If there is a breeze (more often then not there is - in fact, it seems that every few years or so, on a large lake, we get pinned down on our campsite for a day by high winds and waves), having a campsite on an exposed point or island is all it takes to manage the bugs. Even when the bugs are "bad," it generally just means retreating to the tent for about 45 minutes just after sunset. I never use repellent, but my body stopped reacting to mosquito bites long, long ago. We've had much worse mosquito experiences at altitude backpacking in the Big Horns, the Beartooths and the Canadian Rockies.
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