3 Things I Learned At Rock Lake, Algonquin Park

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Rock Lake is in God’s country in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. The 3 things I learned were not what I expected to learn there.

3 Things I Learned At Rock Lake

  1. Plan to be disconnected.
  2. Keep an open mind about your neighbours.
  3. Think twice about taking an Audi camping!

When you go to a place like Rock Lake in Algonquin Park, you can expect to learn about nature and be awed by the wonders of God’s creations. It is certainly amazing listening to the wolves, loons and owls throughout the night. I never expected to learn about cars, people and to be completely disconnected from the outside world.

Disconnected

The campground at Rock Lake is about 40km into the park from the west gate. That’s the side coming from Huntsville. It’s about 20km in from the east gate, the Ottawa side.  Once you leave Highway 60 and begin the journey 8km down a gravel road through the forest, there is no cell phone or data service. Nothing! You can’t call the office. You can’t check eMail. Even the GPS function on your smart phone doesn’t work any more. You’re in God’s hands now and the earth commands all of your attention. It’s time to reconnect with nature and appreciate the gift we have been given.

No cell phones or data

Keep An Open Mind About Your Neighbours

We arrived to peace and quiet on Friday afternoon. I had taken the day off to arrive early and enjoy the day. Then they arrived. A group of about 24 young Chinese people from Toronto. When a group that large arrives, you just know peace is out the window. But, do you? 

These young people had never been camping before. A little obvious by all the brand new matching tents! We were able to provide a hammer for the tent pegs and some guidance on getting a camp fire started. Yes, they were a little loud the first night. The park rangers were very polite and efficient in teaching them the importance of keeping the noise down.

Then came Sunday morning. It turns out they were a group from a church in Toronto. As I sat by my fire cooking pancakes for my granddaughter, I recognized “How Great Thou Art” and then realized they were singing in Chinese. A beautiful song in any language. I was surprised to find tears welling up.

When I thought about why this was bringing tears, I realized it was because this song brought back memories of my mother. Then I realized that they were doing something I used to do as Akela with my son who had also passed away. We used to do something similar with our cubs in the  forest when we were away at camp. Although those memories are bitter sweet, I’m thankful God brought this group of young Christians to our camp this weekend.

Audi

Think twice before you take an Audi camping! The young couple on the site next to us were driving an Audi SUV that was about 2 years old. They locked their key in the back of the car and the only spare was back home in Toronto. 

They called a lock smith who couldn’t get them in. CAA couldn’t do any better and it would cost up to $800 to tow them home. Denise (my wife) to the rescue! We drove them to the Visitor Centre where we could get cell service and called Audi. After Audi insisted that CAA should have been able to gain access to the car, Denise convinced Audi that they needed to do something to solve the problem. They agreed to have the car towed to an Audi dealer in Vaughan. Score 1 for Audi! 

The young couple rode back to Vaughan with the driver and their friend was bringing the spare keys to the dealer.

Recommendation

I highly recommend a visit to Rock Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. Leave your technology in the glove box. Buy your firewood and rent canoes at Opeongo Outfitters just outside the east gate of the park. Take a non-electric campsite and enjoy connecting with God’s country!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that Church in Toronto that brought new friends. I’m thankful for Ontario Parks maintaining Algonquin Park. I’m thankful for all of God’s creations. What are you thankful for today?

 

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1 Comment

    • Shiva on July 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm
    • Reply

    Wonderfully written !! Audi thing was hilarious lol but great idea

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