|Bon Echo rock|
|Seemingly endless quartzite cliffs|
We set up camp, started a fire, and enjoyed gawddamn filet mignon cooked over an open fire with spinach mushroom risotto. When coming out of the backcountry, a hearty meal feels like a fine reward.
|That may or may not be an adult beverage in a tiny plastic mug.|
The next morning, it was up and at 'em for a full day of exploring. Of course, it started without pants.
|Because you've gotta have rules.|
Coffee and breakfast were had, while the local wildlife came and checked out these weirdos who were invading their turf.
|Tanker chatting with a chipmunk|
|"Excuse me, can I see your camping permit?"|
|"What do you mean 'your table'?"|
With full bellies and a car filled with gear for the day ahead, we set out on the Mugwump ferry to cross Mazinaw Lake, bringing us to the base of the Cliff Top Trail.
|Trail rehabilitation area: visitors are asked to bring gravel across and dump it to mitigate the soil erosion.|
|Natural steps formed by roots, to accompany all of the man-made stairs.|
|Looking back at the lagoon from whence we came|
|Rocks and roots and blissful shade|
|Northern Mazinaw Lake|
|Back down at the ferry dock.|
After our descent and return journey across the lake, we enjoyed a simple lunch on the shore before heading out to explore some more trails.
|Big rock on the High Pines Trail|
|This tree is disintegrating into a jigsaw puzzle|
|Highest point of the trail|
We then made a grievous tactical error. Despite knowing that the mosquitos were vicious in the park (it was August 1st, after all), we decided to hike the Bon Echo Creek Trail. It might as well have been called the Blood Donor Trail, as we were assaulted with extreme prejudice by tiny winged vampires from the moment we set out.
|Bon Echo Creek is nice, though.|
|Bon Echo Creek with a soon-to-be-anemic canoeist|
|The lovely footbridge at the creek's mouth.|
|Gobsmacked by the sheer scale of the cliffs|
|Centuries-old pictographs on the rock face|
|The Walt Whitman memorial, carved into the stone in 1920.|
|My little playboat|
|Tanker under an overhang|
|Seams of pink granite - evidence of some vigorous geography|
|The Nanabush panel of pictographs - the unofficial mascot of Bon Echo|
As we paddled along the 1.5km / 0.9 mile of breathtaking vertical geology, the sun began to set, demonstrating how the colours of the rock seem to change with the shifting of the light.
|Golden hour paddling|
|Heading back toward the narrows|
|A last look at the cliffs|
|Tanker chasing the sun trail|
|Setting sun in the lagoon|
After our delightful evening's paddle it was back to the campsite for another hearty, delicious dinner and a campfire lasting deep into the night.
|Using up our firewood|
We headed home the next morning as the hordes descended on the park for Civic Holiday weekend, but this will certainly not be our last visit to Bon Echo.