Monday, 31 August 2015

Algonquin Provincial Park - Pog Lake Campground

On August 23-26, we went on our annual camping trip. This time, we booked a site at Pog Lake, one  of Algonquin Provincial Park's many campsites. The site we booked was right on the lake, site 223. We rented a 3-person canoe from The Portage Store  on Canoe Lake for about $40 a day. The canoe was delivered to the campsite at a drop off point at 4 p.m. on the day of our arrival. We then returned the canoe to the same location at 11 a.m. on the day of our departure. 

Gear wise, I just obtained a Canon 6D (finally, full frame!). I brought all my lenses with me but the most used lens had to be the 17-40L. I also brought my Fuji X100 for light travel but it was not used that much. I used my tripod a lot as well. This was the first real test for the 6D--many of the pictures here are very lightly processed--just straightening and exposure correction, no fancy filters. It is truly an amazing camera and worth every penny. 
Yes, this is not to be taken lightly as my brother actually saw a bear raiding someone's campsite during our time here. Keep your food in the vehicle when you leave your campsite, even when you're just to go to the bathroom.  
View from our tent. The campsite itself is very beautiful. Privacy was not the best but these are the trade-offs for being right on the lake. Another trade-off? It was extremely windy and cold. REALLY windy. 
The majority of our time here was spent on the canoe. 
We went fishing quite a lot and found some pretty good cover where all the rock bass were. We only caught a few species here: rock bass, perch and smallmouth bass.   
We're not very good fishermen so this was a pretty good catch for us. We fished mostly with a "Squirmin' Squirt" by Bass Pro Shops on a bobber. I also had some success (surprisingly) with a Texas-rigged worm and caught some decent sized rock bass. 
A lot of vegetation on the lake. 
This was probably the only time where the skies were blue and not cloudy during our trip. I think we were unlucky with the weather system during our stay. 
We called these cool duckies "Redhead Ducks" but of course, they have a proper name: Common merganser duck and I believe these are all females. They swim very quickly and often dive under to catch some fish. Very cool to see.  
Turtle spotted! The lake itself is not very big and you can easily travel the whole lake in one day.  
Golden hour at our campsite.  
4/5 Muliadi's 
The only golden hour we had that was not covered by clouds.  
Only had to walk a couple feet to get to this view. 
Blue-hour exploration. 
Lil' bro practicing some steering. 
It was also around this time that we saw a beaver swimming and flopping around (not pictured). Beavers are usually pretty secretive creatures so it was very cool to see them in action! 
It got very windy, cloudy and rainy after the first day and we found ourselves really bored. Thus, I took the time to practice using my ND and GND filters and here was the result. 30s exposure with Hoya ND400 + two Hitech GND filters stacked together.  
Rain comin' down.  
Often, we were frequented by a group of ducks. This one however, was usually by itself.  
Of course they had to do this.
Mi parents + lonely duck.  
Unsurprisingly, it wasn't really scared of us. At one point, I caught a grasshopper and it fell in the water. This ducky scooped it up and ate it so quickly.  
As you can see, they're not kidding when they say there are bears here. This was captured by Rei, my big brother. Our neighbour had told us that he spotted it on his walk around the grounds. My brother walked around to see if he can spot it and there it was, on the campsites above us sniffing out some grub. Apparently the guy on the site was taking his daughter to the washroom and this guy came during that time. He got away with a bag of corn. 
Fav shot, no editing whatsoever. Used the ND/GND combo to get this moody effect.  
Rain, rain and more rain.  
It was cold enough that we had to do this to keep warm.  
 Clouds kept rolling in through the night. 
At least on our last night, the skies opened up so could finally watch the stars for a bit. Thank God! 
More clouds rolling in through the night :( 
The moon was extremely bright that night. 
Caught a meteor and a little bit of the Milky Way.  
Alas, the last day. As we packed up our things this little woodpecker came to play.  
That's all!

Overall, we loved Pog Lake. If you love to canoe and fish, this is definitely a good place for you. Our campsite was beautiful, but as a trade-off, be prepared to deal with very windy, cold and unpredictable turns of the weather. Campsite 223 also had quite a slope downhill towards the lake. Privacy wasn't the greatest as there was not much cover between the adjacent campsites. Miraculously, I didn't get bit by any mosquitoes, shocking! The washrooms were very well kept and probably the cleanest I've ever seen between all the Ontario Parks facilities I've been to. 
The campsite also offers a beach-volleyball net near the entrance that is open to use. 

Very recommended (canoe required for maximum experience)! 8/10

-e.m. 

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