Five days before my friend Florence’s wedding, the two of us went on a trip to Lindsay, Ontario, a small region in the city of Kawartha Lakes. Aside from being actual lakes themselves, Kawartha Lakes is an agglomeration of quiet communities approximately an hour and a half east of Toronto by driving. Florence and I had planned this trip a few months ago, where we figured we’d go somewhere to relax and calm any last-minute wedding panics. So no, I was not kidnapping the bride, if you were wondering.
In Lindsay we stayed at a local motel for two nights, and it became our mini bachlorette party. For our hike, we headed to the nearby Ken Reid Conservation Area, where we ventured deep into the woods on a hiking trail on a nice Tuesday afternoon.
Why Kawartha Lakes? Well, after last year’s trip to Tobermory, Florence and I wanted to find somewhere similar, something close to nature where we could enjoy a nice hike near the waters. A little bit of research led us to Kawartha Lakes. Of course, none of our friends had been there before, but we figured, let’s give it a try. Nothing can be so bad with each other’s company, right?
RAWR! Get away from mah territory! This little chipmunk was the first thing we saw after we parked the car. It was making itself comfortable in the pile of wild fruits, munching some here and there and scurrying around. Chipmunks are really the cutest things ever, and look at this one! The fierce look in its eyes, the fiery grasp of its claws, and the flaming flick of its tail…the BADASSERY!
This sign was everywhere as we looked for our hiking trails. It warned, “BEARS ACTIVE APRIL TO NOVEMBER. AVOID ENCOUNTERS. BE ALERT. USE AT OWN RISK.” Um, OK? I got a little paranoid throughout the entire hike because of that sign because you never know when a bear is gonna jump out at you and rip your guts apart. Or maybe it just wants to give you a bear hug, I don’t know. Kinda sad that my biggest worry would be a bear encounter…
Do you see it? Yes, there’s a frog in there! This was probably the highlight of our trip. As we approached the shore of a marshy body of water, something jumped at my feet. We froze, then I saw it – a frog so well camouflaged that it took intense concentration to see it! Florence and I both began taking pictures of this lovely creature and surprisingly it was very cooperative and didn’t move at all. It was as if the frog knew we were there and just lazily posed for a photo shoot. After awhile, I decided to poke the frog with a stick while Florence tried to take a jumping shot, but it was futile as the frog was a bit TOO cooperative and refused to move…oh well. At least we remember my (in)famous quote, “What if it shoots poison darts at me or something???”
In photographs, you always see mystic woods bathed in scattered rays of sunlight, giving you such a feeling of serenity. You probably feel like it’s an earthly paradise and long to be transported there immediately. In real life, however, it is slightly creepy to be in the woods surrounded by no signs of human life. The light at the entrance of the trails grows dimmer and dimmer until you’re in the midst of nothing but sticks and leaves – now, THAT is nature, but perhaps not yet paradise. Oh, did I mention the spiders and bugs? 😀
I gotta admit, though, that these trees impressed me. The atmosphere was so cool that I felt like I was in an artificially air conditioned bio-dome of some sort, yet the coolness was calming and refreshing. And I was still on the lookout for bears.
A board walk connects the Cedar Forest to Point Trail, the trail that we were looking for and the longest out of the approximately 10 trails in Ken Reid. The entrance into the next forest is devoid of any light so really, how do we know where we’re going and what we’re getting ourselves into?
No bear spotted yet, but we did see quite a few pretty dragonflies in the bushes. Such intricate patterns on the wings of the dragonfly awed both Florence and I as we made it our model for a good 10 minutes. Chipmunk, frog, dragonfly in one day – enough diversity, no?
At the tip of the Point Trail we found Sturgeon Lake, a marshy lake beyond the land that we were trekking on. OK, I gotta say that this is not as nice as Tobermory, but I give credit to Kawartha Lakes. It’s hard to beat Tobermory in terms of scenery, that was expected. Yet, instead of the challenging trail we faced at Tobermory, the Point Trail gave us a much more relaxing feeling, which was exactly what was needed before the wedding.
A long branch emerges from the water and is reflected in the mirror, accompanies by two little lily pads.
After the hike, we stopped by a local coffee shop to get an iced latte and these mini éclairs. They were irresistibly adorable, so we HAD to get them. To think that I still haven’t tried authentic éclair in France yet…hmm. These ones were small and not so sweet, perfect for my anti-sweet tooth 😉
And now, Florence is happily married to Darwin, and I am so glad to have been a part of her wedding as her maid of honour ^_^ Perhaps just for the heck of it, I’ll post my favourite picture of the wedding day, taken at the post-ceremony banquet. Congratulations Florence and Darwin!