Early in the morning I turned over in bed, and heard the rain falling on the aluminum roof. I had stayed over at my parents to cut down on driving time to attend the Trailside Cooking with Kevin Callan Hike Haliburton event, and although I was looking forward to it, the sound of the rain lulled me back to sleep.
When I awoke, the rain was still lightly falling, but thankfully I had brought full rain gear (including rain gear for my camera). As I drove to the event at the southern tip of Algonquin Park, I was envisioning a typical Happy Camper misadventure moment where Kevin had slept in, due to the peaceful rain.
Although Kevin was at the event, sadly some of the others that had signed up were not. Whether from sleeping in, or not wanting to hike in the rain, only a dedicated few showed up, which made for a nice and small group. After we were all introduced, we headed on down the trail.
Sidenote: For those looking to take the High Falls Hiking Trail, don't forget to stop in at Pine Grove Point which is a few kilometres South, just across from the entrance to Kingscote Lake. The area it actually part of Algonquin Park so you will need to pick up a day-pass.
Throughout the walk, Kevin stopped to share with us interesting tidbits about the foliage around us and to help us identify them. You would think there wouldn't be much variance within a few kilometres of trail, but the forest varied the further we went in.
Since the group was small, we all had a chance to chime in and ask questions or pass along our own knowledge of the woods. It all added to the experience.
Once reaching the base of the falls, we all worked together to raise a shelter (while Kevin demonstrated the Trucker's Hitch) . Kevin didn't mind being the pack mule on this hike and proceeded to empty a fair amount of food and gear onto the forest floor, while we all huddled together to avoid the rain.
Stoves were lit, water was boiled and Kevin's great stories kept us bemused as he served up coffee and began to walk us through some easy, and very healthy lunches.
A thick, circular traditional loaf of Bannock was first to be passed around, then another which included chilli for a nice kick. Both had been created using a reflector oven, but prepared in advance for our hungry group.
There is something special about good food, as once we all started eating, we had forgotten all about the rain. Kevin sliced up a chunk of Logan Bread and it didn't take too long for it to disappear. Too bad to those that couldn't make it... but it meant more food for us.
On the way back, we had all become well acquainted with each other, over the tasty meal and continued to mingle. I think we all agreed that the hike in the rain was quite a nice way to spend an afternoon. The trail to High Falls was very flat and easy to hike, with few hazards in the way aside from a few downed trees.