Frontenac Park Hiking Trip
By: Sophia Li
This hiking trip was amazing! It was my very first hiking trip that I’ve experienced in my life. My group was very prepared and everyone was in a pretty great mood. My group (Emily, Caylee, Emmy and Fatima) were a pretty amazing group to have. They all were very generous with how much they put in their packs and how well everyone participated in making and preparing the food; a very important key in the hiking trip. Even though one of our group members were injured, she still had a very good mood and made amazing food for the group, especially the stir-fry.
The first trip we made on Monday was the longest and hardest trip, it was about 15 km to the campsite that we were going to spend for the first night. I was surprised of how many rocks and roots were hiding in the trails because along the way, a lot of people tripped and almost fell because of these rocks and roots that were sticking out from under the ground. We made a few stops to take a break and to be honest they were worth having because everyone was pretty tired. During those small breaks, we saw a lot of how much Frontenac Park has preserved the nature. And before it became Frontenac, the people who work said it used to be a place where you could find land mines so at one of the stops, we got to see what it looked like. In no time, my group made it to campsite 12 with two other groups and the rest of the class went to campsite 9 which was another 10-15 minute walk.
Our group started to prepare for the night, we went to divide and conquer. We picked a great platform because it was close to the lake, good source of hydration, and it was far enough to hang our bag of food over a big tree. Emmy prepared and made dinner for the first night, Emily and Caylee collected firewood and Fatima and I was preparing the food bag and went to find a tree. Dinner was grilled cheese and hotdog, grilled cheese was made and prepared by Emmy,the hotdogs and hot dog bun were prepared by Fatima and the condiments were prepared by me, the hotdogs were roasted on the campfire. The process of making the food was by using an all in one set of bowls and stove. Our stove was really old, so when we were holding it, our hand turned pitch black from the alcohol+fire. There was also a pan with the set and Emmy used that to warm up the grill cheese, turning it on each side after about 10 minutes. Besides the black hand complication, the dinner went well. As for the hotdogs, we didn’t have anything to roast our hotdogs with so I grabbed a small, sturdy stick and shaved off the shell and used the stick as a roasting stick, using my resources. My stick was long enough and sturdy enough to roast my hotdog. I added a lot of ketchup on my hotdog which made it absolutely delicious.
After dinner, me, Emily, and Emmy went to put the food bag on the tree. Later we had a communal campfire that the other groups came to and we just talked and had a lot of fun just chatting. That night everyone went to bed pretty early; around 9 pm. To be honest, going to sleep was the hardest thing to do the first night. Even though I brought a insulate pad and a really comfy sleeping bag, it wasn’t enough for me to fall asleep. Since I’m so used to sleeping on something comfortable like a mattress from The Brick for fourteen years so sleeping on something like the rock, hard ground for only three days was really tough for me but at least I got some shut eye.
Tuesday came pretty early, everyone pretty much woke up around 6:30 am; really early. I brushed my teeth, changed my clothes, and helped prepare breakfast. For breakfast our group had croissants with nutella and hash browns which was prepared by Emily. I’ve never tried nutella with croissants before but I know that croissants by themselves are amazing and so is nutella right out of the jar, but together they make the best combination ever! I knew that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I brought extra croissants for everybody in our group. I think I ate about three croissants with a lot of nutella and that sugar had served me well because that sugar kept me going for the hiking trip ahead of us. Afterwards our group packed up camp in less than 20 minutes which was pretty fast. We all met up at the outhouse, pretty weird place to meet considering it kind of smelled. We left campsite 12 at 9 am, and went to go to campsite 9 to meet up and walk to campsite 5 and 4.
When we were hiking to meet up to campsite 9, I noticed that my bag, waist buckle, was a bit broken so that was what made the first trip so difficult on my shoulders so when we met up with campsite 9, I fixed the buckle and since the buckle was secure and tight, it made Tuesday’s trip so much easier!
Tuesday’s weather was amazing but it was also really sunny and humid. The second trip on tuesday was only 6 km which is not even half of what we did for our trip. We made it to campsite 5 in less than 3 hours. Campsite 5 has an amazing lookout which was absolutely amazing, you could see campsite 5 and when we were there, one of my classmates found a “big” snake, and started freaking out like crazy but I found it really funny and cool. My group didn’t have lunch because we weren’t hungry so we just ate our snacks and we were ready to continue to campsite 4.
Our group took a long break, a 45 minute break, at campsite 5. My group, Daniel’s group, Richard’s group and Emad’s group continued to campsite 4, we took a few short cuts and made it to campsite 4 in no time. Campsite 4 was a 45 minute walk and that campsite had an amazing view of the lake and clean river water, if you walked a little for down, there would be a small connecting island where you could get really good drinking water because it’s so far away from the rocks that would usually make the water all murky and cloudy.
At campsite 4, there are 4 platforms, our group set up camp at the second platform. We set up camp and around 5 pm, we started to prepare for dinner, which I was looking forward to the most. For dinner, we had stir-fry with rice which was prepared by Emmy and me and Caylee did an amazing job cooking it. I wrote down the steps of cooking it and because of the generosity of Tristan’s group, we used their brand-new set of pots, pan, and stove so our hand were not dirty with black stuff. The things used in the stir-fry were all the asian classic veggies, such as bok choy and leek, I also didn’t forget to bring a lot of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Emmy brought the rice to get the real asian test of an stir-fry. Because our group had made extras we decided to share with Devan’s group.
After dinner, Caylee came up with a “super, brilliant” idea of playing man hunt in the forest, especially when she is the one with the hurt knee. Manhunt started off with Emily being it, but it soon ended with everybody helping Caylee up because the girl popped her knee, again. Tuesday night everyone slept at 9 pm except I decided to stay up later to enjoy the lake view.
Wednesday, I woke up later than everyone else, I woke up at 7:30 am and I had cinnamon oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast and cooked hash browns on someone else’s stove because ours was occupied. We packed up camp and waited for the rest of the class from Campsite 5 to come meet up with us. Caylee injured her knee while playing man-hunt so she had a head start before the rest of the group, Emmy and Emily joined her as well.The other group met up with us around 9:30 am and together we set out to go to the parking lot. It was a 3 km to the parking lot, along the way we only took one stop to rest at a mini look out, not even close to be a look out but I did sit on a really big rock with a view that was beautiful. When we reached the parking lot, we waited for the next group to come so we could swap equipment for the next hiking trip that the other group is going on.
The things that I would improve on for this trip would have to be how I carry my pack because if you wear your pack wrong it will definitely have consequences. A pack is supposed to sick on your waist and not affect your shoulders that much but for me I was not really prepared so my pack for the monday was not well put on but for tuesday and wednesday I fixed the buckle so it didn’t hurt my shoulders at all. So I would definitely recommend people carry their packs properly so it could definitely benefit the person with the pack and it could ease off the pressure of the pack itself so it doesn’t need to be damaged.
The things that went really well was how we prepared our meals accordingly, the efficiency we had when setting up our things and tidying up our things, and how well we cooperated with other groups. This trip has honestly been such an amazing trip, there are tons of memories that were made there and a lot new friends that we bonded with over this hiking trip which makes unforgettable.