THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FRIENDS OF FRONTENAC PARK
Spring/Summer 2009 Number 54


Good Crowd Attends Winter Lecture

Presenters: Andy Baxter, Paul Vickers, Jerome McDuff and Kevin Callan, Photo Harvey Guy

Presenters: Andy Baxter, Paul Vickers, Jérôme McDuff and Kevin Callan
Photo Harvey Guy

This year's Winter Lecture at the Central Branch of the Kingston Public Library was very well attended with close to 100 people coming out to hear the exciting and sometimes comical adventures of four very enthusiastic trekkers of the Kopka river in Northern Ontario. Our fearless crew of wilderness canoe specialists from left to right, Andy Baxter, Paul Vickers, Jerome McDuff and Kevin Callan.

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President's Message

The President Herb Helmstaedt carrying a load of wood. (Photo: Jerome McDuff)Once again we had plenty of snow for our winter camping weekends, though unfortunately the planned snowshoe workshop had to be cancelled this year as the result of a brief but thorough February thaw. When winter returned, conditions were too icy for novices to safely negotiate the ups and downs of the trails on traditional snowshoes. However, the recent new snow falls gave the Park another chance to use our newly acquired X-country ski track setter, and I hope that at least some of you had the opportunity to enjoy the result (see separate note and pictures in this newsletter).

Nevertheless, with Spring soon in the air, it is time to inform you about plans for the coming season. After discussions between the Board of Directors and the Park, five park improvement projects were identified for 2009 and are now in various planning and development stages. These are:

  1. Bridge repair on Big Salmon Lake Loop, near camp site #4.
  2. Bridge repair on Cedar Lake Loop, adjacent to Cedar Lake.
  3. Bridge and boardwalk repair on East Arkon Loop, just north of Big Salmon Lake Road.
  4. Major repair of the deteriorating Moulton Gorge Bridge.
  5. Building of two Information Kiosks at Big Salmon and Arab Lake parking lots.

We hope to accomplish items 1 and 2 during our Spring work day, planned for Saturday, April 25th. The East Arkon bridge and boardwalk repair may have to wait until the Fall work day but should be finished before next winter, as this piece of Arkon is part of our ski trail loop, and the repair will improve track setting. The timing of the Moulton Gorge Bridge repair depends on our ability to deliver lumber to the site. At present we are thinking of using summer students to boat material from Snug Harbour to campsite cluster#8 and carry it from there to Moulton Gorge, but detailed logistics and construction planning must wait until summer gets closer.

The Park obtained two estimates from builders for the construction of the kiosks at Big Salmon Lake and Arab Lake parking lots, and the Board approved that the Friends will contribute $4,000 to this project. The Board also approved an expenditure of $4,500 for materials for the other projects. As usual, Bert will do the detailed design and oversee the construction. We hope that we will have a good turnout of volunteers to do the work.

We also hope to have a good turnout for Volunteer training day on March 28th and the Spring trail sweep on April 19th. Please check the OUTSIDE section of this Newsletter for other upcoming events that might be of interest to you. In the name of the Board of Directors, I wish you all an enjoyable Spring and Summer season and thank you for your continued support of the Park.

Herb Helmstaedt

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2009 Board of Directors

The Friends of Frontenac Park is a non profit organization whose purpose is to develop programs and materials that enhance the public's awareness, education, and appreciation of the natural environment and human history of Frontenac Provincial Park.

President: Herb Helmstaedt
Vice-President: Paul Vickers
Treasurer: Jim King
Secretary: David Crane
Membership: John Critchley
Publicity:
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle
Trail Sweeps: Cathy Murray
Director at Large: Stefan Szrajer
Wilderness Skills: Don Stables
Newsletter: Harvey Guy

Committees

Winter Camping: Don Stables
Winter Hosting: Dora Hunter
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle, Erhard Frenzl
Park Management Plan: Paul Vickers
Map Distribution: Cam Hodges
Newsletter Editor: Harvey Guy
Newsletter Publisher: Ron Abbott
Web Master: Jérôme McDuff

The Friends of Frontenac Park publishes the Frontenac News three times annually. Note that the views expressed in the Frontenac News are not necessarily those of the Friends of Frontenac or the editor. Some articles are published to give the viewpoint of an author and to incite discussions.

We welcome your articles, notes, stories, and photographs for the newsletter. Your ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Material accepted is subject to editing and revision.

Next deadline for submission of material:

Monday 10-August-2009

Copy should be mailed to: Friends of Frontenac Park, c/o Harvey Guy, P.O. Box 2237, Kingston, Ont. K7L 5J9 or sent by e-mail to: harvguy@kos.net

NOTE: You can visit us at: www.frontenacpark.ca

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Outside

Here is a list of upcoming activities that maybe of interest to you. Please participate and tell your friends about them The * denotes Friends' sponsored activities Do not forget that you will need to purchase a daily vehicle or camping permit to take part in most of these activities. Contact the Park (613 376 3489) for more information.

* Saturday, March 28: Volunteer/Guide/Host Training Would you like to volunteer at the Park? Come to this training session offered by the Park staff and the Friends at the Park Office. Time: 09:00 to 15:00; Contact the Park (613 376-3489) for details.

* Monday, March 31: Your Friends Membership Ends We need your support so please renew your membership for another year.

* Monday, April 6: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday, April 18: Historical Walk Join the Friends on this walk down memory lane and learn a bit about the human history of Frontenac Park. A short walk (approx. 7km) down Big Salmon Lake Road past some of the old family homesteads of the area’s early settlers. Meet at the Park Office at 10:30am and return at approx. 16:00. Bring water,a lunch, good walking shoes and lots of questions. Please register with the Park at 376-3489 and plan to go, rain or shine.

* Sunday, April 19: Guide Spring Trail Sweep The Volunteers/Guides will do general maintenance on the Park's trails to get them in top shape for our visitors. Meet at the park Office at 08:30 to 16:30; Contact the Park (613 376-3489) for details.

* Saturday, April 25: Spring Work Day Come out and join with the Friends on a day dedicated to fixing up the Park in anticipation of the busy summer season. Meet at the Park Office at 08:45 to 16:00. Contact the Park at 376-3489 or visit our website (www.frontenacpark.ca) for further information.

* Monday, May 11: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

Saturday May 23 & Sunday May 24: Basic Wilderness First Aid Presented by SOLO Canada / Mr. Mark Halladay of Emergency Services, Kingston. This course, designed by Dr. Frank Hubble of the North American Rescue Institute, takes you beyond standard first aid. Cost $170.00 (GST included) per person plus park fee. Time: 08:30 to 16:30; Contact the Park at 376-3489 for further details and to register.

Saturday, May 30: Instructors Recertification Canoe Clinic Presented by Barry Irish of Paddles Away Adventures of Kingston, this clinic allows ORCKA instructors to recertify, network and practice their skills. Cost is $50.00 (includes lunch) per person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 17:00. See Park Tabloid for more details.

Sunday, June 7: Canoe Clinic Presented by Cataraqui Canoe Club, Kingston, Ontario. An excellent opportunity for beginners/first time canoeists to upgrade their paddling strokes and practice canoeing skills. A limited number of canoes/paddles/PDF’s are supplied. Cost: $10.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 10:00 to 16:00 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details or call 376-3489.

*Monday, June 8: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

*Saturday June 13: Wilderness Navigation using Map and Compass Come and learn how to interpret and read topographical maps and then find your way in the wilderness using a variety of techniques and equipment. Cost $20.00 per person (plus GST and Park fee). Time: 09:00 to 16:00. Meet at the Trail Centre.

*Saturday, June 20: President’s Paddle Join the Friends for a canoe trip on Big Salmon Lake. The flotilla will depart at 10:00 from the canoe launch on Big Salmon Lake, headed for campsite #4. Anticipated return is 16:00 or,plan to stay the night and return on Sunday. Contact the Park Office at 376-3489 for additional information.

Saturday, July 4 & Sunday July 5: Flatwater Tandem Canoe and/or Solo Canoeing (ORCKA Flatwater A,B,C) Certification Course Presented by Barry Irish, Paddle Away Adventures, Kingston, Ontario. Forms prerequisite for all subsequent canoeing certification. Cost: $150.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 16:30 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details or call 376-3489.

Sunday July 5: Flatwater D (ORCKA) Solo Canoeing Certification Course Presented by Barry Irish, Paddle Away Adventures, Kingston, Ontario. Recommended prerequisite for this course is Flatwater A,B.C. Participants must bring canoe, paddles & safety equipment. Cost: $80.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 17:00 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details or call 376-3489.

Sunday, July 12: Fishing Demonstration & Workshop Celebrate Ontario Free Fishing Weekend and learn about proper equipment, fish locating, filleting, and casting & retrieving techniques from a professional fishing guide. Practice yours skills afterwards on nearby Otter Lake. An Ontario Fishing Licence is not required for this workshop for Ontario residents. Cost $10.00 per person or $15.00 per family plus park fee. Time: 10:00 to 16:00. See Park Tabloid for further details.

Saturday, July 18: Kayak Basics – “Getting Started” Presented by Christine Showler, Frontenac Outfitters Canoe & Kayak Centre. Come out and discover the world of kayaking in this introductory ½ day course. Kayak and paddling gear will be provided. Cost: $73.50 /person (plus park fee) Time: 13:00 to 16:00. See Park Tabloid for further details.

Sunday, July 5: Flatwater Solo Canoeing (ORCKA Flatwater D Certification Course) Presented by Barry Irish, Paddle Away Adventures, Kingston, Ontario. Flatwater A,B,C (Tandem) is a prerequisite for this course. Cost: $80.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 17:00 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details or call 376-3489.

Saturday, July 25: Flatwater Sea Kayaking Introduction Presented by Christine Showler, Frontenac Outfitters Canoe & Kayak Centre. An introduction to the most commonly used techniques, theories, strokes, rescue & recovery skills. Register on-line at www.frontenac-outfitters.com or by calling 613-376-6220. Cost: $178.50 /person plus park fee. Time: 08:30 to 16:30 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details.

*Monday, August 10: Deadline for Autumn Newsletter We welcome your articles, letters, stories and photographs. Material should be sent to The Friends address shown on the back page or e-mailed to: harvguy@kos.net For electronic items, please sent articles as Microsoft Word files with a minimum of formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale.

*Sept. 1 to Oct. 31: Frontenac Challenge The Frontenac Challenge involves hiking all 160 km of the Park’s trail network between September 1 and October 31. To meet the challenge, pick up a registration form and the specific trail information at the Trail Centre and then set out to hike through the autumn grandeur of Frontenac Park. Participants who complete the Challenge will receive a certificate at the Awards Banquet on Saturday November 7, at 10:30. So come out to Frontenac Park and take the Challenge!

*Saturday Sept. 5 : Bring a Friend to the Park Day This is an informal event for members of the Friends of Frontenac to introduce some new people to the Park. Invite some of your friends, young or old, who have never been to the Park and take them on a hike or canoe ride to show them Kingston's best kept secret. Let them enjoy nature and tell them about the Frontenac Challenge and the many other events put on by our organization. Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

*Monday, September 14: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

*Sunday, September 20: Wilderness Navigation using Map and Compass Come and learn how to interpret and read topographical maps and then find your way in the wilderness using a variety of techniques and equipment. Cost $20.00 per person (plus GST and Park fee). Time: 09:00 to 16:00. Meet at the Trail Centre.

Saturday September 26: GPS Navigation Workshop Presented by Christine Showler, Frontenac Outfitters Canoe & Kayak Centre. A workshop designed to show you how to operate a GPS to report a location such as an accident, rescue location or a missing person. GPS units provided on loan. Cost: $68.25 /person plus park fee. Time: 10:00 to 15:00. See Park Tabloid for further details.

*Saturday October 3: Fall Work Day Come out and join with the Friends on a day dedicated to fixing up the Park after a busy summer of use. Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:45 to 16:00. Contact the Park at 376-3489 or visit our website (www.frontenacpark.ca) for further information.

*Saturday, October 17: Guide Trail Sweep The Volunteers/Guides will do general maintenance on the Park's trails to get them in top shape for our visitors. Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:30 to 16:00; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

*Monday, October 19: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

Saturday October 24 & Sunday October 25: Basic Wilderness First Aid Presented by SOLO Canada / Mr. Mark Halladay of Emergency Services, Kingston. This course, designed by Dr. Frank Hubble of the North American Rescue Institute, takes you beyond standard first aid. Cost $170.00 (GST included) per person plus park fee. Time: 08:30 to 16:30; Contact the Park at 376-3489 for further details and to register.

*Saturday November 7: Frontenac Challenge Awards Barbecue Registered participants will receive a certificate of achievement, share stories and chow down on hot dogs, including vegetarian fare, cooked by the Friends. Donations will be gratefully received. Meet at the Trail Centre for 10:30.

*Saturday November 7: Annual General Meeting All members are invited to attend the Friends’ AGM to start at 13:00 at the Trail Centre. The minutes of the last AGM will be posted at 12:30. Why not come early and join us for the Challenge BBQ? This will give you an opportunity to meet the Challenge participants.

*Monday, November 9: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

*Tuesday December 1: Deadline for Winter Newsletter We welcome your articles, letters, stories and photographs. Material should be sent to The Friends address shown on the back page or e-mailed to: harvguy@kos.net For electronic items, please sent articles as Microsoft Word files with a minimum of formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale.

*Monday, December 7: Friends Board Meeting Location & time to be determined.

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Winter Nature Walk

Dora Hunter leading the Winter Nature Hike, Photo Jerome McDuff

Dora Hunter leads her flock on the always popular Winter Nature Hike along the Doe Lake Trail.
Photo Jérôme McDuff

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Membership Renewal

By John Critchley

Thanks to all of you who have sent in your membership renewal, you can ignore the rest of this message.

It's membership renewal time again!

If your membership expires this year, you received a personalized Membership Renewal Form enclosed in the Winter Newsletter. For those who may have misplaced the form I have enclosed a personalized Membership Renewal Form Reminder in this newsletter. Please RETURN THE RENEWAL FORM along with your cheque today.

The Renewal Forms serve as backup hard copy for the membership database as well as providing an accounting audit trail, so it is important that you return the form with your cheque.

Any questions about membership? Contact John Critchley, Membership Secretary at 613-634-5475 or email at sharjohn.critchley@sympatico.ca

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The Hot Chocolate Crew

By Dora Hunter

The following large crew shared the fun found in supporting Karen Langley at the Park on winter weekends. They gave advice on appropriate trails for winter hiking and skiing, and kept the hot chocolate kettle boiling for chilly visitors. Thank you all for helping to make the season a success once again!

The President Herb Helmstaedt carrying a load of wood. (Photo: Jerome McDuff) Anne Marie Blasko, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Elgin Bock, Claude Boulanger,
Peter Burbidge, David Crane, Audrey Helmstaedt, Herb Helmstaedt, Murray Henderson,
Jean Hodgson, Anne Hogle, Dora Hunter, Will Irwin, Rose Jones,
Jane Kitchen, Joan McDuff, Cathy Murray, Donna North, Janet Olson, John Olson,
Marie Phillips, Ted Phillips, Val Ruttan, Audrey Sanger, Gloria Seeley,
Maureen Sly, Simon Smith, Nancy Turkington, Robin Turkington

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X-Country Skiing in Frontenac Park

In December, 2008, the Friends of Frontenac purchased a cross country ski track setter for the park to promote winter enjoyment of park ski trails. With the help of a newly obtained used skidoo, ski trails may now be track set as conditions permit. Those wanting to try the newly prepared tracks are referred to the Friends of Frontenac Website where they can click on “Winter in Frontenac” and check on ski trail conditions by following the link to parkreports.com. As I found out myself during my latest winter hosting on Saturday, February 21, visitor response has been enthusiastic. Before heading out on the trails, please don’t forget to obtain your copy of our recently updated winter trail guide at the Park Office.

Track setter machine   Tracks on the ski trail made by the track setter

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A Tio Wulf Ramble

By Larry Gibbons

I’m sitting in our cabin which is situated just outside Frontenac Provincial Park. I’m hunkering down and emotionally and physically, recuperating from our too eventful time spent in the Cape Breton Highlands. Thinking once again about the dichotomy of my love for Ontario and Frontenac Provincial Park and my love for Nova Scotia and the Cape Breton Highlands.

I remember when I was younger I’d try to think about who my best friend was. Was it the fellow who went with me to find my coat when others wouldn’t and who was interested in religion and politics? Or was it the fellow who loved to go on bike hikes with me and who had a mother who loved to feed me cookies?

Or when I was dating. Who did I like more? The cute little brunette who was very attractive but couldn’t remember my birthday? Or the blonde who wasn’t so attractive but who had a mind as expansive as a summer’s breeze?

No matter which I might think I favoured, they each had their moods and their personality differences just like I do and this year the Highlands were cantankerous. Threw us the worst winter that people up there can remember in at least twenty years.  It was nasty. A world of icy traps, and although I ski and play hockey, the ice got me this time. Grabbed me by the foot, cracked a bone and chewed up plenty of my hoof’s soft tissue. I couldn’t go anywhere for over three weeks. Our cabin in Ontario was looking awfully attractive.

The ice got Sue too. It was tame ice. Arena ice. Ice with blue and red lines painted across its slippery surface. Fun ice, most of the time, and ice on which I love to  skate recreationally.  This very ice, for some reason that only its best friends could understand, grabbed Sue’s shiny white skates, flipped her backwards and dumped her on her head.  A memorable crack rang off the banner-littered ceiling and she ended up with a concussion, lots of stitches and my heart thumping around and about my gums and enamel all the way to the hospital.

And something in the electronics of my truck, Clarence, apparently didn’t like driving around in the Highland weather. It was originally a Cape Breton truck, and I guess it decided that it was time to retire in Cape Breton. Had enough of living in Ontario and besides I don’t think it was up for anymore long winter drives. So it really acted up and is now sitting in a lot, near beautiful Middle River, enjoying the sound of highlander studded tires humming over the pothole-freckled pavement that runs its hard line up to the Highland Park.

Now, I have another Cape Breton truck. It’s red and I’m calling it Basque. It was owned by a Mi’kmaq fellow, so my Native dream-catchers and other odds and ends that I hang from the truck mirror will be right at home. This truck is a bit thirstier than Clarence so I have to make more stops to quench its thirst.

And when I think about this Native fellow who once owned my truck, it makes me ponder one of our great and sad Canadian dilemmas. We love our country and its many familiar ideas on government, ownership and property but how do we tie our notions of and love for Canada with the views of the Natives who have been here much longer and who don’t see things our way? I think it is kind of the same thing as how do I tie my love for Frontenac Provincial Park and its unique ways with the ways of the Highlands. Because these two friends have so many dissimilarities. And, at times, they can both be tough and demanding.

When we arrived home in Basque we were hoping that Ontario would be kinder and it was in a sense. But still there was some snow and ice and with my foot the way it was we had to have two wonderful folks use their snowmobiles to carry us, our cats and our equipment up the snowed-in road to our cabin. There are saints everywhere, in every shape and every size. And that made me feel good because these guys helped  to cancel out my memories of other Ontario folks whom I would never ask for assistance. I’d rather crawl through the snow.

One of the first things I did when we got back to the cabin, after starting the fire and trying to burn away three months of winter cold, was put out the bird feeders.  We had to wait a day or two for the birds to get word around that the fly-through was once again open twenty-four hours a day, but yesterday, around eleven A.M., a flock of busy little chickadees, my favourite bird, found it.  I’m sure their peeps and chirps attracted the nuthatches and other old friends. This morning two hairy woodpeckers were brunching at our bird stop. And we’re hoping that the squirrels might be out of town for awhile and not get the news for at least a few days.

Yep. We are glad to be back and close to Frontenac Park. But I’ve had my bad moments down here too. And as in most places, if it isn’t the land it is the people. I remember having finished a hike in the park and feeling totally recharged. As I walked towards my truck I ran into some people who were miserable and rude to me and made me feel like the area was unfriendly. They made me wish I was back in Cape Breton. I have also tripped and cut myself badly in the park and I have been cold and miserable and some of the winters here have been much more treacherous than the one that was entertaining the Highlands this year.

So I’m thinking  that it’s in both environments that I can find places where I feel  comfortable in my own skin and connected to the earth, and perhaps there’s no dichotomy after all.

Emerson once wrote, The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel with God. I kind of think that this means that no matter where we are, we are part of that section of the world. And in some sense we are the ice and the snow and the chickadees or will be when we rot back into the earth. Of course there’s lots of room for argument here. However, putting aside this deep philosophical speculation, we are damn glad to be back and ecstatic about being able to look at the park from the kitchen window.  And as soon as my foot heals, I’ll be back on the trails.

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Spring Trail Sweep - Sunday April 19, 2009

Join the Friends of Frontenac Park for a day of trail clean-up.
Bring work gloves and a bag lunch.
Meet at the Park Trail Center at 8:30 a.m.
Chili will be provided at the end of the day for all participants.

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Discounts

Members in good standing of the Friends can enjoy a discount of 10% off regular price merchandise (except canoes, kayaks and MEC price-matched items) at The Peak Experience. The Peak Experience is Kingston's only locally owned outdoor store and is located at 795 Gardiners Road at Taylor Kidd. Present your Friends membsership card with photo identification at your next visit to the Peak Experience.

Your membership with the Friends also entitles you to a 15% discount at Novel Idea, a Kingston owned bookstore located at 156 Princess Street.

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