Algonquin Park in the Fall

Do you ever take a good hard look at yourself from the outside and come to the conclusion you are bonkers?  As in nuts??

I do often and I had one of these revelations last weekend.

We took a road trip north of Toronto to Algonquin Provincial Park to check out the fall colours.

A little further north the leaves start to change colour before they do in Toronto and I had been keeping an eye on when they would be changing in the provincial park …

I was not alone it would seem.


As part of my full-time job as Managing Director of all things vacation and fun in our household, earlier in the week I had checked out accommodation options to run it by The Canadian when he got home from work, the only problem was after we made the decision to go I then forgot to go back online and book accommodation for the Saturday night.

Two days before the weekend I started clicking on some of the places I had bookmarked only to find that every man and their dog had the same idea.   This is how we found ourselves at one of the shittiest places I have had the privilege of staying in a very long time.

Prior to The 9-year-old arriving on the scene,  I had a job that involved a fair bit of travel to country towns.  With no other option in many towns, I became somewhat of an expert on Motels and had managed to desensitise myself to many a hovel.

So on Thursday I found myself with the dilemma of us either not going or booking one of the 2 star or lower places I had found on the Internet.  A quick comparison on Trip Advisor didn’t help with them all looking as bad as each other.  When this is the case instead of doing eenie, meenie, miney, mo  I went with picking the one with the least offensive looking bedspread design.

Saturday was a busy day with a hair appointment for me and an Ice Hockey Game for the 9-year-old and so we hit the road late afternoon.

We arrived at the Motel in daylight hours (big mistake) and The Canadian pointed out the mould growing on the entire outside of the building.

Entering the building we immediately stepped back into 1973, as that was most likely when the building was built and the last time anything was done to it.  Sadly we did not pay 1973 prices.   Much like Uber’s surge pricing as everything better around it got booked out and demand for hotels in the area increased so did this shitholes prices.   We ended up paying more than the deal I had found at a nearby 5-star hotel earlier in the week.

The check-in and foyer set the bar pretty low and upon entering our room it didn’t raise, not even an inch.

Shit brown walls, matching poo brown sticky carpet and YES the curtains matched.  Ugly paint colours, carpet and bedspreads can be forgiven if a motel room is clean.

When a 9-year-old boy who has to be reminded to wash his hands every time he goes to the bathroom and flush the toilet comments that it’s disgusting and dirty, you know it’s bad.

The Canadian then decided a trip to the LCBO (bottle shop) next door would be necessary for medicinal purposes and in order to get through the night (guess he wanted to shut out my bitching).

After a restless nights sleep,  a shower was required and I was faced with this,


All I could visualise was a nasty case of footrot if I didn’t take precautions.

Without a pair of flip flops,  I was screwed, or was I?

I got my thinking cap on, after all,  I am a Managing Director and I’m resourceful.



Paper Cups in plastic wrap! Perfect!!


So I created plastic shower shoes with the plastic wrap.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my Instagram story (I don’t think I would ever make it as a YouTube star).

One of my mates back in Australia watched the video and within minutes sent me a text message congratulating me (and laughing) at my innovation.

She then commented that The 9-year-old must think I’m nuts?

At this point,  I lost it and I was laughing so hard I was crying.  The Canadian who was driving and not aware of my text messages couldn’t work out what was going on.  I was crying, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.  What my friend wasn’t aware of because it wasn’t in my Instagram video is that I made The 9-year-old wear this in the shower ……


The actual paper cups!

Looking from the outside in, I am, I’m mad as a cut snake!

Does The 9-year-old think I’m crazy, I’m guessing not because he put those bad boys on his feet and didn’t even question it or me.

A night in the dodgy motel was worth it because we go to see this:





fall colours canada.jpg
I was a little chuffed that this picture was selected, shared and went a little viral on a couple of Instagram photo challenge sites this week.



It was so good to visit Algonquin Park in the fall and see the difference in seasons.  We last visited the area in winter when we skated the outdoor trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park. You can read my blog post on the skating trail here

The fall leaf change has peaked and in a couple of weeks,  the trees will be bare however the Algonquin Park website has live webcam’s around the park so you can see the fall, winter, spring and summer beauty from the comfort of your lounge room, anywhere in the world.

We entered the park via the West Gate and drove along Road 60 through the park and exiting by the East Gate.  If visiting don’t forget to stop at the Park office and purchase a park permit for the day as it must be displayed on the dash for your entire visit.

If visiting in peak fall it is also advisable to enter the park early in the day as it becomes very busy and traffic and lines entering the park are not unusual.  On our visit,  it was a wet day so this kept the crowds away but in saying that it was still pretty busy so I would hate to see it on a clear day.

Don’t forget to collect a park map when purchasing your permit, it highlights many of the things to do and see in the park and the various hikes.  Due to the weather, we selected a 1-hour walk to a scenic lookout.  The map advises what features the various hikes have, the distances and the time needed.

The Algonquin Visitor Centre has a small museum that was interesting but well worth a stop is the Logging Museum inside the park and near the East Gate.  It is an outdoor exhibit on a 1.3 km trail explaining the history of logging in the park with the use of outdoor displays.






The 9-year-old declared it one of the best museums ever!

I have to agree with him, it was pretty good.




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  • bikerchick57

    I can understand why that one photo went viral. Absolutely gorgeous! I hope you don’t mind if I use it as wallpaper on my laptop…I’m getting sick of the cat photos.

    I would not call you weird or crazy about the cups and plastic shower feet thingies. I stayed in a hotel in Ohio once that was awful. Cockroaches in the bathroom, writing on the wall that said “cockroach city” and a dingy, icky shower. I wish I would have had something for my feet that night. The one positive is there were no bugs in the bed. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and leave. Ick.

    • Maple Bacon Please!

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you and yes, feel free to make the picture your new backdrop.

      I was convinced we would be bringing bed bug’s home but so far all is good. (I did put all of our clothes in a hot wash the minute we walked in the front door back at home) I drive my husband bonkers with my carry on sometimes. LOL

  • Joanne Sisco

    I’ve stayed in so many really awful hotel / motels, I think I’m immune to the nastiness now.

    Your photos though are the exact opposite of awful! Your header photo is AWESOME. Now I’m going to have to rethink my photos which I thought weren’t too bad … 😉

  • pw19

    The fall colours/leaves are just stunning.
    We visited Hope and surrounds yesterday with my sister and her family, and it was just lovely. I think they also appreciated some time out of the city.

  • Max

    Great post! I love your writing! And the pictures are simply awesome :)) I was desperately looking for some shots of Algonquin Park around mid October to have an idea of how it is at that time of the year and I ran into one of yours (the one that went viral of course!!) 🙂 This was around 16/17 October 2016 right? I’m flying to Canada from Spain and I’d love to visit Algonquin Park! But after reading some info on several websites, I’m starting to be afraid that around October 20th I’ll be too late for foliage…!!! :ooo Your pictures give me some hope again. Thanks for that! :))) Btw, do you think the last 2 weeks of October are a good time to visit Ontario and Quebec (and see some foliage too)?
    Well, you have one more follower from now on, I’m following you on instagram too and I love your pics! Greetings from Spain! 🙂

    • Maple Bacon Please!

      Thanks Max and apologies for taking this long to get back to you. Last year was my first full year in Canada in terms of moving from one season into the next so I’m still a novice in regards to the timing of the changes. I’m afraid that it’s a bit hit and miss trying to predict when the colour change will peak. Last weekend we visited Lake Placid in New York State and I couldn’t believe the colour change just over the weekend in front of our very eyes. You will definitely see some colour change in late October but may miss the peak. Summer this year has been much cooler and wetter than last summer and apparently this can effect things. It is also already much cooler for Sept than last year so the colour change may happen earlier than last year. Here is a link to a website with some current date estimates

      Algonquin is beautiful regardless of the season so I’m sure you will enjoy.

      Safe travels!

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