Rob and I knew there was a Radio Observatory set up many years ago in the middle of Algonquin by the Canadian government. It was set up here because it is so far removed from any other light interference.
The largest satellite dish in Canada is located here. It is no longer operated by the government, and has been sold to a private party. We were determined to find it.
We knew it was located near Lake Travers, which we could find on a map. According to our calculations, it would be approximately 70 km inside the park along a forest access road.
The road was very loose sand/gravel, but we were on suitable bikes, with suitable tires, so off we went.
After riding along this road, which gave us several "pucker up moments" due to the pockets of very loose sand, we found this locked gate.
You can see the sign on the right...we found the location of the Observatory, but we did not expect to find a locked gate. Shit! We came a long way to see this damn dish.
We considered skirting the gate, but there were lots of warning signs about video survellance. In a place as remote as this, you could normally laugh off the "video survellance", but we both noticed that our pictures were already taken on the road just before the gate. Sure enough, there was a motion triggered camara. Better not crash the gate...
While were there with our bikes and helmets off, we heard thundering water further down the road. Might as well check that out while we are here.
Down the road a little way there was another sign prohibiting entry, but this time the gate was open and Rob kept going. Who was I to stop him?
Rob found the source of the water noise and stopped on a bridge over a large river with rapids.
We had not seen another person or vehicle in the park for hours. While standing in the middle the bridge checking my IPhone for service (there was none) I felt the bridge shaking. I looked up and there was a pick up truck waiting for me to move. WTF? Where did he come from? Turns out the driver was a Park Warden, and we were not supposed to be here. Didn't we see the sign? What sign??
I explained we were just doing a little exploring, ya, we shouldn't be here, but we just had to check out the rapids, blah blah...The Warden says "if you want to do a little exploring, get off your bikes and check out J R Booth's old homestead". He told us where to find it and we did. Very Interesting.
This is not something you'd expect to find way out here:
J R Booth was a lumber baron in the early 1800's. His company pretty much cleared most of what is now Algonquin Park of the mighty White Pine trees.
Most of the lumber was shipped back to Europe for ship building. J R built a railway through the park. You know it must have been a big, profitable business to support its own rail line. And I gotta think that building a railway through the rocks, marshes, around all the lakes in Algonquin was no easy task.
The fireplaces from the old house remain.
There were four like this. Rob determined that they were the corners of the old house - you could see where the walls would have gone between them.
If so, this was a Massive house - in the middle of nowhere!!