Diane Ross
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Algonquin Park Memories

Algonquin is another place I spent a great deal of time as a child.  I guess, in the greater scheme of things, it wasn't really that much time.  Only two weeks a summer almost every summer.  But I feel like I grew up here.  I have been back many times over the years and it always feels like I am going home.

We started coming here because of the deer.  When I was very little (to little to remember any of this) my parents drove through the park on the way home from somewhere.  They spotted a deer along side the road and stopped to get a better view.  I don't know if the window was down or if they rolled it down, but the deer came over and stuck his head in the window.  I immediately began petting it and saying "Hi, deer.  Hi, deer.  Hi, deer.  Hi, deer.  etc".  From then on we went back almost every year.   At dusk we would drive up and down the road looking for deer and I would feed crackers to any that would let me get close enough (almost all of them would).  I can remember holding a cracker in my mouth and having a deer come over and take it from me.

With patience you could also feed the chipmunks by hand.  It was fun to watch them scurry away with their jowls full of unpopped pop corn.

We would also make a couple trips to the dump at dusk to watch the black bear come and feed.

The dump is gone.  Garbage is now burned in an incinerator.  I am sure it is better for the bears this way but I miss being able to see them.  The deer are gone too.  There is not enough low brush to feed them.  The rangers claim they were making their last stand when I was a child.  That was why they came out on the road at dusk.  Along the road there was plenty of  food for them and it was getting scarce further back in the park.   Moose have moved in in their place.  The moose are fun to watch but I would rather feed the deer.  However, with enough patience you can still feed the chipmunks