Now that Kitty and Paul Wakfer have made the cottage Paul built 39 years ago their residence during the warm months, physical activity walks are those done during their bi-weekly major shopping in Bancroft and around the lake on which their home is located. (They get a fair amount of exercise also from dancing at home, manual mulching of fallen tree limbs, repair to natural steps down to the lake and swims in the lake itself.)
Paul waits at the end of our driveway for Kitty to join him on their walk around Little Straggle Lake. They will be going to the right which is towards the south.
A momentary pause is taken so that Kitty can snap a shot of Big Straggle Lake behind Paul at the point just beyond where the two lakes join and are crossed by a short bridge.
We continue south past more areas with cottages on the right that are on Little Straggle Lake. All homesites in the park are directly on one of 8 lakes with the remaining 7200 acres left as forest for members' usage.
The Marina for Harcourt Park is situated on Little Straggle Lake and is a fairly busy place on weekends during the summer. Earlier, in May, much of the open area seen to either side was taken up with members' boats stored here out of the water for the winter.
Kitty paused to catch for posterity some of the lightly colored wild flowers (and what some would consider weeds) along the road.
Paul asks what had been keeping Kitty - "wildflowers" with assurance that all is well and that she will run if necessary to catch up.
Moments later when Kitty catches up to Paul he points out the butterfly at his feet. We had seen this type before on other walks, but this one seemed rather weak, though did fly away. Possibly it was ending its normal life cycle or had been injured.
Soon after this we turned west onto Little Straggle Road and began around the south end of the lake, quite shallow here and without any cottage sites.
Water from Little Straggle Lake (and from Big Straggle which empties into it) flows from this western end and after joining streams from some other lakes eventually into the west end of Fishtail Lake. The flow was much faster on our earlier walks when all the Lakes were being actively fed by still melting winter snows in addition to the heavy spring rains.
With wildflowers along the road (and even her shadow at the bottom), Kitty took this shot of Paul in the distance and then quickly ran down the hill.
Three minutes from the last photo, Paul is trudging up another hill and Kitty is not too far behind - the aim being to not slow our pace. The direction in addition to being "up" here has been taking a slow shift northwards and around the west side of the lake.
A small portion of Little Straggle Lake's west side can be seen at the end of this driveway which Kitty caught in this picture as she paused in her trot to catch up with Paul.
We took a detour off the dirt road and under the power line, but up a steep hill. Many others before us have used this path which cuts about 0.3 mile from the walk. (Other times we have gone the long way.)
Yes, that's Paul nearing the top of the hill.
Once Kitty got to the top of the hill and caught up with Paul 2.5 minutes later, she wanted to show everyone that he was still in great shape after that climb. And of course she was too, otherwise the photo would not have been taken. ;>)
In the open unwooded areas alongside the road, large patches of small lightly colored wildflowers abound. Later in the summer, many places where raspberry bushes are plentiful, the fruit will be tempting to those who venture out for walks. There is nothing here to interest Paul, and so Kitty will have to run to catch up again.
We've reached the "4 Corners" where Little Straggle Rd meets Sumcot Road to the north of our cottage. Paul turns south and we are in the "home stretch".
About 6 minutes further to the south, the park's general boat launch access to Big Straggle Lake can be seen off in the dimming sunlight of late afternoon.
This is the last major hill climb before reaching our cottage and Paul doesn't slow his pace at all in this "push" before ending our walk.
Paul waits for Kitty who hurried taking this picture (therefore the blur) before he disappeared down the driveway. The walk with all the hills and the few pauses for picture taking took 50 minutes, which we later determined with our car's odometer was 3.4 miles in length.