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Paddling The Paddling forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rafting). Topics focus on trip planning and gear.


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  #1  
Old 08-21-2009, 02:45 PM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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Week in Algonquin

Just came back from a week of paddling in Algonquin Provincial Park, Mon Aug 10-Fri Aug 14.

After a year of record rainfall, and just one day after Toronto got drenched by a veritable monsoon, we were fortunate enough to experience every single day as partly cloudy, with temps ranging from 10C at night to 25C in daytime. i.e. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT CONDITIONS

For the trip we entered the park at Rain Lake (on the west side), and paddled and portaged through a series of lakes and rivers to Misty Lake , and then took a different route back to the start.

Good points:
Loons. Every single lake of any size had at least one. And those loons have such a beautiful sound when they call across the wilderness to each other.

Beavers.

Moose. Watched a cow and a calf munching on grass in the marshy end of a lake. Got within 20m. Took pictures.

Mosquitos. Not too many of them.

Trees. Of course. A good variety of evergreen and deciduous trees.

Blueberries. Wild! Extremely high ORAC value besides being tasty

Food. Steak and potatoes over a camp fire first night. MEC dehydrateds a couple other nights. 100s of granola bars, and of course GORP.

Swimming. Every day, in the slightly frigid waters.

Stars. Millions of them, because of clear skies and no city lights.

Bad parts:
Portages. A 500m portage seems like a 1500m portage because of gear and hills. And we had enough gear that we had to go back and grab some more. Unfortunately, this route had about 10k of portages which meant 30k walking and this seemed like 80k walking.

Backpacks were easy to carry, but we always had extra gear to carry in-hand besides. The canoe yoke was slightly painful, and a 44lb canoe gets tiresome after a while because of this.

Sleeping surface. It wasn't flat always, and I didn't have a good pillow along.

Not enough rocks. The Canadian Shield is awesome for its granite. This rock makes beautiful cliffs, excellent clean sitting surfaces, lunch places, diving rocks, etc. The route we took had only marginal amounts of such rock.

Neck pains. I had trouble before I left, and should have gotten treated in advance. Carrying gear, and poor sleeping brought me to near critical pain levels by Friday 3am. Thank God someone brought Tylenol (something I rarely use otherwise.)

Lesson learned:
pack lighter. I should have realized that 2 flashlights, 2 pairs of pants, shirts, sweaters, 3 kinds of footwear, two cooking pots, two 1L gas canisters, 4 rain coats, were excessive. And that was just some of my gear. Also, we packed food enough for 8 days. We can do better on a 4 day trip.

Choose routes with less portaging. Portaging is a not as much fun as paddling.

Anybody want pictures?
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2009, 12:23 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanBaljeu
Anybody want pictures?
Worth a thousand words...!
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:16 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanBaljeu
Unfortunately, this route had about 10k of portages which meant 30k walking and this seemed like 80k walking.

Wow, that's quite a total. Carrying a canoe up a steep hill and back down really builds character, especially when overhanging branches keep grabbing your boat.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:57 AM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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Worse than the branches (these were well maintained trails, so that wasn't a problem) was going down hills with a canoe. The yoke make it extremely uncomfortable to tip the canoe forward (plus weak arm muscles), and not tipping meant bump bump bump every other downward step.

Another rather fun part: Record rainfalls preceding our trip had turned all the low spots of the trail into something like a cattle stampede might produce. Deep mud everywhere. Largely we took to artfully walking on logs, rocks and thin grassy sides. I did once sink knee deep into a puddle though.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2009, 04:01 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Yes, that is difficult. I've never used a truly comfortable yoke and I have the same trouble holding the tip down. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought of having to hoist it past my bruised hips again if I should ever put it down. Every once in a while I find a conveniently forked tree where I can set the tip to take a standing break.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2009, 04:36 PM
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Laurie Laurie is offline
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What was your route? I've pretty much backpacked and paddled the entire park and I'm just being a nosey nellie. I pack for canoe trips like a backpacker and my friends get jealous when we can take the packs in one go and just have to go back for the canoe and a small food pack. I also made a paddle bag that I biner to the shoulder of my pack and I also biner the pfd's and bailer to the back of my pack. I carry my camera case (Pelican) in my hand so one hand is free.

Here is Bryan with the canoe.



Our last trip was into Welcome Lake so just under 3 km of portaging on the way in. The 2170 m from Pen to Welcome is a good one... uphill on the way in. But I love the lake and it's totally worth it.

Darn right! I want pictures.

Last edited by Laurie : 08-26-2009 at 04:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2009, 09:35 AM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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If you've been around, I'd love to here what the nicest spots are.

Our route was: Rain Lake (access point 4), Casey Lake, Daisy Lake, Petawawa River (that was nice), Little Misty Lake, Misty Lake, Muslim, Wenona, Bandit, Juan Lake (swam across that one ) Jubilee, Sawyer, and back to Rain Lake.

Then for fun we hiked the Rain to Little McCraney portage, without gear, but that old rail bed would have been the easiest of all the portages had we done that.

Pictures... I'm still waiting for my friends to get them to me
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:08 PM
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Laurie Laurie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanBaljeu
If you've been around, I'd love to here what the nicest spots are.

Our route was: Rain Lake (access point 4), Casey Lake, Daisy Lake, Petawawa River (that was nice), Little Misty Lake, Misty Lake, Muslim, Wenona, Bandit, Juan Lake (swam across that one ) Jubilee, Sawyer, and back to Rain Lake.

Then for fun we hiked the Rain to Little McCraney portage, without gear, but that old rail bed would have been the easiest of all the portages had we done that.

Pictures... I'm still waiting for my friends to get them to me

In the area you were at I have to say that Little Trout, Queer and Timberwolf are my favorites. The Rain to Little McCraney portage gets really warm in the sun but it's pretty darn flat and easy. I liked Little Misty just because the lake was so quiet. I remember sticking my feet in the water and the fishes "kissing" my toes.

We always camp closer to the water on Little Misty...



I adore Lake Louisa, Welcome Lake, Sunbeam Lake, The Otterslides, Brule Lake, High Falls Lake and Opalescent Lake. The first two are south of the highway 60 corridor. Sunbeam is north of Canoe Lake - you'd expect a zoo but it's a little portagey so most of the novices steer clear of it. The Otterslides are north of Canoe Lake as well and Little Otterslide is my favorite of the two. I like Brule Lake, again north of Canoe. We are actually heading up to Potter Lake this week and will make a day trip into Brule. There is a lot of history there and it was once the site of a town - now reclaimed by nature. High Falls Lake and Opalescent are both part of the Barron Canyon area on the park's Eastern side. The area is a little busier because of daytrippers exploring the canyon. I could go on... I just adore Algonquin.

I also like the area just south of Temagami called the Chiniguchi Waterway.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:52 AM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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Pictures of canoe trip

Rainy lake, Andre in front, me in back.

Rapids/falls at start of the Petawawa River

Moose calf

Moose mommy
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:36 AM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Cool! It's nice to have some water between you and the moose instead of open, dry ground.
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