Sunday, August 21, 2005


just a side note - this was written AFTER the canoe trip while I still had some memories fresh.



Started out at a place called Madelaine Lake [met some nice TO guy who's been going there for 50 years he said.  Gave us some shelter from the rain before we headed out] and we paddled through to Icarus.  Couldn't find the right portage at the end of the lake, so after searching ALOT of ground (and one canoe tipping by me!) we find a great portage (super easy road) leading to what we think leads to a lake that'll take us AROUND the one we wanted to get into.  This leads us actually to areas of swamp, HUGE bushwacking portages (one had 4 stages in it, really fun!) and a general feeling of unsureness of where we were.  As light fades we try to find a last portage & decide against it and camp for the night.  We find an "ok" spot on a bit of a high rock.  Very narrow, TONS of bus (literally it hummed so loud you thought there was a plane or something), no light.  Jarron and Regan ended up taking a spot a few feet away which was about a 30-40 degree slope.  We all beat a hasty retreat into the tents and get some sleep.  According to Jarron and Regan this was a VERY rough day, VERY out of the norm for them.


The day starts out realizing that the previous day wasn't a bad dream (and then seeing Todd and his naked ass).  I'm trying to vote that we head back, take 2 days to do so and come back a day earlier.  No takers .  Jarron and Regan said the portage they found last night [but was too dark to use] should work, just it'll be tricky [like anything vs. last day would be considered tricky].  So we give it a go.  Dry socks go into semi-dried shoes & within seconds they're soaked again!  The first portage is a KILLER.  Not as bad as the previous day, but it'll rank up there.  Just swampy areas.  This leads to an area that we're still unsure about, but we meet a Wisconsin who tells us we're the first to come through the way we did, and how he came through Icarus (the portage that WE couldn't find - apparently we didn't look hard enough).  He also tells us that if we had been there the previous day, another set of campers might have given US a case of beer that they gave to him.  BURN.  We take lunch on a rock with chicken fajitas which were supposed to be last night's dinner - if we had the time.  We paddle on through what seems to be endless kilometres of swampy beaver areas and small low water rapids.  As we're just about to give out from exhaustion, we come out on Granite Lake.  A BEAUTIFUL pristine calm lake.  We find THE campsite.  nice beach, log benches around the fire pit, a cooking table, plenty of tenting sites, even a place to actually sit down to crap!  Just a bit of garbage and lots of quad tracks.  The night is nice, we make some sausages over the fire.  Have a nice swim, Rory tips over in the canoe [trying to pump water from the lake].  The bugs get SUPER insane and we make an early night of it.

Day 3

Probably the best sleep of all the trip.  Tho', I realized that my 'muscle shirt' (read, wife beater) was a bad call for eysterday as my shoulders are a nice shade of RED.  Sleeping kinda irritated it.  We head out for the best day of all.  Nice amount of paddling, broken up really well with nice portages.  Apparently we covered ~20km!  We had some nice rapids, then some strong winds at our back.  Jarron rigged up the tent fly with a pole and we SAILED pretty well for about an hour.  Then a nice little rest by some rapids while Regan and Todd fish (we swim) and Regan breaks his rod.  Then we get to more paddling.  WE stopped for a quick lunch @ what I call "Joshua Tree Island."  The wind is still strong so we go and sit side by side in canoes so that the wind pushes us better.  Works sort of like a catamaran.  We find some guys DRIVER'S LICENSE & then we finally land in NORTHERN LIGHT LAKES.  We try to camp @ the falls but some Americans already have it.  They blocked the landing with 2 canoes (one had a dead fish tied to it), and a few beer cans, and 3 more canoes on the lane up to the site.  We decided to push through their site to on on the other side.  We start to paddle through some rough waves.  A bit leery actually, but we eventually come out to an AWESOME camp ste.  Again a little dirty [coffe cups, and other litter].  There's a lean to, that helps block the wind around the fire spot, with a shelf for cooking, and they have a toilet as well!  The wind really starts to pick up.  Rory sets up a clothesline to dry everything out.  We take a good swim and set up camp.  Todd & Regan go fishing.  The wind definitely helps keep the bugs away!  Strong wind really starts to turn into a "storm brew," and with no sign from Todd or Regan we start getting concertned.  It gets a little worse out.  Heavy winds, little spots of rain.  We start dinner without the 2 fishers and as we start they appear with 2 catches.  It rains almost immediately thereafter.  I eat my 2 sausages and head to bed (i hate getting wet).  Just as I turned on my MP3 player the rain stops so we all get out and watch the storm.  A bunch of huge FORKS of lightening strike pretty close by.  But it looks like the storm just went all aorund the island, but nothing ON the island.  Todd decides to jump out and scare Jarron [it's really dark now].  He does so, but it was Regan instead, and I thought Regan was gonna kill him.  Rory & Todd decide to do a midnight naked swim, I bow out and fall asleep listening to tunes.


Woke up from the worst sleep (sun burn and a MILLION bug bites can do that).  We have a quick breakfast and off we go in VERY choppy weather.  We were warned to wear our life jackets.  Good idea.  If Jarron and Regan suggest to do so, i say we do so.  Nothing happened, mind you, but it was good reassurance.  I can see how some people can get sea sickness.  So we paddled a ton of open water.  NO PORTAGES!  Which made for really boring paddling.  The wind was mostly @ our backs, but still some very choppy waves.  A few close scrapes with some power boaters (jerks - Todd really had to wave at one of them so they wouldn't get so close).  Rory was really getting concerned.  And Jarron decided to use the sail trick again. Gave him the edge, beat us by ~20minutes but we were dead tired of paddling all that way, and he just sat back.  The last 10 minutes it rained HARD, but we were so close & we were glad we didn't tip.  To top the weekend off Regan's tire was flat!  Then we headed for home - only stopping at the Stanly for a STANLEY BURGER, of course.



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