is a fun little river. Run the rapids that can be run. There
are portage trails where they are needed. The route is open, i.e.
trails are clear, but there was not much evidence of its recent use.
The hand painted syllabics signs had tailed off at Woollett Lake.
The route is definitely better traveled than the Little George Route
second rapids of the morning should be portaged on the east bank.
This is where the campsite should have been marked. There is an
excellent sloping rock campsite overlooking the little gorge here with
trout potential. We split up, half of us running the top and lining
the short ledge below, the others walking the short portage. We were
able to run most of the rapids beyond the falls.
the north end of the next lake, just before the river cuts back SW at 51°
37’ 30” North, there is a creek that flows into a small
“two-halved” pond. There is a 300 yard portage at the west end
of the second “half” that cuts off 5 kilometers of river travel.
is a second short “cut-off” portage at about 51° 40’ North on the
west shore of Lac Thereau just south of the egress of the river.
There is a campsite on the beach at the fork at the north end of the lake portaged into from Lac Thereau. This fork appeared to be a major crossroads. The well-established campsite is a little swampy and did not appear to have been recently used. There is a large clearing of cut spruce just back from the campsite to the west. We also found a log-cabin foundation on the east shore of the eastern branch of the fork. The east fork would provide a clear path to Lac Comeau. We found wolf prints and droppings on the shore here.
|Heb Evans (1975)
portaging his wannigans on Esker Portage into Lake Capichinatouane. The
"Red Rig" on top carried his cameras. The portage follows the
top of an esker.
Photo: Dan Carpenter Jr.
the west fork from the campsite. The river divides again less than a
kilometer downstream. Follow the SW fork west to the edge of the
map. There are two portages on this path. Paddle to the end of
the shallow winding finger that begins this route and find the portage
trail just up the creek in the southwest corner of the final pond. A
burn makes the trail a bit obscure, but it is there. We kept waiting
for the region to become swampy, but the hills prevailed. None of
the muskeg of Ontario appeared to vex us. The second portage is at
the west end of the next pond, right where it should be (as Danny
carpenter would say, on the path of the Cree). This route is well
worn, and always in the right where one would expect it to be.
third portage takes out of the NW corner of the following lake into the
large lake before Lac Cawachagamite. It is a very short walk.
There is an excellent looking campsite in the portage bay of this lake and
we floated a lunch of tuna, cheese, and bannoc in the lee of the
esker-like island here. We scouted the creek that flows out of the
NW bay of the lake towards Lac Cawachagamite. It is a beautiful,
smooth-rock cascade…but unpaddleable. No portage route was found
here so we returned to the path of the Cree and portaged 200 yards from
the SW bay of the lake into the long southeastern arm of Cawachagamite.
Cawachagamite is a large and picturesque lake. A rest day might be
planned here. It would be nice to have some time to explore its shores.
Mountains are visible in the distance beyond what appears to be a stand of
tall aspen on the SW shore. The old Keewaydin site on the southern
shore at 74° 04’ West had gone back to the bush. We found the old
fireplace buried in the sphagnum moss, but the tentsites had disappeared
into scrub pine and thick underbrush. It looked to have once been a
nice site though.
bushed a campsite at the end of a peninsula hanging down from the north in
a narrow eastern bay at 51° 43’ North. It was an ideal place for
tents but fireplace rocks had to be imported and the kitchen area was
soaked, as there was no exposed rock.
short portage out of Cawachagamite was not as obvious, although it was on
the path of the Cree. It takes out of the furthest NE bay of the
north arm of the lake. There is an old survey line cut just west of
the trail. The trail, though á la mode, i.e. just a caribou-hoof
wide, is a better bet than the survey line which has poor footing.
is a steep chute that can be run into the next lake. There is a
small falls where the river turns back to the north for 5 kilometers.
We found an old Keewaydin-style fireplace (i.e. set to accommodate wide
fire irons) here. The short portage around this obstacle is just to
the east of the cascade in a shallow bay. We found a dried-up
“spruce dock." These are made by felling a spruce sapling and
dropping it in the water so one can pull a canoe up on shore without
risking damage (its hull rests on the soft boughs). This usually
indicates recent travel because the ice should clear these away in the
spring. But the saplings were devoid of greens and didn’t appear
to be cut since the thaw. We declined venturing any hypotheses.
is an easy rapids between the falls and the round lake. An old Cree
camp makes an excellent campsite on the west shore a half-mile south of
the river route to Lac De La Marée.
“Tamarac River,” as we dubbed it, is a deep, sandy-banked river that
connects the small round lake to Lac De La Marée. There is a
portage at the top of the river around the only obstacle of the day.
It takes out on the south bank of the river just beyond its egress from
the lake. After this portage the river has a gentle even grade
making a perfect canal through the swampy terrain. The river is
populated with numerous tamaracks and there is evidence of several old
campsites on the high sandy banks at the beginning.
river can be paddled, in good water, in an easy morning. We made
lunch in the narrows between the two bodies of Lac De La Marée.
campsite all three years on Lac de la Marée was a Cree camp at the end of
the gravel point at 51° 53’ North, 74° 16’ West. The campsite
is the eastern edge of the old village of Neoskweskau. The lake is
deep enough to land a Beaver, and the campsite provides 300 degrees of
visibility. It is an ideal spot for a food drop.
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