Post Number: 4
|Posted on Friday, October 4, 2013 - 5:45 pm: ||
We did a family trip from Florence to Solace this August. Here's a brief report. While every Temagami backcountry trip is wonderful in its own way, the overarching memory of this one is of unrelenting rain ...
On Florence, we stayed at Hap's favorite campsite on the northern tip of the outcropping on the west side of the lake towards the southern end, which was lovely. Florence lives up to its well deserved reputation of clear water and tranquil surroundings. Sadly, despite a clear weather forecast, it began to rain an hour after we made it to Florence.
The next morning, we set out for Bluesucker. It was raining hard, accompanied by high winds. The first long portage from the south end of Florence (Bluesucker Bay), that Hap calls a "Temagami classic", was tricky to find in the driving rain and was, frankly, miserable. Our rain, coming on the heels of a fairly wet period, had turned the bog into quagmire and had eliminated the modest support of many of the logs on which one could normally try to traverse the bog. Not only were we all deep into bog, but the rain/wind combination by this point was very cold and highly unpleasant. Everyone sunk into the bog at some point, some more than once.
As the day progressed, the weather worsened, and we learned later from Darren that he had flown around tornadoes - for only the second time in 20+ years of Temagami flying.
Ultimately, we stopped and camped very early near the rapids, and spent a classically miserable night in cold heavy rain!
Sadly, the next day did not bring any relief from the driving rain. Worse still, there was an in-ground hornet nest actually on the trail that nabbed two of our group with multiple stings. Nevertheless, we made it through Bluesucker and into Benner, where the campsite on the southeast corner of the lake is a true dream. It was too early to stop but we stopped anyway, and as we did, the rain stopped, although the gale force winds remained. We pitched camp and dried out. I know that some have reported small motor boats on Benner, and that would be a tragedy, but we did not have any such bad luck and it remains in our memories as a lovely campsite (with good room for two tents) and a delightful small lake.
From Benner to Solace seems rather easier than some number of prior posts - or perhaps we were just enjoying tornado-free weather - but this was very pleasant.
There is one marked campsite on Rodd Lake and two on Pilgrim but none of them seemed particularly desirable. I am glad we stopped early on Benner.
On Pilgrim, Hap describes the portage landing as sloped bedrock, which can lead one to believe that one is at the portage before you really are. The sloped bedrock is pretty modest, candidly.
The portage from Pilgrim to Maggie is certainly hilly but it was quite clear other than some early and short boggy sections. I don't regard it as unduly difficult or strenuous, as some others have suggested; perhaps some maintenance has been done on it recently.
On Maggie, it is very important to heed the advice in prior posts (thank goodness for Ottertooth!) to disregard the trapline and proceed further on to the portage. One would normally believe the trapline to be the portage! The actual portage is well marked with tape and flags but one can't see those markings until after one has passed by the trapline.
The portage from Maggie to Bill is similarly hilly but not in any way unmanageable, and it too looked recently maintained.
From Bill through Samson into Solace is a piece of cake, and Solace itself is lovely. However, the first campsite one encounters (on the south end of the marked island), while nice, is not large and unfortunately bears too many scars of prior visits and is within sight of a fishing camp's dock. The other nearby campsites are less nice. So, Solace for us is a delightful lake to visit and swim in, but less a campsite destination.
Happily, the sun was shining and the wind gone by this point, although even in mid-August the Solace water was goosebump temperature.
Camping in heavy rain is never fun but Temagami's backcountry came out to say goodbye in its usual alluring fashion, ensuring that we will be back again!
Post Number: 316
|Posted on Friday, October 4, 2013 - 9:38 pm: ||
sounds like you made the best of it despite the conditions!
Post Number: 1591
|Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 7:30 am: ||
This summer reminds me of summer's back in the 1970s.
Post Number: 43
|Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 7:44 pm: ||
I wonder if on the way from Florence you camped at waterslides by the 200m portage and if so - is it an established campsite with a fire ring? I was passing there, but didn't pay attention, obviously.
Post Number: 317
|Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 1:51 am: ||
sergey, will wait for chris' response as to whether that's where he camped, but i can confirm the spot you are talking about IS an old campsite (i.e. at the top of the 200 m portage).
we almost camped there once in the mid 90's, there was a fire ring, the tent site(s) were fairly rough but would have been usable.
only thing that deterred us were the huge fresh bear prints in the mud all around!
Post Number: 44
|Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 8:48 pm: ||