Post Number: 6
|Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 10:14 am: ||
Ye Olde Temagami Plog (trip log)
Day 0 – Hiked Grand Campment Bay Trail, camped on Lake Timiskaming
Day 1 – Red Squirrel, Carrying, McLean, Anima Nip
Day 2 – Anima Nip, Harris, Shallow, Eagle (portages not on Chrismar map)
Day 3 – Eagle, Turner, Lynx, Mianthe, Sirdevan, Walsh
Day 4 – Walsh, Lady Evelyn, Willow Island, Sucker Gut, North Channel
Day 5 – North Channel, Katherine, South Channel
Day 6 – South Channel, Diamond, Sharp Rock Inlet, Sandy Inlet
Day 7 – Sandy Inlet, Red Squirrel
Total trip distance ~110 km
Day 0 – Left Toronto in the morning, ate lunch in North Bay, and arrived in Temagami early afternoon. Took the turn at Gramp’s Place, 17 km before the village of Temagami, down Rabbit Lake Road. Checked out the old protest camp (at km 24), then drove down to the end of the road to hike the Grand Campment Bay Trail. Road forked around km 34; we took the left fork on advice from post on Ottertooth. Shortly after the forks met up again, we took the second side road on the left, then followed that to the trailhead. The trail was very pretty, but it was hard to enjoy since bug juice was on the list of items to pick up in town the next day – the mosquitoes were terrible, and we jogged some parts of the trail. The campsite at the end was worth the drive to Acton.
Day 1 (~12 km) – Up at 5:30 to decamp, hike out, and drive out, intending to arrive at Temagami Outfitters when they open at 9. Ended up eating breakfast and buying supplies – didn’t get there till 11 am. Parked at Red Squirrel trailer park at 2 p.m. Portaged 920 m into Carrying Lake. Paddled through Carrying and portaged 670 into McLean Lake. Beasled into Anima Nippissing. It was raining. The wind was with us and carried us along past many taken campsites. Camped on Anima Nip.
Day 2 (~16 km) – Eva slept for 12 hours. Paddled past cottages heading WNW on Anima Nip, and portaged ~1500 m into Harris. The port was easy to find, but there was a split partway through that took the path down on the left or up on the right; after checking out both, we took the treacherous right path as the left didn’t seem to lead anywhere. We paddled through Harris Lake, then looked for the portage into Shallow Lake on the left. We saw bear pawprints in the mud, so we thought we’d try the right shore. The pawprints were there too, as was the portage. We sang Christmas songs to keep bears away. There was a road ½ way through the portage; the path continued down and to the left (marked with a blaze and faded flagging tape). We emerged in a marshy area, with mooseprints in the sand. (Crossed Chase-A-Bear Island, landed on Moose Beach.) The portage was ~1500 m. Then we were in Shallow Lake, which didn’t seem that shallow. Portaged ~ 1 km into Small No Name Lake; the portage involved walking over boulders in a dried-up riverbed. Dangerous and treacherous underfoot, Eva “falls gracefully” (Eva and canoe unharmed); Anna flags better directions. At SNN Lake, we ignored the aggressive flagging on the left, assuming it would lead to Even Smaller No Name Lake, which wasn’t where we wanted to go. We continued to a giant dam, explored, and Anna got leg-nettled. Ate delicious berries (raspberries & blackberries) mmmmm. We decided it wasn’t a portage. Went back to check out the aggressive flagging, just in case; when we turned back, the portage was right there, on the N side of the lake, in the most logical place possible. Portage approximately 100-300 m. We arrived in Eagle Lake with thunder in the distance, stormclouds, and ominous noises from the sky. There was a campsite immediately across from the portage, so we quickly put up the tent, got water, hid the food pack in a slightly creepy old hunting cabin, and ate dinner in the tent while it poured (don’t tell the bears). Portages today were overgrown, treacherous, not well-marked, full of hard to push through branches, with bear tracks, and had unsure endings. We flagged all confusing spots with fresh tape to make the portages easier to navigate (faded orange flagging not always visible). Presumably slower and harder going than if we had gone the standard route through Whitewater and Little Eagle Lakes, but it was fun to explore and the solitude was worth the extra work.
Day 3 (~18 km) – Left hunting grounds on Eagle Lake, portaged 1520 m – the signed and well-cut trail felt amazing after the overgrown ports from the day before, very creamy, no obstructions, high-class. Arrived at Little Lake Fauntleroy. “Partage” (a short portage – part of a portage) 150 m into Turner Lake. Partage 50 m into Somekinda Lake. Partage 210 into Lynx Lake (discussed difference between Lynx and Minks). Portaged 490 m into President’s Choice Lake. Portaged 420 m into 316 Lake, swam and ate lunch on a rock. Partage 160 m into Mianthe Lake/Lake Me’n’You. Portaged 530 m into Sirdevan Lake. Portage 1040 into Loon Wolf Lake; portage involved balance beam routine. Lotsa fun! Partage 70 m into Walsh, aka Too Blue Lake, Two Heron Lake, and Totally Effing Awesome Lake, et cetera. Portages today were sometimes somewhat overgrown and a little hard to find, in a good way. Compared to yesterday, they were dreamy.
Day 4 (~ 20 km) – Woke up at 6:30, left Too Blue Lake at unknown time (Anna rolled up her watch with the tent). Portaged 550 m into Lady Evelyn Lake. Paddled N to portage 490 m into No Name Lake 296. Saw lots of campers today with wanigans and tump straps. Portaged 500 m into Willow Island Lake. Had lunch on account of the bad weather – whitecaps and rain. After lunch, Eva’s predicting octopus (made out of a cheesestring) told us it was safe to head out, so we paddled into the wind the whole way (both lakes) and were surprised at how low the water level was (about 3 feet below the water line). Paddled N into Sucker Gut Lake, saw desert island. (Incidentally, watched a bunch of campers – 7 or 8ish – and their counsellor cliff-jumping, and they all jumped at once, which Anna thought was stupid. Eva: All? Anna: Well, there were one or two chickens.) As soon as we rounded the corner and started paddling SW, the wind changed and started blowing NE – against us again! At the end of Sucker Gut, we did a partage at Frank Falls. Paddled through North Channel to Centre Falls, took the 1st campsite, Anna fell in the water and couldn’t get out for 10 minutes (those rocks sure are slippery!) and Eva took 1 ½ hours to boil water for dinner. Falls are very nice and pretty.
Day 5 (~10 km) – Started at Centre Falls, finished last ½ of 590 m portage, lifting canoe up cliff, et cetera. Then there was supposed to be a 150 m portage to the right, but it was not evident, so Eva billygoated the canoe down the rocks by the side of the river, and then there were fallen trees and other obstacles, so we lined it the rest of the way. Paddled to Helen Falls, where we saw a large man disguised as a small teenaged girl, carrying a cedar strip canoe with lashed paddles, which she easily lifted off her shoulders and gently placed in the water. Portaged 460 m. Then two more partages, 330 m and 260 m, in North Channel, but we walked much more than that because of the many dried-up bits along the way. When we reached Katherine Lake, it was windy, shallow, and treacherous, so we had lunch. Then paddled W to the other bank so we could see down the Channel, as both the current and the wind might whisk us briskly down the South Channel rapids. 200 m partage at some “rapids” (A: Really, standing water mucking about big piles of rocks), 320 m at Twin Sisters Falls where we saw the Warden’s Lair. Anna took pictures; Eva daydreamed on a rock. 410 m portage at Bridal Veil Falls, then 870 m at No Name Falls, then 100 m partage at Fat Man’s Falls, then 290 m over some rapids, whereupon shortly after we made our camp. Ate delicious curry, Eva ate a drowsy Benadryl and fell asleep. Anna followed shortly thereafter. Pack was hung best ever (trying out a new system with a pulley this trip – so far so good). Very slow going today on account of many portages and billygoating. On the plus side, Eva improved her fire-building time.
Day 6 (~26 km) – Paddled a while, then had 110 m partage. Then continued paddling, lined canoe a while, got stuck, Anna walked the canoe while Eva walked on shore. Arrived at dreaded long portage, which turned out to be easy, squeaky clean, and, because of water level, probably longer than 2420 m; we put in at the campsite, which made it more like 3 km, as the long finger of water was all dried up. The portage was shockingly easy, possibly because it was so dry. Anna found the sweet spot on the yoke and carried the canoe no-handed through most of the portage, which was awesome and made it way easier and fun. Arrived at Diamond Lake, and Diamond Lake was windy. So, after paddling a bit, we stopped and had lunch, to gather our strength and wait for the wind to die down, which didn’t actually happen. Saw some people sailing in their canoes, but we passed them and felt smug about it. Also saw naked people. Tired ourselves out paddling in the wind, eventually arrived at the “historic” Jack Ladder. [note: look up “A Glimpse of Algonquin Paradise”] Partage was 70 m. “Scenic”. This brought us to Sharp Rock Inlet, which was, of course, also very windy. Paddled along N end, rounded Beaver Island, missed turn into Upper Narrows, paddled ½ hr into the wind in the wrong direction. Turned around, saw a beautiful campsite in Upper Narrows (taken), as was the other one. Paddled across N arm of Lake Temagami, saw a free campsite, but decided to portage 760 m into Sandy Inlet with the promise of nice swimming. Saw a bunch of little Wanapitei kids on the portage (maybe 11 years old?) dragging packs twice their size. Adorable. Took campsite on beach; Anna disgusted by piles of s*#$, toilet paper, and branches ripped off of trees. Still a pretty place, though. Anna tired and sore. Anna says Eva made “impressive” fire in the wind. Eva says it wasn’t that impressive.
Day 7 (~8 km) – Lazed about on the beach all morning, swimming, reading, dressing our wounds, et cetera. Set out around noon and paddled short distance to the river through Wanapitei. Paddled up the beautiful river, then portaged 600 m into Red Squirrel Lake. Paddled to public access docks. Had lunch and headed back to town to return the canoe. Took pictures walking down Memory Lane. Drove back to Toronto, stopping for dinner at Antonios’ Grill in South River (how many Antonios are there?).
Overall, great trip! The first few days off the beaten track was tough going but great for getting away from the crowds (we didn’t see anyone else between Anima Nip and Lady Evelyn), and it was nicely balanced by the next few days of the north and south channels, which was also tough going but very different scenery-wise. The diversity throughout the trip was fantastic – first third: overgrown, slow, confusing, hard to find/follow portages, and small easy lakes, no people; second third: dried up channels meant slow walking, wading, lining where we should have been able to paddle, tough shear cliffs and billygoating on portages (which were well-marked and easy-ish to find/follow), very scenic with pretty falls and narrow channels, some people here and there; third third: big lakes, big wind, big waves, easy portages (as in straightforward and relatively horizontal), lots of other people.
Note 1: distances are guess-timations based on Anna’s most inaccurate method of square-counting on the map.
Note 2: some lake names are made up for convenient referencing. For example, you will not find Little Lake Fontleroy on any maps, topo or otherwise. Same goes for President’s Choice Lake, which can, however, be found on the shelf right next to No Name Lake.
Link to pictures: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=212483&id=72 2430635&l=0186dc6675
(Facebook claims this is a public link...let me know if it works)
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 11:02 am: ||
Hey you two,
Yup, saw the pics fine....some really great ones! Thanks for the post...we who aren't out there (yet) get to be there vicariously by reading these kinds of logs.
Post Number: 44
|Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 12:48 pm: ||
I'm glad you enjoyed the muskego region. It is still one of my favorite areas of the temagami region. Our trip last year went through eagle and shallow, then followed the shallow creek and down the muskego river to Lady Evelyn. Then it looped back around through the muskego via angler, sugar, isbister, barter, turner.
I like your description of the old cabin on Eagle Lake: "slightly creepy old hunting cabin". Describes it well!
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 2:26 pm: ||
Thanks maramar and Simon.
And thanks for the tip on Harris and Shallow Lakes, Simon - it worked out perfectly! Not seeing anyone for two days was absolutely the right way to start out the trip. I'll definitely be back to explore more of the lakes in that area. Any idea what all that flagging is about in the little wee lake between Eagle and Shallow?
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Friday, August 13, 2010 - 4:48 pm: ||
Not certain what the flagging tape denotes. It could be a survey line, logging boundary, trapping trail?
We had a similar experience with flagging tape on our first trip through the area. In our case it was flagging tape at the south side of Shallow lake. Unfortunately, we had followed it a few hundred meters with gear before realizing our mistake. Full text of that trip can be found here:
Post Number: 1233
|Posted on Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 9:53 am: ||
Prospectors love tape. And sometimes they go nuts with it. There have been prospectors active just about everywhere. There is no escaping the plastic-mad men!