We will not be in the office for the next two weeks while we paddle three different river systems to the south of Wabakimi Provincial Park in northwestern Ontario. (Click here for the Google map view of things.) We’ll be taking the VIA Canadian train from Union Station in downtown Toronto to Allan Water Bridge; when we get there 24 hours later we’ll overnight in a cabin at the Jelinskis’ Allan Water Lodge. (N.B. all blue text is clickable, as are all images.)
Something to remember while you look over the following map and plans is this harsher Scottish version of “Que sera sera”:
|The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Current Fire Situation in NW Ontario– click here
And here is the weather forecast for the next two weeks. It doesn’t look like fire will be a major concern this summer, a nice change from last summer’s smoke over Wabakimi!
Here is at least what we think is going to be happening from August 13 to August 24-
If you want to see how we’re doing, then the GPS beacon we are taking along will provide an up-to-the-minute record of our location each day.
Click on this link to true_north_spot to see where we currently are.
(While it is on, the SPOT Connect sends a signal up to a satellite constellation every ten minutes which then relays it to the company server; from there the information is posted on the web site. More info on the gadget can be found here.) Along with the tracking feature, we also make use of the message-sending capability of the device when paired with my Apple iPod Touch. It is able to relay up to 45-character messages to email addresses that have been pre- entered into the device. One weakness of the device is that the “communication” is one-way; it cannot receive messages. I recently learned that such a device, the Delorme Inreach, is now on the market. With each passing year new toys and gear to consider!
Talking about new toys, we are taking our new kevlar/carbon Swift Dumoine canoe on its first adventure. The 42-pound canoe replaces the 60-pound kevlar/fiberglass North Bay canoe that served us well on five previous canoe trips. We’ve come a long way from our first canoe- an indestructible 17′ Grumman “Lightweight” aluminum canoe which, although it also weighed 60 lbs., moved like a barge and was notorious for hanging on rocks in the rapids. Whoever is carrying the new canoe on the portage trail should notice the difference! We’ll both notice the difference in the water.
Rough Day-by-Day Breakdown of the Trip – not taking into account weather and terrain and other unforeseen variables
|Day 1: from Allanwater Bridge to Antler Lake 21 km|
Portages daily portage total
1-120 m; 2- 45 m; 3-290 m; 4 – 25 m; 450 m
Day 2: from Antler Lake to Harmon Lake 22 km
1- 90 m; 2 – 20 m; 3- 175 m 285 m
Day 3: rest of Harmon Lake to past Graham Road 30 km
1 – 500 m; 2 -150 m; 3- 240 m 890 m
Day 4: to Redsand Lake 21 km
1 – 25m; 2 – 500 m 525 m
Day 5: to Waterhouse Lake 21 km
Day 6: to north end of Uneven Lake 21 km
1- 320 m 320 m
Day 7: Uneven Lake to Sandison Lake 23 km
1- 200 m; 2- 150 m 350 m
Day 8: Sandison Lake to beyond Falls on Kopka 21 km
1- 80 m; 2- 70 m; 3- 50 m; 4- 70 m; 5- 60 m; 6 – 290 m
7 – 400 m; 8- 20 m; 9- 180 m 1220 m
Day 9: to just beyond steep portage and falls 19 km
1- 30 m; 2 – 440 m; 3 -750 m; 4 – 400 m; 5 -30 m; 6 -200 m; 7- 250 m 2070 m
perhaps divide Days 8 and 9 into three days- or maybe four to explore the falls and other sights
Day 10: to take out on access road to Highway 527 21 km.
1- 200 m; 2-250 m 450 m
Total distance 213 km (but 211 km with Max’s GPS mapping calculation)
33 portages though a number of swifts are supposedly runnable
Linable stretches may end up being more work than expected.
Total distance of portages 6570 m
We have eleven days to do the trip; we have arranged a transfer from the take-out spot up to Armstrong Station some 30 kilometers away on the eleventh night of the trip. The train passes through Armstrong the next morning on its way back to Toronto. We’ll be on it!
We’re back and had a great time paddling some of the most dramatic riverscape we’ve seen in over thirty years of canoeing northern Ontario. Needless to say, things didn’t unfold quite like they were supposed to. Click here for the details!