Bloodvein Headwaters Day 5: Larus Lake to Barclay Lake

Previous Post: Bloodvein Headwaters Day 4: Murdock Lake to Larus Lake

The Bloodvein Larus to Barclay

Bloodvein River - barclay lake area


distance:  26 kilometers over 7  hours

weather: morning sunshine; afternoon rain and thunderstorm; evening overcast and threatening to rain

rapids/portages: 1 set of rapids -W07- which we portaged 135 meters

campsites: a nicely sheltered one on a point just below the entrance to Barclay Lake

NRCanada Topo Map052 M 07 (Sabourin Lake)

We got up at 4:45 this day.  While we had both gotten some sleep, the bear was still on our minds. So too was the wind; we did not want to be windbound for a second day.  We were off by 5:30 with plans on having breakfast after dealing with the 3.5-km. open stretch of Larus.  The water was still very calm and the paddling went easy.  We agreed we should be doing this more often!

cabin complex on point at west end of Larus

cabin collection on point at west end of Larus

looking back after dealing with the open stretch of Larus

sun rises as we look back after dealing with the open stretch of Larus Lake

There are many great things about paddling in the early morning – that coolness, the stillness and tranquility, and that chance to catch a view of some of the locals getting a bite to eat. This moose just stood there and watched as we paddled by shortly after sunrise.

moose sighting on the way to Barclay Lake

moose sighting on the way to Barclay Lake

moose closer up

moose closer up

post-burn birches along the Bloodvein

post-burn birches along the Bloodvein

We stopped for breakfast a bit after seven at the top of W07, our only portage of the day.  By now the sun was more than up –  as the following pic shows –

sun up on the Bloodvein from W07 Rapids

sun up on the Bloodvein from top of W07 Rapids


W07 P135









Later in the morning as we neared the channel going up to Sabourin Lake we met our first fishermen of the trip – a couple of boats which had come down to the Bloodvein from the lodge on the lake.  We left them behind and headed for the next target – Barclay Lake. The plan was to find a Day 5 campsite on spitcampsite on Barclay – the map above has a number indicated – and then head up to Musclow Lake the next morning to see the pictograph site.  We never did get that far.  We could definitely feel something coming in so at about two when we passed the spit shown on the map to the left we decided to stop paddling and start putting up the tent and tarp right away.  We passed up on some beautiful fair-weather tent spots on top of the hill, instead taking advantage of the shelter that some trees and the hill itself provided down in the suburbs! The tent was barely up when it it started pouring. We watched as a couple of fishing boats raced by; we wondered how long it would take them to get to the lodge on Sabourin Lake – if that is where they were indeed going. In any case, there is no way they ended up being anything other than totally soaked.

campsite south of Barclay Lake

campsite south of Barclay Lake

This had been our easiest day of the trip so far with one easy and short portage and some nice paddling.  We’d also been lucky to get off the river when we did; Barclay Lake could always wait until tomorrow.

foreshadowing tomorrow's rain

a sky full of clouds foreshadowing tomorrow’s rain

 Next Post: Bloodvein Headwaters Day 6: south of Barclay Lake to Artery Lake 

This entry was posted in wilderness canoe tripping and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated, as are any suggestions on how to make this post more useful to future travellers. Just drop me a line or two!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.