Previous Post: Day 12 – From Kautunigan lake to Gorge Rapids (W56)
DAY 13 BASICS:
distance: about 27 kilometers + a couple of kilometers on the portage trail
weather: from threatening in the morning to pretty nice in the aft and evening
rapids/portages: see below
campsite: campsite above Sharp Rock Rapids (W73) – nice quiet spot
Island Chutes would have made a great place to stop and put up the tent and savour the views over the course of a day in changing light. Unfortunately we needed to put in more than the 6 kilometers we had done so far. After scampering about the shoreline for a while and framing the river and rocks from different angles, it was time to push off.
By 1:30 we were at at the set of rapids Wilson labels as #70. You can see the top ledge in the picture above – an impressive churning and tumbling stretch of water that we did a 35-meter carry around on river right.
We got to the point below the ledge just in time to see the last of the three canoes belonging to the group of eight paddlers from the Pine Crest Camp in Ontario’s Muskoka country. The other teens had already gone down the set of Class 1 Tech rapids and tucked into a bay on river left to contemplate the next section as the river rounds the corner.
Impressed by the skill level and confidence shown by the paddlers as they worked the rapids, we could see that they had honed their technique on earlier canoe trips. It is always great to see a younger generation paddling the rivers that too often seem to be reserved for geezers like us!
After dealing with this set of rapids, we did a quick portage on river right around Manitou Rapids. Then it was on our way to the big portage of the day, a 500-meter carry. As we approached the take-out spot, we saw evidence of a recent (2011 or 2012) burn along the river left shore line that made for some stark scenery.
At 510 meters the portage around Kashaweposenatak Rapids was our longest carry of the day. In fact, it represented 50% of the day’s portage distance. As with almost all the other portage trails along the Bloodvein from Artery Lake, it was clearly indicated by orange prospectors’ tape. The gps track does show that I couldn’t see where Max had dumped the packs and took the canoe for a bit of a walk!
Just a bit further downriver was a shorter portage and beyond that our campsite for the day. But as the fire map above shows this was the area most affected by the fire.
Worried that we would not find a campsite with unscorched trees to provide a bit of wind shelter, we were happy to find this site on the river right. Another day – another great campsite to settle into – definitely an easy canoe trip pattern to get used to!