Canoeing the Bloodvein Day 16 – Lagoon Run to Camp Below W88

Previous Post:  Canoeing The Bloodvein Day 15 – Namay Falls to “Lagoon Run” 

DAY 16 BASICS:

distance: about 17 kilometers

weather: sunny and clear

rapids/portages: W87 port 65 m; W88 ran

campsite: point less than 1 km below W88

looking back at the Day 15 Campsite

looking back east  at the Day 15 Campsite on the hilltop above “Lagoon Run”

Our last full day on the river was really a half-day of paddling, given that we were setting up camp shortly after noon on a point below Kasoos… Rapids (W88) about five kilometers outside of the Atikaki Park boundary.

day-16-lagoon-run-to-point-below-w88

day-16-lagoon-run-to-point-below-w88

narrow stretch of the Bloodvein below W86  just before a set of swifts

narrow stretch of the Bloodvein below “Lagoon Run” just before a set of swifts

river left at Meekisiwi Rapids (W87)

river right at Meekisiwi Rapids (W87)

Meekisiwi Rapids -

We had one portage to deal with – the 65-meter carry at Meekisiwi Rapids illustrated by my gps track to the left.  The very next day we would fly by the rapids on our way back to Red Lake; the shot below shows what the rapids look like from 600 meters up.

The Bloodvein's Meekisiwi Rapids up close

The Bloodvein’s Meekisiwi Rapids aerial view – the river is running from image top to bottom right

Coming up were the last two reported pictograph sites on the river and we scanned rock faces in anticipation.  No pictographs – but very nice reflections!

rock face and reflection on the Bloodvein

rock face and reflection on the Bloodvein below Meekisiwi Rapids

Rock face below Meekisiwi Rapids on the Bloodvein

Rock face below Meekisiwi Rapids on the Bloodvein

The first of the pictograph sites came up just downriver from the new bridge spanning the Bloodvein for the all-weather road which will soon be open and connect Bloodvein First Nations with Highway 304 about ten kilometers east of Manigotagan.

the new Bloodvein River Bridge at the end of the Park

approaching the new Bloodvein River Bridge and the end of the Park

The Bloodvein Bridge under construction - July 2014

an aerial shot from the next day – The Bloodvein Bridge under construction – July 2014

Unfortunately easier access to the river via the road has already resulted in some graffiti spoiling what is a mostly pristine wilderness river and shoreline. Paddling downriver from the bridge, in the next 1.5 kilometers you will see this on river right –

the graffiti south of the Bridge and a few meters north of the pictograph site

the graffiti south of the Bridge and a few meters north of the pictograph site

Chubby, Vern, and Chester's %22Hello to the World%22 by the new Bloodvein Bridge

Chubby, Vern, and Chester’s “Hello to the World”  by the new Bloodvein Bridge

more graffiti - technically petroglyphs? - on the Bloodvein near the new Bridge

more graffiti – technically lichenoglyphs? – on the Bloodvein near the new Bridge

Along with the recent defacing of the rock face, we did find a small panel with three pictographs.  A human figure with outstretched arms and one holding what may be a medicine bag, what looks like a tripod but with five legs, and a rectangle. A line underneath them all seems to serve as a foundation.

Bloodvein Pictograph just south of the new bridge crossing the Bloodvein

Bloodvein Pictograph just south of the new bridge crossing the Bloodvein

And then it was back to more recent scratchings of lichen-covered rock face.  What were Marty and Marcy thinking?  I am surprised that nothing has been done to get rid of the worst of the graffiti. It does not make a great advertisement for those trying to create a U.N. World Heritage site in the area.

more scratchings on the rock face

more scratchings on the lichen-covered rock face

yet more graffiti near the end of the Bloodvein below the new Bridge

yet more graffiti near the end of the Bloodvein below the new Bridge

Clyde Cook does the Bloodvein

Clyde Cook leaves his mark on the Bloodvein

break time on the Bloodvein below Meekisiwi Rapids

break time on the Bloodvein below Meekisiwi Rapids

the Swift Dumoine takes a break on the Bloodvein!

the Swift Dumoine takes a break on the Bloodvein!

We were ready to see the last of the rock painting sites as we approached Kasoos Rapids (W88).  Just above the rapids on river right is apparently a half-life-size pictograph of a moose. It would be hard to miss!  Well, i don’t know how we managed it, but we didn’t even see a rock face, let alone the rock painting!  As for the rapids, the term “swifts” would be a more fitting term to describe the water we found.

The view from ourBloodvein  tent site 7 km. from the ferry dock and the village

The view from our Bloodvein tent site upriver from the ferry dock and the village

Bloodvein W88, picto site, and Day 16 CampBelow the rapids the river widens into a mini-lake.  It seems to be a popular spot for fishermen as we spotted a few boats over the next few hours motoring up to the foot of the rapids.  We headed to a point on river left and found a great tent site. While we could have paddled right down to Bloodvein First Nations and waited there for the next day pick-up by Viking Outposts Air,  this quiet and hassle-free spot seemed a better option. The last seven kilometers to the village could wait for the next morning.

The Last Post! Canoeing The Bloodvein Day 17 – W89 Camp to Bloodvein First Nation

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

2 Responses to Canoeing the Bloodvein Day 16 – Lagoon Run to Camp Below W88

  1. Dan says:

    Very, very entertaining and informative description. I took this trip in late August 2014. so I was able to follow everything and relate to portages and campsites. Like you, I used Wilson’s description from beginning to end (I started in Artery Lake), and I share your opinion on the surveyor’s tape. It sure made finding portages easy. However, there were two portages that were bewildering, namely no. 42 and 72. For no. 42, the description on paper didn’t match the river. I nearly paddled over a falls at the top but managed to eddy out just before the lip of the falls and carry a short distance and then run some class I to II water for about 200 feet. Very scary. With respect to no. 72, like you I went RL because that’s where the initial piece of tape was, but from there the tape disappeared and it was bushwacking all the way on the 480 yard portage (Wilson’s description; your 510), eventually dropping the canoe on a line into the river at the bottom of the rapids. These were the only difficulties, except for the rain – over a ten day trip, it rained for four or five days.

    I plan to return some day and I will take your account with me. It is a great read, and I will be able to plan for some great campsites and views..

    • true_north says:

      Dan, it’s nice to hear my description matches your experience. If you don’t mind, I am going to update my post on W42 and incorporate your comment.

      Sorry to hear that your crew got all that rain! Definitely more fun when it’s nice and sunny. Just the fact that you’re contemplating a return tells me you still really had a good time. We’d go back too but just have to get our heads around the two days’ drive to get to the put-in!

      This summer we have a less ambitious 8-day trip on the Steel River with a put-in on Santoy Lake near Terrace Bay. It should be a buzz to be paddling Lake Superior’s High Country.

      Happy paddling to you down to Wabakimi Lake on the Allan Water River.

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:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s