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The French river

By writtenwoods 2013.08.07 in Uncategorized

 

This trip marks my third interior session for the season.  I was very excited to get away on this trip, for the French river delta would be our destination.

We left our houses  late Thursday night and arrived early Friday morning. Too early to launch we decided to sleep for a few hours in the truck. Little did I know that the train tracks a mere 20 feet away were used actively by frequent and long lasting trains, all and all making for very little sleep.  At 7am sharp we were signed in at the park office and we were loading the canoes in no time. We covered the 12 km distance in just over 3 1/2 hours total to reach camp. The weather thankfully cooperated with us for the whole paddle in, but once camp was all set we were met with some heavy winds and rain. The first morning Mike and I both awoke at the same time to the sound of one of our canoes being lifted by the strong winds and tossed into the river. Quick thinking and actions led to us retrieving the canoe before it drifted away. This weather system lasted till the Saturday afternoon but once it cleared out the skies were blue and the winds were minimal, if anything.

Over the next 3 days we hiked/paddled all over the river system,ate large amounts of food and swam in the warm waters. With plenty of time to stop,relax and take in the beautiful surroundings along the way.

 

I am only smiling because it would be the last time I had to hear that train go past for many days

I am only smiling because it would be the last time I had to hear that train go past for many days

Mike and Mike exploring the many bays of the French river.

Mike and Mike exploring the many bays of the French river. On route to camp site
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We arrived at our site with just enough time to get camp set up and fire wood collected before the rain met up with us. For the next day and a half it would rain on and off.

This is the way to go interior camping.  We used our Hennessy Hammocks on this trip. Coming in at just under 4lbs and setting up in under a minute, these are some awesome sleeping systems.

This is the way to go interior camping. We used our Hennessy Hammocks on this trip. Coming in at just under 4lbs and setting up in under a minute, these are some fantastic sleeping systems.

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Did I mention they also can be used like a normal hammock or a lounge chair

 

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This is not what you want to find in camp while gathering fire wood!!!!! This eastern massasauga rattlesnake didn't show its self until we were feet away, after this we all were a little more cautious and thankful to be sleeping off the ground.

This is not what you want to find in camp while gathering fire wood!!!!! This eastern massasauga rattlesnake didn’t make its self known until we were feet away. After this we all were a little more cautious and thankful to be sleeping off the ground.

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heading out to explore more areas and get some fishing in. 

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This canoe effortlessly glides through the waters

Just before we got to this portage a group decided to try and float these rapids, unsuccessfully I might add. Its hard to see from this photo but their canoe is stuck upside down,pinned between the rocks and current. These guys escaped unharmed besides the loss of the canoe and hitched a ride with the group they were travelling with. To make matters worse it ended up being a rental canoe, kevlar one at that.  Ouch.....

Just before we got to this portage a group decided to try and float these rapids, unsuccessfully I might add. Its hard to see from this photo but their canoe is stuck upside down,pinned between the rocks and current. These guys escaped unharmed, besides the loss of the canoe and hitched a ride with the group they were travelling with. To make matters worse it ended up being a rental canoe, kevlar one at that. Ouch…..

I am proud and embrace each one of those "character" marks on its hull. Hand crafted by my dad as a gift to me many many years ago. This one man canoe handles like a dream. Its quick on the water,very agile and can hold enough gear to do a 4 day trip.

I am proud and embrace each one of those “character” marks on its hull. Hand crafted by my dad as a gift to me many many years ago. This one man canoe handles like a dream. Its quick on the water,very agile and can hold enough gear to do a 4 day trip.

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"bouldering" out behind camp.

the days are long out here, thankfully. so we venture off the beaten path and find new things to explore. here we find ken “bouldering” out behind camp. 

nothing better then having wild blueberries all around camp.

nothing better then having wild blueberries all around camp. Made for some delicious additions to our daily feasts

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I recall hearing Vee say “its so softtttt” , and I turned around to this. The smiles and laughter makes the trip, its all about the company you keep.

each day the fire scene looked very similar. With no portages on this trip, we were able to pack some extras. which included steaks,bacon and eggs,side ribs and chicken wings along with all the appropriate sides. We at like kings!!

each day the fire scene looked very similar. With no portages on this trip, we were able to pack some extras. Which included steaks,bacon and eggs, ribs and chicken wings, along with all the appropriate sides. 

 

On route to Dalles rapids

Following the old voyageurs route

Sunset on the French River after the storm rolled through.

Sunset on the French River after the storm rolled through.

 

 

 

 

 

extending the weekends out all the time

By writtenwoods 2013.07.03 in Uncategorized

All it took was one phone call from my good friend David. I remember him saying ” this trip is a lot less portaging then the last one” , and with those words I signed up. I should of read the fine print though……

This interior trip had us launching from one of the most northern outpost in Algonqiun Provincial Park. Like David said on the phone, the portages were only totaling around 600 meters, but the 16 kms of waters that we were travelling were large and wind blown.  Through the first lake we sailed comfortably with a good cross wind into a small winding creek that would lead us into another system of lakes. This small creek proved to be a real test on all our sanity, including the dogs, as the millions of mosquitoes found us in short order.

Over the next 5 hours we paddled on.  Across massive lakes, fast water streams and forested portages ,until we reached the site that we would call home for the next few nights.  The site was set up in short order and we were kicking back and relaxing in no time. The days were spent fishing, exploring and cooking all in between the other camp crafts. All in all making the days fly by.

On the last day of camp David and I sat down and looked over the maps and planned the best route out. Taking note to which sides of the lakes we could take advantage of the growing wind gust best. The plan was a success for sure. With the winds at our backs for most of the return trip we made great time, completing the paddle and portage in 4 hours total. A perfect end to the Canada day long weekend.

 

A much needed break on North Tea Lake. With over 5 km of non stop paddling into the wind, this point seemed like the perfect area to stop for a few minutes before the rains started up again

A much needed break on North Tea Lake. With over 5 km of non stop paddling into the wind, this point seemed like the perfect area to stop for a few minutes before the rains started up again

David and Dix at the first portage ,deeper into the interior

David and Dix at the first portage ,deeper into the interior

Dixie loaded up with her gear for the interior

Dixie loaded up with her gear for the interior

plants that catch my eye along the way ( I counted, and I got 18 mosquito bites while taking this photo)

plants that catch my eye along the way ( I counted, and I got 18 mosquito bites while taking this photo)

 

another river, another portage.  David checking over the map before we started back up

another river, another portage. David checking over the map before we started back up

 

First evening at camp. bug tent ready and waiting

First evening at camp. bug tent ready and waiting

 

it doesnt matter where the dog might be, it will always be a dog

it doesn’t matter where the dog might be, it will always be a dog

 

JetBoil all in one cooking system. shown being used with the coffee press in action

JetBoil all in one cooking system. shown being used with the coffee press in action

this tool makes for some easy work around the camp

this tool makes for some easy work around the camp

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something new to sniff

cooling off

cooling off

DPX  H.E.S.T- the ultimate camp belt knife

DPX H.E.S.T- the ultimate camp belt knife

Dixie soaking it all in

Dixie soaking it all in

catch and release

catch and release

This is a good representation of how we all felt around camp near the end of the day

This is a good representation of how we all felt around camp near the end of the day

algonquin

Algonquin at a calm

sunset on Manitou lake

sunset on Manitou lake

when lanterns are too heavy to pack, you have to come up with new ideas

when lanterns are too heavy to pack, you have to come up with new ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A peak at the Past

By writtenwoods 2013.06.04 in Uncategorized

It seems like I just got back from my last interior trip, yet the planning has already begun for the next. Within the month I’ll find myself paddling and portaging across some back country system, miles away from the everyday “grind”.  Now when I use the term  “grind”  I should use it loosely. For I have the enjoyment of finding myself on numerous adventures each week. With working as a wildlife technician and also being an avid outdoors enthusiast, adventures seem to find me ( or vice-versa).  As long as I have my camera handy, there is always something that needs to be captured through its lens.

here are a few photos from recent outings/adventures

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Into the Interior

By writtenwoods 2013.05.23 in Uncategorized

Well its thankfully that time of year again, the snows have left and the leaves are out  in full bloom… Perfect time to grab the gear and head to the north country.

This first trip seemed like it took forever to get here, I guess that’s what happens when you start planning it months in advance. As the days got closer and closer, we all began to prepare for the adventures ahead.  My frame pack was packed and unpacked well over 50 times ( but who’s counting – because if I did, most people would think I am either crazy or obsessed.lol )

The destination was northern Algonquin Provincial Park and there were 5 of us doing the 14.7 km paddle and portage into our chosen lake system. The days were long and warm and the wind was never an issue for us, but most importantly the bugs were non existent. All adding up to fantastic conditions.

Each day brought new sights and along the way we viewed loons , moose ( moosesssss???) and beavers regularly around the camp. Each night at around 11 pm the loons would all sound off, there calls echoing off the shore lines and deep surrounding woods, making for a spectacular show each night.

For my first post I will show you what camp life looked like to us.

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