Triplogs / Triplog#11 / Day 2 / Days 3&4
Kiosk(IN) - Maple Cr - Ratrap L - 3 Mile L - Wahwahtaysee L - 1 Mile L - Erables L - Maple L - Kiosk(OUT)
Days 3 & 4 - Ratrap Lake to 3 Mile Lake
I busted my ass this day!
I woke up at 5:30am, had breakfast(Oatmeal again, with coffee). At 6:30am sharp, I heard a vehicle start up and drive down the AFA road(west of Dahinda Lake). My vision of solitude was shattered. I had another coffee, packed up , and exited my site at 7:30am.
It was another beautiful sunny morning in Algonquin!
Upon entering the narrows heading into Dahinda Lake, It was like I had crossed into enemy territory.
A skeeter attack. It was kinda swampy here, with a low fog as well. They just came off the shoreline, and were starting to drive me nuts, when I spotted a young Bull Moose ahead of me. He was feeding in the shallows, near the shoreline. My incessant swatting and cursing, woke the moose up to the fact he was not alone. I was able to get 2 shots of him with the camera, before he fled into the bush. Tree branches and underbrush cracking and snapping as he dove deeper into the forest. Into the clear of Dahinda Lake, the attack ceased, and I began to enjoy the paddle when a few minutes later, I came up the 1135m portage to Boggy Lake. I had been on this portage before, but had only walked it. Now I was gonna triple it(5 trips).
Dahinda lake Narrows: enter the DMZ - skeeter attack
I decided to carry it pack-canoe-pack. Usually I carry the canoe last, but with the length of the portage I thought it best to carry a pack last.
This turned out to be an excellent idea. For by the time it came for me to do my 3rd pass with the canoe, I threw on the pack, and proceeded to stumble across the portage. I was exhausted. back and forth, back and forth. This was really starting to get to me. It was humid in the forest that morning and the skeeters were dancing around my sweat soaked face, zeroing in on my neck, and cheeks.
Several minutes before I hit the crossing of the AFA road. I heard a big fat diesel truck making its way up the road. It was deafening in the quiet forest.
As chance would have it, I came to the crossing as the vehicle approached and took two out of focus shots of the noisemaker.
Bull Moose on Dahinda Lake
Bull Moose fleeing
I finally reached the end at boggy lake. I took me almost two and half hours to do the portage. The last pass killed me. I was looking forward to another paddle, but was kinda disappointed that it was to be a short one. Boggy lake is very small, and in less than 10 min. I was at the other side, hopping out and preparing for yet another portage. This one was a 455m portage, a shorty, but to my tired body, it felt like miles.
Actually this portage was quite easy, as far as terrain goes...starts off wide and flat, with a nice surprise at the end.
Arriving at North Sylvia Lake, I was very happy to see a white sand beach(as white as the sand can get in Algonquin).
I strolled into the lake, the warm sand beneath the water, massaging my feet, as I bent over and washed my face.
Hell with it! I took off my cloths and in I went. Awesome! Moments like this is what can make portaging so rewarding.
I sat back on a rock an admired the lake while letting the sun dry me off, I slugged back some Crystal light, and gobbled down a power bar.
Crossing the AFA road on the portage to Boggy Lake
In the not so quiet forest - logging vehicle approaches
There wasn't very many sites on this lake, so as I loaded my canoe and prepared to shove off, I consulted my map. one to the south, three to the north.
I looked south, and I couldn't make out the site too well, as it was hidden in shadow. I decided to head north. As I paddled up the lake, I looked along the shoreline. There were more beaches! I came upon the first site, it had no beach. Paddling on I came to the second site. Still no beach.
This lake was weird. There were sandy beaches here and there, but not on the sites. I went over to the last site.
No beach, but a nice sloped rock landing. I got out and headed over to the tenting area.
Underneath a thick canopy of trees was a huge flat spot, with a trench system dug around it. Someone had also left one of those $10 walmart camp chairs. I already had my own, dragging it with me, adding to the weight of my gear pack. I felt uneasy about this site. I went over to the rock slope at the waters edge and sat down and thought it over. Looking into the water, I noticed the water here, had alot of algae clinging to the rock, and the water had a greenish fog look to it. the water here looked stagnate. Not only that I was pretty well closed in here. The north shore was very close, I wasn't going to get a sunset here, that's for sure. I was tired too. So tired. Tomorrow I was scheduled to move on to 3 Mile lake for one nite. I decided then to move on to 3 mile now.
Chantharellus (Cantharellus cibarius)
I wanted a day off! what a joke. I was on vacation, and I wanted a day off! I was tired of portaging. consulting the map, I realized that the portage to 3 mile lake was only 500m. I looked left into a small bay and saw the portage a short distance away. My mind made up, I headed over. On the 500m portage I got eaten alive, the skeeters out in full force. Lots of ferns here, and hills too...just up and downs. Arriving on 3 Mile Lake, I came upon a campsite mere meters before the portage ending, where there's a large area of sloping and crumbling rock. Down to a pebbly beach I launched onto 3 Mile Lake.
This lake is big and beautiful.
I wasn't supposed to be here this night, but I gave it some thought. I was in a quiet part of the park. If I was to pull something like this near the highway corridor in the south, I'd most certainly be infringing on someone's site claims. Here though, I was pretty sure it was okay. My instinct proved correct.
Passing a canoe heading north towards the monster portage(2800m with a steep hill supposedly)to Manitou Lake, I noticed an empty site on the west shore.
I kept going.
Watching the sunbeams on Three Mile Lake
Prior to my trip, I had contact the AFA via email, and asked if there was any logging in the vicinity of my trip route. I was told that there wasn't any, with the exception of the north end of 3 Mile Lake, the guy said he couldn't be sure, but that I might want to avoid that area. I most certainly did. with a gentle tailwind, I paddled down to the east shore, skipping the obviously nice site on the point in the middle of the lake. It was empty..but not for long, another party, who probably had a rightful claim to it, took the site. I paddled to the site on the east side of 3 Mile Lake, 2 sites north of portage to Upper Kawa Lake.
Tenting area on campsite at Three Mile Lake
Fire pit on campsite on Three Mile Lake
A nice site. lots of room and open area, loads of red pine, high above the water, and a tricky hike to the pebble beach below. Now I didn't have to move for a bit. I'd be here 2 nites. Tomorrow a full day of doing nothing! I proceeded to set-up camp, had dinner. I then pulled out my $10 walmart camping chair, and headed down to the water.
I sat my ass down, while soaking my feet in the water, under the sun, with a book in one hand and a shot or two of rum in the other.
Leaning tower of Red Pine!
Rest Day. I slept in this day, read, slept some more. Did some laundry, had a bath, put some clean clothes on, and felt like a million bucks.
Last nite and all day today the air has grown humid. This morning I saw a family of Mergansers swim by. I saw a party of 4 canoes go by at 7pm, looking for a site. They paddled over to the far side of the large island in the middle of the lake, where I lost sight of them. After this another party came by up from upper Kawa, I can tell the humid air was getting to them, for when they finally had all their gear on 3 Mile, they gleefully jumped into the lake and swam around for 15 minutes. They continued up the lake past my site around 8pm.
Sitting by the water I photographed this contrast: wood/water/stone
All in all, I saw only about 7 canoes today. didn't do much else. I checked out the creek, and the campsite on the other side of it. I liked mine better.
That night, I didn't have a fire as it was humid, I don't like fires when it is humid out. Instead I hung out in my tent and read by flashlight.
Family of Mergansers