Triplogs / Triplog#11 / Day 2 / Days 3&4 / Days 5&6 / Days 7&8
Kiosk(IN) - Maple Cr - Ratrap L - 3 Mile L - Wahwahtaysee L - 1 Mile L - Erables L - Maple L - Kiosk(OUT)
Days 7 & 8 - Wahwahtaysee Lake to 1 Mile Lake
The Gods of Algonquin smiled yet again upon me. It was another beautiful day.
The thought of a possible fire-ban came across my mind, as I paddled across the lake that morning to the 810m portage to One Mile Lake. I'd been here a full week, and there had been no rain whatsoever. The last 2 days I had heard the odd plane fly by, and say one only once. I assumed this was the daily fire watch fly over. However the soil around the campsites, wasn't too dry or dusty. I realized it was up to myself, to decide whether conditions were favorable for a safe fire. I didn't think a ranger was gonna come looking for me where I was. With this thought in mind, I tackled the portage to One Mile Lake. The portage itself was much different then the last one. The terrain was much flatter, and not rocky at all. I did come upon a few areas of heavy deadfall, but it had been cleared by rangers. Thank you!
At one point, I came upon an area of mostly standing dead pine. This forest gave me a spooky feeling, I felt very strange walking thru here and suddenly felt very much alone. Then I stumbled upon some bear scat. It was fresh too. As if it was just within the last few hours. The spooky feeling intensified. I saw more mushrooms and more bear scat, as the trail started to descend ever so gently towards the lake.
Out of the spooky forest, I arrived at One Mile Lake. My destination for 2 nites.
This end of the lake was very shallow and swampy, with black muck, as I had to slog my way for several feet, to get to deeper water to launch. As I paddled down One Mile, I passed a swampy looking creek, going down to Judy Lake. There was a big hill behind the creek here, and obviously, I had circumvented it via the portage...thank God! I decided I would investigate the creek the next day.
I arrived at the first site, and looked it over. It hadn't been used in a while. The thunderbox, was located at the top of a very steep ridge that was ridiculous to climb. I was almost crawling up to the area on my hands and knees, the angle of ascent being steep. I didn't like the tenting arrangement either, too close to the fire, as this was a small site.
Paddling on, I came to the second site. 'Ahh, much better', I thought to myself.
This site looked liked a bunker complex. Tent areas recently dug out of the forest. Many trees removed and the forest floor covered with lots of soil. There had been a lot of digging going on here. There was also a very generous supply of firewood left behind, from the rangers who had cleared the site. A another big 'Thank You!'.
I 'parked' my canoe along side a large pine that acted as a sheltered dock, and wedged it into some rocks for added security. This site had the look of being hacked out of the bush. There was a big clearing, with high forest canopy everywhere, and I had a unobstructed view of the lake. As I was setting up my tarp, I came upon a tree that had bear claw marks in it. They looked old, nevertheless, I had brought bear spray with me, and kept it on me at all times, and I also brought a paddle into the tent with me at nights. Still I felt a little trepidation at the sight of those claw marks, but did not dwell on those feelings. I didn't need to work myself into a panic, that could be fatal, especially if a bear did show up.
Once camp was set up, I relaxed and had some dehydrated Fettuccini Alfredo.
Yuck! that's one meal I won't buy again. Washing the mess down with some coffee, I set out to explore the shoreline in my canoe. The water on the lake looked deep, as I paddled around. I soon ended up near the portage to Maple creek, my destination two days from now. It was quite rocky here and the beginnings of Maple Creek, looked like a great place to do some rock hopping.
I didn't get far..the skeeters made short work of my progress, and I retreated to the safety of my canoe and the open waters of the lake.
As I approached the last site on this lake, a lone Loon appeared.
The Loon was a curious fellow, as he kept his distance from me, but stayed in my vicinity. I didn't even land at the last site. It was very unkempt looking, with loads of dead timber in the water before it and around the site as well.
I headed back to my site, with the Loon following nearby. Once back on my site, the Loon continued to hang around my area, he was feeding, but never strayed to far. He hung around for well over an hour. I tried calling to him, and I could see him looking at me, he was mystified, I was certainly quite the strange looking and sounding Loon. My calling didn't scare the Loon off, but I stopped after 5 minutes or so. It was getting old real fast. As soon as I did stop, the Loon took off.
After dinner, which consisted of some soup, 3 cheese lasagna, and licorice, it began to rain at around 7:00pm.
It was one of those drizzle type of rains and it lasted for about an hour.
I went to bed late that night, around 11:00pm, and then it started to rain again. It seemed to rain all night, but it was a gentle drizzle, and didn't keep me awake. For the second day in a row, I didn't see another human being.
It was 4:45pm as I wrote this day's Journal. I had to keep looking back into my journal, to see what day of the week it was. I just couldn't remember, and I really didn't care, but it was important to keep track of when and where I was.
I'm glad I brought books along to keep my mind active, else I might've gone mad!
That morning it was foggy, with rain off and on again(a light rain), all morning.
Last night, I couldn't find a suitable tree to hang my food pack from, so I stashed it under the wood pile, under a tarp. Big mistake, I know. But I was lucky. I guess it was because I had mostly dehydrated foods, and everything was double zipped locked. During the night I thought I was hearing bear steps, when I was actually hearing the pitter-patter of rain drops on my tent.
The Loon showed up again, several times. I think he liked my company.
We yodeled back and for to each other many times. He would hang around for about 30 minutes at a time then disappear for a few hours, then return for more yodeling. It was really cool!
My right knee seemed to be bothering me again today, perhaps with the moisture in the air. In the late morning, a tree fell in the forest, on the opposite shoreline. I'm glad it happened during the day, I can't imagine what it would do to me physiologically, if it happened at night. Mentally I was holding up quite well, physically too, although it seems that I'm losing some weight.
This was the third day in a row I didn't see anyone else. I started to get lonely, and missed the company of people around a campfire. Feeling this way, tired of reading, I headed out, paddling in a slow rain, towards the creek leading to Judy Lake.
I arrived at the swampy beginnings to the creek, and my Loon friend was nearby here, as I paddled thru the lilies to get to the creek. The water became very shallow, and clogged with vegetation. Soon I was trying to pole my way thru with a paddle. The way was very narrow, not much wider than my canoe, and very mucky. After about 45 minutes of 'poling', I made only about 50 meters progress..and looking down as far as I could see, there was no way I'd make it down there. Turning around, was a joke...I had to get out and sink up past my knees, in the muck ,and drag the canoe around.
Getting out was just as difficult. I suppose paddling down here in the spring, Judy Lake might be reachable, but not on July 31st.
I headed back to camp, and went for a swim, diving off of the log into semi-shallow water. The water had a lot of vegetation here too, and I wasn't in the water 3 minutes before the feeling of weeds caressing my body, chased me out of the water. At least all the muck was gone now.
The sun came out weakly in the afternoon, as I did some exploring of the forest. I managed to walk over to the first campsite, and watched from a great distance, a Moose browsing in the lily patch at the mouth of the creek leading down to Judy Lake.
The Moose worked her way down the lake shoreline for over an hour, then disappeared into the forest.
One my way back to the site. I heard a peculiar animal sound. One I'd never heard before. I don't know how to describe it, but it was a soft ringing sound, that seem to come from every direction. I couldn't place it. Thinking of that fact, I looked up.
There it was, A Marten.
I'd never seen a Marten before, but recognized it instantly, from the Big Book series of 'Mammals of Algonquin Park'. One of many fantastic publications put out by 'The Friends of Algonquin Park' Organization. The book also stated that Martens like to hang out in trees. Well they were right on the money on this one. He was about 6 to 8 meters above my head, standing on a branch, clasping another and looking down at me.
The Marten, had the pose of a cat in a tree. It has pointed ears almost like a cat. but that's where the similarities ended. It had more of a weasel like appearance in the length of it's body.It was about twice the size of an average house cat. I really couldn't see it's true colour, as the light of the sky was behind him. Once the Marten noticed me looking at him, he stopped calling and just sat there watching me, watching him.
I took a few photos, but with the light coming from the wrong direction, the pic's didn't turn out so hot.
Back at camp, I made soup and more of that Fettuccini Alfredo. I was saving the good stuff for Maple Lake. This was my last night on this lake. I was looking forward to moving again the last 4 days had been a little too slow for me. The lakes were small and had a closed in feeling. I wanted more open space. However I had a long day ahead the next day. Six portages, none of them very long, so I had planned to get up extra early so as to be on Erables Lake, not so late in the day.