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PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 9:28 am 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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Location: Toronto
While my brother Max and I grew up in the Abitibi region of Quebec, we hadn't paddled Quebec in over 40 years. We made amends three weeks ago with a trip down the Coulonge River from its headwaters near Highway 117. We also included the stretch of the Ottawa River from Fort Coulonge down to Ottawa and the Parliament Buildings in our trip through the traditional Algonquin heartland. Along the way, we did get to think about the irony of the river that Champlain knew as La Riviere des Algommequins being called the Ottawa thanks to its use by native fur traders from Georgian Bay.

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We only met one other party of canoes – five canoes to be exact – during our fifteen days on the water. The eight girls in their mid-teens belonged to a summer camp and were led by a female and a male in their late-teens. It is always good to see a new generation of paddlers on the water. Other than this group we had the Coulonge – and the Ottawa – to ourselves! We had expected to see more paddlers on an easily accessible river. Maybe mid to late August is a bit late in the season? The water level did seem a bit low at times and we were occasionally caught on a sand bar.

Looking down river from Die Hard Rapids:

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A sand beach on a meandering Coulonge seection

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We did get to experience that famous Ottawa Valley hospitality. Jim Coffey and Dennis Blaedow of Esprit Rafting went out of their way to smooth over a number of complications and filled us in on Coulonge history and Ottawa River rapids; the manager of the Lakeside Hotel at Portage du Fort insisted we camp for free on their riverside lawn; Maureen Baskins refused any money to camp at her beach property some 35 km. from Ottawa. We’ve got some “paying forward” to do!

Morning Mist below Tall Pine Rapids

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A View of Les Chutes Coulonge from the park bridge

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A View of the Ottawa River with the Peace Tower in the distance

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Later this month we’ll have a more detailed day-by-day report of our trip along with maps and portage and rapid info. We’re glad to have made the journey. On the ride home to our Toronto/London base camps talk turned to finishing off the Ottawa by paddling from our home town of Noranda in the Abitibi down to Pembroke or Fort Coulonge.

In the meanwhile, I've posted the above pix and a few more at my blog site. If you want to see more click on this link -

https://albinger.me/2016/09/04/canoeing ... to-ottawa/

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Last edited by true_north on December 16th, 2016, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 10:31 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
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Location: Milton
Jim Coffey is a great guy! does a lot more than people see!

I am surprised that you didn't see more on the Ottawa, considering at lower levels the river is not nearly as "pushy" (big!) as it is at the higher flows of the early summer.
But then again considering what is available to paddle in that area on either side of the Ottawa makes it much more understandable.

I look forward to more!
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 8:29 am
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Location: Burlington, Ontario
Hello true_north: Very nice photos. Looking forward to the full report.
Take care,
Cousin Pete

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"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." - G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908



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PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 10:35 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Posts: 467
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Great photos! I like the two tarp camp and the moonlight photo that followed. I really like the shot from inside the tarp and canoe while waiting out the downpour.


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2016, 9:00 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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Location: Toronto
Neil, we've come full circle on tarps!

We started with the classsic Canadian Tire blue 10'x14' tarp (or maybe it was bigger) that weighed about 5 lbs. and was a space hog. Obsessing about weight, we decided just to leave it behind and do without.

Then I picked up a silnylon 10'x14' 'tarp at MEC - less than two lbs. but I attached 25' parachute cord to each of the four ends so it came out to about 2.5 lbs.

Then we decided a second tarp would be nice given that we use the first one over the tent to bear the brunt of whatever the weather has in store for us. Reading a post by Hoop about his two tarps made it even easier to justify! So that added another 2.5 lbs. to the gear we get to portage and brings the tarp weight back up to 5 lbs.!

Along the way we also retired our two-person Eureka Timberline tent and went for the MEC 4-person Wanderer. It was an incredible upgrade - and also doubled our tent weight!

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