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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2018, 1:51 pm 

Joined: June 21st, 2007, 12:13 pm
Posts: 90
APP Lake Opeongo to Whiskey Jack Lake and back, solo, 9.15 to 21.2018.

Recently back from an out and back, solo, with my new 28 #, Kevlar, 13' pack canoe, 2008, Langford Canoe, Solitude, made 2001 to 2010, primarily sold in USA, 7 day, spectacular, interior canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, Saturday, September 15 to Friday, September 21, 2018 via Access Point 11, Lakes Opeongo, Happy Isle (2 nights, 15, 20, the 20th night on the island, west side), Merchant, Big Trout (16, 19, two different island sites, 16th where my son, David, and I camped 10 years earlier, our names and date still carved into the log bench), Longer, Petawawa River, Red Pine Bay, Burntroot Lake (17, 18, 2 nights, same site, point, east side), Robinson, Whiskey Jack.

This is my first time doing this route. (I've never done the same canoe route twice, other than one I did first in the 1970's, re-done in 2010.) Top drawer it is. Out and backs are not boring as the views are different and in some cases coming back is dramatically different in some locations regarding route familiarity. Be certain to have a reliable map and compass. I was last in this area 10 years ago with my son, David, on Big Trout via Access Point 3, while out for a tandem 10 day canoe trip in mid to late July, 2008, great fun.

I did not spend any meaningful time fishing as I was on the move each day between 9 to 10 AM and 6 to 7 PM. Sunrise 7 AM, Sunset 7 PM. I did spend a lot of time canoeing, exploring historical areas of interest, swimming morning and evening, and of course everything related to setting up, taking down camp, preparing meals, gathering firewood, purifying water, reading and more, all great fun. 

I was very fortunate to have excellent weather with respect to lots of sun, warmth, low wind and ideal lake conditions. Biting insects were negligible. Blood suckers on my feet were apparent on occassion, three in total, even one still on my foot come time to sleep at the end of one day. They are removed easily. Fall colours were at 5 to 10 %.

I rarely met anyone on my travels, more so the further interior I travelled where I met no one. However, those I did meet, nice folk, a soloist from Germany, another from Maine, USA, a couple from Banff, Alberta, and others from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. A few I will keep in touch with. Conversations with some were minimal while on the portage. Returning empty on a portage to gather my second load I'd always carry other's gear who were travelling opposite to me much to their surprise, albeit with appreciation, something my son and I have always done, however, not expected in return, as it rarely happens. 

My two, hands free portage trips: 1. Dry pack with paddles and fishing rod lashed on top and a dry bag resting on top.  2. Food barrel with canoe.

Disappointingly, there were no black bear or moose sightings or wolf howls heard. However, there were lots of loons to be seen and heard, as well as many ducks and birds, annoying chipmunk at times too which I don't feed. The hoot of the owls were amazing. We called back to each other many times.

In total approximately 65 kms paddling and 38 kms on 8 portages × 6 passes ranging in length between 75 metres and 2,235 metres of varying topography.  One portage lined with poison ivy, not a concern. Temperature high 26 C, low 10 C, winds of various directions from calm to 50 kph. Lake conditions calm to 30 cm waves. Full sun to one six hour period of rain between 2:30 AM and 8:30 AM on the 21st. I came out early in light of weather forecast on the 19th which referenced severe weather conditions in queue which included periods of freezing temperatures, severe wind, rain, wave conditions for the region. Right they were as strong 80 kph winds, rain, white caps and crashing trees were in play on the 21st as I was on the dock, waiting not knowing for certain if it would arrive again on the 21st, for the 16 km water taxi at the end of the 2,235 portage located at the north end of Lake Opeongo. 

Hours earlier, the 2.5 km paddle out from Happy Isle to the 2,235 metre portage to Lake Opeongo took 60 minutes versus 30 minutes in light of the ominous weather and lake conditions all the while thinking of 87 years earlier in 1931 of the DeLamater tradgedy re ... -lake.html

I highly recommend the water taxi, as do many, in and out, it's a real time saver on a large lake. Financially, you are best to tag on with other persons if possible, and it is, I did going in, versus solo. I was a doubter, but no longer. Captains Jimmy and Vincent were wonderful. The high speed solo back with Vincent to base in the large aluminum boat was a blast during the storm. Jimmy's new large wood boat was excellent too at the beginning of the trip. Jimmy was born in the area, still lives nearby. Vincent from my nearby Guelph.

In time I will add photos to this post, likewise of my Kiosk trip I posted about that I did solo in July / August, 2018.

Next up, October, 2018 canoe tripping, I've done it before, but not every year re weather, before ice in, stay tuned ... ... ncial-park ... report.php

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