Canadian Canoe Routes

To Obukowin... and back.
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Author:  Mihun09 [ August 5th, 2011, 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Day Nine

First sight of the morning was a pair of otters fishing straight out from camp where there is a mid lake weedbed. Coffee and oatmeal provided some energy as we packed up and headed into a strong southwest wind towards the trailhead. We picked a line to the far shore and as we neared there was an eagle in direct line of our path, when he spooked he flew to a tree adjacent to the take out. It was another indication to us the Grandfathers were with us this entire trip.

Our intention was to take it easier this time, do more drops than usual but it didn't happen that way. One drop just past halfway and we got through the first leg very quickly. Kidney lake was frothing whitecaps straight from where we needed to go. That was more work than we had hoped for on what would turn out to be a longer day. We pushed on through the second leg as quickly as the first and there was less wet than the previous passage.

We dropped our gear on the rocks just prior to the last bog walk and while Christie cooked up some soup for lunch I shuttled gear out to First Lake. We had managed the first two legs in just over 3 hours and had sufficient time to go all the way to Siderock.

The narrow channel at the bottom of the lake had even less water so that pull through took longer. The wind was howling on top of the rock on the third leg forcing me to put the boat down a few times to wait out the gusts, but I pushed through until we were off the rock before making our first drop.

It was the hottest day yet and we pushed hard once again, dropping the second time at the clearing just before the beaver pond and taking a longer rest at that point. We knew we had only km or so to go to get to siderock so we had the time to rest.

Final two pushes took us to just past the creek, then out to the lake. Once again Siderock was seriously kicking up and there was a wall of whitecaps between us and the point from which we had camped the week earlier. We washed the mud out of our boots and shoes, dried our feet for the first time in a long day, coffee was cooked and we just sat and waited almost two hours for it to calm down a little before making the crossing. There were people out on the main island, those were the first people we had seen since leaving Wallace Lake the week prior.

That evening after establishing camp we had supper and relaxed after pushing through the 3 portages in 8 1/2 hours.

Author:  Mihun09 [ August 5th, 2011, 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Day Ten.

Maintenance day. Which means, we relax, take the time to regain lost energy, fish Siderock to our hearts content and otherwise just think about what we had accomplished this trip.

Caught some nice fish on a morning venture. We have fished this lake the most of any in the region but have struggled, that day we faired alot better. 8 fish in the morning and 3 more in the evening.

The day was hot, the hottest yet. I got too much sun and burned alot of normally white skin. Christie slept most of the afternoon and I just lounged and thought about the future of tripping for me, if there would be any.

That evening saw some serious storms moving through the area. We saw a ton of lightning striking the tinder dry bush and hoped a fire didn't erupt. One storm formed directly in our path and took forever to come across the lake but other than a short cloudburst, it just carried on east.

Christie spooked a wolf behind our camp later in the evening. At this point we had already decided to move out in the morning, early enough to beat the wind which meant setting the alarm. We would be ending the trip several days early but we were pretty wiped by this time.

Day Eleven

I woke a few minutes before the alarm at 5:57am. We were slow to get moving and had to pack up a wet tent but the wind was already up and in our favour as it was from the east. Once on the water we had a tail wind all the way down the lake. That portage always seems longer than it is but we made it to Wallace and swam on the beautiful sand beach that extends fully across that eastern shore... then I picked leeches from between my toes.

We had a nice leisurely paddle down to the campground. After loading the truck we spoke with Marty, the park caretaker, for some time about what we encountered, bush conditions etc., before heading off down the road. As we talked about bears he mentioned there is a problem at the park there right now with it being so dry. There is a mother and two cubs just a ways up the road to the park and last week a bear walked through the middle of the campground to get to the fish cleaning hut.

We had intended to run down to Beresford Lake and camp there a few days but it was so stinking hot we just headed for the city.

Next year... a fly in fishing trip most likely to Obukowin.

Oh, and a couple days ago Christie picked up our bear deterrant for next year... Winchester Model 92.

Author:  Hugh [ August 5th, 2011, 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

great TR Karin!
no doubt the portages are cleaner and straighter :)


Author:  Robin [ August 6th, 2011, 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

I enjoyed your report, very nice pics and the fishing part was very interesting. I saw a gun case in one picture, what did you carry in this trip?

About the beaver dam on day two

" so we had to exit and line the boat through including knocking down what looked like a young beavers first attempt at a dam."

I brought this up over at solotripping, that is dealing with beaver dams in the back country be it lack of water or flooded roads. I agree with what you did, but they where pretty hard on me about opening dams to flood dryed up streams...or draining flooded logging roads..

anyway, I enjoyed your report, Thanks

Author:  Mihun09 [ August 6th, 2011, 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Thanks Hugh, but no, we did very little trail maintenance this time, our purpose was just to get through them.

Hi Robin

I read that thread, I'm a member on solotripping as well. The beaver dam in this case was only 6 inches or so high and wasn't doing much of anything really, there was flow still. Best way to describe it was a junior building exercise type of thing. The beavers have moved downstream and have a major pond built up.

The funny thing about beavers and dams is, if you remove part of a dam to get through it, by morning it will just be back again. I could understand there could be an issue if we were to blow up a dam and release all the pent up water at once, but removing some sticks to ease over doesn't hurt anything and we have an over abundance of beavers here in Manitoba so it is becoming a problem. As much as we all try to practice no trace camping, it cannot be since the moment we step onto shore somewhere we disturb something, crush some moss, leave our tracks or whatever and we have left our mark.

Eventually, nature will reclaim what is hers.

The gun case is actually a rod case we bought at Cabela's just for this trip. It is designed to take full length 7 foot rods but we folded it over so it was easier to handle on the portages. It still managed to get tangled in bushes but it kept the rods safe and sound.

Author:  Robin [ August 7th, 2011, 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Thanks for the thoughts on beavers, I agree 100%,

I really enjoyed my trip to WCPP last year, and will be back next year for sure, just a long ride for me what with the price of gas.
Your fine report helps get me through the times between tripping out there on the Manitoba/Ontario border.

Author:  kinguq [ August 8th, 2011, 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Great report! My wife and I travelled through this area 25 years ago and I remember the Obukwins so well! Oatmeal mud at that time. But that was at the end of a 3 week trip so we could one-trip the portages by then.


Author:  segosih [ August 8th, 2011, 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

This was a really awesome trip and I for one am very glad we did it. Especially as this area is quite dry and in danger of burning either this season or next.
A worthy effort was required to get past the portages and I feel a sense of accomplishment for having done so. I was a little sorry to leave early but the Forestry Dept would have evicted us before the week was out anyways due to the travel ban they instituted. Plus we bit off a tad more than we could chew to be honest. It's no country for old
The fishing was great, and the lake was beautiful. So quiet it hurts your ears at first. Did I mention blueberries? There were loads everywhere and Karin had quite a chore just keeping me moving. I still managed to forage a bit. We tried out some more dehydrated meals and while they are ok, I still prefer taking fresh for as long as I can. Bagels make a great brekky and last a long time, and I can take carrots and spuds for stews as well as fried potatoes. All of which just make it seem a bit more old style. I told her that next trip will be just bannock, jerky , and tea. I won't repeat what she told me.

I can truthfully say that the wind was a hindrance to most anything we did as there were times we couldn't even paddle against it. It did improve her boat handling skills though. When we say " running white water" we don't mean Her Mattawa is an excellent little boat too. It handles like a dream once you get used to it.

What we did discover this trip is that we are not getting any younger and a week is about all we can handle at a time now. We are not strong enough to drag two weeks worth of supplies with us is the main issue. They are just too heavy.And a third carry is out of the question. So we will just have to take TWO shorter trips every year. Plus all of our weekenders.

If you get a chance to do this trip with a friend or two, by all means take it. You won't be sorry.


Author:  Robin [ August 8th, 2011, 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Well said segosih, I enjoyed your report and pics, better than any outdoor mag out there, well maybe there are but I never read them....
Thanks again for sharing your trip.
Again, That Manitoba/Ontario border is the best, I'll never be able to afford an Artic trip, love my wood canvas canoes and this area is the best of both worlds for me, my canoe and some really wild country, you are lucky to live so close, I'm planning next years trip already!

Author:  martin2007 [ March 26th, 2017, 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Obukowin... and back.

Good report!

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