Canadian Canoe Routes

Camp Kapitachuan 1965
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Author:  chinckley [ August 7th, 2016, 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Bob, Thanks for the post and good to hear that the CK memories are still part of your life. I think I missed you as in 1970 I was on the Broadback River with Carl Williams. Do you remember which trip you went on and what trip did your brother go on the following year?
Chris Hinckley

Author:  Johnfiske [ October 13th, 2016, 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Does anyone know how Kapitachuan's canoe-numbering system worked.

I have CK 46, a Chestnut Prospector, that I have just obtained from Chip Madden. Chip and I were good friends. He died in 2004. Long before that, in the late 80s, I think, I spotted an ad for a Kapitachuan canoe, for sale by Kevin Martin, the canoe builder in Epping, NH, and told Chip about it. We went to look, and he bought it.

It had been previously rebuilt, with many new ribs, but it needed a new canvas. Its bottom had become very round because of the replacement ribs. Chip soaked the canoe for a few weeks, and flattened the bottom with great weight for a whole winter. Then someone recanvassed it for him, and painted the CK emblem with the number 46 on it.

I now have the canoe because a few months ago I was wondering about it. I called his wife (widow) and she was not sure if the canoe was still there. She said If it was I could have it. So the other day I went to her house and looked on the side of the garage where the canoe lived under cover, and it was still there. So I took it.

I attended Camp Wabun, in Temagami from 1977-1990. Wabun uses a numbering system that lets you identify when the canoe was built. Did Kapitachuan do so too? Chip told me that he probably used this canoe while at camp. I figure the canoe was built around 1965.

Any thoughts?

Author:  chinckley [ October 14th, 2016, 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Hey John,
Great question regarding the CK numbering system as I never asked! My guess, and I stand to be corrected on this, is the numbers are in reference to the sequence they were bought or replaced a retiring canoe. I remember that Rod and Carl kept a log of the purchase date and repair record of each canoe. That being said, we used basically three different models of chestnut canoes...we had a few Oglivy's, Guides, and Prospectors. The best I can remember was that the Oglivys were numbered in the teens ( I actually paddled one on a trip that my brother Mark led in 1972...I think it was #13), anyway, the Guides were numbered in the twenties and possibly into the thirties and the Prospectors were 40 on up into the least that is how I remember it. When the camp started purchasing Old Town ABS trippers (in the late 70's?) I believe they started at 90. Perhaps Doug or Peter Williams or my brother Mark can chime in on this one. if one of them has that old canoe log we could tell you more of the history of 46...I am wondering if Chip had Carl do the re-canvassing?
Sorry I cannot be more certain on the system but hopefully this gives you something. Glad to hear you took an interest and resurrected the CK'er!
Chris Hinckley

Author:  Johnfiske [ October 14th, 2016, 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Hi Chris-

Thanks for your thoughts. If a Kapitachuan alum wanted to buy it for a fair price, I would agree to let it go. Otherwise I will use the canoe on a trip next year.

Looking forward to more information.

Author:  richkel99 [ May 19th, 2017, 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Not sure if you are still checking out this thread. I came across it earlier today. Not sure of you remember me. My name is Richard Kelstein and I was a camper at CK for 5 summers in the early and mid 80's. Dave Simpson was my first trip leader in the summer of '81. We did the Panache River. I found out about CK while I was a student at Rumsey Hall School in Washington, CT. Rod's hometown. He came to our dorm 1 evening and showed us some of his home movies from earlier trips. I was hooked right on the spot. One of the teachers from Rumsey, Tom Addicks, encouraged me to go. He had been a camper in the 70's or even 60's. I have very fond memories of those summers. I have returned to Rumsey Alumni Day over the years and met Rods daughter. That had to be about 10 years ago...maybe more. We talked about so many things. Having a beer in Rods cabin before dinner. Labbat's 50 was the beer of choice. The Field and Stream magazines in the cabins at base camp that were older than dirt, but I just couldnt get enough of them! In an earlier post, someone talked about the spam and potatoes. Bush Hash! That was some good stuff. KLIK, potatoes, onions, corn, fried up in bacon grease over the fire and topped with either mayo or mustard! And a piece of bannock bread to go with! Wow does that bring me back. I have so many slides that I really need to get digitized. It would be great to see some of those pictures. I even have all my old maps with the routes marked. Everything from the Macho Hilton to Kekek Falls, Shit's Creek, and for the life of me, I can't remember the name of the beach...White..something where the 2 trips would meet up for a rest day the night before returning to camp. We would have a great game of capture the flag.
I hope to hear back. It would be great to share some of the stories and get in touch with some of the guys I shared those moments with.

Looking forward to hearing back from you or anyone else.

Author:  mhinckley [ May 22nd, 2017, 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Nice post, Rich. I am Chris's brother Mark, and was at the camp before your time (see my earlier posts). The "White" something you refer to was, I believe, Whiteshore Beach on Lac Lacoursiere. If you'd been on a trip which went north from base camp and which returned there at the end of the month, then your last day was often camped on Lac Lacoursiere, just a few miles east of Lac Choiseul. There were two campsites there, one on the north end of the lake...the aforementioned Whiteshore Beach, which was located on a narrow strip of land jutting out into the lake...and another one further down the lake on the western shore called the Bluffs. You're right that there would often be a couple of groups there at the same time. Amongst the trip leaders, there was usually a competition as to who could yell out the earlier "Rise and Shine" on the last morning, which could be heard from one end of the lake to the other. From Lacoursiere, it was a short day's paddle down to the end of the lake, up Hudson's Creek, past Murdock's Lumber Camp, across the "Williamstown" portage (a 3/4 miler with a campsite in the middle of it), across a final, 1/3 mile portage (usually done as a bowman's portage) to "Sandy Beach" (where there was another, last campsite). From there it was a short paddle west on Lac Choiseul back to base camp, usually just in time for a med swim, dinner, and the 5 mile walk/truck ride to the CNR tracks for the evening train back to Montreal.
Actually, some of the northern trips left Choiseul on this same route, just in the reverse. Usually it was either with Rod or Carl, and the first day was a brute. Lunch was often at Whiteshore Beach (that was a tough first morning, with those two portages and a lift-over with full wannigans, especially if it was your first CK experience). From Whiteshore, it was a full afternoon's paddle to the eventual campsite at Ganas Falls. Based on your notes, I would assume that you exited Choiseul via the Bourgmont portages instead. I'm sure that would have been the route on your way to the Penache River (Bourgmont portages to Bourgmont Creek and then the Kekek River, past Kekek Falls, down the Kekek to Sigouin's, past Wiscatis, Doghouse, and eventually to the headwaters of the Penache. I know that my brother Chris took that route a number of times.

Author:  chinckley [ May 27th, 2017, 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Hey Rich...great that you discovered this thread and that you have so many enduring memories of your years at CK. As my brother Mark mentioned, the two campsites we used on Lac Lacoursiere were Whiteshore and the Bluffs. Dave Simpson preferred the Bluffs and I favored the beach at Whiteshore so it was a perfect match at the end of the month when the trip usually overlapped on our return to Base Camp. In '81 our trips did indeed overlap and Dave brought your group over to Whiteshore for a visit and rousing game of Capture the Flag. Great times and fantastic to hear the memories live on. What were the other trips you were on during your time at CK? Were you on my Opawica trip in '82...I do not have trip reports for a few of my trips and '82 is one I am missing. '83 was my last summer as a trip leader and we had a great trip down the Nicobi (see my earlier post) but I know you were not on that trip. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Author:  chinckley [ May 27th, 2017, 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Sorry for the error...our '81 trip was the Opawica and my final two trips were down the Nicobi in '82 and '83.

Author:  ke4nrl [ May 29th, 2017, 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I was the Medic on two trips in the summer of 1975.. Chris Hinkley was trip leader on first and Rod Beebe lead the second trip.
What a great adventure.
I just found my topo maps of both trips ... I marked the routes as we traveled. I'm still searching for my slides of both trips..
Last fall I corresponded with Chris.. but have now lost his email.
I had a great time and even got paid to go!!
Gilbert F. Douglas, III
205 222 7664

Author:  Johnfiske [ August 13th, 2017, 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Does any CK alum want the Prospector 46? It was Chip Madden's, and now I have it. Please take it away in exchange for a $250 contribution in Chip's memory to the American Cancer Society. Chip died of cancer in 2004. The canoe is presently located in Center Harbor, NH, in a garage.

Author:  Johnfiske [ August 13th, 2017, 7:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I have photos of the canoe. Please email me at, and I will send.

Author:  Pete Jaques [ October 16th, 2017, 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Fellow travelers, I was on a 25 day trip in August of 1959. Rod Beebe was the leader and Dave, Duncan I think, was the good guy medical man. We arrived at camp a day late due to a RR bridge being out and a detour into Ontario, were hustled through a morning of paddling assessments, packed up and left. I was 15, not very big and pretty young and so became a bowman. We paddled up the lake (which one?) camped and coped with setting up everything, had a short portage, paddled across a pond, took a shockingly difficult long portage, at least for this unprepared boy, and set off down a narrow marshy river and into wilderness. I'd love to know where those were if anyone can decipher our route so far. We went north ... Gouin Reservoir spending a night at Obedjuan native village ... Chibougamou where we saw our one lightbulb and one road in a month, along with a very shortened Chrysler that had hit a moose going 110 ... crossed Lac Mistassini ... and turned south again. I did not know the names of the rivers and smaller waterways we lined up and ran down,and would like to, but the last few days retraced our original outgoing route. It rained for 21 of the 25 days. I had a great stern man named Billy, loved the fishing including a 6-foot pike Billy caught after dinner and we carried across the morning's portage, one short stretch of stream where the wildest small trout smashed into our monstrously large ruby eyed wigglers and red/white daredevils -- we all ate well that night -- walleyes, and one crazy small copper colored pike that we caught 6 times from the shore. Further recollections: bannock in a reflector oven, excellent small axes for firewood sharpened on those round whetstones, experiencing crap logs, singing Everly Brothers and Elvis songs across lakes at the tops of our lungs, being unable to lift the baby for the first two portages, being utterly lost on one because it took so long to lift the baby that I was alone, clattering through quiet woods with the wanigan, leaving a sneaker in muskeg up to my crotch on some trail, being triangulated and affirmed as being at the exact end of a rainbow -- sadly too deep for the reputed pot of gold -- drinking from my paddle, almost walking right into a bull moose on a trail in the alders and having that monster somehow vanish silently, a few thousand mosquito bites matched fully by a few thousand no-see-um bites, carrying a log under a tarp in a storm to a woodless island campsite in Lac Mistsassini and capsizing as the wind knocked us over, then panicking until Rod told me to calm down and stand up -- the bottom was clean sand 3 feet deep! -- and retrieved the wanigan and our knapsacks, and resisting bathing and being horrified to see a filthy stranger in the mirror back at camp. Once I realized that there was nothing to do about how hard it was but to carry on, I got tougher. Now I am 74, am still in love with being outdoors, and am still telling tales from this experience as a storyteller to youngsters. I'd love to hear from anyone who was on my trip, and from anyone who might shed light on the rivers we likely followed. RIP, Rod, Mum and Dad. You gave me quite a gift.

Author:  Gerald Guay [ October 17th, 2017, 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965


Never again will young men be able to experience what you did that summer in Northern Quebec. It's a sad thought. Thanks for sharing your experience. I was not a CK member but canoed the area for many years and got to know Rod and Carl.

There were a few routes to get from CK to the Gouin Reservoir. Did you guys start on the Kekek River and then up current on the M├ęgiscane River?


Author:  chinckley [ January 15th, 2018, 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Great to hear you have such lasting memories! I wish I had seen the bush when you did as a lot changed in the nine years before I came along. From your notes I will assume you left camp going north on Choiseul and across the two portages you mentioned...the second being 3/4 mile and dubbed the Williamstown portage (after Carl) which brought you onto Hudson Creek...narrow and windy...that dumps you onto Lac Lacoursiere. Continuing to head north you went down the Suzie River, across a couple of portages to Lac Ganas where you most likely camped on the portage around a "falls". The Suzie river then takes you onto the Suzie Reservoir (not marked as such on the map)...the dam is unique...made out of wood. Heading east and then north through some lakes, down a long man made canal and then a shorter one that brings you out on the southern end of Lac Adolphe-Poisson (all part to the Gouin Reservoir...north through Du Male, past Odiduan, then north-northeast to Verreau Bay. Up Verreau Creek...we called it a creek but the make labels it as a river...Then a series of portages and small creeks out of Lac Dubois to Lac Ventadour. At the northern end of the lake you go down the river of the same name which dumps you onto Lac Robert (you may remember it as Lynx Eye Lake) Then you are off and on the Opawica River via a bunch of lakes. At Lac des Deux Iles...from here I know where you went but have never personally traveled the route...regardless you head north out of the lake onto a small creek into Lac Nemenjiche, down the river of the same name and across Obatogamau...not sure of the route out of Obatogamau but I believe a series of small creeks and portages bring you into Inlet Bay on Lac Chabougamau. From there I have no idea how you got to Mistassini or your return route...are you sure you made it to Mistassini? Did you cross Gouin again or just retrace from the Suzie reservoir? I know it was a while back so would be surprised if you remember but you sure remembered a lot for having only been on one trip in '59! Anyway, on Ganas there may have been a lumber camp as well as on Lac Ventadour which we knew as Cooper Depot. You may have stopped there for a meal and shower! Anyway, I hope this jogs some of your memories. Unfortunately, as Gerald notes, the area has been logged heavily and continues to be logged so the pristine wilderness has been compromised. Would love to read more of your recollections.
Chris Hinckley

Author:  mhinckley [ April 18th, 2019, 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

This is a message intended for Bob McCall, who was a contributor to this forum back in late 2011. Bob, I hope you are still looking this thread from time to time. Your posts don't include your email address...otherwise I would reach out to you directly. In one of your last posts, you asked if I remembered who your counselors might have been and where you trip might have gone. I can now authoritatively answer those questions. A strange set of circumstances led me to a discussion with Henry Kennedy, who is the grandson of Don Kennedy, the original founder of Camp Kieve. Henry directed me to a link ( ... ads&page=1) from which you can access every copy of the camp's "Kieve Annual". I found the copy from 1965, and, on page 6, there is a picture of your South Harris group. In the write up (starting on page 41) of the Canadian trip that year, you will see that you did not take the southern trip on the Kapitachouane River (as I had suggested), but, instead, went north on what is usually called the Macho River trip. The hardest day of portaging was, undoubtedly, the first day. You would have made 3 portages (known as the Bourgmonts) that day. The first was short, but the next two were a mile each. The first of the long ones was half in the bush and half along the railroad tracks, and it and the short one still exist. The second long one has been completely reclaimed by nature. Since the camp's closing in the late 1980's, there has been little to no traffic in that direction. Your trip was led by three counselors from Camp Kapitachouane: Butch Paine was the trip leader, John Soper was the asst. TL, Al Glascow was the Med Counselor, and Peter Wheelock was the JC. After making the Bourgmont portages, you paddled and portaged Bourgmont Creek, ran rapids on the Kekek river, paddled up a series of lakes, eventually reached the Macho River, where you ran a few rapids on it and on the Megiscane River, and then circled back to CK's base camp on Lake Choiseul via Lake Pascagama, Lake Bernier, Susie Dam and Resevoir, Ganas Falls, Whiteshore Lake, and Hudson's Creek. Although earlier Kieve trips got to camp via the CNR, it appears that you were driven all the way up to CK's base camp on Lake Choiseul, which was quite an ordeal, especially back then when the roads were barely passable.
Mark Hinckley

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