View topic - French river 18 mile island loop...well sort of.

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PostPosted: May 11th, 2011, 7:52 pm 

Joined: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am
Posts: 244
I just got back from taking 4 days to paddle the 18 mile island loop, Except that we hit a major snag. As it turn out with the extremely high water levels on the french river it was more like a paddle up then back down the north channel.

I should start by saying that out of the group of 6 of us only 2 had white water experience, so a lot of the choices we had to make were based on the safety of the group as a whole, and not necessarily what i wanted to do.

The first day went well, we were on the water on 18 mile island bay (a friend of mine let us launch from is cottage and said the water level was VERY high and also very cold) by 11 am and moving at a good speed, we came up to the first rapid and all went well, when we portaged around. Next came the swift under the bridge. The first canoe who tried to paddle up it (honestly im not sure what they were thinking) ended up flipping over so we rescued them and they all portaged up and over the road. After they warmed up we continued on. and stopped for camp for the night.

The next day we got on the water a little late but figured we could make up some time. we got to the next rapid and portaged around it in record time. then continued upstream to the "lift over" I have to say it wasn't much of a lift over, it was more of a small rapid that could be paddled/lined up with a small amount of work. Next up was the 3rd rapid were the 400M portage is the landing point for the portage was about 3 feet away from a nasty keeper with a lot of water flowing around With no safe way of getting to the landing. There were no other trails we could find, and no other way to safely (with the group i was with) get back onto the trail. So we had to turn around and head back.

I did run/played in both the rapids on the way back down (with empty canoes i might add) and i only swam on one of them (thank god for dry suits).

It was still a great trip and we all had a lot of fun. But as a heads up to any one planning on traveling their in the next week or so keep that in mind.

I have to say although i feel great about getting a trip in a day before the bugs (the only black fly bite i got was when we were loading up the canoes) came out i do feel somewhat defeated, so i will be going back at some point to finish this trip. Over all we made the right choices and ended up having great weather, it was still a great camp and an even better way to start the tripping season.

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