View topic - 2011 APP Magnetawan To Little Trout By Jester and Baron

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PostPosted: December 30th, 2011, 9:43 pm 
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Joined: June 22nd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Strongsville, Ohio USA
Here is a write up detailing the short trip back to Little Trout taken by Jester and Baron in July of 2011. We had been here on a loop trip during the summer of 1997 and were looking for a short trip to just get away from town. OK, 8 1/2 hours away from town.

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Google Earth view of the route with the red arrow marking Magnetawan Lake Access 3 on the east side of Algonquin Park. The lower portion of the image is the elevation profile feature built into Google Earth.

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The red arrow now marks the island campsite on Little Trout and the elevation window shows a highlighted range which was done by clicking and dragging my mouse from left to right. You may not be able to read the distance, which I've chosen to switch to kilometers but it is approximately 9.97 KM from access to campsite. The plateaus from left to right represent Magnetawan Lake, Hambone, a bit of a ridge between that lake and Bice, then a greater ridge before we reached Little Trout. The route continues from our campsite across Little Trout, a minor ridge before Queer Lake, then the return to Little Trout, and so on. Along the top of the graph where it indicates "Range Totals" only the shaded portion of the elevation windo is included. Jeff McMurtrie's great Algonquin Map version 3 is available in several formats and you can link one version of the map with Google Earth. Very interesting tool/toy.

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Baron scans Ralph Bice Lake while standing at the end of the portage trail between Hambone and Bice.

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The rain has cleared by the time we reach Ralph Bice Lake and we begin our paddle up the northwest shore. The lake's shape is similar to a banana curving to the right or maybe it is basically aligned southwest to northeast so we wanted to study the campsites on the left hand shore on our way up to Little Trout for possible use on the return trip later in the week.

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Baron hauls our equipment pack up from the water's edge so we can walk the last portage of the day from Bice to Little Trout. Back in the 80s Baron and I independent of each other bought some Lowe Alpine Morningstar packs as we really did not like using the canvas Dulutah packs we borrowed from our "fearless leader", King. Also, everyone's pack looked the same so we had to put identifiers of some kind on our packs to differentiate them. On our second trip to Temagami we busted out laughing as we both showed up with identical packs and one of us ended up putting a yellow plastic garbag bag closure on the pack. Over the years these packs served us well but have been retired to hauling food, tents, cooking gear on our trips.

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Baron examines Jester's new Bending Branches Arrow 62" paddle at the campsite on Little Trout. Now that he is nearing the end of his useful life, Jester finally buys a paddle of his own. He has warned Baron that should he make noises as if he is contemplating the purchase of his own canoe after decades of rentals, someone should take him aside and help him make a course.correction.

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One view from our campsite, looking north across Little Trout from our island to the northern edge of the neighboring island. While we were camped we could see a green canoe at the site just south of that island's end. The day they paddled out we saw a yellow canoe pass by and then head into the same site. We really liked out site and the day we made a short day trip over to Queer Lake we passed by and thought from our vantage point off shore we had the better location. It is hard to know for sure unless you actually step out onto land and walk the site.

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Unloading at our Little Trout island campsite Baron starts with the most important piece of equipment, his fishing gear. It is usually the least used piece of gear that comes along on one of our trips. Baron's green Gregory pack is crossways behind the bow seat, our old Lowe Alpine Morningstar (circa 1988) which holds our tarp, tent, food, stoves and fuel is partially tucked under the yoke and Jester's Osprey Aether is at the bottom of the pic and in front of the stern seat.

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Baron's Buckley Dry Fly tarp accompanies us on most trips and is a quick rig mostly due to Baron's great knot tying ability.

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Jester's home away from home, a parachute fabric hammock from Grand Trunk, formerly the Travel Hammock. On our Booth Lake short trip in 2010, I was enjoying a beautiful day in camp and heard a "ping"!, felt a change in my pitch, yaw and roll, then plunk! I was on the ground after the hammock netting failed after nearly a decade of use. The first thing I did was look around to see if the Baron had noticed my plight. Good, he was back by the tent and reading. One difference between a net hammock and fabric is sometimes the view is limited due to this solid fabric hammock is rated to hold two. It dries quickly so if I leave it out in a rain, it is not long before it is ready for the Jester.

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The view from behind the Sierra Designs Antares tent looking north basically the length of our island. The thunderbox is at the little gully which is surprisingly a very private area. I love forests like this with the openness yet privacy.

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Looking east from behind our tent with the waters of Little Trout and a view of the eastern shore.

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The Buckley's interior.

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From my hammock I can spy on Baron putting his sleeping gear into the tent plus catch a view of Little Trout off in the background.

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Looking south southwest across Little Trout from our campsite

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I believe this is the Queer Lake end of the Little Trout portage. There is a big Swedish bear peeking out of the woods.

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Little Trout as seen from just offshore at the Queer Lake portage. There are a few small rocky islands that make this end of Little Trout a nice spot.

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More of the northern end of Little Trout just off the Little Trout to Queer Lake portage.

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Looking north along the eastern edge of Little Trout from near the Queer Lake portage landing.

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Looking back at the Little Trout to Queer portage

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One of the neat picturesque islands in the eastern end of Little Trout

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Heading back to our campsite we navigate between the south shore of Little Trout and the two islands that offer interesting campsites.

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An offshore view of the campsite near the eastern end of the northern of the two Little Trout islands.

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Looking north through the tree cover towards the western end of the neighboring island

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Sierra Designs Antares tent showing one side. The actual tent has a door on each side, covered by an interesting full fly with symmetrical vestibules on both sides. Each of the vestibules has 2 independent doors making entry and exit easier than some previous tents we've used.

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Looking back across the campsite from south to north, showing the tent and tarp area with Little Trout in the background.

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Beautiful rolling terrain surrounds our tent area and we could walk fairly easily all the way to the campsite on the eastern end of the island. There is a gully about 100 feet back across the island at the base of which was the thunderbox.

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The brand new Swift 16' Prospector across our "front door"

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While paddling south on our way back to Magnetawan Lake access, we stopped at one of the sites we had scoped out from the canoe on our way north. We intended to stop for the night but it was early in the morning and we had noticed a change in the weather. The pressure was dropping and we smelled moisture so we took about an hour break and nibbled some energy bars and Baron took great pains to set up a temporary camp as you can see. Jester had his hammock up within 5 minutes of landing.

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Our site had an interesting large rock which we should have investigated since the more I look at the picture, I can imagine it might have been a great place to relax with a book or stretched out with closed eyes.

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Looking north up the shoreline from this rest stop. The spot where we landed the canoe was to the right of the grassy spot and may have been suitable for tents, though we did not really take the time to see if it was "lumpy grass". Jester claims that "lumpy grass" is an official term and will be understood by all readers who are true initiates and members of the "Hammock Society".

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Here is a good look at the main tent site, showing how flat the clearing appeared.

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The eastern end of the main clearing showing a few of the hammock trees and in the background at the extreme right, the short path that leads to the grassy area is visible.

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Here is a view of the open and rocky shoreline at the south southeast facing edge of the campsite.

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Looking back towards the point around which we would paddle as we headed back towards the portage from Ralph Bice to Hambone Lake and eventually the small dock at Magnetawan Lake access. We went right through the gap between the tiny island and the point.

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Nice! The weather began to whisper, "Moisture.. Moisture..." and we began to think, "Better push on towards the Magnetawan Lake parking lot."

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Though I've been visiting Algonquin Park and renting canoes from Algonquin Outfitters until 2011 I had never taken a picture of the old GMC pickup. I was always talking with founder Bill "Swifty" Swift, wife Wendy, son Rich and the many wonderful staff who make up the AO extended family.

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Here is a part of the AO rental fleet which is regularly swapped out with new models or newly built versions of the models which make up a very diverse selection of tandem, solo or even 3 seater craft. Sea Kayaks made by Swift are also available here at the home base at Oxtongue Lake or the other locations in the region.

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Along the edge of the AO building are a few of the sit on top kayaks. This picture was taken after supper so the parking lot, which is often full of cars coming and going, is so empty.

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If you look closely, I believe you'll see that the yellow canoes mounted on the building and the main sign really is one canoe sliced lengthwise. The building sits
opposite a small bay off Oxtongue Lake so you can test paddle any of the canoes, either before rental or before purchasing one.

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Here is the "Test Paddling Centre" in the shadows of the evening sun. In addition to testing, if you are so inclined you can launch a rental on the water and pass under the highway 60 bridge, around the bend through Oxtongue Lake and all the way up river to Canoe Lake, though it would make an easier trip done from that location in one long day or making an overnight stop along the way.

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This rack holds one of the new in 2011 Pack Canoes which are a bit like a canoe and a bit like a kayak. Note the sliding foot rests and the low slung seat. To portage one of these lightweight canoes a clamp on yoke is used. To trim the weight a portion of your equipment is stowed aft of the seat and a portion would be placed in the bow. There are 2 models with the main, or only, difference being length and the weighting.

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The very first canoe I rented back in 1983, a Mad River Compatriot solo that was stated to weight 33# back then. That first year there were no kneeling pads and the seat was narrow slats and not the fabric weave. It is great to see the canoe in such great condition, which little improvements. I forget the exact length but it was around 13' and fit inside my old Ford Econoline van that I drove back then.

Another great trip, proving how enjoyable trips that are less than a week can be just as enjoyable as are the ones that extend to a full week or ten days. This was also the trip that Baron was exposed to Bob's Red Mill gluten free TVP and he enjoyed it, giving it the Baron's Stamp Of Approval. It rained for several hours the next morning but by the time we reached "Onion Valley" on our way south we had good weather. Until we were back in Ohio, that is, when we caught the edge of a terrific storm with high winds. But we transferred gear at the Baron's house and I headed off for my side of town.

Good fences make good neighbors. Good tripping makes good friends. I even believe mediocre paddle strokes don't interfere with good friends. I am grateful for the many years of being able to jump in a car or van and know those who travel with me are the best of the best in some very important ways.

-Jester

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2012, 4:11 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
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Location: Milton
Great report! lol
Good to see your humour, and I like pics that show you what you will find.
And I also like to stop and "kick some tires" at outfitters when I travel...
that and hardware stores.... :)
Jeff

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PostPosted: January 6th, 2012, 1:31 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Great trip report. Brings back memories of having previously travelled that route. I really enjoy your sense of humour! :D

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PostPosted: January 6th, 2012, 3:23 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Thanks for posting that. Brings back some memories for me. When on that lake we camped on the main land just across from the island. It was here where a pack of wolves ran just out of view and howled the whole time as they were running by.

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PostPosted: January 6th, 2012, 3:36 pm 
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Location: Waterloo, ON
Thanks for the report Jester.

We had planned on that area for our spring fishing trip last year but in the end had to head further south as things stayed frozen. Too early to say for sure, but we might aim for Ralph Bice and area this spring, so getting a look at the area is helpful.

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