View topic - Bird River Solo - Thanksgiving Long Weekend

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PostPosted: December 19th, 2012, 3:05 pm 
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Hi all, first post here - have been lurking for a while, with winter full upon us I've been daydreaming of a spring canoe trip and decided to post a quick report on my thanksgiving weekend solo trip up the Bird River up to McGregor Falls.

This was my first solo canoe trip ever and my first backcountry-ish trip in many years.

It snowed heavily that week and although it had all melted off in the city, the drive out to the park started to give me that funny feeling that things may not work out the way I had planned...
Image
not looking promising.jpg by johnc_81, on Flickr

The park gates were open, but the conservation officer there told me he was just letting in the clean up crews and would be locking up, but I could unload my gear and park outside of the gates. They would be around until Tuesday morning, but if I missed them, I would be portaging my gear back up to the road. (luckily that did not happen and I was able to get my car back in to load up)

The weather was great though, despite the snow on the ground and the MANY downed trees across the portages, I had a great trip. I chose a snow free camping spot at the far end of Elbow the first night, and then canoed up to McGregor Falls for a day trip the next day.

Here's a few more pics from the trip...can't wait until spring!

Image
oh boy.jpg by johnc_81, on Flickr

Image
canoeing or tobagganing.jpg by johnc_81, on Flickr

Image
life aint so bad.jpg by johnc_81, on Flickr

Image
mcgregor falls.jpg by johnc_81, on Flickr


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2012, 9:03 am 
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Thanks for posting that TR. I liked that campsite, nice little fire to warm up by. How was the swimming? :)
Nice canoe, what is it? Do you like that style seat?


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2012, 9:16 am 
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Managed to keep the canoe upright - so no swimming this trip, thank goodness!

The canoe is a 14' Fiberglass Wolverine apparently made in Wawa, Ontario in the late 80's to early 90's.
I just bought it this fall, this was my first trip in it other than a couple of practice paddles on a retaining pond here in the city. The gunnels were rotted out, so I redid them in Hemlock, but I'm no carpenter so we'll see how long they last.

To tell the truth I don't use the seats very much, I mostly kneel to paddle, but when I sit up on them to stretch my legs they feel comfortable enough. I will likely have to redo them soon though, the rawhide has seen better days.


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2012, 7:41 pm 
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Nice job on the gunnels imo, looks good


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PostPosted: December 27th, 2012, 11:41 pm 
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Truly hard core, I am impressed.

Nice little boat too.Looks a lot like a huron.

Karin and I did some paddling in the snow one spring and it can be a nice change from the bugs and such.

...Christy


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PostPosted: February 14th, 2013, 7:03 pm 
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I'm curious about the portage to Mcgregor, I did not see the new cut portage that was supposed to be there, just the old one across the island.

here is a link to my pics Labor Day weekend, they are not in proper order yet, gonna have to work on that, hopefully before I forget what the order should be
http://s279.beta.photobucket.com/user/VictoryRedVette/library/Manitoba%20-%20Nopeming%20Provincial%20Park


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PostPosted: February 14th, 2013, 7:31 pm 
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Zara Spook wrote:
I'm curious about the portage to Mcgregor, I did not see the new cut portage that was supposed to be there, just the old one across the island.

here is a link to my pics Labor Day weekend, they are not in proper order yet, gonna have to work on that, hopefully before I forget what the order should be
http://s279.beta.photobucket.com/user/VictoryRedVette/library/Manitoba%20-%20Nopeming%20Provincial%20Park


What's the canoe you have there?

Chris

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PostPosted: February 17th, 2013, 6:40 pm 
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chris randall wrote:
Zara Spook wrote:
I'm curious about the portage to Mcgregor, I did not see the new cut portage that was supposed to be there, just the old one across the island.

here is a link to my pics Labor Day weekend, they are not in proper order yet, gonna have to work on that, hopefully before I forget what the order should be
http://s279.beta.photobucket.com/user/VictoryRedVette/library/Manitoba%20-%20Nopeming%20Provincial%20Park


What's the canoe you have there?

Chris


it's a Wenonah Voyager

if anybody knows about the portage to McGregor, or any of them beyond McGregor into Ontario, I'd be interested to hear about them.


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PostPosted: April 13th, 2013, 9:08 am 
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I'm not sure what you mean about new vs old portage into mcgregor as I have only done that trip this once.

The Portage was on the left hand side of the rapids and I was there right after a mighty snow storm that downed many many trees. I actually had to use my hand saw to try and clear some of the smaller branches before I could get through with my canoe, but trail was pretty clear to see even in this mess.

Portage ends on the north bank in a calm pool at the top of the rapids across from a campsite.

Portage at McGregor Falls is well marked (Left of the falls) There is a campsite right at the base of the falls.

I found this map of the portages and campsites quite accurate for my trip. Looked at it more often than my Topo.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks ... agram_.pdf

Only a couple more weeks until we can get back in the water! Hooray!



<EDIT> I think these are what you are talking about...the first pic is the first of two portages into Mcgregor. The small Island about a 30m drag across the snow for me.

The second is what I was talking about with the portage to the left hand side. Just out of frame.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51807557@N ... 282586103/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51807557@N ... 282586103/


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PostPosted: April 15th, 2013, 1:27 pm 
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John,
You were there in early season. Any signs of other early season paddlers?

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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2013, 3:42 pm 
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Paddle Power - I was there on thanksgiving long weekend - I would say very late season.

I saw not a soul for the entire 3 days. It was PERFECT!


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2013, 12:39 pm 
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Of course, late fall.

Happy to hear it was PERFECT!

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2013, 5:59 pm 
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John Chihonik wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean about new vs old portage into mcgregor as I have only done that trip this once.

The Portage was on the left hand side of the rapids and I was there right after a mighty snow storm that downed many many trees. I actually had to use my hand saw to try and clear some of the smaller branches before I could get through with my canoe, but trail was pretty clear to see even in this mess.

Portage ends on the north bank in a calm pool at the top of the rapids across from a campsite.




I think these are what you are talking about...the first pic is the first of two portages into Mcgregor. The small Island about a 30m drag across the snow for me.

The second is what I was talking about with the portage to the left hand side. Just out of frame.

/

yes, the 1st portage upstream takes you over a small island, then the second is river left going up stream.

as I was leaving I talked to two guys who claimed there was a freshly cut portage that allows you to bypass the island portage. If it is true, I missed it. That is the portage i was wondering about, apparently you did not see it either, which leads me to believe it does not exist, a misunderstanding between me and the other paddlers.

BTW if you look in my pics you will see the same green canoe that somebody lost, I was there Labour Day weekend.

That's a nice trip, I plan to go back and will attempt to travel a few lakes into Ontario.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2013, 9:56 am 
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The portage is at the very left of your photo here. It is possibly under those fallen trees or just outside of the photo.

I have a couple photos from the portage but for some reason I cannot attach them to this post. I get a pop-up to a dead link. I threw them in this bucket though.

The first picture is from just off the portage trail facing Elbow. You can see the island portage on the left and my friends standing by our boats in the middle of the photo. The second photo is from the portage trail with my friends standing in the same spot.


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2013, 6:25 pm 
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OK, thanks for clearing that up. I remember the two guys telling me the portage was marked with blue tape. I also see why I missed it, very steep, I did not expect to see a portage there plus my attention was diverted by ducks fishing just below the rapids.

Now the thing I am wondering is which portage is less difficult. The island is spooky, I imagine in high water even more so.


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