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Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012 at 4:13 PM
Norm Head  (Login normhead)
AA Forum Group

The weather man lied to us. The plan was a nice loop from Canoe lake to Big Trout and back down the Pettawawa, Misty and McIntosh Lakes, then down Potter's creek. The last 5 days of the trip were supposed to be 13-15 in the day with lots of sun. What we got were 6 miserable days if high winds and rain. We also got sucked in by the early ice out. We thought, it's going to be an early spring. As a result we got to do some winter-like camping in the spring with lots of snow.

Here we are enthusiastic at the start of the trip. Sure there was going to be a couple of cold days, but for the most part it was going to be excellent.

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We didn't see one person on the portage from Canoe Lake to Joe Lake. It was a nice warm sunny day. We had lunch on the portage.

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We camped on the north shore of Joe Lake, the far western campsite

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After a souvlaki dinner we went up to the Lookout for a view of Teepee Lake

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The next day we headed up through Vanishing Pond (which was difficult). The reed beds were below the water in the south end of the creek, making it extremely difficult to follow the channel. We camped on Sunbeam, a very picturesque lake. We got lots of nice photos that can be viewed on our website. Here are just a couple:

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We spent a rest day on Sunbeam and had steaks, asparagus, and baked potatoes for dinner

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After a rest day on Sunbeam, we headed out over the portages to Burnt Island Lake. The portages were all full of blow down. Clearly, the rangers have not been through yet this year.

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We got to Burnt Island Lake late and took one of the first campsites. It was to be the last of our peaceful and relatively warm nights.

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We made a small move the next day to a campsite across the lake, but high winds and very rough water, plus a fully loaded canoe prevented us from going any further.

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The next day we moved up to Otterslide Lake. From our campsite we had a great view of Venus in the night sky. A couple of guys we suspect were Park Staff scouting the portage blow downs camped across from us and left early the next morning.

Venus and the campfire across the lake.

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There might be some great blueberry picking here later in the year.

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We headed on up Otterslide Creek, more portages, more blow down.

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It was a nice day to travel and we got couple nice pictures in the evening near sunset.

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The second day on BIg Trout ended up being an unofficial rest day. We did some tarp building and fire burning.

The next day we woke up to very cold conditions and frost on the trees. A hint that the weather was not warming up and more cold to come...

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With the wind still blowing and our friends on a schedule, we decided to abandon the part of the trip through White Trout, and head back down Otterslide Creek. A safer trip given the wind conditions.

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We camped on an open windy campsite on Little Otterslide after being mislead by John's old park map on the availability of campsites at the bottom of the lake.

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The next day, with the wind still unsafe to paddle we bushwhacked and portaged back to Burnt Island Lake

We had a beautiful sunset.

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The next day we were winded in so we collected lot's of firewood and built a tarp, made poles from tree branches that had broken off the trees near the campsite.

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That night it started to snow. We huddled under the tarp for the evening fire.

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This was our tarp in the morning.

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And our tent.

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Guess what Tess is doing.

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We broke camp anxious to get home.

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Home at last.

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All in all it was the kind of trip you are happy you did because you would never choose to do it on purpose (if that makes sense). Tess is most enthusiastic with how things turned out, John and myself less so but still okay, whereas Enid is going to sell all of her canoe gear.

 
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Norm Head
(Login normhead)
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link

April 26 2012, 4:15 PM 


 
 
EGB
(Login EGB)
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Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012, 4:39 PM 

Enid we never really knew each other anyway

 
 

MartinG
(Login Martin_G)
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Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012, 5:21 PM 

4th pic from the bottom --- WOW! Certainly an outstanding trip!

Martin

 
 
Norm Head
(Login normhead)
AA Forum Group

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012, 5:47 PM 

Ya, I think you might be right there EGB, I'm sure the Barenaked Ladies concur.
Thanks for the comment Martin.
I wouldn't have wanted to miss this trip... canoeing the park starting April 12 ought to be good for something, bragging rights if nothing else, but I'm not going to willingly do it again.

 
 
Preacher
(Login Preacher23)

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012, 6:00 PM 

Great shots, awesome trip! If the weather is beautiful the stories are boring.

Thanks for the portage maintenance.

 
 
Bolovesalgonquin
(Login Bolovesalgonquin)

snow

April 26 2012, 6:31 PM 

Norm:

I can do you one better in the snow department.

Back in the early 1980's in May, I was on Mountain Lake (off Booth and last lake before Dickson) with my brother Raccoon and two other friends and we went to bed without it snowing, and woke up to more than a foot of snow on the ground. We walked into Dickson to get warm only to come back to camp with both of our tents flattened by the snow as it was snowing all day and all our sleeping gear was wet and/or damp. Spent a very uncomfortable night and left in the morning. All downhill on the way out and we were using the canoes as sleds. Back at Crotch Lake in the Ranger Cabin, a few other parties were also coming out. This was when you took the hydro road to the access point on Crotch, not now where it is on Farm. Well, we took turns pushing one car up the steep hill you had to climb, then walk back down and push another car up the hill, etc. Eventually, we all made it out after that first hill.

Sure gives a new meaning to tripping. And now like me you have something to brag about going forward.


Bo

 
 
Norm Head
(Login normhead)
AA Forum Group

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 26 2012, 9:28 PM 

"Great shots, awesome trip! If the weather is beautiful the stories are boring.

Thanks for the portage maintenance."

Thanks Preacher, there's one walk around we couldn't clear on Otterslide creek , and there is still its you can walk over, but Canoe to Big Trout can be done without putting down the packs, if you can step over a 30 inch tree trunk.

Great story Bo...

 
 
Sergey Stein
(Login sergeys)

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 27 2012, 9:59 AM 

Breathtaking photography!

 
 
Rory MacKay
(Login algonquinarchaeologist)
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Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 27 2012, 10:30 AM 

The quality of these photos, and others taken by many others, of the interior as seen from a tripper's view makes me wonder if there wouldn't be an opportunity for a book. I know coffee table books (and perhaps all books) are said to be going out of style, but the shots I see on this forum are so good (and by so many people) that I wonder if a book might be a form of income to support the site and the ABR.

I have no idea how to go about doing such a book, but it strikes me that more should be exposed to the wonderful photographs, and the beautiful scenery that is the interior of Algonquin Park.

I guess this is just an expression of appreciation for all those who post such wonderful photos (and endure so much to get them).



Rory MacKay
"Anyone who has known Algonquin Park will be disappointed when they get to Heaven" -- Ralph Bice.

 
 
Rory MacKay
(Login algonquinarchaeologist)
AA Forum Group

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 27 2012, 10:31 AM 

The quality of these photos, and others taken by many others, of the interior as seen from a tripper's view makes me wonder if there wouldn't be an opportunity for a book. I know coffee table books (and perhaps all books) are said to be going out of style, but the shots I see on this forum are so good (and by so many people) that I wonder if a book might be a form of income to support the site and the ABR.

I have no idea how to go about doing such a book, but it strikes me that more should be exposed to the wonderful photographs, and the beautiful scenery that is the interior of Algonquin Park.

I guess this is just an expression of appreciation for all those who post such wonderful photos (and endure so much to get them).



Rory MacKay
"Anyone who has known Algonquin Park will be disappointed when they get to Heaven" -- Ralph Bice.

 
 
Mike K
(Login bongopix)
AA Forum Group

Trip looks awesome!

April 27 2012, 10:44 AM 

I obviously wasn't there in the moment, but the photos really make this trip look like a fun adventure! The scenery with the snow is beautiful. What a unique experience to be canoeing with snow all around. Your photos are wonderful, too! Such beautiful campsites and views. Thanks for the post.

 
 
dead_weight
(Login dead_weight)
AA Forum Group

Well

April 27 2012, 10:44 AM 

Think of it this way ... for the rest of the year, any "cold" night spent camping is gonna be a piece of cake compared to this trip ...


 
 
dano
(Login muskydannno)
AA Forum Group

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 27 2012, 12:15 PM 

Wow, beautiful pics. Just can't wait, we will be there in 18 hours.

 
 
kayamedic
(Login kayamedic)
AA Forum Group

No discomfort evident!

April 27 2012, 1:09 PM 

Those pix make me want to go right now, wind or no wind.. So glorious but no evidence of pain.

They deserve to be in a coffee table book at the Visitors Center..

Good luck to all those going today or tomorrow..the winds look awful here. We start Mon.

 
 

Rob
(Login IgiveUpFindingaHandle)
AA Forum Group

Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

April 30 2012, 1:57 PM 

Norman and Tess
I always look forward to your trip reports and pics and once again you make us feel like we are there with you.
An amazing trip and I agree, not one you would plan but one you are glad you did.
Made me realize just how good I had it as I was thawing my water bottles by the fire Saturday morning. At least it was dry and sunny happy.gif

 
 

tess
(Login tessfully)
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Re: Canoe Lake to Big Trout and back- Ice Out 2012

May 1 2012, 6:58 PM 

Just wanted to say a big THANKS to everyone who commented on our mini report and photo journal. It was very very nice to read happy.gif

**********************************************

~tess johnston~

Not all those who wander are lost. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

http://www.algonquintreks.ca/

**********************************************

 
 
 
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