Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 14: Sunday, 08-30-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Hurst Lake
Felsie Lake
Witchwood River

Travel Time: 7:25

Distance: 11.0 miles / 17.7 km

Guess what? I had another leak in my sleeping pad! That makes four holes. I’m thinking there must be something sharp stuck on the bottom of my tent. I could feel the coolness coming through my sleeping bag sometime during the night. I think I must have been compressing my bag while trying to get comfortable on my deflated sleeping pad.

I had a strange dream last night. I dreamt that I showed up to work on my 55th birthday and was told I had to retire that day without any advanced notice.

I was up at 06:10 am putting my sleeping bag in it’s stuff sack. Took my sleeping pad out of the tent to repair the fourth leak. I made a fire, put on the coffee and some water to heat the glue.

There was a beautiful sunrise this morning. It began to warm up around 08:00 am.

Dave made some Sturdiwheat pancakes, bacon with some dried apricots. Once I repaired my fourth leak I decided I needed to bring a tent footprint along on these trips as well as my inside plastic liner.

On the water at 09:20 am. It has clouded up, but there isn’t any wind.

I marked on my map the outpost camp on Felsia Lake. We could see the outpost as soon as we paddled into Felsia.

On the Witchwood River there are three sections of fast water before the first portage. The portage is on river left. To find the portage go into the bay on river left. Take-out (UTM # 51). Portage length 136 meters. Put-in (UTM # 52). There is a campsite at the put-in.

The next two areas of fast water was in the narrows before the river widens up again. We paddled this river widening and found more fast water at the next narrows. We got to the first real fast section where we had a portaged marked on river right but we figured we could track it. What we couldn’t see was if there was something further upstream out of sight preventing us. We wondered why there was a portaged marked here. We checked both sides of the river, but we didn’t see any evidence of any portage. We tracked it. We paddled on and found the second portage on river left.

There were a total of 5 swifts from the first portage to the second one. This second portage was 73 meters. Another good trail, but it was muddy at both ends, especially at the put-in. Take-out (UTM # 53); put-in (UTM # 54).

Just after this portage we came across another section of fast water. Now we began looking for a campsite for the night. We found one a little downstream of the third portage at 04:45 pm. (UTM # 55) (2 x 2)

It appears that this small site has been used this year. I needed to clear some dead wood and Labrador-tea from the area to pitch my tent. After that was done I looked over to Dave who was sitting on his chair. His head was nodding. I laid on the ground to rest my back. It was sore, but I only needed to relax and rest a bit before it felt better.

Some thoughts: I really would have liked to have gotten my tripod out more often, but we either get into camp too late to do much more than set up camp, gather wood, start fire, cook, give Dave info on the notes I took throughout the day,. The other times I just don’t have the ambition to get it out.

Dave hasn’t gotten out his fishing pole, yet. If you know Dave he likes to fish at every opportunity.

This has been by no means a leisure trip. Very ambitious. The extremely high water has complicated travel even more.

Although the trip has been enjoyable I would have liked to have had some shorter days to do some more photography and have more time to write more details in my journal. I have no doubt in doing the trip, but I wish I could document it better.

I’m glad it’s just Dave and I because this trip definitely isn’t a trip for someone less experienced.

We have to try and get to Whiteclay Lake tomorrow. We do have a marked 1100 meter portage and some more fast water. I would hate to have come this far and not complete the trip as planned.

It’s 09:08 pm. I think I’m going to lay down. I’ve been in the tent for about 20 minutes. I’ve been sitting on my sleeping pad and the good news it still has air. I need it to hold air since I’m not laying on top of the best area. All the data I wrote in my field notes was placed on my topo map.

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