Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 3: Wednesday, 08-19-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Rockcliff Lake
Misehkow River

Travel Time: 5:38

Distance: 14.75 miles / 23.7 km

Back into the same routine of waking up, this time at 06:12 am, before packing up my stuff from inside the tent. I was greeted to more gray skies when I got out of my tent at 06:30 am.

Dave started the fire while splitting the other smaller pieces of wood into even thinner pieces yet.Trying to get to the drier middle sections. While he was doing that I cut more wood from around the area for him to split.

There were numerous mosquitos out this morning looking for a meal.

Dave finally got a flame and cooked up some sweet potato pancakes with ham. Lets not forget the coffee.

We were on the water at 09:20 am. We planned on stopping at a known cabin not too far from the campsite on the west shore. Twenty minutes later we arrived at the cabin. There was no one around. After looking over the area it didn’t appear if anyone had been here this year. There was a magazine with the date of August 2006 on the cover inside the cabin. I took a few pictures of the cabin and surrounding area. The dock was tipped.

Rockcliffe Lake is a long, thin, north to south orientated lake. This morning the lake was calm. While paddling down the lake to the north the skies began opening up. When the sun peeked out it made paddling very warm.

When we got to the first 70 meter portage we got out and scouted the water. From information that Dave received all we knew there were some rapids here. We didn’t have any information on which side the portage was on. From this same source they didn’t find the portage, either. I determined we could run this section without any difficulty. Before running this section I reviewed some different strokes with Dave that included the draw, post, and cross bow draw.

I don’t remember exactly what Dave said to me before we started to run this section, but my comment was something similar to, Dave, you better learn quickly or we’re in trouble!

We safely ran this section of water.

The next area where we had to get out and scout was at the next set of rapids. We knew there were rapids here and there was supposed to be a portage, but was it on river right or left.

Once we got out to scout we both were scanning the immediate area and across the river for any blazes. Dave asked me if I saw any, my reply was, No.

I needed to walked toward the rapids on river right to get a better look at things. There appeared to be be a faint opening next to a large, downed dead jack pine. When I got to it all I saw were many more blowdowns. There wouldn’t be any walking with our gear in this area. I made my way further down the shore through this tangled mess. I found a blaze, but there was no possibility to walk with our gear from the canoe to where I was standing. I walked in the water next to the shore line back to the canoe where Dave was waiting for me. We needed to cut three sweepers to get to the area where I found the blaze. The current was too fast and the water too deep to walk around these sweepers.

We were able to cut our way across the 45 meter portage. The actual beginning of this portage was right after another large jack pine sweeper before the start of the rapids. There wasn’t any way to swing the canoe around this sweeper before being sweep down the rapids. (UTM # 5 ??)

We had the next portage marked as 500 meters. We were about half way through the fast water before I pulled out my GPS to see exactly where we when I found that we had missed the beginning of a portage if there was one. We paddled through the rest of this fast water to the Misehkow River.

There were another five or so areas of faster water before we found this nice elevated campsite on river right at 02:58 pm. ( UTM # 6) (3 x 2). This was a place that we needed to take advantage of since there are very few campsites. We needed to dry out our gear anyways. Everything was wet or damp.

It was nice to be able to relax a little after setting up camp and gathering wood. I was finally able to write in my journal that I hadn’t been able to do since we stated our trip.

When I looked at our itinerary I saw we had made up one day. We are supposed to be here on our 4th day. Today was a much needed break from the conditions we have encounter the first 2 days of our trip. Deep down inside I hoped for more days like this since the last third of our trip was supposed to be the most difficult.

Maybe we will continue to make up some time.

Tonight as I said I was finally able to get caught up in my journal. I’m in my tent right now. It’s 09:27 pm. Dave went to his tent about twenty minutes ago.

The bugs are bad. I’ve been wearing for the most part my short sleeve t-shirt. My arms are all eaten up. Earlier, when I pulled off my OTB boots I realized why my right shin was so sore. My shin was swollen and bruised. Yesterday, when we were lining the canoe around the “muddy” 400 meter portage my leg dropped between two large rocks in the fast water. It really hurt at the time, but I had other things on my mind to get safely through the rapids.

Tonight after supper of Tortellini and cheese soup, Very good, Dave!, I walked to the next set of rapids. The rapids started around the bend. It was another judgement call. Around the corner the strong current broke off in a couple directions around an island with other obstructions before the island to cause some concern. I didn’t think we could safely run it with out causing damage to our kevlar canoe.

I followed the whale back to the inside corner of the bend where I found a old portage. I didn’t mark this take-out since most people would probably use the campsite, but the take-out is right before the right hand bend on river right. The old portage trail ran through the bush through the wet moss just past the last bit of fast water. We will put in here where there was a small fire ring. (UTM # 7)

Tonight I had time to go around and take some photos. I even got the tripod out. Today the skies were mostly sunny. It was nice for a change. Again, it was nice to stop early to do some other fun

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