Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 6: Saturday, 08-22-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Misehkow River

Travel Time: 9:18

Distance: 12.5 miles / 20.1 km

It got colder out last night.I didn’t want to crawl out of my warm sleeping bag when I woke at 06:30 am. It felt so good. There was a fog over the river when I finally crawled out of the tent.

Dave was still in his tent when I made coffee on the stove. He got out shortly after the coffee was done. Good timing! We cooked Red River cereal on the stove. No fire this morning.

Once the sun came up over the tree tops it began to quickly warm up. The skies were clear, but then it started to cloud up while packing up camp.

It was a nice paddle early on.

We came to our first set of rapids today. We pulled over to river left to scout. (UTM # 21)There was an area that was probably used by the First Nation people as a hunting camp on top of the higher ground at the take-out. I started to follow a trail from the old moose camp site that paralled the river, but it went further up in the bush. It eventually dwindled out. I came back looking for Dave, but I couldn’t find him. I later found out he had walked another trail the went away from the direction that I walked. Dave told me he just wanted to see where it went.

Eventually I located him and he followed me going downstream through the bush. I walked this area and couldn’t locate any evidence of an old portage.What did that mean? We needed to run the rapids. We took on a little water, but being so bow down it was expected.

We came across another campsite (2 x 2) up a steep, sandy bank on the outside corner of a bend in the river on river right. (UTM # 22) We had lunch there and noticed that there hasn’t been any recent activity on the site.

Dave wanted to find the portage to the Greenmantle River. We both looked at our maps and narrowed down an area where we figured the portage would most likely be.

We located the portage without any problem. There were a couple blazes marking the portage. (UTM # 24) We walked the portage for about 40 meters or so. There was also a heavily used animal trail that paralleled the shoreline a few meters from shore.

The second set of rapids we ran them and again just taking on a little water.

We could see some big rapids and the fast water as we approached the 3rd set. We went river left to see if we could run it. No!

We then crossed to the other side above some sweepers. We couldn't safely get around the sweeper. There wasn’t any good place to land the canoe because the water level was up past the alders. The water was about 4 feet deep with a swift current right here next to shore. In a couple minutes I determined how deep it was.

While I held onto some alder branches Dave was trying to pull the bow of the canoe up into them to get to shore. As Dave pulled the canoe in at an angle the swift current grabbed the stern and immediately swung me around downstream.I needed to get out of the canoe immediately because of the sweeper. I yelled at Dave to hold onto the bow before I jumped out of the canoe. I was able to grab the canoe on the upstream side as Dave held on and tied the canoe to a tree on shore. (UTM # 25)

The canoe was lying on it’s side with the packs once again floating on top of the water. I was able to unstrap each pack and walk them up to Dave who then threw them up on shore. After the packs were up on shore, no easy task, Dave needed to cut an area with his saw to get the canoe to shore so we could dump the water. To top that off we needed to cut a 245 meter portage around this set of rapids.

To our surprise there was a campsite at the end of where we cut. We found the campsite around 5 pm, but it wasn’t until 7:18 pm when we got all our gear across. (UTM # 26) (2 x 2)

Once again my maps that were in my second map case were wet. No luck in attempting to dry them tonight. I discovered I lost my second yellow notebook in a plastic bag. The lessen here is not to put it in a plastic bag. I used two more yellow notebooks for the rest of the trip and never lost another one. I also used a “space pen” with the water proof notebook so the ink doesn’t smear too bad.

Dave was finally able to get a decent fire going tonight. The wood appeared to be slightly drier.

I can hear the sound of rushing water while inside my tent. I think we got on the water around 10 am today. It was a little later than any of the other days so far.

We have been putting in some long days except for day 3. It’s 10:21 pm and I’m going to sleep.

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