Sunday, December 27, 2009

Preliminary Information:

We have all our own gear for these trips. The only thing we needed to rent was a satellite phone. I rented an Iridium satellite phone through Mobal. This was the second time I’ve rented from them. My earlier solo trip in June to the Woodland Caribou was the first time.

Dave would put together the food for the trip. Dave likes to eat well, so do I, but we have more variety when I travel with Dave. We also cook over wood fires, but we do bring some fuel when it’s not possible to cook with wood. When I travel solo I usually cook over a stove. This trip I would bring my Coleman Peak One for those times when we couldn’t cook over an open fire. Dave would also bring plenty of coffee after seeing how much I like my coffee after last years trip.

We would each bring our own MSR Hubba Hubba tent, 21” Corona Professional pruning saw, gravity water filter with one extra cartridge and our personal gear. Dave would bring his canoe, one paddle, axe, personal items and his two packs.

Besides my personal gear, I brought two Whiskeyjack wooden canoe paddles. I brought the “Whiskey Chaser” that I had from last year. This year I decided to buy another wood paddle so I would have two, one for a spare for either one of us. I bought the “Whiskey River” about one week before the trip. I brought my two Granite Gear portage packs, the Superior One and the Quetico. Last year I watched Pete carry one helleva large, oversized, heavy food pack across the portages. It was in my best interest and health not to carry such a heavy pack across any portage. This years portages were going to be more rugged and longer than anything we tackled last year. We were planning on doing double portages, but with 21 days of food I thought there was the real possibility we would end up triple portaging. I wouldn’t know until we started putting our gear together in Armstrong. Inside the packs I have an Ostrom’s water proof liner and I have two new Granite Gear AirVent Reduction pack liners to keep my gear dry. I also have a large, thick plastic bag that I use with one of the Granite Gear liners.

We would each drive to Armstrong, Ontario, Canada. Dave would be driving from the State of Virginia and I would drive from Champlin, Minnesota. We would spend the night at one of Mattice Lake Outfitter’s guest cabin before flying to Pashkokogan Lake.

Canoe travel would be through the boreal forest where the route could be passable one day and be completely blocked the next day. We had some limited information on different sections of this trip. The trip was planned as a 21 day trip with only one layover day to take in the numerous pictographs on Cliff Lake. This layover day would be on our 19th day. Known campsites were few and far between.

We would travel across big lakes, rivers, rapids, fast water, lining and tracking; and walk, crawl and cut our way across portages.

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