Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 10: Wednesday, 08-26-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Albany River / Mininiska Lake

Albany River / Petawanga Lake

Travel Time: 4:23

Distance: 9.5 miles / 15.3 km

It got cool out last night. I pulled my head out of my sleeping bag around 06:32 am as it was starting to get light out.

This morning was one of the mornings that I regret not taking the time to get my tripod out of my pack and take some photos of the sunrise. I’ve never in my life had seen such a beautiful sunrise. There was an intense orange ribbon across the eastern sky. Then an intense orange area where the sun was coming up. My reason at the time was my gear was all wet and it was cold out. Dave also was in his tent on the east side of the small island where the better photographic opportunity was located.

There was also a fog over the water this morning with only a hint of a breeze. This morning I’m wearing my long underwear, my red and black checked wool shirt with my green REI fleece jacket. I also have on some wool knitted gloves.

I tried drying my Northface pants over the burner this morning while the coffee was perking, but the heat didn’t dry them. I’m wearing my Piragis pants that are ok around camp. They don’t have enough pockets for my liking. This was the second time I’ve worn them on this trip and both times were at night at camp. At least they’re dry.

This morning we’re on the water at 09:38 am. It wasn’t too long, 10:15 am, before we got to the marked 850 meter portage. (UTM #38)There were some floating docks that were partially under water. Just off to the left of this portage was another trail. I followed it and it led to some trash and an old 207 Snow Cruiser snowmobile.

It took 21 minutes to cross this portage the first time across. It seemed to quick for a 850 meter portage. Dave and I took a pack with our saws hand. We only had to do some minimal cutting. There were also two 12 inch aspen lying diagonally across the trail.

When we got to the end of the portage (UTM # 39) there were four aluminum boots cached. Two of them had Mercury outboards on them. There was also a very strong smell of gas in the air. These four boats were completely blocking our put-in. We lifted the side of one of the boats where we found several gas containers, but it was obvious the smell was more gas that has saturated the ground. There was some litter here. This landing and portage showed signs of frequent use.

Overall this was a good portage, but it was wet in many sections. There was wood cut and placed both crosswise and lengthwise in the real bad sections. The portage is probably kept open by the outpost nearby on Mininiska Lake. I stepped this portage off at 547 meters. The only sounds I heard while walking this trail were the sound of mosquitos. There was no wind making the bush very quiet.

I’m done with my three carries across, just waiting for Dave. It should only be a couple more minutes. The canoe was put in the water and loaded. Took a little maneuvering around before getting away from the put-in.

Petawanga Lake is another large lake, but luckily today there is virtually no wind. Many places on the water were just like glass.

We paddled until we found a campsite on a small island at 02:01 pm. (UTM #40) (3 x 2). The site showed signs of use this season.

After checking out the site we put up our tents. I hung some of my stuff up to dry, but then it began to sprinkle. I threw my sleeping bag and other important gear in the tent. Lucky for us there were just a few drops, but no real rain.

A helicopter flew over head a few minutes after we got on the island. Then two First Nation guides passed the island in the two aluminum boats that were parked at the last portage. They passed us without ever knowing we were on the island.

It’s 05:04 pm and I’ve been trying to get caught up in my journal while Dave has been tending to the fire. The wood is so damp it just doesn’t want to keep going. We were able to get some coffee perked around 03:30 pm and had lunch.

I went down and got water in the gravity filter. I forgot my bottle underneath it, so I had to go get some more water.

Earlier I walked around the small island after I got out my camera and took some photos.

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