Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 16: Tuesday, 09-01-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Witchwood River

Witchwood Lake
Whiteclay Lake
Raymond River

Travel Time: 8:56

Distance: 19.4 miles / 31.2 km

Too many lumps and an incline to sleep well. Temperatures remained moderate over night.

I woke up at 06:30 am stiff and sore. I didn’t start to move around until 0645 am then out of the tent 15 minutes later. It got windy last night. Although the water is very calm it’s because of the very high surrounding terrain around this section of the narrow lake.

Dave is now moving around. I have a slight headache. I must still be dehydrated.

It’s a pleasant morning to be eating amongst the birch, alder, spruce and balsam trees. My tent was partially in a beaver travel route to and from the water. I hoped he or she didn’t come along last night because I think both the beaver and I would have gotten a little excited if it hit my tent.

The southern section of the Witchwood Lake has some nice outcroppings. Too bad we didn’t have time to stop to explore and take some photos.

It’s 09:06 am and we’re paddling toward the portage. A couple minutes later we were taking all our gear out of the canoe so we could get over a beaver dam. It’s at the narrows about one kilometer from the portage. The beaver activity have lowered the water substantially north of here about 2 feet.

We got to the portage at 09:36 am. (UTM #63) The portage begins up a very steep incline. The length of the portage was 390 meters. There’s a campsite at the put-in (UTM #64) at Whiteclay Lake. The portage was easy walking after the steep incline. The put-in has a sandy bottom.

Back on the water on Whiteclay at 11:01 am. We paddled close to the west shore in a southwest direction until we found a campsite for lunch. We stopped at 12:29 pm. (UTM # 65). This site hasn’t been used for some time.

We took about a half hour for lunch. We continued to paddle against a strong SW wind. It was sunny and hot. It was about 16 km to the next portage on the Raymond River.

There was a tremendous current on the Whiteclay from the Ogoki River flow. The water was again very high, probably 2.5 feet higher. Oh, of course we paddled against the current. Whiteclay looked and felt more like a river than it did a lake.

We arrived at the take-out (UTM # 66) at 05:04 pm on the Raymond River. The beginning of the portage was rough due to some mud and roots otherwise not bad. The trail had a gradual elevation change to it. We really weren’t bothered by the couple of small trees on the trail. There was also a large aspen tree that we needed to step over. All gear was portaged to the put-in where we found a campsite at 06:02 pm.(UTM #68) (2 x 2). The site had no recent use.

I’m camped at the end of the portage. Dave has his tent up at the campsite. We had some coffee earlier, but we didn’t eat until 08:30 pm. I need to eat earlier or more often, I didn’t have much energy left today when we got to the campsite. We have been paddling hard into a strong SW wind, strong current and it was warm out.

Dave wants to get up early tomorrow since we have a couple portages and one long one.

It will take us at least four more days, but realistically I think five to finish our trip.

I’m in my tent right next to the water. A duck just landed near me and is now squawking at me.

Well, that’s all for now.

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