Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 17: Wednesday, 09-02-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Raymond River
Pickett Lake

Raymond River

North Annette Lake

Travel Time: 7:27

Distance: 9.25 / 14.9 km

It stayed warm out last night. I could hear the wind blowing but I couldn’t tell how hard. I could also hear the sound of the rapids that run next to the campsite.

There was another big lump under my sleeping pad last night. I think that makes it about the third night in a row, I had a hard time working around it. In fact, it didn’t work out all that well at all.

So needless to say I woke up several times throughout the night before finally getting up for good at 06:00 am. Once I got out of the tent at 06:11 am I started a fire, put on the coffee. I sure have been enjoying my morning coffee.

Now that I’m out of the tent I see that the wind is blowing fairly strong, once again out of the SW. This is the third day in a row that’s blowing out of the SW..

There are some old blazes on a couple old jack pine at this campsite along the edge of the river. I’m guessing this was the old portage trail and landing here at the campsite.

A nice sunny day, I was correct about sunny, but way too hot. It was 08:33 am when we left the campsite. We paddled through Pickett Lake that is pretty shallow. Arriving at the first portage at 10:40 am on river left. The take-out is about 25 meters from the right turn in the river. There is an old blaze on a small cedar. This small diameter cedar tree is in a clump of 4 trees. Take-out (UTM #68).

I took a pack and a saw while Dave took the canoe. I cut several smaller trees that were over the trail while leaving the bigger stuff. This portage was 676 meters. Both ends of the trail had water and mud for about 8 meters. The rest of the portage was dry. The trail was easy to follow. I stopped to eat some blueberries and a couple raspberries on my way back. The heat from the sun made for a very sweaty trip across the portage. There was some elevation change, but it was gradual. It was 01:30 pm when we finished this portage. Put-in (UTM 69).

We decided to have lunch here at the put-in at 01:40 pm. It wasn’t the best place, but I needed to eat something. It was a short lunch of 20 minutes. Then we packed the canoe and we’re back on our way at 02:10 pm.

The second portage was 3 minutes away on river right. (Take-out # 70) Put-in (UTM # 71). There were a couple trees over the trail. The sun was the toughest part of this crossing. It sure would have been nice to find some shade. These last two portages have been through a burned over area so nothing for shade.

I’ve been seeing some bear and wolf scat on both trails today. There were some moose tracks on the first portage, but it doesn’t appear that any humans have been across these portages this year.

We were done with the second portage at 03:05 pm. It was 203 meters long. I’m sweating like a pig. Ate some more blueberries while walking back across this portage.

Back on the water at 03:15 pm on North Annette Lake. We paddled past one campsite , but we didn’t really check it out since we thought we could see possibly a better one further south. We paddled over to it, but there wasn’t any easy access to the top. I got out of the canoe and walked up a very steep incline to the top of the site. We could never land a canoe and walk packs up the way I went. The campsite would work, but everything else would take an extra effort.

We paddled further south, but there didn’t look like anything else, so we turned around and headed back to the first site.

Well, the first site was too small. No room for two tents. Back to the site that’s 15 to 20 meters up off the water. We found an area for accessing the site, but only after cutting our way to the top of the rock where we could camp. It took a considerable amount of effort.

We set up camp and made coffee. I gave Dave the information on the portages and campsites from the past two days so he could add them to his maps.

Dave and I discussed the trip. We still have some long ass portages before we conclude our trip. I hope we get a break on them.

My tent is pitched on a slope on top of some blueberries and caribou lichen. I have my PFD and other items wedged under the downward side of my sleeping pad.

Enough, going to turn the lights out. It’s 09:30 pm.

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