Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Another Season In The Books

I'll admit I've been a bit lax with updating my blog as the past year has been quite busy.  I haven't even started to transcribe last years trip logs and I still have to finish up the trip log from my last trip of this season.  I also have trip logs from my Dad from the 80's and 90's that I want to slowly transcribe and publish as well.  I'm hoping to get all this done before the start of next year's canoe tripping season.

As for now it's hard to believe that the 2015 tripping season has come and gone and there is now snow on the ground.  As such this is the time of the year when next season's trips are planned, start to be booked and equipment checked and repaired.  So far I have five trips planned for next season, four in Algonquin and back to Temagami for the family trip.  As for the trip with my work colleagues in the Park that's always up in the air until very close to the time of the trip.

Next season I'll again be doing my early spring fishing trip with my Dad.  We plan on heading to Brent on Cedar Lake and from there fish some of the lakes off of the Brent Road.  We did a spring fishing trip to Cedar back in 2011 and then we took the small boat and canoe and camped on one of the islands on the east end of the lake. From there we fished some of the small lakes off of Cedar.  This time we'll be staying at the campground at Brent.  I'm planning on hitting some of the lakes off of the Brent road such as Tecumseh, Gilmour, Rana, Pan and Ghost.

I also have two solo trips in May planned to cover some areas that I haven't had the chance to explore yet.  My first one will take me down the South River into Craig with a small loop through North Tea into Lorn and Lost Dog and out to Kawawaymog.  I feel the water level of the South River should be good that time of year to avoid any difficulties other than alders and beaver dams.

My second solo trip will take me out of Rain and through Cranebill, into Devine out to the Tim River and back through Cranebill via White Trout, McIntosh and Brule.  My only concern with this trip is the condition of the portages heading out of Devine Lake towards the Tim River as I have never heard anything good about them.

In June I'll be heading to Achray for about ten day.  The first part of the trip I'll be there by myself.  During this time I'll be hitting some areas I haven't paddle before such as a loop out of the Brigham Lake access area and all the lakes adjacent to Sec Lake.  After that the family will be coming up to join me for our annual Achray adventures.

The August trip with my Dad will be more low key and less challenging than this past season's trip.  As of now we are planning to head into Dividing Lake via Loader Lake and the Hollow River and set up camp for a few days and explore the area.

If I can get all the trips done next season that I'm planning the only really big chunk of the Park I will have yet to explore will be everything south of Clydegale and Galeairy down to Branch Lake.  Other than that it will be just a few nooks and crannies in the north I'll have yet to explore.  Of everything left I think the most challenging to do will be the area off of the Bissett Road heading north to Bissett Lake.

As for last season the trips were both enjoyable and challenging and allowed me to cover some areas of the Park I hadn't explored yet.  At the same time I was able to get back into some areas I hadn't been to in quite a while.

The season started with the annual fishing trip with my Dad.  This year we headed into Big Crow Lake and stayed at the Ranger cabin.  It was a good trip with the fishing being slow for the first two and half days and then picking up on the last half of the trip.  This was one of the busiest fishing trips we had been on with both Big Crow and Little Crow being completely booked up for the weekend.

My spring solo trip took me back over a section of the Park after last year's trip I never wanted to do again.  On my 2014 solo trip the portage from Little Dickson Lake to Sundassa Lake was in terrible condition with lots of blowdowns which lead to a lot of bushwhaking.  This past season's trip took me back over the same area.  I was dreading doing that portage again but to my surprise an interior crew had been in after I had gone through in 2014 and the portage was in excellent condition.  It was actually a dream to do compared to the nightmare the year previous.  The trip had lots of ups and some downs but an excellent trip that challenged me as a solo canoe tripper.

The family trip this year was back to Temagami.  The boys like it as there is great fishing there which you really don't get into during the summer in Algonquin.  Where we head is easy access and only a few hours from where we park the truck and there are quite a few nice sites on the lake.  Until they get older and can contribute more to portaging and want to explore more of the Park's interior I'm sure Temagami will be our destination of choice for our summer family trip.

My annual trip in August with my Dad was a route that we were to do in 2014 but due to medical conditions on both our part we had to cancel last year's trip.  This trip was one of the more challenging I had done in the Park and I really hadn't expected it to be as such.  Most of the route I had done before but there were some small sections that were new to me.  The most difficult part of the trip was the western half of Maple Creek due to virtually no water, choking alders and a countless number of beaver dams.

With the first snow of the season under our belt I now can only sit, plan and dream of next seasons trips.  On the bright side the opening of trout season is less than fiive months away.  Here's hoping for an early ice out in 2016!

Happy Paddling!

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