Updated: Monday, November 16, 2009
Northern Tier Canoe Base Journal
Day 1 - 7/17/99The day began at 6:30. We arose sluggishly from our warm bunks to meet the challenges ahead. At 9:45 we pushed off and paddled away from civilization and started our journey.
We canoed up Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Sucker Lake and then took Prairie Portage to the Canadian Customs lodge. We arrived at Customs at 11 o'clock only to wait till 1:15 to get our fishing license, and being cleared to go. The wait was due to the fact that the extremely overworked rangers needed to take an hour lunch break.
Back on the water, Inlet Bay, and Bailey Bay were quickly covered and another portage presented itself. An 84-rod portage, about a quarter of a mile, was hiked with ease. 80 rods is equal to a quarter of a mile for those who don't know the metric system. After our portage, we canoed Burke Lake and found our own personal private island to camp on.
Day 2 - 7/18/99
After a dehydrated 'egg' breakfast that tasted like pancakes, we paddled the remainder of Burke Lake and did a short portage. We then canoed Sunday Lake were the dreaded twin portages in and out of Meadows Lake. The official names of these portages can't be published, so we will call them B & B.
A portage is when you have to unpack your canoes and hike down a trail because you need to avoid some rapids or go to another lake. Hiking on a portage trail is like hiking the rockiest part of the Appalation Trail when half of the trail is under water and you have a 75-lbs. canoe on your back.
After B & B, we were pretty worn out. We went to Louisa Falls, a huge waterfall were Louisa Lake spills into Agnes Lake. We ate lunch at Louisa Falls then found a campsite on Agnes Lake.
Day 3 - 7/19/99
The longest day of the trip, we canoed 13 miles up the rest of Agnes Lake hit three 80+ rod portages. Then we canoed 5 more miles to a 'AAA' campsite on Kawanipi Lake.
On Agnes Lake and near a portage was Indian pictographs. The Indian pictographs are 2000-year-old drawings on rock faces. There are drawing are of people in canoes, a bear, a moose, and things that we couldn't decipher.
Also, while we were canoeing, a Bald Eagle flew over us and perched on a tree. A few members of the crew got some photos of it.
Day 4 - 7/20/99
After paddling up the remaining part of Kawanipi Lake, we reached the northern most point of our trip. We celebrated by stopping, taking some pictures, and picking and eating blueberries until our stomachs hurt.
A little more canoeing brought us to some rapids to portage around. The kids did the portage, but the old guys of the group decided to run the rapids. After running the rapids and breaking the rule of not running rapids, they tipped their canoe and got all their gear wet.
More paddling brought us to more rapids, after safely beaching our canoes, we played in the rapids for 45 minuets.
Day 5 - 7/21/99
After a late start, we canoed Cairn Lake. We portaged into Sark Lake, paddled a ways and portaged into Keefer Lake and found a campsite.
Today was a really short day. We ate lunch at camp then discussed the requirements for camping merit badge. We then proceeded to swamp our canoes and have fun in the water. While we completed our canoeing merit badge.
Day 6 - 7/22/99
We canoed Keefer and Kahshapiwi Lake then did a long portage into McNiece Lake, where we had lunch swam, and jumped off cliffs and trees into the water. We then paddled/portaged into Yum Yum Lake, Armin Lake, and camped on Grey Lake.
We finished from camp and caught 3 small mouth bass, and 1 walleye's all under a beautiful sunset.
Day 7 - 7/23/99
After sleeping in till 8, we readied and ate the fish we caught and finally got off our island around 10.
We did a portage and instead of finding a lake on the other side, we found a meadow. We spent the next hour portaging around the new meadow. After the portaging incident we were all tired so we did another portage and stayed in an unnamed lake.
Today was the only day we didn't see anyone else. The fact that we only canoed 2 miles might have had something to do with that.
Day 8 - 7/24/99
After breakfast we set out for North Bay. Only 2 portages and 1 beaver dam were between the large bay and us.
We got on North Bay early in the morning, before the high winds caused large waves making it hard to canoe. We were half way across the bay when the winds set in. We battled our way through the bay and made it.
We portaged 3 more times and got into Burke Lake. We camped on an island next to the island we camped at the first night.
Day 9 - 7/25/99
We canoed through Bailey Bay and found ourselves back at Prairie Portage and Canadian Customs. This time there was no 2-hour wait. We went straight through after saying 'hi' to a sister crew of ours. We had a leisurely canoe trip from Prairie Portage and ate a long lunch at a campsite.
Since we were around 4 miles from Base Camp, and the adults had been begging us to give them a break and have us canoe for them, we gave the adults a break and canoed from them.
We raced back to camp. When we arrived, we returned all of the borrowed equipment and took a much-needed shower. After cleaning and resting our tired bodies, we ate a real non-dehydrated meal.