I gave myself a bit of a spook on the river. I was coming around a right-hand corner, but not looking up – I was busy looking off into the distance to my left. SPALSH! OH SHIT! I startled a cow moose and she was probably no more than 30ft from me. I let out a big ‘Whoops!! Sorry!!’ and she clambered up the bank then off into the alder bush. I’m glad she didn’t have a calf with her (wrong time of year anyway) as she may have gone into defense mode instead of retreat mode.
Even with unfavorable weather - nothing beats this. Nothing.
I forgot had some hot chocolate packs, so I set up the stove and made a whiskey hot chocolate. Worked out just fine! 2 or 3 more drinks and I was ready to call it a night.
Followed by a steep climb up to the actual campsite
I managed to stay on the trail for the most part and halfway through my crossing the sun came back to light up the forest. It was a beautiful day. Finally, after 90 minutes I was at the put in for Stag Lake. That portage took a lot longer than expected – probably because I took a lot of breaks. Stag Lake is pretty small and within 10 minutes I was at my next and final portage of the day – a 2000m trail to Devine Lake. Nothing like finishing a 2.7k portage only to be greeted with a 2k portage 10 minutes later, eh?
The 2000m trail was a lot easier to follow and I was happy to Launch on Devine Lake at 2:15pm. The lake was calm and again, I spotted a couple otters in the east bay. They can be so difficult to photograph sometimes and this was one of those times. I pulled up to my campsite and was greeted with a very steep incline leading up to the actual site. Landing aside, I really like this campsite and the fact that it’s the only one on a lake of this size is a huge bonus to me.
The sun decided to come help me out
But once you're up here, it's pretty decent!
Today's plan: Back-track a few kms up the Tim River, then begin the low-maintenance route to Devine Lake
Clouds are lifting - maybe it'll be a decent day after all
Approaching P2000 to Devine Lake
A little bit of sunshine hits my tent nestled in the cedar trees
It's official - it's rained every day so far. Nice weather has been peppered in there, but not enough of it
Another view of the campsite on Devine Lake
...And I was greeted by this fellow
I had an interesting day planned. I would be back-tracking back up the Tim river just a little bit, then taking the two ‘insane’ portages from the Tim River, through Stag Lake and over to Devine Lake – my destination for the night. I’ve always been curious about Devine and today that curiosity would be quenched.
By 10:50am I was at my first portage of the day – that same 125m trail I took a couple days ago but today would be different, as I was no longer double carrying. I relaunched on the other side of the trail and continued up the Tim River. Luckily there is next to no current along the Tim, so upstream travel was no problem. At 11:30am I was at my 2nd portage for the day, P2650 leading to Stag Lake. I was a bit worried about this trail, as I’m told its very difficult to follow. That was only partially true though, anyone who has trail experience knows what signs to look for – old sawn logs being the primary tell. The landing was rough and the first 40m were up a steep hill.
Route Plan: Paddle the Tim River to Shippagew Lake, then Backtrack through Devine and Rosebary Lakes.
Campsite clean & I'm ready to go
Devine Lake was very calm - I should've gone for a paddle
Looking downstream on the Tim River from P2650
Looking south down Shippagew Lake
Quite the climb at the beginning of P2650
A beautiful October day
Finally down to single-carrying for the rest of the trip
I don't think I'll ever get tired of BLT's for breakfast in the backcountry
One of several breaks I took along this trail - but happy to be single-carrying!
Back at P125 - let's see how my single carry goes
I setup camp and spent the rest of my afternoon collecting firewood & enjoying some whiskey by the fire. I debated checking out the old hollow on the island (the one that poachers would camp in, hidden from rangers), but decided to save that for another time. Dinner tonight is chili & garlic bannock – you can’t go wrong with this combo. Dishes done, campsite clean, food hung – nothing left to do but enjoy the fire and silence.
That tarp has saved my ass countless time on this trip so far - and I have a feeling it will continue to do so
Somewhere along P2000 between Stag Lake and Devine Lake
A dead-calm Tim River
This campsite has a very small landing
Not the most inviting looking lake to be honest
Calm morning on 'Otter Bay'
Creepy vibes on Stag Lake - Happy to be leaving
Finally! 90 minute later I arrived at Stag Lake...
Day 5: Shippagew Lake to Devine Lake
Awake early today – out of the tent by 7am. It was overcast, but there was no threat of rain. The lake was dead calm and quiet. With a coffee in hand, I sat down on the rocks to take in the view and silence.
Lone campsite on Devine Lake
I made another BLT for breakfast and enjoyed it with a second cup of coffee. There was a brief moment when I thought the sun was coming out to stay for the day, but it was short lived. Following breakfast, I broke camp and was packed by 10am. I did a quick walk-around the campsite to ensure I didn’t forget anything and by 10:15 I was back in the canoe, headed towards the mouth of the Tim River.
Okay - let's do this!
Shippagew looking like glass
Fire going and water boiling - Whiskey Hot Chocolate is on deck tonight
Yeah, I definitely should have gone for a paddle