Dry feet though!
It was 7am when I crawled out of the tent and I immediately started breaking camp. I don’t usually hang around too long on exit days, makes the drive home much worse than it has to be. I boiled water for coffee and decided to have my dehydrated meal for breakfast. Chicken Vindaloo and coffee. I’ve had worse combos; it wasn’t that bad.
Even the canoes are still fast asleep
I was very wrong - the amount of wind I battled between this photo and the one above generated at least a dozen new curse words
Landing for P3480 to David Creek
Getting a little narrow in here
Today's plan: Rosebary Lake back to the car via David Creek
Ralph Bice Lake. Doesn't look too bad for wind, nice!
Turns out I was headed in the right direction and this is just a really narrow creek topped off with a minor log jam
Small waterfall at the David Creek end of P3480
I'm really starting to second guess if I'm going the right way
Very happy to be standing on solid ground again
Last tear-down of the trip.. Even with all the shit weather I'm kinda sad to be leaving today
At the mouth of the creek, a log jam decided to push my luck just one more time – but my feet remained dry! Around 11:40 I entered Mubwayaka Lake and the wind decided to kick up. Not just a little wind either, a fairly strong headwind that would not allow me to stop paddling without being blown back or completely off course. I knew the next couple hours were going to suck and I was concerned about how bad Ralph Bice Lake was going to be.
This sign is a liar! It's 3480m, not 3375m. I want a refund!
Okay I definitely went the wrong way
50 minutes after leaving Rosebary, I was happy to finally reach David Creek
Nice beach on Rosebary Lake. Too bad it's October
I had never paddled David Creek before, so once again it was nice to cover some new territory. The creek is beautiful but I kept second guessing if I was going the right way or not – the creek kept getting narrower as I went along – which had me wondering if I made a wrong turn somewhere. Eventually it opened back up and I was met with a couple beaver dams. I managed to keep my feet dry but there was a close call, or two.. or more.
Car loaded, canoe topped - the only left to do is enjoy an ice cold beer
After a horrible 45-minute paddle, I came around a corner and was in a bay protected from the wind. I took another short break at P295 before making the crossing to Hambone Lake. Hambone was dead calm and I was grateful for it, my arms were numb. It was a relaxing paddle and before I knew it I was at my final portage of the trip. Another quick crossing then I made the short paddle back to the dock at Lake Magnetawan. Exhausted, I beached my canoe next to the dock then retrieved my car form the parking lot – and a special surprised I had in the trunk for this very moment. An Ice-cold beer. I relaxed on the dock enjoying my beer before loading the car and heading home. Another successful trip in the books.
At 1pm I was on the shore of Ralph Bice Lake and just as I had suspected, it was windy. It didn’t look too bad from the landing, but that’s because a nearby island was hiding the true force of the wind. I launched my canoe and skirted the leeward side of the island, but once I was out of the island’s protection, it became a bit of a shit show. The wind was strong and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t let out a few curse words when I was struggling just to maintain course and get an inch forward. I’m not one to kneel in a canoe, but today I was forced to do so. It was just too risky to sit up on the seat, the wind and waves were about 10% away from me becoming officially windbound. It was frustrating because I was so close to the end – but Algonquin did not want me to leave.
Route Plan: Paddle the Tim River to Shippagew Lake, then Backtrack through Devine and Rosebary Lakes.
I started down the trail and 10:05am. By 10:21am I arrived at Pezheki Creek and had to drop everything, load and launch the canoe to make the 4m bridgeless crossing. Continuing along and I managed to get to David Creek by 10:58am – pretty damn good if you ask me, especially compared to P2650 leading to Devine Lake a couple days ago. What a difference a lighter pack, clear trail and solid footing can make. There is a small waterfall at the end of this trail and since I was well ahead of schedule I spent about 20 minutes relaxing next to it and just enjoying where I was in that moment. The sky was overcast but it wasn’t raining – so I was very happy about this!
David Creek and what appears to be... more rain on the horizon
Jeffrey and Deki rolled out of their tent around 8am and they were surprised to see I was completely packed up. They weren’t in any rush as they had a short travel day down the Tim River to Shah Lake. Last night at the fire they mentioned their stove has malfunctioned and was completely inoperable. Since I was leaving today, I had no need for my stove and I had an extra 110g full fuel can. I insisted they take it, along with the rest of my whiskey – they still had 4 or 5 more days before their trip ends at Source Lake.
Ummmm on second thought, maybe not
Exhausted, I reached P90 leading to David lake and I took a break to catch my breath and have a snack. I didn’t have much food left – two Clif bars, two fruit bars and about 100g of peanuts. Pretty decent planning for an 8-day trip. After a short break, I crossed the trail and launched onto a windy David Lake. There was a group camped on the island and I could see a red canoe waiting at the take out of P620. By the time I reached the portage, two ladies launched the red canoe and headed in the opposite direction. I was a little jealous of their tailwind to say the least.
Hambone end of P295 from Ralph Bice Lake
Jeffrey & Deki still snoozing away
Do ya feel lucky? Well? DO YA? I didn't, so I crossed on the rocks instead
This portage down and only one left to go. Kinda bittersweet
Myself, Deki & Jeffrey. Now for the question everyone wants to ask: WHERE IS UNLOSTIFY ALGONQUIN?? A: It's coming, chill.
A quick launch, short crossing and continued down the trail to David Creek
Last portage of the trip - Hambone end of P135 to Magnetawan Lake
Oh good - wet feet coming up!
Day 8: Rosebary Lake to Magnetawan Lake via David Creek
I woke up starving this morning and it wasn’t until I looked in my food bag that I realized none of us ate dinner last night. We just drank and chilled by the fire. I’m surprised I’m not hungover to be honest.
Somewhere in this meadow is David Creek
Hambone's water is a little too green - anyone check for an algae bloom?
Is... is this how canoes are born?
One last goodbye to Rosebary Lake
At 9:45am I said goodbye to the boys, snapped a photo and launched on a dead calm Rosebary Lake. I didn’t have a long day ahead of me (16km) but my day began with the longest portage of the trip – a 3480m ending at David Creek. The only thing about this portage that I was looking forward to was the fact I had no food weight to drag across with me – that and it followed an old road for a good chunk of the trail, which always makes things a bit easier.
Pezheki Creek - I have to admit, I was pretty tempted to see how far I could go - this used to be a canoe route after all