Friday, June 26, 2015

Trip log - Day 3: Cedar Lake to Carl Wilson, June 2015

go to Day 1                      go to Day 2                      Day 3
Interesting Pine Tree
Today would be an easy day.  No portaging.  Just paddling.  Hopefully Cedar Lake wouldn’t be rough.  We slept in until 8 again.  When I first woke up I opened the tent door to open the fly to see what the weather was like.  There were so many mosquitoes trapped between the tent and the fly I just quickly shut the tent door.
Breakfast was blueberry pancakes with reheated bacon, butter and maple syrup.  Yummy.  I mix the water into the Ziploc bag the pancake mix is in, stir it up, cut a tiny hole in one corner and squeeze the mixture onto the hot fry pan with butter melted in it. 
We relaxed after breakfast and ended up leaving the site around 11.  As we headed down the lake it was overcast ahead of us.  Behind us there was blue sky with lots of puffy clouds.  We skirted the shore along our right to check out all the campsites we could between the top of the lake and the access point.  This brought us into the bay where the Nipissing River empties into the lake.  The lake is quite wide here and we crossed the bay over to the other side. 
We could hear an engine.  It sort of sounded like a motorboat, which is permitted on this lake, but it never seemed to progress anywhere.  LT noticed something moving back and forth along the shore near where it might be a private cottage.  Turns out, it was a guy mowing the grass, LOL.
I thought we had another major distance to go.  We had stayed at a point across from the access site on the last trip here and I thought it was in a different bay than the Nipissing.  Turns out I was very happily wrong and we were ashore in no time.  The part where the Petawawa River flows into the lake was just not visible from the angle we were at. 
As we were rounding the point we were taking bets as to how many cars would be in the access point parking lot.  I said 5, LT said 7.  Turns out there were four, the same number that had been there when we left 2 days earlier.
Only 4 cars
While getting everything loaded into the car to go home, a white car showed up with a party of 5 younger people.  They were here for a picnic - the 2 men were carrying a cooler between them.  No one had sleeves and everyone was in shorts or a dress.  I was wondering how long it would be before they would be driven back to the car by the mosquitoes. 
We had two stops on the way home.   The first very important stop was at Freddie’s chip truck in Deep River (we needed lunch!).  The second for gas when the indicator light went on, oops, right in Arnprior, phew!  We were at LT’s place shortly after 6 p.m.
Things we did different this trip?  LT scooped up the water we’d use at the campsite while we were fully loaded in the middle of the lake instead of making a special trip out after we’d unloaded.  That went well.  And I tried my trekking poles to wade with.  I made my own afterbite, a recipe from the internet.  Baking soda, water, and tea tree oil.  I put it in the wrong bottle, it was a pain trying to get the paste out.  Monday morning I stepped out of the office to go to Shoppers to buy the real thing.  As I’m applying the Life brand version, it smelled of tea tree oil.  The main ingredient? Baking soda.  And tea tree oil.  But it comes in a nice cooling gel, not the gunk I was trying to shake out of a small essential oil bottle.

If you want solitude in the park - go during heavy bug season!  It was nice to pretty much have the park to ourselves.  Each time we access the park at Cedar Lake it seems to be a better experience.  For our first sighting of Cedar Lake last year we had a couple of very breezy days with high waves and rollers.  Cedar Lake was almost passive this trip. 

Carl Wilson is a nice lake, very quiet. There are a couple of significant hardwood areas on the lake, it would be nice to come back in the fall to see if the leaf colours are bright.  The portaging isn't too strenuous and could be downright pleasant without bugs.  I'd definitely do this route again.  But in the meantime there are so many other beautiful areas in the park to discover!

Wildlife Seen:
The crown jewel was seeing the moose on Saturday morning for sure.  Other than the bazillion mosquitoes, we saw loons, territorial seagulls, a pair of Merganser ducks taking off, a snake, and a tiny frog that was our welcoming committee at our Saturday camp site.

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