Thursday, June 11, 2015

Trip Log - Day 3: Grand Lake to Clemow Lake and back (Victoria Day Weekend 2014)

go to Prologue     go to Day 1     go to Day 2     Day 3

We had planned on being up and out early the next morning.  I got up at 7:30 but let LT sleep.  His blue foam mattress wasn’t really that comfy, so as I left the tent I suggest he roll over onto mine.  He eventually did and slept until 9.

Clemow Lake Morning Mirror
Breakfast was blueberry pancakes, real maple syrup, more bacon and hot tea.  We packed up, headed out and crossed the lake in no time.  The portage was not difficult, by now we had walked it multiple times.  We saw a younger man at the portage end.  It wasn’t the couple from Clemow Lake.  He was wearing only shorts and watershoes (I still had long pants, long sleeves, a jacket and hat on), had a full face beard with an afro, and had been carrying a heavy canoe pack.  It looked like he’d just jumped in the lake to cool down (that would be a very cold cooling down for sure).  Then he headed back up to the train track and we were setting into the water.  We were back in Grand Lake and faced a 2 hour paddle to the Achray campsite.  LT was looking forward to the little ride we would get passing underneath the train bridge.  That marked about 1/3 of the trip done. 

Shortly after we passed under the bridge we could hear a constant noise behind us.  An aluminum motor boat came into view.  
The man we had seen was sitting in the front, an older man, grey hair sticking out from under his baseball cap at the back.  They were motoring along with what looked like a 5hp motor and were towing a canoe.  Okay, we’d seen the motorboat, the motor was probably underneath it.  But these guys weren’t in Clemow Lake, they weren’t in Grand Lake, they would have to have been up that high trail going to Green Leaf Lake.  I couldn’t imagine the older guy carrying the canoe down that trail.  I couldn’t imagine him just walking the trail.  They were close enough behind us that the canoe had to have been not too far away from the portage end point.  A mystery for sure.

We went that-a-way!
We made good time to the Achray campground.  We weren’t the only ones coming in.  The narrow roadway to the wharf and the beach were crowded with various campers arriving.  The Victoria Day weekend is indeed a popular time for everyone to come out and get back to the camping they’ve been thinking about all winter!


Once home and looking over Jeff’s map, I came to the conclusion that the mystery team may have used the train track to get to an older, traditional portage that wove more accurately through the hills to Carcajou Lake.  I thought with the lack of foliage, it would be easier to find and follow.  But, alas, we’ll never know.

Our next trip was an overnighter at Sec Lake.

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