Friday, June 05, 2015

Trip Log - Day 3: Grand Lake to Upper Spectacle Lake; in to Little Carcajou Lake and Return (Victoria Day Weekend 2015)

go to Day 1                go to Day 2              Day 3

I woke up very early and opened the tent to see mist hanging over the lake.  I was tempted to get up and take pictures, but I was tired so I just went back to sleep.  When we finally did get up the lake was like glass.

The beaver wasn’t shy.  He was swimming around his bay early the next morning.  Breakfast today was pancakes with dried blueberries in them.  And this is where I finally realized I had forgotten something – the maple syrup for the pancakes.  We ended up putting extra butter on, sprinkling white sugar on top, with some cinnamon.  They were almost as yummy as they would have been with maple syrup.  And we ate the last of the bacon.
Mr. Beaver's Den
We packed up camp.  We were on the water by 10.  It took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to do the portage.  It was 20 minutes less than on the way in, but those 20 minutes were spent by LT cutting back the tree that had been blocking the trail.  When we were paddling through the pond we saw a pair of turtles out sunning on a log in the middle of the pond.  One was shy and slipped into the water but the other turtle didn’t budge.

Dam on the other side of the lake
It was nice to have the hardest portage of the day done first.  The rest of the trip felt leisurely.  There were campers on both sites on Upper Spectacle Lake – and they knew each other.  There were about 10 tents pitched in total for the 2 sites.  Lots of people.  Lower Spectacle had 2 canoes out floating around, both campsites were occupied.  Again, each campsite had a large number of people.

We got to the top of Carcajou Bay, the easy put-in on the smooth rock.  However, there was a crowd of people, adults and children, all spread out sitting on the rock.  And no one was moving to give us much space to land the canoe.  Someone had a dog.  That wasn’t the worst of it.  When we got to the other end there were 4 kayaks and 2 canoes all tied up at the small put-in, making a tricky move even more difficult to accomplish.

It was the same story at the next portage.  Somewhat fewer people, a dog not on a leash, and a canoe completely across the spot we needed to launch from.  We learned a valuable lesson that day.  If we want to avoid seeing people, don’t camp near here.

LT lost his footing on the very last put-in into Grand Lake and got both feet soaking wet right up to the knees.  What I forgot to mention is that today was a gorgeous blue-sky day and warm.  Once we were in the canoe he took his shirt off and I took off my long-sleeved beige shirt to my t-shirt. 

We were in no hurry and took advantage of the time to hug the shore on our right to check out the campsites there.  I predict that we will never use one of these sites – too many people.  The campsites are pretty trampled and worn.  We commented on the portage exit we missed the first time on this lake together as we paddled by it.  We crossed to the final beach point where we were taking out the canoe.  It was nice to be here on a day that was quieter as everyone else is staying one more night. 

Things we learned on this trip?  Take the saw when doing a hike to check out a portage to get rid of the blow downs while not loaded up.  And don’t bother going to the campsites in the Carcajou Falls area if we want some peace, quiet and isolation.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Especially on a long weekend.

We skipped breaking open the bags to make KD for lunch at Achray.  Dealing with the dirty dishes alone isn’t worth it.  Instead we hightailed it for the first chip wagon we could find and I drank not one, but TWO cans of Coke!

The car was making some funny noise when we got home.  I brought it to my mechanic and had to replace a broken link in the back end (well, the parts come in a pair, I think – he replaced both).  $214 later.....that dirt road is hard on the car.
Little Carcajou Lake

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  1. Sounds like a great trip. You and LT certainly eat well! !

  2. I have a lot of fun planning and preparing food for the trips. And I carry most of the food, so the lighter I can make it, the better! I'll write a post one day just about food preparation.