Saturday, September 19, 2015

Trip log - Kiosk Loop: Sept. 6 to 13, 2015 - Day 2

Manitou Lake to Biggar Lake

Day 2 dawned with nice weather. I didn't sleep very well in my hammock. I'm not sure if it was the hammock, being overtired from the day before, the wind flapping my $35 fly all night, but I never fell asleep until 4 a.m.  Waking up at 7 a.m. I couldn't fall back asleep. Today would be our longest travel distance for the whole trip and I was anxious I wouldn't be able to handle it. LT kept saying "we go as far as we go, we can stop anywhere". But I was still anxious.
Hammock set-up from last night with flappy fly
Shhh, he's still sleeping in his hammock!
Breakfast was fresh eggs with pre-cooked bacon, mmmm. A couple of cups of hot tea and we started to tear down camp. We were on the water at 11:10 a.m. and were facing stiff breezes again today. The wind was still at our faces and we had lots of Manitou Lake to paddle today.

A map of today's trip:
Day 2's route
We had chosen to do the longer route taking the 585m portage instead of the shorter one as the map said there was a pretty waterfall this way. We were lucky, the waterfall was fairly close to the portage end in North Tea Lake. We set our canoe and packs down and retraced our steps to the waterfall. There's a campsite next to the waterfall, but it is very close to the portage. I'm assuming this area is probably fairly well traveled in the summertime. It would have to be something you didn't mind, having people trudge by your campsite as they portaged through to the next lake if you chose this site. On the plus side, you'd have your own natural shower stall running 24/7. Well, except in winter.

Personal shower stall
I had made myself a lunch in my new Thermos when I was making breakfast. I stopped here and ate about half of it. It was good. It was chicken and rice with veggies and a bit of salsa.

Once we were back in the water, we still had more big lake before turning the corner to get a bit of a breeze at our backs. We passed a young couple going into North Tea Lake as we were heading into the narrower Mangotasi Lake. Today was Labour Day and I assume they were headed home whereas we were heading deeper into the park. 
Going into North Tea Lake
Portaging through to Biggar Lake

Hmmmmm, where to put in?
We checked out site after site, getting closer all the time to the next day's portage at the other end of Biggar Lake. It's a pretty lake, but we weren't finding a site we liked. We finally hit the last campsite and took it. It is a low-lying site. There were a few mosquitoes here. We had a strong wind last night, but not tonight, tucked around a corner on a smaller lake.

There was no fire tonight but we took out the Thermo Cell that I had bought for this trip. We did have the bug shelter tarp and screen tent, but it can be a pain to set it up if we're not going to use it. LT started the Thermo Cell near the fire pit where we were cooking.

Tonight's dinner was pasta with pineapple upside down cake for dessert.

I decided to try swimming. I really just put on my bathing suit and dunked a bit, but it felt good. Today it had been warm and a bit muggy once we got out of the wind on the big lakes. LT joined me for a quick dunk as well. Afterwards sitting by the firepit, we both felt itching on our skin. Uh-oh. It didn't last too long and would disappear if we covered the area (like put on socks).

I think we were in bed well before 10 tonight. I was exhausted with only 4 hours of sleep last night. I slept better, but woke up a lot. It was much quieter tonight, no flappy fly. LT had bought a much nicer tarp that he took out of his bag and I used it for the rest of the trip. Neon green!
The ground was spongy under the hammocks, ick!

You can see the Thermo Cell in the last picture, perched on a rock of the fire pit. It comes with butane canisters that last 12 hours. It comes with 3 inserts that I assume have the chemical that spurns the bugs. Each insert lasts 4 hours. I had also purchased an extra box of canisters and inserts. We brought 2 canisters and 6 inserts. Well, we went to bed leaving the Thermo Cell running, so the butane canister burned for 12 hours with the insert running out after the first 4 hours. D'oh! Lesson learned there. It doesn't make any noise, you can see a bit of mist/smoke coming off of it in the right lighting when the insert is activated. But we'd basically forgot it was running. Thank goodness the bugs were really not bad at all.

On today's trip we saw a couple of herons, usually surprising them as we came around a corner into a marshy area. If I kept my mouth shut more and paddled quieter maybe they wouldn't move. But then we wouldn't see them, they do blend in quite well with their surroundings.

Today's numbers:

Portage #5: 585m
Portage #6: 305m 
Portage #7: 50m
Portage #8: 140m
Total portage distance for the day: 1.08 km 
Total distance for the day: 21 km
Total time spent travelling: 6 hours

Other posts for this trip:

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