Monday, December 21, 2015

Eustache Lake - so pleased to make your acquaintance! (Part 2)

So just to refresh, it's December 20, 2015 and we're portaging our way to Eustache Lake in Algonquin Park. 

It is the deepest lake in the park at over 100 meters deep.

See here for Part 1.

We finally arrived at the portage end and pretty much had a frozen bay. It was a couple of centimeters thick so we wouldn't be able to ice-break our way through it. LT put the canoe down, I dropped my bag and we wandered a bit further along the shore to see if we could get a to an access point we might be able to use.
Frozen bay
There was no portage sign to tell us we were at the right point, but there was the slightest sliver of a piece of yellow stuck underneath a nail on the tree. Yeah, this is it.

Not very far along we found a point that the canoe might be able to be launched from. We went back and got both my bag and the canoe.

This is taken after we've come back ashore after paddling the whole lake
Initially the sound of the canoe on the ice was very similar to the sound of it being on rocks. We didn't have far to icebreak before we were out into open water. 

This lake has 3 campsites on it. Two close to where we launched and one around the corner to our right. It was hard to judge how good these sites are without landing and checking them out. They all looked like they had potential.

Our weather was pretty good. It wasn't above zero, but it wasn't far below. The sun would peek out every once in a while and when it did, it was wonderful. We paddled our way to the end of the lake and when we turned to come back, it was breezy. Another instance of never feeling that wind at your back!

We spied some wildlife across the lake in the water. It seemed to be a swimmer of some sort, not a loon, maybe an otter? We couldn't tell, but witnessed it bobbing up a couple of times. With the high cliffs around most of the lake and no real marshy area where we saw the animal it was hard to figure out what could survive there. 

When we first put in the canoe some cliffs on the opposite side of the lake looked okay. High with lots of trees. Nice. Pretty. Then we went around the corner and the cliffs started to become spectacular! Only pictures can show how gorgeous they are.

A plaque in honor of Jim Hudson (he did not die here)

I think it took us about 45 minutes to do the portage back to the car. We never used a single item in my backpack on our hike. Oh well, mostly I had it in case we needed it. We sat in the car and ate stew with rolls. We didn't bother breaking out the stove and making hot tea.

We tied the canoe back on the car and headed back, literally. LT had to back the car down the train bed until it was safe to turn it around. As we came to the spot where we needed to get off the train bed we saw the right place we should have parked. Oops. We had unintentionallly driven part of that unofficial portage! 

We drove the 75 km back down the gravel road and out onto Highway 17. After a stop at Tim Horton's for a hot chocolate and bathroom break, we were on the highway coming home. It was dark by now. We got to LT's place and unloaded the canoe for the last time in 2015.....we think! 

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the great story and pictures! Feel like i was there.