Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trip Log - Kiosk Loop: August 23 to 27, 2018 - Day 1

I've been in the park a few times this summer, but this was my first camping trip for 2018. A loop is planned, leaving the Kiosk access point, going into Manitou, through Three Mile Lake, over to Erables for two nights, and back to Kiosk via Maple Creek.

Departure time was planned for 4:30 a.m. It's a long drive from Ottawa to the Kiosk access point, the northernmost access point of Algonquin Park. We mostly stuck to the timetable with a slight detour to pick up an emergency paddle. We stopped for breakfast at the truck stop by the highway in Pembroke. 
On the road
Early morning mist
Gorgeous sunrise

We weren't the only canoeists at the breakfast stop
We arrived at the access point at 9:45 a.m. It is right on the beach/launching point. 
Kiosk Access Point
Canoe's pretty profile
See the small black item on the top of the canoe's nose? That's where the GoPro gets mounted. That is if it doesn't get forgotten on the beach. 
Not flat, but not too wavy
Getting the canoe ready to launch
By 10:30 a.m. we were on the water. It's about 6 km to the portage into the Amable du Fond River which leads to Manitou Lake. The first portage can either be one longer one, or two shorter ones with a bit of water in between which often needs to be lined at one point. L.T. lined the canoe. It took us about 2 hours to get to the river after this section.

Today's route (Jeff's maps)
As we landed at the first portage, it was apparent there was someone already there. There was only one canoe, but a lot of other bags and a barrel strewn about the landing. It turns out we'd run into a group of 13 teens on their 18th day of a 21-day trip. They were walking the full portage, whereas we put in between the two shorter ones.

We do single portaging. One carry, one walk, no retracing of steps. It can be hard, especially on the first day as we carry all our food then. But it certainly saves a lot of time and a lot of walking. Double carrying means you walk each portage 3 times. Except for a couple of 130m portages, all our carries were single carries.

And this is where L.T. realized that the GoPro got forgotten on the beach. Oh well. It would either be turned into that very conveniently placed access point office, or it wouldn't. But it did mean that we wouldn't get any GoPro footage this trip.

When we got to the beginning of the river, all the canoes were there with most of their gear. They made room for us to put in and we easily made it to the 1355m portage into Manitou well before them. A large group is very slow to move. We do single carries and they were doing double and triple carries.

It took us 25 minutes to paddle to the 1355m portage, after resting for 15 minutes we started walking the portage and finished it at 1:30, in 20 minutes. 

Start of portage into Manitou from Amable du Fond River
Looking into the Amable du Fond River
Made it to Manitou Lake
A nice walk in the park
Me and my backpack
Looking a bit windy
It's not getting any better
It wasn't very late in the day, but we made a decision. We walked over to the campsite near the portage end at the beach and claimed it. It was very windy and wavy. Tomorrow was a paddle to the portage to Three Mile Lake, a long portage, further than either of us had done before, and not much paddling after that. We wouldn't be that far behind if we just plunked ourselves down and enjoyed the rest of the day at this site. Which isn't a bad one, actually. 

It was 2:00 p.m. and we sat down to eat our fresh lunch of cured meat, Welsh cheese and fruit.

Not a bad site
The campsite front - lovely
My hammock, my backpack hung up for the night
We did some exploring walking along the shore. On one side it was immediately apparent that there was a cottage with a gorgeous view down the lake. Here are a few pictures of that cottage.

The view from the cottage

Possibly the cottage owner
We also hiked along a trail in the opposite direction of our campsite. It led to two other cottages that were not in as good shape as the first one we found. But they are still in an envious position, cottages in Algonquin Park.

I found a downed birch and decided to cut a few logs for dinner. 

Using the saw
Here are some pictures from dinner preparation:

Steak, potatoes and carrots ready at 6:30 p.m.
Firing up the stove
Setting up the campsite
The kids had come out onto the beach about 45 minutes behind us and decided to wait out the wind. They spent several hours waiting, but it got worse instead of better. Poor kids, they finally headed out. It took them quite a while to make any progress. We watched them and felt sorry for one canoe that didn't seem to be able to keep up with the rest. Finally they pulled out of sight.

The evening was lovely, well as far as the sky was concerned.

Sun setting on the right

Moon rising on the left
Bedtime was early as we planned to get up early and out on the lake as soon as possible the next morning. I was in my hammock by 9 p.m.

Day 2                         Day 3                     Day 4                  Day 5

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