Friday, November 02, 2018

Trip Log - Kiosk Loop: August 23 to 27, 2018 - Day 3

While I was still in my hammock around 6 a.m. I heard a paddle in the lake and peeked out to see a kayaker glide by very close to our campsite. He was headed towards the portage to Manitou. There might have been a second person with him, I didn't hear a second paddler but L.T. thinks he did.

A group of 7 merganser ducks floated by silently, one of them quacking very quietly, guiding the flock through their moves.

We stayed in the hammocks a bit later today, until 7 a.m. I had a headache, probably from the angle of my inflatable pillow. We didn't have a real breakfast today. Just a cup of tea with some granola I had made and brought along for a snack. L.T. prepared KD and bacon for our Thermoses for lunch today.

It was a red sky morning and rain was forecast for the afternoon/evening.

Here is today's map and the plan for the day:

Jeff's maps

550m into North Sylvia Lake
660m into Boggy Lake
1490m into Dahinda Lake
390m into Maple Lake
170m into Erables Lake

We did this exact same route a few years ago. Halfway through the route, halfway through that trip, halfway through the 1490m portage, I fell on a slippery boardwalk. I wrenched a knee that was already sensitive from a previous injury (torn meniscus). It's one thing to slip and fall, but to do it with a full backpack on, it can do a lot more damage. Today I would face my nemesis!

We packed up camp and started our journey at 10:10 a.m. It only took 10 minutes to cross the lake. It took another 25 minutes to walk to the next lake. We were ready to launch into Boggy Lake. We were across that by 11. We weren't 100% sure where the portage put-in was as the sign was down. 

I think these pictures are of the end of Boggy Lake, going into Dahinda. Boggy Lake isn't very boggy.

Nice put-in
Taking a break
It took us 45 minutes to do the 1490m portage into Dahinda. We took one break on that portage. As I came upon the first boardwalk, I was nervous. The boards were wet and slippery. I stepped very carefully, small steps. Phew! Then we got to the second boardwalk. This was the one. Again, I took very small steps using my trekking poles to support me. Done!

We stopped on Ratrap Lake, the island campsite (circled on the map) for lunch. It was a nice site, quite hilly. We broke out the Thermoses and were disappointed to find our KD wasn't very warm. I had to spill some of mine too. I only cried over the spilt bacon. 

Back into the canoe, we headed to the 390m into Maple. As I started down the trail, a very large frog jumped in front of me. I had been seeing quite a bit of frogs this trip, usually very small and sandy brown. This one was very dark. He startled me and I shrieked. L.T. didn't hear me and as he followed me down the path, the frog pulled the same trick, but got caught on the toe of his hiking shoe. The poor frog flew through the air like one of those cartoon frogs. L.T. felt bad, but it's hard to react with a full backpack on and a canoe on your shoulders.

It started to rain during this portage. It was heavily raining by the time we got to Maple Lake.

Perfectly balanced canoe

Rainy Maple Lake

As we came around the corner into Maple we saw the most spectacular site. With the rain, the hills were all silhouetted against each other, each one a different shade of grey. It was surreal and beautiful. I didn't have access to my camera, it was safely packed away protected from the rain. Sorry!

One last portage for the day and it was a short one. 170m, but still the same amount of effort to land the canoe, take the bags out, carry them and the canoe over, put the canoe in, load it and launch. All during the rain.

The portage crosses a road that crosses the creek

The creek

The road crossing
As we paddled into Erables, there was a small rock of an island with a dead tree on it. Perched in the tree were about 20 cormorants. It was a striking site.

Cheater photo(taken on Monday when most of the cormorants were swimming around)
Our strategy was to check out the first campsite on the left. We went to that site and weren't very impressed. We continued on to the second site. We'd stayed at this site before a few years ago and liked it. So we came back. It had a horrible put-in, but once up on the island, it was a nice campsite.

First order of business was to get a tarp up. Second order of business was to get the hammocks hung. I usually hang my hammock on my own, but I got help today. I was soaked through. I thought my MEC bike jacket was fully waterproof, but it leaked. I was cold. And cranky. 

Generally I really enjoy making food before the trip, dehydrating and prep. On the trip, I enjoy putting the meal together. Usually it's a bit more work than just pouring boiling water into a bag. There can be several steps. Given that the kitchen is on the ground, I have to be careful and use various dishes to coordinate the rehydration of the different parts of the meal. Tonight I would be a bit lazy and the dinner was soft tacos. I had the contents of what would go into the soft tacos, and a package of taco shells. I poured boiling water into a pot, added the contents, and left it to rehydrate. Doing it this way takes a bit more time, but saves on fuel. I just have to boil the water.

We were supposed to have cheese with this, we usually bring individually wrapped cheese strings, but they got forgotten in the fridge. Oops. But this meal was still pretty delicious. I use canned white chicken meat, rice, taco seasoning, veggies, red pepper, onions, corn - all dehydrated by me.

Dessert was a bit easier, raspberry crumble. I use my Thermos to rehydrate raspberries (I dry frozen ones) with sugar, when we're ready to eat it, I sprinkle homemade granola on top. Yum!!!

L.T. kindly did the dishes tonight. I didn't pull out my camera to document dinner, I was too hungry and tired.

One scene that we witnessed, a squirrel was wrestling with a mushroom about half his size. He managed to uproot it, then getting it in his mouth, he managed to drag it up a tree. I never knew that squirrels ate mushrooms! 

By now we had 2 tarps up. One overhead and one protecting us from the wind coming off the lake. 
We did not have a campfire tonight (or the next night). On an island there isn't much wood to burn, plus it had been raining, and it's a lot of work to gather and prepare the wood to burn.

It was another early night, I was in my hammock around 9:30. At 1 a.m. I woke up to a frightening sight. It was raining and the rain was coming into my hammock and making my down sleeping bag wet. Yikes! L.T. was awake as well, so I yelled over to him to tell him about my dilemma. He gallantly jumped out of his hammock to hook my fly onto my hammock ropes to help bring the fly down closer to me. Also I have a dollar store flexible windshield reflector I put between my mattress and my sleeping bag to reflect my body heat back to me. I pulled that out and put it on top of my sleeping bag to stop the bag from getting any wetter.

In any case I was still warm. I had another down liner inside my sleeping bag and it wasn't wet. I did have to get up to go to the bathroom, so I did get rained on a bit. I gratefully climbed back into my bag and was fine the rest of the night. Well, except for having hunger pangs.

Day 1                  Day 2                     Day 4                        Day 5

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