Round Trip -- George Lake to Norway Lake, via Freeland Lake and Kakakise Creek and Lake; back via Chikanishing River, Killarney Lake, Chikanishing River and Freeland Lake
Andrea, Margaret, Michelle and Margaret's Springer Spaniel
1 X 17.5' Swift Winisk (53 lbs.)
Travel: George Lake to Kakakise Lake, via Freeland Lake and Kakakise Creek
Time: 12:15 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. = 4 hrs, 55 min.
(NOTE: Times in this Trip Log are based upon two trips across each portage -- one with canoe and food; one with gear)
Weather: Breezy, warm
Canoe distance: 9 km
Portage distance: 80m + 1975m = 2055m
(The 1975m portage parallel to Kakakise Creek can sometimes be skipped by paddling/wading the river and lifting over beaver dams... water levels were too low when we did this route. The approach to this portage from Freeland Lake was more difficult than most, involving pulling the canoe part way through a shallow marsh, lifting up over a dam and then paddling about 10m through deeper water from the dam to dry land.)
Travel events: Margaret gets feet stuck in the ooze at the bottom of the marsh leading to the Kakakise portage (suction city!!!); Michelle and Andrea can't stop eating all afternoon!; Margaret's first long solo portage of a canoe
Quote of the day: "Damn this #*%* dam!"
Camp: Kakakise Lake, site # 9... good site with a nice view of the lake
Supper: Pita pizzas, Rice Krispie squares
Camp events, evening: No one else on Kakakise Lake the night we were there; A curious loon paddles by our camp; Small campfire to burn leftover dinner; Food pack hanging frustrations; Too tired to brush teeth... bed at 9:30 p.m.!
Overnight: Breezy, cool
Camp events, the following morning: We sleep-in until 10:15 a.m.; Leisurely breakfast; Margaret is informed that she has a black eye... it doesn't hurt and no one can recall the eye being hit with anything... maybe a bug bite on the eyelid hit a blood vessel?
Travel: Kakakise Lake to Norway Lake
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. = 3 hrs, 50 min.
Weather: Warm and sunny; Windy in afternoon
Canoe distance: 2.5 km
Portage distance: 1470m
(This portage involves a gradual climb -- an increase in elevation of 70m over about a kilometre -- and then a downhill and level hike into Norway Lake -- a decrease of 55m over the last half kilometre)
Travel events: Deer flies attack Margaret on the portage; We are surprised by the blue-green colour of the water in Norway Lake... very beautiful!
Camp: Norway Lake, site # 11... great site with room for about three tents, and an excellent fire pit area and view of the lake
Supper: Kraft Dinner, bannock turnovers (with home made blueberry jam filling)
Camp events, evening: Small campfire for roasting marshmallows; "Frog chorus" in nearby marshy area begins about 8:30 p.m.; Bed at 9:30 p.m.
Quotes of the day:
"IT WOULD BE BEST if you carry the canoe straight through the black muck in the middle of the path." (while I walk on the dry part at the edge)
"We're in bed and it's still light out!"
Overnight: Frog, loon and wolf chorus... frogs keep up the croaking all night long!
Camp events, the following morning: Andrea wakes up with a swollen eyelid that hurts and has no idea why... Margaret still has her mysterious black eye from the previous day... Michelle's eyes are fine... hmmm; Weather looks uncertain, so we pack up camp without having breakfast and hit the water
Travel: Norway Lake to Killarney Lake, via Chikanishing River
Time: 9:40 a.m. - 1:35 p.m. = 3 hrs, 55 min.
Weather: Sunny, then cloudy, then sunny and windy, then rainy and windy
Canoe distance: 5 km
Portage distance: 1390m
(This portage can sometimes be skipped by paddling the Chikanishing River... water levels were too low to allow passage when we were there.)
Travel events: Day 3 at 9:50 a.m.: we see other people for the first time since Day 1 at 4 p.m.; Close-up view of a Great Blue Heron standing and then flying in the marshy area near the portage entrance leading from Norway Lake to Killarney Lake; Brunch en route at site #15 on Killarney Lake; We give directions to a couple of lost canoeists, wandering around the north-east end of Killarney Lake looking for the portage to Freeland Lake (which is located at the south end of the lake); We make a mad dash for the closest campsite, just as the rain begins
Camp: Killarney Lake, site # 18... extremely spacious, flat site with a fabulous view of a white quartzite cliff... only drawback is a difficult take-out area for the canoe
Camp events, afternoon: Rain stops after about 40 minutes; Napping (Andrea) and "Baking" bannock cake for supper (Margaret and Michelle)
Supper: Minestrone soup, cheese and crackers
Camp events, evening: Sunny skies return; Margaret throws a surprise party for Michelle and Andrea, to congratulate them on almost-completing their first canoe trip since they were kids and to welcome them as founding members of the "Circle Eight Canoe Club"... balloons, a banner, certificates, commemorative keychains, etc. are presented... Bannock cake for everyone, including the dog!
Quotes of the day:
"At least I don't look like Elmer Fudd!"
(Andrea's snappy comeback re: Michelle's rain coat, after Michelle comments on how goofy Andrea looks in rain gear)
"Where's the boat?!"
(Our campsite was so spacious that Andrea couldn't remember where the take-out for the canoe was!)
Overnight: C-c-c-cold and windy (Andrea wears every item of clothing she owns to bed; Margaret shares her sleeping bag with the dog); Michelle is up half the night with indigestion... too many Smarties or too much soup and cake???
Travel: Killarney Lake to George Lake, via Chikanishing River and Freeland Lake
Time: 9:10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. = 3 hrs, 20 min.
Weather: Cool and windy
Canoe distance: 8 km
Portage distance: 455m + 80m = 535m
Travel events: Saw a Turkey Vulture sitting on a rock in Freeman Lake (we're NOT DEAD YET, buddy!); Strong headwinds down the length of George Lake
Canoeing/portaging travel time: 16 hrs
Canoe distance: 24.5 km
Portage distance: 5.5 km
Overall canoeing/portaging distance: 30 km (82% water travel; 18% portages)
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