Monthly Archives: July 2009

Harris Nature Center

The Harris Nature Center has invited those members who have helped with the clearing of the Red Cedar River in the past and helped on the Community Canoe Event to a cookout at the Center on Wednesday, August 19 at 6:00 p.m.

Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass.  Please RSVP your planned attendance to the Center at (517) 349-3866 so they may plan food accordingly.  The Harris Nature Center is also celebrating its 12th anniversary so please come join the fun!

In addition, the Club is planning on working on the river clearing September 11-12 in preparation for this year’s Community Canoe Event September 26.  Please contact me if you are available to help with the river clearing and the canoe event at witewtr58@aol.com.

Jay Hanks, LOAPC President

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Grayling to Oscoda canoe and kayak trip

OK – so I just paddled 187 miles on the Missinaibi River in Ontario and am going to push off again to paddle the 114 miles from Grayling to Oscoda.  We have a full crew of 9-10 people for this journey and possibility of a few others joining us for segments.

It is unlikely I will get any last-minute recruits, but anyone that has ever considered this trip should keep it in mind.  It is IMHO the best week-long river trip in Michigan.  Relatively simple logistics, easy access and egress, and nothing but a wonderful river to wake up to each day.

The campsite selection I choose avoids road access most of the time so there is a definite wilderness feel to the trip.  It also avoids the timing of most canoe rental launches and therefore provides a very quiet and personal experience.

Packing for seven days gives you a good sense of how to prepare for longer trips.  I would never recommend someone canoeing that length of time in Canada without doing the Au Sable first.  It just shows you what works and what doesn’t without the penalty of being stranded in the wilderness.

You can have the Boundary Waters with its canned trips and overuse.  Give me the Au Sable and Ontario everytime.  Michigan has the best rivers and the closest access to Canada.

No sat phone to call in blog updates on this trip, but I will share my river log when I return…….

Jay Hanks

Missinaibi River trip notes

(The following notes were submitted by Rich Bailey on the trip)

Hawk Junction to Mattice. Dan Sullivan, Mary Powell, Bob Dick, Jay Hanks, Emma Bailey and Richard Bailey

 

Friday, July 10: “Headed Up”. Met at Jay’s around 11 & packed & on the road by noon. Stopped and ate at the Voyager Inn just west of the Batachawana. Camped at Alona Bay. The lake was beautiful, but the black flies were thick.

 

Saturday, July 11: “To Stony Portage”. Breakfast in Wawa. Dropped the boats & gear at a landing on Hawk Lake, then parked the vehicles at the train station. Launched about 10:45 AM. Smooth sailing for a while, then the wind came up. Surfing big rollers and some breakers from behind. Pulled off about 1:30 to wait for it to calm down. Had coffee & scrambled around a bit. About 4:30 we thought it was calming down some, so we made a run for it. We had to cross to the far side to make the turn up the arm that leads to Stony portage. The wind came up big time while we were crossing. We were running cross swell through a wind tunnel towards the end, but we made it. The run up the last bay was much easier. We arrived at the falls and started to look for the campsite and portage trail, but it just didn’t look right. We finally found them 50 yards to the right. Set up camp, had dinner then bed.

 

Sunday, July 12: “Blown off Dog Lake”. Light comes around 4:30 – 5 AM. We got up around 6 AM all through the trip. After breakfast & packing we carried Stony Falls, had a short upstream paddle then carried Little Stony on the left, then into Dog Lake. Gentle winds to start, so we set sail. However, the wind starded blowing at least as strong as Saturday. We pulled off on a small island and hung out for awhile. We found just enough room to sit more or less comfortably. After 3 hours or so we thought the wind was dropping a bit so we packed up and headed out. We were about 1 KM out when we realized the Emma’s rain coat had been grabbed by a bush when we were carrying back to load the canoes. Emma & I turned around and went back to get it while the others waited. The wind started to pick up & we fought a head wind back to the the rain caot. Heading back up the waves picked up & we started to get some splash from the breakers. We caught up with the others in a small bay. Explored a bit & found a spot good enough to camp on (more or less). About 4:30 we decided that it was a wind day & did set up camp. Had some heavy gusts & rain later, then some clearing. Much entertainment trying to get Jay’s fishing reel out of the lake where it fell when the foot broke. No luck, but Bob dove in & retrieved it in the morning.

 

Monday, July 13: “Over the height of Land”. Up and off by 7:45 AM. The winds were sailable and we moved right along. Chose not to stop in at Missanabie, but kept going. Lunch at a camp site at the entrance to the narrows. Beautiful flowers, but some trash. The Height of Land portage is boggy to start and end. One canoe at a time to unload. The put in is easier/drier if you go right a bit. Very wet straight ahead. A nice run up Crooked lake but some head wind at the end. Saw a black bear swim across to the far side just before camp. Arrived at a nice camp site about 5:30. No rain today.

 

Tuesday, July 14:”Fairy Point & Barclay Bay”. Very calm this morning. We need a moose to show us the start of the portage to Missinaibi Lake. An easy portage and off on the lake by 9 AM. A short paddle over to Fairy Point to view the pictographs and the rock formations. It was almost chilly by the rocks. This is a very special place. We took lots of pictures, but they really don’t do it justice. It was a blessing that we had a clear calm day as this point has a reputation for being dangerous in a wind. We stopped at Whitefish Falls where the Little Missinaibi river meets the lake for lunch and exploration.  With the sun beating down it seemed almost too hot as we paddled up the lake. We planned to stop at Bells Island to camp, but the site was occupied. Camped at the group site at the Barclay Bay campground. We had time for a swim & to dry out some laundry. There were fresh bear tracks on the beach around the corner.

 

Wednesday, July 15: To the River”. We were up early & packed, but needed to wait for Dan to make a 9 AM phone call. The first pancake breakfast. That worked better than I thought it might have. It rained some in the AM and really picked up after we were through the narrows. We stopped on a sandy beach & squeezed back into the woods to get out of the rain & have some lunch. After four days of lake travel we are on the river! We scouted Quittagene rapids & then ran it. There was no sign of the submerged log sluice at this water level. Emma & I ran a bit too far right & shipped some water. At the campsite past the Hay River a group ahead of us left a “hello” spelled out in orange peels with daisy decorations. Dan checked out the camp and found three paddles, one new. The middle of Long Rapids looked like class II not class I. Emma & I eddied out left half way down then finished the run. Camped about 4:30 at the Flying Post Creek site. Small, but surprisingly few bugs. We saw one moose a long distance ahead during the day.

 

Thursday, July 16: “Fish Fry Potluck”. Up and out and ready for some rapids. Sun rapid was a bit wild. Jay ran Hap’s line to the right, but couldn’t see the rocks to “thread the needle” and banged some. He almost broached on one. At the bottom he pointed up left. We ran that way & plowed through some big waves and wondered why he pointed that way as we didn’t really know what problems he had. I guess that left may have been best after all. Barrel rapids was an easy run. Dan caught 4 walleye & Bob caught 1 in a small rapid. Two of the fish were quite large. We planned to stop at the Peterbell site for a shore lunch with the fish, but there was a large (7 canoes) group there so we had lunch at the bridge & fed the bugs. The weather had been a bit off all day, but it became worse for a while in the marsh. We had a sun shower followed by strong head winds and a blast of rain. There were some very interesting clouds. The weather cleared up before we turned right to the campsite on the rocky outcrop in the marsh. This was a very nice large site with plenty of room and great views. Dan cooked five pans of fish, Mary baked corn bread and we added a two person “Meals With Wheels” and everyone was well fed.

 

Friday, July 17: “The Greenhill Slog”. Off down the river looking for moose, but we saw none. Swamp rapids looked big, but had several lines. Jay took the main left – right run. We wiggled through on the right at the top. At Allen Island there seems to be a new logjam forming 50 yards or so above the main jam and portage. We pushed over two logs to get through. That portage is ugly and rough. We had thought about camping at Wavy Rapid, but were concerned about the large group dropping in late so we chose to get Greenhill out of the way today. Wavy was big. It looked like the second wave would stop & swamp a loaded canoe. Jay & I were reminded of Cucumber Rapid or the runout from Swimmers Rapid on the Yough. We were able to run far right to just above the campsite, then a short portage. It rained some during the day. We were concerned about the water levels at Greenhill, so we opted for the portage. I don’t know which would have been worse, but the portage was an experience. It was very wet and muddy. Carrying the packs wasn’t so bad, but the canoes were another thing entirely. We camped in the tight site at the end of the portage. It rained hard from 8 to 10 or so. Lots of wet gear, but the tents stayed dry.

 

Saturday, July 18: “Rain and Thunder (Falls)”. We were able to break camp and have breakfast before the rain came again. We looked at St. Peter Rapid and gave him the courtesy of a portage. There were complications every where we looked. It could have been fun in a play boat, but on a cool, wet, gray day with loaded trippers, a walk seemed pleasant. It was raining through the Split Rock portage. There was a single tent with a father & son having a lay over day camped there. We pushed on to Thunder Falls where we had planned to camp. The rain stopped before the portage. The class I rapid just before the falls seemed to be washed out, so we had no problems with the landing. We camped at the big site across the pool. This is another special site. There is a big sandy beach and camping area with some more sites back in the forest. The floods have washed sand out from under some of the cedar roots leaving lots of cave like spaces. We hung gear out to dry, but there was not much sun & wind. Dan fished with no luck except losing a bass and his favorite lure in the rapid below.  Mary & Emma explored on the rocks by the falls. I went down to look at the run out rapid.

 

Sunday, July 19: “Bonus Day”. Up and out, but not in a hurry. We puttered around a bit trying to dry out some gear. We had some rain during the night and it became chilly & picked up again after the first rapid. Dan had spotted a good line there when fishing. Drop into the top right eddy then peel out the bottom & go left. In the eddy, Dan found his lucky lure high & dry on a rock. Dan & Mary went up the Fire River to see the falls & trappers cabin. The rest of the group continued down the river. The rain let up after awhile. We stopped at the Brunswick portage for a snack and again to feed the bugs. After this we began to get some sun showers, but still cool. After lunch it changed to sun with fair weather clouds. Yeah!! We camped at the First Lake Rapid island site (rapid 30). This is a great site! We hung everything out to dry. Dan caught a mess of fish for breakfast. Jay hooked a big one twice, but lost it both times. The sky is perfectly clear this evening.

 

Monday, July 20: “Sunshine”. Sunny all day with fair weather clouds in the afternoon. We had fish and pancakes for breakfast, so we didn’t leave until 10:30. Dan & Mary headed over to look at the falls on the creek from First Lake and to fish. We didn’t see them until the Camp 95 Bridge. Stopped at a campsite marked on the bank that was not on any map for a stretch and snack. Lunch & nap was at Camp 95 rapid. Stopped at the bridge to wander around a bit.  Dan, Mary and some fish showed up while we were there. They were getting tired of towing the fish, but we still had a way to go to camp at Two Portages Falls. We arrived at camp about 5 PM. Scouted the runout rapid for the morning & thought it looked ok.

 

Tuesday, July 21: “To Big Beaver”. It’s busy to start on this leg of the trip and then no marked campsites for a long ways. In 1997 we had spotted a cut coming down to the river and explored to find a gravel pit where we camped. That was a late September trip se the day’s were shorter. We had originally planned to camp there again this trip, but decided to try to skip on through to Big Beaver. The run out rapid from Two Portages was fun. We carried the full route around Pond Falls. The class III stretch looked nasty for loaded boats. Carried Devils Cap Falls and had fun running the rest. A little splash, but no big deal. The class II ledge below was an interesting tight right run. Pulled off far left to look at Z-Drag and have lunch. We carried the packs over and ran the far left drop. In 1997 we had lunch on rocks that were underwater today. Quite warm and sunny this afternoon. The path to the gravel pit looked overgrown. We didn’t stop to explore though. The Albany swifts were fun at this water level. At low water it seemed to take two hours of picking and banging to make our way through. This year we were through and into the rapids below in no time. The first rapid was pretty easy. After that Dan & Mary were far left and seemed far below us. I was looking ahead trying to see where we were going to loose the elevation, but couldn’t see the ledge until we were nearly on top of it. I guess that’s why it’s called “Sleeping Beauty”. No problems there though. The final drop is rated class II. We came up to it looking at the far left. I thought we might stop to scout, but ran on through. Dan & Mary had gone left close to the rock. As we were dropping into the wave train we saw them drop into a hole and slowly swamp. We took on about 10 gal of water in the waves, but were able to help pull them to shore while Jay & Bob pushed. Nothing lost except a sock and a fishing pole. As we were coming into Big Beaver we saw three boys fishing from the bank. After we were past we heard them fire up a motorcycle or Quad. As we were portaging into camp we found a new ATV trail cut into the portage. Dan & Mary camped at the upper sites while the rest of us camped at the lower. I was tired, but the next day is a layover day.

 

Wednesday July 22: “Layover Day”. Not long after breakfast two men and a boy came down the new ATV trail in a “Argo” an 8 wheel drive go anywhere utility vehicle to go fishing. Note that we are still in the provincial part and motorized ground access is not allowed. They fished the pool and from the center island, but didn’t have much luck and left around noon. We did laundry, swam, and explored. There were thunderstorms off to the east in the afternoon. We had some light rain. We did a pot luck dinner with much of the remaining camp food this evening. Six men portaged through on their way to Glassy Falls about 6 PM. They were carrying enough gear for a month, but are just headed to Mattice. They said that they had dumped in Albany Rapids (Sleeping Beauty from the sounds of it) and one canoe was taped up. One of the canoes they were carrying was a Scott. I think it’s a popular inexpensive canoe in Canada. Most of those we have seen have been broken below falls & rapids. They let us know that the youth camp group would be coming through tonight as well. They stopped to scout Little Beaver and portaged it. About 8 PM the group from the Sudbury youth camp arrived. Two leaders and 12 campers. This is a high adventure leadership training camp. They are on their way to Moosonee, having put in at Missanabie. We made sure they had room to set up and have the fire ring. The kids set up their three tents in the middle space while the leaders were next to us. Their group also dumped a canoe at Albany Rapids making it three dumps for three groups there. We enjoyed talking with the leaders while they dried out their tent. The tents & wannagan were in the canoe that dumped. Three campers came down to the fire to cook later. They had a big pot to boil for the 12 campers. A pleasant group the kids were all 15. We had a little bit of rain at bed time. Their group had left the Hello at the Hay River camp for another group from the same camp that is several days behind. We were able to return the three paddles we found there. They were grateful as they had lost some while running Greenhill. Talking to the leaders, the Missinaibi is almost an easy river for them given some of the other rivers they have been out on in the past.

 

Thursday, July 23: “to Mattice”. We were up and out early. The Sudbury group weren’t stirring yet. We scouted Little Beaver, but didn’t see any problems & ran it easily. Sharp Rock was basically a lift over rather than a portage today. The launch was a little tricky, but no problems. At Glassy Falls we caught up with the six men that had portaged through the previous evening. We chatted for a while and found that they were from Smooth Rock Falls & Kapuskasing and basically locals. They had only put in at the Camp 95 bridge. The day cleared up and became sunny. At Crow Island Rapids we saw the remains of the Pak Canoe that had wrapped there in early July on the far left. We could see a rocky ledge on the right, but were able to pick our way through the left center with no problems. Arrived in Mattice around 1:30 and called Owen and Denise for shuttle to Hearst. Into Hearst for hotel, shower, and beer. Picked fresh food at the supermarket down highway 11 for dinner & the train the next day. Played cards outside until the skeeters drove us in. The train is running slow this year and didn’t arrive until around 10 PM.

 

Friday, July 24: “Slow Train Home”. Yep, the ACR is running slow this year. 30 MPH on the good tracks and 15 on the bad. We had a Tim’s hike in the AM before portaging the boats & gear from the hotel’s shed to the train. We talked to a couple that the come up yesterday on a “Tour of the Line”. Planned to have dinner at the hotel, stay over, then back to the Soo the next day. They didn’t arrive until about 10 (about 3 hours late) and the hotel restaurant closed then. They were able to get something to eat at the hotel bar, but have a long day ahead today. We were only about 2 hours late arriving at Hawk Junction. Loaded and off to Dan’s place by the Black River. Our car was the random check winner at customs after 40 minutes on the bridge, but no real problem, just another 10 min delay. Dinner at the American Soo then to Dan’s cabin. We arrived there about 10 PM after picking up eggs and bacon for tomorrow.

 

Saturday, July 25: “Home finally”. A big breakfast of bacon eggs, fresh bread and coffee. More rain over night & on the way home. We ran through a good storm south of Shepherd, but no problems. Home and drying out gear. We had a great trip, but it’s good to be home.

Live blogging on the Missinaibi River trip – Final Report IV

I have returned and am filing this report in person.  Here is a link to all of the pictures from the trip:  http://picasaweb.google.com/Witewtr58/Missinaibi2009#

Day 13 – Thursday July 23     Break camp early in light rain but the weather quickly clears up.  Run Little Beaver Rapids-C2 and continue on.  Couple of C1’s and some swifts and the river settles right down with the green forested banks quietly gliding by.  We have 18K to go to Mattice today and the river is moving us along with a steady current.

We lift over Sharp Rock Falls and in no time at all we are portaging around Glassy Falls.  There is easy road access from Mattice to Glassy Falls and even though there is not as much trash as the last time we were here, there is still a significant amount.  Sad.

The only rapids left is a C2 named Crow Rapids with an interesting account posted online a few days before our trip http://explore.outdoorsica.com/blogs/you_can_always_live_on_rice_and_potatoes0/2009/jun/19/the_cream_of_wheat_situation/  If you read through the entire postings until the end, you will find that they wrapped their boat on a rock in Crow Rapids.  As we approach the rapids ourselves, we clearly see the red fabric of their PakBoat still wrapped around the rock they documented.  We all have clean runs down the center and it is with a little sadness as I think about the wreck of their boat.  It is the fifth wrecked boat we have seen on this trip. 

We float on and as the sky clears and the temperature goes up, the Highway 11 bridge comes into view.  The town of Mattice is perched on the high riverbank and we soon are unloading at the municipal park and waiting for our shuttle from Missinaibi Outfitters to take us into Hearst.

We check into the Companion Hotel which offers a storage building to hold our canoes and gear overnight while waiting to catch the morning train.   Food is acquired from a nice supermarket with a great deli and fresh vegetables and our diet is marvelously expanded from the previous two weeks.

Day 14 – Friday July 24    We board the Algoma Central Railway and are immediatley told that the rail times are dramatically lower than before due to slow speeds on certain sections of the track that require maintenance.  It makes us glad we are getting off at Hawk Junction, but even that stretch takes six hours to travel.  We finally unload the gear and canoes from the boxcars at Hawk and reload them on the vehicles that have withstood two weeks of indifference in a dirt parking lot.  We shoot down Highway 17 as it begins to rain on and off again.

It takes almost an hour to cross over the International Bridge back into the U.S.  with everyone being interrogated in Customs.  “What have you been doing in Canada?” I am asked with two canoes strapped to the roof of my truck and the same clothes I have worn every day for the past two weeks on my body.  I am polite and after the obligatory questions of whether I have large amounts of money, citrus, guns, liquor, wood products, and tobacco, I am released.  All I want is something I didn’t have to cook for myself, and then not having to sit on the ground to eat it.

After eating in the American Soo, we we pull into Dan’s cabin  three hours later as darkness envelopes us.  There is little conversation and we quickly are lost in our own sleep.

Day 15 – July 25   We rise to a rainy morning but it is quiet and serene.  We eat breakfast as  a group of scrambled eggs, bacon, homemade bread and coffee. 

The drive home is punctuated by more rain showers but we know we are finally going to get back to our normal lives.  The wilderness is wonderfull but we did not equip ouselves to live their as a regular lifestyle.  All of us have obligations of some kind or another and we must continue to meet them.  I never enjoy trip decompression.  The goodbyes are awkward; the seperations leave words unspoken that waving hands do not seem a substitute for.

I am tired of paddling.  I vow to not pick up a canoe paddle for the next six days.

JAY HANKS

Missinaibi River Live Blogging, Part III

[Jay called in this evening. Said it was sprinkling a little up there but stopped for a while, and he wanted to make the call before the rain started again.]

Sunday, July 19, Day 9: We were slow breaking camp this morning. It rained at night but only gray this morning. At 9 am we were packed up, and rain on the river by 9:45. The rain finally stopped by 2 pm, cooler and windy, headwinds but not bad. This was a slow section of the river with only 1 class 2 rapid right after leaving camp, and a class 1 where we stopped for lunch. By 3 pm we were in camp at rapid #30, which I later learned is called First Lake Rapid. It’s a class 1 and camp we camped on the island next to it. We covered 25km, a relatively easy day. It’s 5 p.m. and we’re relaxing at a scenic spot with 9 days behind us and 4 to go. Everything is hanging out to dry; it’s now mostly sunny with a northeast breeze. Monday will be another quiet day. On Tuesday we’ll encounter many rapids in final stretch to Mattice.

Monday, July 20, Day 10: A beautiful morning. The sky was finally clear. Although the temperature was 46 to start, it reached 80 by afternoon. Today was an easy paddle with slow steady current, tail winds and one class 1 rapid. We stopped at old logging bridge but there was no activity or vehicles. We reached Two Portage Falls and camped. We all took turns bathing and lying on the warm rocks. We covered 31km in 7 hours today, but didn’t paddle very hard to do it. We could have easily cut an hour off but took frequent breaks just floating on the river in the sunshine. Tomorrow we begin our push to Mattice.

Tuesday, July 21, Day 11: We broke camp at 8 am, finished portaging around Two Portage Falls, and ran the bottom class 1. The “Devil’s Rapid” series was next. We portaged around Pond Falls and Devil Cap Falls. We ran 1k-long Devil Shoepac Rapids, which was class 1 and 2. We ran Devil Base Rapids, a class 1, and the right side of Devil Base Falls, a class 2. We ran Z-Drag Rapids far left, after portaging our gear. After lunch, considering the continuing sunny warm weather with tail winds and current, we decided to push on to Big Beaver Rapids. We ran Upper Albany Rapids, a class 1, and Sleeping Beauty Rapids, no problem. At the bottom of Lower Albany Rapids, a class 2 ledge flipped Dan and Mary, and after the yard sale, the loss was one sock and a fishing pole missing. We rolled into Big Beaver Rapids by 5 p.m., a long day but not excessive. We can now lay over tomorrow and swim and relax without breaking camp. Covered 39km today.

PS: Big Beaver Rapid is raging whitewater at this level. It’s Class V, an awesome sight. It will be fun to explore tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, Day 12: it’s noon, this is our layover day and we are all relaxing. We had a slow breakfast, hiking and exploring, fishing and reading, and conversation without having to pack and unpack. Weather is great, bugs not bad. The only downside is we discovered an ATV access trail when portaging yesterday. Locals have cut a path through the woods from a road on the west side of the river down to Big Beaver Rapids. It joins the portage trail and they are driving ATVs down the portage trail to the canoe launch. Right on schedule after breakfast, an 8-wheel Argo ATV showed up with a canoe strapped on top. Two men and a boy got out, unloaded the canoe next to our campsite, left the ATV and went fishing. I took pictures of the ATV, the trail, and the serial number. I will contact Missinaibi Park Headquarters when I return to the states. ATV access has already trashed Glassy Falls near Mattice and the thought of people trashing this place too is sickening. Big Beaver Rapids is pristine. These guys fishing didn’t leave any trash, but with access it could be the next party hangout by less responsible users. I hope this can get stopped.

I will call again for the last time on Friday when we reach Mattice.

Live Blogging from the Missinaibi, Part II

[Editor’s note: Jay was a day late calling in because it was raining too hard on Tuesday night to come out of his tent and use the satellite phone.]

Day 5, Wednesday, July 15: We stayed at Barclay Bay campground in the provincial park last night. Left this morning at 9:30 am–we had a slow start getting things together. We paddled the rest of Missinaibi Lake to the source of the river, which was 12km, 3 hours. So it took us 2 days and 9.5 hours of paddling to cross Missinaibi Lake. We had excellent weather to make this huge open water crossing. Reached the source of the Missinaibi River, water was slow draining out of the lake. A little bit downstream from the source is first rapid, a class 2, which we ran after scouting. The next two class 1s we boat scouted and ran. We camped at Flying Post Creek. Bugs were bad in daytime, but at camp in the evening they were surprisingly good. Even though we were way back in woods, we were able to cook dinner and sit around in camp. Suddenly at bedtime the bugs found us again, so everybody dove for the tents at 10 pm. Total of 28km: 13km on the lake, 15km on river.
Continue reading

Live Blogging from the Missinaibi River

[Jay called in on the satellite phone around 7:00 this evening with a trip progress report, which is posted below. -Loretta]

Friday, July 10: we left Lansing and drove as far as Alona Bay on Highway 17 in Ontario. Car camped for the night near the highway and Lake Superior.

Saturday, July 11: we drove the rest of the way and launched on Hawk Lake at 11 a.m. Paddled only 1.5 hours before being blown off Manitowoc Lake by high winds around 1:30 p.m We were windbound for 3.5 hours and got back on the water at 5 p.m. Made it to camp at the Stony Falls portage at 8 p.m. Stony Falls was our destination for that day, so we were on schedule even though we had down time. Paddled 30km total, late day but had time to get to camp.

Sunday, July 12: we broke camp at 8 a.m., finished portaging Stony Rapids, back on the water at 9:15 a.m. Traveled only 6km, by 11:45 we were blown off the lake again. Tried again at 2 p.m., winds still too high so we bush camped. We lost the whole day and were 22km behind schedule.

Monday, July 13: OMG, we made it all the way to Missiniabi Lake today. Light winds pushed us all day. Launched at 8:40 a.m. Passed town of Missinaibie by 9 a.m. Passed the previous campsite we were supposed to reach yesterday evening . Had headwinds in p.m. but still made great progress. We wanted to stage for Missinaibi Lake the next morning, and we made up almost all of our time.

Tuesday, July 14: we started at 8 a.m. crossing Missinaibi Lake. The lake was dead calm. Rounded Fairy Point, no wind. Lunched at Whitefish Falls, still no wind. Reached the provincial park campground at 4 p.m. We had planned to camp tonight on an island but it was already occupied so decided to not keep pushing on.  We found a group site out of way of other people. Paddled 24km today, still a couple km short due to slow travel days because of the wind. We’ll be on the river tomorrow.

Weather: a few sprinkles but nothing significant, hovering in 50s at night, high 60s to low70s during the day, close to 80 today.

Bugs are horrible, all mosquitoes. There are a few deer flies and no black flies, but the mosquitoes are out in force.

Saw a moose this morning, and saw black bear swim across the narrows of Lake Missinaibi yesterday.

Will call in again Friday evening, July 17.