Friday, May 29, 2009

Trip #9 Clydegale Lake - May 2009

Trip #9 was full of firsts as you will soon read in this Blog.

This site had a bit of everything including a great canoe access pictured on the left of the above photo. The sand made for easy access and is also great for washing dishes (natures S.O.S. pad).

Dad entertained every evening with some tunes of the harmonica.

We set up a small shelter utilizing a tarp and some thin rope. This small shelter was great because we could position it close enough to the fire to feel the warmth but not to close that we smoked ourselves out.

This picture shows how calm the lake was on the way into the interior.

Prior to this trip I read in a persons blog that fishing is pretty good in the waters near the Pen to Clydegale portage. I only caught a large rock and some water logged trees. The park was conducting a fish survey and they gave me a package upon entering the park. The package included a lure. Leave it up to Ontario Parks to buy American made lures and put them in a Canadian fish survey care package. This lure now rests at the bottom of the lake at the brink of the falls leading into Pen Lake from Clydegale.

Dad didn't want to get caught in the rain without his rain gear so he pushed on and bared the heat of these heavy duty pants.

Dad acquired a canoe pack a few years ago and he to agrees that this is the only way to enter the interior.

I made a brief attempt at fishing near the bottom of the South Madawaska River portage into Clydegale. This picture looks better then the fishing that is for sure.

This picture shows the sleek Alchemist 16' Ultra Lite at the sandy entrance to our island site.

Once again a reminder that winter hasn't been gone for very long. You don't have to look too hard to find signs winter.

We purchased a new canoe an Alchemist 16' constructed of Kevlar and Carbon Fiber. This canoe is extremely lite and a dream to portage. We discovered that it was less stable than any other canoe we had tripped with in the past but what is lost in stability it gained in speed and maneuverability. With this trip being just Blake Dad and myself it was a tight fit for people and gear in this canoe but we managed.
We endured all sorts of weather this trip. Sometimes calm and sunny and other times very windy with rain or snow. The sun sets pretty early still in May.

The location we picked for camp was an island site down in the S/W end of the lake. The island was well protected for most sides and was very private.

Blake took an opportunity to take a swim in the frigid water. The island had a small neighbouring island to the south that was home to some nesting birds. Blake found this discovery out the hard way and was chased off the rocks by a very unhappy mother bird. I always knew Blake was a natural around water but running on water was a surprise to me!!

The coolest geeks in Algonquin or at least that is what Dad called us when he snapped this picture. We planned a day trip to Little Canoe Lake located South of Clydegale Lake once you walk the 1990 m portage.

Blake programmed his GPS and I packed my fishing gear and we were off. The weather was great when we headed out.

We also took an afternoon trip with Dad up the South Madawaska River to the portage. We all took our fishing gear but not much time was spent fishing this time as you will soon see. The sun was out when we left and other than some snacks we didn't really pack too much extra stuff since this was to be a short trek. Shortly after paddling to the start of the portage was heard a very load crack of thunder and within minutes the temperature dropped by about 12 deg. C. The wind turned around 180 deg. and the clouds rolled in. We walked the length of the portage and then once we reached the end the rain started. We made our way back to the canoe and I started to get in my seat in the stern of the canoe. I had asked Blake to steady the canoe while I got in but I guess he didn't hear me as he was talking to Dad about something. Just then I lost my footing and made a back flip into the river in about 3' of water. I looked up and both Blake and Dad looked on in amazement at my acrobatic maneuver. I had no change of clothes with me and no extra boots or socks left back at camp. The weather was now -1 deg. C and we had a good 40 min. paddle back to camp. With the rain coming down we all got wet just I was wet every wear even in my boots. We made it to camp and each of us went in our tents to get warm.

This picture shows how crowded the canoe was on the journey in and out of the park.

This is Dad's new tent from M.E.C (Mountain Equipment Co-Op). This is a three season tent that Dad bought for this trip. He had one complaint and that was that it has very little venting and therefore tended to contain lots of condensation from your breath. A tent candle could be used to eliminate this phenomenon but for this trip Dad didn't have one. A tent candle is a long burning collapsible candle that can hang inside the tent and believe it or not keep condensation in check. Care must be taken when utilizing one of these for obvious reasons so I would recommend talking to an outdoor supply company about the best one for your tent.

This shot was taken during one of the moments when the sun did shine. Like I said before we experienced all types of weather and on the way out we paddled the length of Pen Lake through blizzard like conditions. In all the trip was fun and Dad had a good time as well. It is important to select a route that is realistic for all participants. Too long a trip or too rushed a trip can take the fun out of it if not everyone is able to keep up with the required pace. This trip is just the right distance for a four day trip. The two portages are short and relatively easy to complete.

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