A week's worth of food for a crew of 14; neatly stowed in water-tight secure-able buckets
Already fighting the mosquitoes, Tim applies OFF while visiting with Zac and T at the launch site.
The highlight of our pre-paddle orientation given by the provincial park authorities was the cheesy, outdated video detailing the do's and don't's of paddling and camping on the circuit of lakes. We did learn that baited or barbed fishing hooks are prohibited, which was quite a surprise. After the training session, we headed for the official weighing of all our gear, food and supplies. Each and every item was weighed, and as every canoe maxed out with a 60lb weight limit on portages, the approved gear for portaging inside the canoes received a park department sticker. Any gear not bearing the OK sticker had to be carried, rather than carted along in the canoes.
Our first portage was 1.6 miles, which most of us hiked thrice. On the suggestion of a friendly park ranger, we each took 2 trips on this first portage to ease our way into canoe-on-cart maneuvering without the added weight of cumbersome hand held dry bags, etc. Our adult leader, Ron, who had completed the canoe circuit as a youth, rigged up old external frame backpacks to which his and his wife's dry bags were neatly secured. With their hands free to "drive" the canoe along the uneven trail, they saved two 1.6 mile hikes and made the trip in just one push.
Working together, Zac and T lower their canoe toward the launch into Kibbee Lake.
With a little assistance from Tim and Joseph, T and Zac shove off for the first paddle.
Launching brought great joy, especially after the grueling treks. The first lake on which we paddled, named Kibbee Lake, was short and sweet... except for the torrential downpour complete with thunder and lightening. As soon as we landed at our first campsite, Peter waded into the lake to fish. After setting up camp we ate spaghetti with meat sauce, and cookies for dessert. Singing "Aint gonna rain no more" under the Noah's Tarp wrapped up the night's entertainment, and we were in our tents by 8PM, anticipating the 6AM wake up call.
It's raining anyway, might as well get even wetter!
Peter fishing with high hopes
Joseph and Bridget enjoy hot drinks in the rain at camp.
Cooks Eddie and Isaac work with Ron to carefully strain the spaghetti.
In the wee hours of the morning, we discovered that our tent had sprung a leak; dripping on Tim's sleeping bag every 20 or 30 seconds...and the rain kept pounding down. Realizing that we had forgotten to bring our headlamps into the tent, we found matches and struck one to catch a glimpse of the puddles needing to be sopped up. The lake's repeated lapping at the shore in the dead of night only a few feet away gave me nightmares that our tent was in the lake, or rather that the lake was in our tent!