March 11, 2009
A Northern Lights Journal
Day 1: The first day was cloudy. We crossed the lakes pretty quickly because we had a tail wind. Since it was raining, we brought a stove for our trip. Tonight is rice and vegetable curry. Sweet! I think that some girls including me are feeling a little homesick, which I remember quite vividly. Now we are sitting around a circle or really in a circle and reading. When we got to the campsite we found this bench sort of thingy-majig made out of logs. We had a few laughs taking pictures of us all sitting on the log. Tomorrow it seems that it may be our first portage woot woot! There was some blue sky earlier but it looks like it’s all covered. Please let it be blue tomorrow!!!
Day 2: Today started out bright until about mid-morning when it clouded over. There were thunder booms all day. We paddled all past many camps. When we got to the portage we did a little dance and sang a little song. Then off we went woo hooo!!! Our first portage 795 meters and all. We carried our canoes and wannigans with confidence and strength. Though some may say or are saying that they can no longer portage anything, they will have to do it whether they like it or not because you may never like or love portaging but you will learn to accept them and look upon them as a break for the steady swing of the paddle.
Day 3: Today we were amazingly happy to leave our campsite because it had been a very buggy night. After only 20 minutes of canoeing we reached our first portage. It was one of our long ones and we devised a new plan that someone wouldn’t have to carry a wannigan one of our long trail. We made it through our first portage of the day then had a scrumptious lunch followed by brownies. We then canoed a short while over to our next portage which was a little more than half of our first one. After crossing over we found a very small cozy camping spot.
Day 4: OMG! Today was soo hard!! We had one of our longest portages. Also Emily left. She felt sick and left with Greer. So we had one less wannigan and one less canoe. Although we miss her…we know she’s better off at base camp getting better. The portage was 1400 yards long, and had an unexpected swamp somewhere in the middle. It was a nice relaxing point. But I think it was a little bit annoying. The teary faces and sweat streamed foreheads pushed through the long, rocky, hard portage. Tory (Victoria) didn’t even act like she was carrying anything! Her support and all the support of each other got us through. I love my trip members.
Through the sweat and blood we walked
This portage we did rock.
All together we did stick,
And that portages butt we kicked.
Day 5: Last night we had a huge rain storm. We ate really quickly and ran into our tent. Today we crossed five beaver dams. It was really funny because they were all in a row. Today we reached our destination. Eagle Lake!! Emily’s spirit was here with us. Everyone is das and excited to have reached our destination. Eagle Lake is beautiful with tall green pine trees and a blue rippling lake. Our campsite is on the top of a steep gravelly hill. We made our tent perfect. We ate lunch on a big rock near our campsite. But then the Kewaden boys came and stole that campsite. The portages we did today were very short, 70 meters and 360 meters (easy). The 70 was just up a hill and then down a hill. Hurray Ladies of Eagle Lake!!
Day 6: Today we woke up later than usual because instead of having a rest day, like people sometimes do on trips, we set up camp early and had a rest afternoon yesterday and woke up late today. We played a game and had a nice breakfast in celebration of finally being at Eagle Lake, and took our time. Then we paddled out to a portage trail and did our longest portage yet and the longest one we will do this trip, which was 1660 yards long. That’s 4980 feet!! We stopped in the middle, where there was a small pond. There we had a snack of power bars and butterscotch candies. Then we did the last 800 yards.
It was hard, but nobody cried and nobody is sad to have completed it (that I know of). Then we had our bannock for lunch and had a nice afternoon, where many of us read or wrote in journals. We were camped on a nice campsite with a rocky landing. The rock was very, very, very big and it was nice to lie down on. And also, it was our first day with no rain at all, not even a drizzle. There was blue sky and perfect weather (finally). It’s soo relieving to know we have completed our longest portage!
Day 7: Well this morning started off annoying because it was our first morning waking up to sunshine. After setting off in our canoes we shortly reached our first portage of only 50 meters then went on to a 200. After a power bar snack we left to start the 1400. We all felt that this was very hard because we didn’t break in the middle but went straight through. With the sun staying on our backs our wet clothing dried and our attitude was happiness. When we reached the other side it was very very choppy and there was a strong wind blowing over the lake. We stopped for a quick lunch of bannock and as soon as we set off again rain clouds appeared. Luckily it didn’t rain until just before =dinner which unfortunately meant wet dinner.
Day 8: We`re back home to Temagami after our portage from Aston Lake. It was quite windy today. But we managed. The portage was only an 800 or so (actually 1100…sorry girls), and we all made it without taking our heavy loads off J. Then into the windy waters of Temagami. We attempted to eat our lunch, but got caught by rain. The weather had been so weird. We found a place sort of like the eye of the storm. Our delicious soggy bannock break was great. Hahaha. Well now we are in the boy’s base camp, Lanskib, after eating a delicious Mexican meal on “the Point“. The view was amazing! We watched the sun be eaten by the mountains, and the clouds change from gray to purple and link. It made for a wonderful picture. I`m also excited for the trip to end. I think we all are, but also quite sad to be parting these laughs, memories, friendships, and smelly armpits. J Good night yàll.
Day 9: We did our last portage today. No wait…we`re done! We left from Lanskib in the morning full of energy and excitement for the day. After a short paddle across a bay we saw the campsite of one of the Excaliber boys. We stopped to talk to them and they fed us yellow cake mix from a pot. Mmmmmm… Victoria managed to finish it all. We kept on paddling. When we stopped for lunch we saw the other Excalibur group on their way to find the others. We kept on paddling. A strong head wind blew up against us but we kept strong. Dark thunderclouds rolled in from far away and covered the sky like a blanket. Large rain drops pelted down from the sky, soaking us. We saw a rainbow moving across the lake. After a short storm we kept on paddling. The wind was blowing the clouds away. We turned our backs. Moments later the clouds rolled in again to rain harder and louder. We padded the Canadian Adventure Camp (CAC) and kept paddling. Our arms were sore from the heavy hard day. We kept going. The camp had sent out over night trips so most of the camp sites were all taken up. Estair knew of a `secret campsite’ so we made our way there. We set up camp and ate dinner. Mac and cheese…more cheese than Mac. We crawled to the tent and had our last just us circle. We told each other one by one of what we thought each others gold was. Estair and Lhotse gave us chocolate chips which was, I think, a bit of a mistake. Danie was bouncing off the tent walls. We planned our entrance into camp which involved us portaging instead of paddling into camp.