Posted by: kimmeroo | September 29, 2011


Earlier in September we did an 8 day, 160km canoe trip in Temagami. It was Jack the Dog’s first long trip, and he did really well. It was an excellent trip – the weather was iffy at times, but by and large was quite decent. Here’s the rundown:


This trip almost didn’t happen. Our original plan was an entirely different route in a different area (the Algoma Highlands), which for various reasons we decided wasn’t ideal this time. Part of the reason for the switch was Jack – he was coming with us, and the Algoma Highlands route would have been very challenging, with lots of in and out of the canoe to drag over beaver dams, etc. We thought he needed a bit more practice with that stuff.

In addition, Jack needed surgery to remove an abscess in his neck in early September. And then it didn’t drain and took awhile to heal, and I was resigned to canning the trip. Remarkably he did heal on time (albeit with the need for antibiotics and daily cleaning on the trip), we switched to a more appropriate route, and off we went!

Conor and Jack route planning

Enough planning, let’s play!

Day 1

Paddling:15 km
Portaging: 250m

Started on (big!) Lake Temagami late in the day. Quickly portaged into a small side lake, Kokoko Lake, and stayed there for the night. There is lots of old growth pine in the area:

W sprinted to our campsite and got the tarp up shortly before a thunderstorm hit. Luckily Jack isn’t bothered by thunder.

Day 2:

Paddling: 34km
Portaging: 805m

Portaged back into Lake Temagami, and then into Diamond Lake, where we passed by a pictograph site.

We left Diamond Lake and entered Lady Evelyn Lake, another big, beautiful lake. A bit eery in a way though – the lake has been flooded by a hydro dam, so you paddle by lots of old, dead trees sticking up out of the water. That night we camped on a gorgeous smooth rock island on Lady Evelyn Lake.

Leaving Diamond Lake

Day 3

Paddling: 4km
Portaging: 0

Day 3 dawned calm if not exactly clear, so we hopefully hit the water.

Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the wind to start blowing and the skies to open up. The rain was short lived, but the wind blew all day, so we set up camp on another island not far away and passed the day reading, napping, and chasing squirrels (we opt to camp on islands whenever possible, as Jack can run around like a wild thing with a lesser likelihood that he can get into any serious trouble).

A fire provided some nice warmth on a chilly day

Day 4

Paddling: 21km
Portaging: 50m

It still looked pretty iffy in the morning, so we took our time and debated whether or not we should take down camp and head out. Seems like every time we decided to go, it would start to drizzle juuuust enough for us to change our minds. Taking a dog definitely does add an additional challenge to a canoe trip – without Jack we wouldn’t be particularly excited to paddle in the rain, but we’d do it. We found we were less inclined to head out with a furry passenger who would sit there getting soaked. We need to experiment with a tarp system of some sort for him…not sure how he’d like it though, since he likes to be able to sit up and look around.

At around 10:30 it cleared up convincingly enough for us to head out. It looked somewhat questionable, but didn’t rain on us. We had a nice tailwind and pretty much sailed up Lady Evelyn, took a short portage to avoid going through a section with a serious headwind, and then had lunch on beautiful Sucker Gut Lake (a narrowing of Lady Evelyn Lake, really, since there is neither a river nor a portage separating them).

Lunch on Sucker Gut

We paddled a 17 foot wood canvas prospector canoe that Conor has restored

We were planning to go all the way to Hobart Lake, but a vicious headwind near the end of the day changed our plans, and we camped on a small island just before the creek leading into Tupper Lake.

Jack was his usual cuddly self (and he was bugging us for his dinner…)

Hi. My name is Jack. Please feed me.

From the island we had a view of Maple Mountain, our goal for the following day.

To be continued…


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