Day 3

7:11pm Sunday Sept 26, Matagamasi Lake

So bizarre that McConnell Bay to Laura Lake would be in poor shape while the rest of the route from Laura Lake along Laura Creek to Matagamasi is just fine. This stretch follows the creek which keeps its shape because of a series logging dams and flumes in varying stages of decay. There's eight portages to take you from Laura Lake to Matagamasi, through Evelyn, Irish, Bonesteel, Wessel and Flume Lake. None is very long. All are in good shape.

There was the odd awkward put in, but that's normal. And a couple of mucky bits but that's clearly down to the rain, which was much less in evidence today, as it happens.

We were up for 7am again and on the water by 8:45 again. And this seemed fine. We are getting older after all. Granola and oatmeal again for breakfast.

Say what you will about the logging industry - and there’s a lot that need to be said - its detritus has kept Laura Creek navigable. Loggers and beavers. We canoeists have an ambiguous relationship with them.

The site at the south end of Laura is at the end of a logging road and someone has set up a sort of permanent encampment, complete with heap of empties.

The string of portages took up most of the morning. at around 12:30 we were at the 500m connecting Flume Lake to Matagamasi. We made lunch. Next time: smoothy in the tube. Have I mentioned that?

Evelyn seems the nicest lake on this stretch. The portage into Evelyn got a bit confusing. We got hooked up with an ATV trail that took us out to the campsite on the northern point. A bit of unnecessary walking but we got to see some grouse. That and the beaver we saw on Laura Lake last night were to be the non-squirrel portion of the wild life spotting thrill aspect of the trip.

We pressed south on Matagamasi, settling on a campsite atop a hill, on the east shore maybe 250m north of where the pictographs are marked.

We got in a bit early - around three, but decided to use the lack-of-rain-that-promised-sun-but-never-delivered to dry stuff out. And soak the vegetables. Need time to soak the vegetables.

Next time I will skip the carrorts. They're kind of weird crunchy and cooking doesn't change them. And there was too much material.

Martin was at his pyromaniacal best.

The site is expansive but tent pads are all moss covered rock, so if you need pegs you may experience a challenge. Lots of rocks to anchor leads, though. The site has a thunder box, though the lid was gone when we were there.

Tomorrow we have to paddle south to the takeout. It was a beautiful night. We even saw stars. Moon rose two thirds full over a silent lake. We saw a motor boat earlier, but haven't seen paddlers today.

Laura Lake: Alluring, isn't it.

Laura Lake

The Flume itself: Looking out onto Wessel Lake

The Flume itself

Almost done with the flume: I swear

Almost done with the flume

Leaves: Matagamasi Lake. Good thing you know where they are.