September 28-30, 2007

Day 3

Sunday, September 30, 2pm. Laurentian Dairy Bar, Deep River ON

Whew. What a fabulous trip.

My body has a clock. I was awake at 4:50am both yesterday and today. Each time I fell back asleep and awkoke at 6:23. On the dot.

Compared to the terror of unknown big animals crashing about and howling wolves, one persistent, chronicly hungry squirrel seems eminently manageable, but I do miss the wildlife. I wonder where it could be? Kiosk isn’t as remote as Brent but I would have expected to see at least something. Not even moose poo.

I did see a beaver on night one, and there was that owl last night. And on Maple Creek this morning there were quite a few ducks and one predatory bird. So maybe in all it wasn’t that bad.

With everything dry, this morning was so much easier. For one, my brain could handle getting into my daytime clothes (and shoes) right away. For two, I could run my usual packing routine instead of pretending that tent and tarp might dry off while I eat breakfast. For three, no need to waste time — upon discovering that they haven’t dried on their own — flapping tent and tarp about in a bid to leave some water droplets behind.

After coffee and the hot cereal concoction, I was on the water at 8am. I probably didn’t have to be, but the wind was picking up and I didn’t want to be on Kioshkokwi with big waves. And it can get wavy.

And if I’d hung out there too long, I would have eventually run out of gorp for Spunky and then what?

Today was the third time I have been down Maple Creek. The people who say “you never paddle the same river twice” must have been thinking about beavers. I crossed one dam yesterday and two today. Both of which had created little lakes mid creek, and neither of which was there the last time I paddled Maple Creek. Or was that the time before? I can’t be sure.

The portages are all there, though. All six of them. They range from 90m to 805m and have a fair bit of up-and-down. The 805 is the hardest, especially if you’re heading upstream.

Also of note, the park map makes the creek look pretty straight. It’s not. Very windy. Adds a couple of clicks to your trip length, I’m sure.

I got to Kioshkowki about 10:30am. There was a light wind, but the lake was calm, with the sun flitting back and forth behind scant cloud cover. The leaves were screaming orange and red.

Once I rounded the point, the wind was more or less at my back, coming across my stern at around 8 o’clock. I did plan it that way, in case you’re wondering.

And there were people. I saw a few campsites on the lake in use.

I was across the lake and on shore at 11:30. I spent a half hour organizing my stuff, putting the canoe back, taking the world’s fastest dip, talking with Carmen Cross, the Kiosk park warden, and then headed home.

I’m a couple of hours out of Ottawa, eating lunch, enjoying a chocolate milk shake. It’s warm for late September, but still a bit chilly to do the traditional post-trip ice cream cone.


Sunrise, Maple Lake

Sunrise, Maple Lake

Maple Creek

Maple Creek

Maple Creek and Kioshkokwi

Maple Creek and Kioshkokwi Got wedged on a sandbar staring in awe at the colours. YHTBT.