Touring Temagami

Day 3

July 30th, Hobart Lake, 9:30pm

Today's trip title is Temagami: the Maple Mountain Marathon. We travelled 34km today, on foot or by canoe.

Yesterday we decided to stay tonight on Hobart after making the climb to Maple Mountain, rather than staying on Sucker Gut and then making Hobart our next night's destination and hiking to Maple Mountain afterward.

It meant a long day today, but we'll be closer to our starting point on our last night (now scheduled for Ferguson Bay) which will make dealing with a possibly undriveable car a little easier, should the need arise.

We were on the water for 8:40am after oatmeal, this time with fresh blueberries. Lady Evelyn was kind to us again and we went from calm, to wind at our stern during the 9km-ish journey to where the lake turns a corner into Sucker Gut.

I now understand Hap Wilson's guidebook's warnings about wind on Lady Evelyn. In the hour and a bit it took us to make the north end of the south arm, we went from calm water to surfing waves where Irene was getting splashed as the bow hit the troughs. And all this well before noon.

We ran into a group that appeared to be heading south, huddled like skimmer bugs in the lee of the point where the passage to Sucker Gut begins. I don't know how they were going to manage it.

From Lady E, we turned the corner into Sucker Gut (how do these lakes get their names? Very different people took turns, I imagine). Now we were facing into the wind. But Sucker Gut is smaller, so the waves don't have such a spectacular run-up, so it was a hard few km, but it was doable.

By this time it was noon, so we stopped at a teensy weensy campsite in the swampy west part of Sucker Gut amid a lake full of marsh and deadheads. Not a promising site.

We found the creek to Hobart thanks to the GPS. It's before the point with the exposed rock tip. We headed down the creek (with the wind), toward Hobart. The plan was to stop, make camp, then take the boat up to Tupper, hike to the top of Maple Mountain and return to Hobart.

But despite seeing very few paddling parties in the days prior, we suddenly found Hobart's best sites all taken by people who didn't look like they were going anywhere. There was at least one site open, but it looked terrible, so we decided to press on to Tupper to see what that site was like.

There's a beaver dam obstructing the creek that flows out of Tupper, though it's easily overcome, either by using the proper unload/lift/load or the improper drag lightly method.

The campsites on Tupper seemed worse than anything we'd seen on Hobart. But we were suddenly worried about getting anything this side of Sucker Gut so we dropped our gear at the better of the two and headed over to the trailhead. We found it easily enough - there was a group already there, preparing to leave. But there is a hiking trail marker where the trail starts.

We were worried about time so we raced up the mountain. The trail is easy to follow and less muddy thanks to some volunteer effort by MEC and some other organization whose name I forget. It took us around 50 minutes to hike the 4.5ish km to the top. It's not a very challenging trail and there's a steel ladder to get you up the tricky bit above the tree line.

I swallowed my fears and climbed the fire tower. I didn't stay long because the wind was making the tower rock back and forth and I was getting either nervous or queasy or both. I rationalized it by telling myself that the view was not that different. Actually that's not just a rationalization. The view really isn't all that different.

We came down in 40 minutes. It was a bit of a whirlwind tour, but we were watching the skies grow cloudy, and watching the cloud cover drop. And our gear was still at Tupper Lake, and we didn't know where we were camping.

The paddle back was fairly painless. We took the smallish, somewhat closed-in site on the east shore of Hobart, closest to the route to Tupper. We got in around 6pm.

It's got an orange marker but I don't think it's on the Chrismar map. It wasn't a great site, and was made much worse for the turd farm that some group (apparently travelling with bread whose best-before date was August 4, 2004) left.

Why does anyone still think it's acceptable to leave a huge turd on the ground on a path, maybe three metres from the site's tent pads? Perhaps they think dropping half a dozen wads of toilet paper around it makes it better because you're less likely to step in it by accident?

I buried the turd and burned the toilet paper and any other "European Prayer Flags" I could find with sanctimonious anger.

Dinner was dried tortellini with sundried tomato pesto and sautéd veg. I love this meal. It's simple and tasty, though I am sure we could make it ourselves from scratch, rather than relying on prefab sauce.

Tonight was the first time we've had a noticeable bug hum outside our tent at night.

stripslashes(The creek connecting Hobart and Sucker Gut. Looking towards Sucker Gut.)

The creek connecting Hobart and Sucker Gut. Looking towards Sucker Gut.

stripslashes(Maple Mountain: the view from the top)

Maple Mountain: the view from the top

stripslashes(The fire tower atop Maple Mountain. Climb if you feel you must to say you did it, but the view isn\'t all that different.)

The fire tower atop Maple Mountain. Climb if you feel you must to say you did it, but the view isn't all that different.