Day 4

Monday, September 17, 10pm, Ottawa

I'm back at home. The tent is hanging up on the clothesline, the pots are drying in the sink. Another trip is over. Sigh. Back to work tomorrow.

Today we were up by 6:40 and, as is our tradition, we had pancakes for breakfast. There's only so much instant oatmeal one can take, after all. However we were also keenly aware of the extra cooking time required and we were hoping to avoid a late departure from the put-in because both of us wanted to be home to put our kids to bed. By and large I figured we'd do okay - about 10km to paddle from our site to the boat launch - but if the wind was from the north, it could be tight.

We got off the water a bit early yesterday because of our uncertainty around campsites. Despite Anima-Nipissing being an enormous lake, there don't seem to be a lot of campsites on it. And we didn't want to paddle an hour up the lake to discover that a marked site was no longer there or was taken or was a total shithole. Then we'd find ourselves finishing late and camping in the cottage country that is the north end of Anima-Nipissing.

So we camped at the known quantity opposite the portage to Whitewater Lake.

As it happens, our lightning-fast tear-down saw us on the water for 8:35 and paddling north on Anima-Nipissing on a mildly rippling lake with a light breeze at our backs. How often does that happen? Tail wind on a big lake both ways? It's a sign of something. It was warm enough to be paddling in a light long sleeve shirt over a t-shirt, sunny with the rising sun deeking in and out from behind clouds which suggested there would be another 24 hours of good weather.

The track log shows us making about 7km/hr and rolling into the boat launch at 10:10.

We packed up and put the canoe on the car and headed off. Which is where the trip's biggest headaches began. The canoe. On the roof. With the foam pads. Suddenly became a problem. We stopped once in Temagami to put a twist in the over the middle steady strap (if it doesn't have a twist it vibrates like crazy "It sounds like we've got a digereedoo band up there," Martin remarked). Then once between Temagami and North Bay when one of the pads flew out from under the canoe. And then a third time after Pembroke when the two front pads twisted on their sides.

It's odd because on the way up there were no problems. The general rule for this would seem to be "tie it tighter". I'd love to hear tips for how to make the foam pads more secure. Because that was harrowing. I spent the entire ride home fretting about the rental or the canoe being damaged. In the end both canoe and car seemed to be fine.

We stopped at Colonel Hoagie's in North Bay. The service was nice and the restaurant was authentic and charming, but why did we stop at a hoagie place if neither of us wanted a hoagie?

We got home by around 5:15 despite the Committee of the Permanent Construction's best efforts to delay us with road works.

Campsite, Anima Nipissing Lake: Well situated, but well used

Campsite, Anima Nipissing Lake

Anima Nipissing Lake:

Anima Nipissing Lake

Anima Nipissing Lake: It's a beautiful lake. And south of the narrows, cottage free.

Anima Nipissing Lake