Trap cabin, Keg Lake - Trade Lake north of Archibald Island
Distance 23 km [116 km]
Fast Water 1
Awoke to the pouring rain, we were up about 6.30am but despite an easy pack up we didn’t get away until a break in the heavy rain at about 9.30am. We made good progress down Keg Lake until our first set of rapids, only about class 1, then it was several kilometres to our first portage for the day. It was only short, about 100mt but with a very rocky entry and a steep slippery exit covered in broken skids. Again we had a short run of several kilometres till we ran a rapid that we had portaged in 2010, always a good feeling that we are gaining in experience.
We were now in the Grand Rapids area so had an awful 600 metre portage, it had an extremely steep entry – how John carried the canoe up still mystifies me. Having got to the top, the whole portage was wet and difficult and the exit was so steep I did not trust myself to carry anything down the last 20 metres and even then required my walking stick to get down. We had to slide the canoe down the final slope. The ever keen John found this particular portage very tiring and his mood was not helped when he slipped on the rocks and fell in with the day bag, second bath for the bag in two days.
After lunch we had some fast water then a long haul of about 10km across Trade Lake. Trade Lake is open and we were paddling into a head wind. The wind got so bad that we were forced to pull into shore, we started looking out for a suitable camp spot but with no luck. Eventually the wind dropped enough for us to push on to a camp site we had used in 2010. After a hard slog getting there we couldn’t get over what a dump it was, we rejected it outright and paddled on to find a great site on a sandy beach across the lake.
During the hour or so it took us to find this beach we saw about seven beavers all swimming in the water but we managed to get quite close before they dived. There were also fresh moose prints on the beach when we landed but no moose still it is shaping up to be a very good year for wildlife.
We were both very tired and wet through as it had rained during our long paddle up Trade Lake so it was just pilot biscuits and asleep by 10pm, even the maps and journal writing had to wait until tomorrow.