Happy Birthday Steve !!
Distance 0 [448Km]
A day of forced rest. Yesterday was so exhausting and John so tired he could not sleep last night so we decided to regroup, reorganise and rest up today to be prepared for the next part of the journey, the Blondeau River. The Blondeau promises to be fairly tough going, from the map it appears to be similar to the Gwillam that we paddled down last year. This time we will be paddling against a strong current. John has removed the spray cover to make it easier to portage through the series of small lakes after we leave the Blondeau. He took the opportunity to replace the shoulder pads on the portaging yoke that have been wrecked by pulling the bags in and out during packing and unpacking. I have done my usual sort of the food drums, recharged my Kindle, we have both re-read the trip notes for this part of the world and pretty depressing they are. We have both had a good wash and I washed my hair for the first time in forever, I doubt it has gone this long without a wash since Africa!!! We also took the canoe out so we could photo a fantastic eagle nest a short way down the lake from our camp.
We have noticed that the large, old Jack Pine we are camped near has a very old blaze. These were used in the past to mark much used camp sites. On reflection we now think that the camp site on Swan Lake described by the canoeists who came through here in the 1950’s and the 1980’s and by fur traders in the 1800’s is the one we are at. It has been changed by fires so it is no longer open jack pine parkland but rather scrubby undergrowth of Labrador tea, alders and red willow.
The temperature soared as the day wore on and by evening the wind dropped so that it became bug alley. The bugs were awful but it was far to hot to go into the tent. Our plan for tomorrow is to travel up the Blondeau River to the first portage of the series that will eventually take us overland and into Wollaston Lake. Studying the maps this appears to involve several lots of lining and perhaps one short portage. The big mystery appears to be the position of the portage out of the Blondeau River, it is not marked anywhere and all descriptions of its entrance are very vague.