Un-named Lake #2 - Muskeg Portage Un-named Lake #5
Distance 11km [505 km ]
As usual up by 6am to a grey uncertain morning, on water before 8am. Our first two portages were relatively short, about 200 meters and easy to find, basically we were travelling down the middle of an overgrown old winter road, some muskeg but nothing problematic.
The third portage, into Middle Lake was about 800 metres, very overgrown making it difficult to carry the canoe. It was hot and humid by the time we had completed the portage and had lunch at the Middle Lake end. We then faced the challenge of loading in the most difficult bolder strewn exit we have ever faced and that is saying something.
We then paddled up Middle Lake and went through the first of the remaining four portages that will take us into Compulsion Bay on Wollaston Lake. The next two are long, over a kilometre each and comprised what the map called the Muskeg Portage, as it was 4pm when we arrived at the entrance to the first of these so were undecided as to whether we should tackle it today.
The first 200 meters were a dream, open dry hard footing so we elected to leave our gear and walk through, if the whole portage was good and there was a good site we would camp at the other end. However, about 300metres in we ran into a section of soft muskeg followed by about 200 metres of floating bog to wade across. This was followed by a long, wet overgrown section. Definitely not a job to be tackled late in the day when we were already tired. So back we went to where we had left our gear and set up camp. Days when there is a number of difficult loading and unloading zones at the ends of portages really saps John’s energy as he has to do the heavy work whilst I stand in the water and hold the canoe – being 65 doesn’t help. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be cooler than today and we should get through to Wollaston Lake.