Day 3

Chipman Portage 3km from south end - Chipman Portage northern end

Distance made good – 1.5 Km [Km 33]
[Total carry/walk 1.5 x 7 = 10.5 + 21 = 31.5km for Chipman]

We were up at 7.30am to a third beautiful, blue-sky day. We were packed and ready to hump our loads by 9.30am. Although we were well rested, everything seemed heavier than yesterday morning. The trail was about half muskeg [though not nearly as wet as that we had walked through yesterday] and about half dense scrubby bush. We crossed two creeks involving more wading and some steep scrambles up the banks. By lunch time we had walked the longest section.

Lunch, with about 1km of portaging left to go

Lunch, with about 1km of portaging left to go

After lunch it was all uphill, even so we arrived at the end of the Chipman portage by about 2.30pm. We decided to camp at the end of the portage as we were on the shore of a small [about 800 metre] lake and after paddling it we would then have to carry everything over almost a kilometre portage before the possibility of a camp site.

We camped almost on the end of the Chipman, again a pretty poor camp site and as per the second day we were on the path because of the dense bush. At this point the path was narrow with a dip in the middle. Still the early stop meant lots of time for domestic duties like cooking, getting organised for tomorrow, washing etc. and in my case having an afternoon nap. I have a great feeling of relief as I have been anticipating the Chipman with some dread for almost a year and now it is conquered.

North end of the Chipman Portage and un-named lake 'A'

North end of the Chipman Portage and un-named lake ‘A’

The Chipman Portage is a broad, open track however continually walking on wet muskeg and in long stretches of ankle-to-shin deep water is not easy when you are carrying what could only be described as ridiculous loads. In addition, the unusually hot weather and black flies made for a hard couple of days. Still it is now behind us and all my worrying was unnecessary. We were in the tent by 8pm to avoid the persistent insects and I fell asleep immediately.