Chipman Portage - Un-named Lake 'F'
Distance made good – 7 km [Km 40]
Portages 5 [900 x 7 = 6300]
[60 x 7 = 420]
[340 x 7= 2380]
[45 x 7 = 310]
[340 x 7 = 2380]
[Total carry/walk 11.950 + 31.5 = 43.3 km]
I think you could ask, ‘Are we having fun yet?’
As can be seen from the figures above we only did 7 kilometres distance today but that involved 5 serious portages, none exceptionally long but all difficult walking – wet and spongy or else clambering over boulders. Each portage requires 7 trips, 4 of these loaded up. Today we walked almost 12 kilometres and this added to the 31.5 kilometres we walked on the Chipman means we have walked almost 44 km even though our total distance from our starting place at Black Lake, that is both paddling and portaging, is only 34 kilometres.
Today has been our fourth warm, sunny day. The predicted temperature was 26 degrees C. We were on the water by 9am. The day consisted of five pretty, but small, lakes linked by portages varying from 45 metres to 900 metres. They were mostly wet and spongy underfoot but one was very rough with large irregular boulders. All entrances and exits were reasonable, possibly due to the very high water levels.
We kept an eye out for acceptable camping spots but they proved elusive, the only one being on the north end of the portage between Square Lake and Lake D, and unfortunately it occurred too early in the day for us. It wasn’t much of a day for wild life either, just bloody bugs, however when we were packing this morning we noticed some small animal had been gnawing on the binding of our large grey bag. Early in the day at the north end of Lake A there were still large banks of ice/snow lining the portage, quite surreal in the hot weather. Another remarkable thing was also weather related. As we started paddling up Lake B, a wind like a whirly-whirly rushed across the lake immediately in front of the canoe, its vortex sucking up lake water to a height of 3 to 4 metres causing reasonable waves on the lake.
It has been a trying day continually getting in and out of the canoe with all the gear and we were beginning to feel disheartened as we started paddling up Lake F. We were concerned that we may need to complete the next portage into Chipman Lake when we finally spotted a suitable camping spot on a small island. It has been the best camping spot we have had this trip; it is flat and we can put the tent up on caribou moss.