Harry Lake to Kipling – Burr Lake Portage
Distance: 21.5km.– [cumulative total 464 km]
InReach: Day 26 Paddled Harry French Acres & Kipling Lakes. Completed two portages and are camped part way along a third Mostly portaging tomorrow J&K
Camp: 62.796°N 108.630°W
A busy day. We awoke to rain, it having rained most of the night. We had a messy pack up trying to avoid the worst of the showers. Finally on the lake and paddling by 9am, we enjoyed a great tailwind down Harry Lake. The portage through to French Lake was wet and boggy at both ends but flat and a firm footing for most of its 250 metres. Continued with a tailwind down the length of French Lake, we were soon through the portage between French and Acres Lake, it was boggy in places but short and generally good footing. We had a crosswind on Acres however due to the height of the water we did not need to use the portage into Kipling Lake rather we paddled up a lovely deep, winding creek. Kipling Lake is very sandy and shallow with lots of large sandy beaches and we soon paddled its length accompanied by a strong crosswind. We arrived at the Kipling Burr portage about 4 pm tired after a busy days portaging. This is a 1600 metre portage and it leaves Kipling Lake via a long, steep hill. Pikes route has a reputation as a hard slog for a very good reason and as the exit from the lack was steep and boggy with no apparent camping site we did a reconnaissance walk. We walked about 600 metres up hill and across some muskeg before we found a decent site by a small lake. Disheartened and pursued by clouds of black flies we set out to carry all our gear to the camp spot. It was a struggle, especially for John as the footing was uneven and the high wind made carrying the canoe a challenge. The evening sun was red and hazy, looked like a bush fire sun, the black flies were extreme, possible the worst we have encountered on this trip. However the cloud berries are in flower so it won’t belong before we get to eat the fruit.