Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quick 3 day trip

Had another short trip with my older boy back to Gun Lake in the Frost Centre. Realized after the fact that I had forgotten my camera's memory card in the computer at home so my old camera could only hold about a half dozen shots in its internal memory. So not too many photos to share.

The weather was pretty decent the first two days (got sunburned!) but then it started to turn for the worse. Our extremely wet and cool summer meant no fire ban this season and water levels were about 10" or so above last year. Unfortunately that meant more bugs (many people have said this is the worst bug season in years) but our elevated campsite had a steady breeze off the lake which kept the bloodsuckers at bay. Perhaps the fear of bugs also kept other paddlers away because we had the whole lake (with 7 or so campsites) all to ourselves for the first 2 days.

The day we arrived, a crew from the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails came to the site to dig a new hole and install a brand new cedar thunderbox. It smelled awesome which is pretty weird when describing a toilet. They also removed all the garbage and food that previous campers dumped into the privy despite warnings written all over NOT to do this disgusting and dangerous habit. Glad that this potential bear attractant was removed from our site withing an hour of us arriving.

A short paddle from the site  was a marshy stream and a waterfall. There were signs of fresh beaver activity too including what looked like a bank beaver hole dug into the muddy shoreline.

Later on that evening a beaver swam right off our site while we were sitting on rocks. We were basically about 15 feet away and stayed perfectly still while it calmly swam right by us. My boy has never seen a beaver in the wild and thought it was the highlight of the trip! Next goal is to see a moose but we will have to go deeper into the bush for that.

Further down the lake were amazing stone cliffs with trees growing out of seeming impossible places. The echo along these walls was neat and probably helped to amplify the look calls at night.

Fishing was awesome too. There was a large shallow rock shelf right off the site that dropped at least 8 ft down.  Within minutes of casting he started getting hits including a huge bass that jumped right out of the water and got free of the line.  He was disappointed that he couldn't reel it in but for the rest of the trip we kept talking about the "big one that got away".

Much of the rest of the trip was spent just lazily paddling around and practicing some paddling strokes. The little guy is learning pretty well and makes for a great bow paddler. He's really good at drawing left and right when given the command and we practiced some sculling draws to help pull the canoe sideways to the rocky shoreline dock.

All in all a decent trip!

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