Day 1I left Sudbury around 7:00 am and headed for North bay to pick up Daniel. Of course it was cold, wet and raining - par for the course this year. After a quick coffee we headed north for Temagami with a quick stop in town at the Temagami Outfitting Company, for permits. Next stop would be at the parking area off the Red Squirrel road at the Sandy Inlet put in. The road is good however, the last 500 metres or so to the last parking area is rough with some large and deep potholes. Of course they were all full to the brim with all the rain we'd been experiencing over the last while! It's about a 300 metre portage from the parking area down to the beach and we donned our rain gear, parked the RAV and headed off for another adventure.
|Rainy beginning - Sandy Inlet, Lake Temagami|
We were probably an hour or so up the lake when I discovered that my nalgene was missing - must have left it at the lift over, I will miss the insulated sleeve more than the actual bottle - have lots of those! We continued north and as we approached the area where Lady Evelyn Lake opens up we could see whitecaps rolling in from the north. Fortunately we were turning west before the opening and stayed in behind the islands in much calmer waters. We pulled up to a small site situated on the north end of a small island and called it a day.
|Lady Evelyn Lake|
We set up a tarp first before as it continued to rain on and off all evening long. Once done, Daniel set up his tent and I hung my hammock and gathered some wood. A nice steak dinner finished off the day and we turned in with the sound of rain on the tarps and tent fly.
Distance traveled - approx. 20 km
Distance portaged - 1230 m.
Day 2We awoke to a complete silence except for drops of water falling onto the tarp and fly from the trees and the lake completely hidden in fog. As we slowly packed our gear and ate some breakfast the fog slowly dissipated revealing another overcast day with the continued threat of more rain in our future. We finished packing and hit the water for a quick 2 km paddle to our first port of the day of 400 m. into a small lake. Another quick paddle and out the boat and across a 500 m port brought us to Willow Island Lake. Here we turned north again and headed off for the narrows between Willow Island and Sucker Gut lakes. There is a dam on the Lady Evelyn River north of Lady Evelyn Lake and the lakes upstream of the dam are all reservoir type lakes with many old standing drowned trees dotting the shoreline areas.
|Sucker Gut Lake - an isthmus, now submerged, between the visible shorelines|
|1st view of Maple Mountain|
|Tupper Lake campsite view of Maple Mountain|
Distance portaged - 695 m.
Day 3Day 3 dawned with a bit of drizzle and an overcast sky with the summit of Maple Mountain obscured by clouds - go figure! We ate some breakfast and broke down and packed most of our gear except for the tarp and headed off to hike up the mountain hoping that the ceiling would lift and we could actually see something. A quick paddle over to the trailhead and we were off with our rain gear and water bottles. Its about a 3 km hike from lake to summit and there is a 300 metre elevation gain, not a casual stroll. Due to the steady summer rainfalls there were several wet areas to cross that are normally not much of a problem however we did get a wee bit wet along the way.
|steady as she goes|
|Dan on the ladder|
|one of many spectacular summit views - Tupper Lk. in the foreground|
|creek to Chris Willis Lake|
|headed upstream on the north channel - Lady Evelyn River|
Distance portaged - 1035 m.
Distance hiked - 6 km
Day 4Sometimes you win - it was raining when we hit the sack the night before but when we arose it was to clear skies and sunshine, although tarps were slick with mist from Helen Falls.
|Portage around Bridal Veil Falls|
|why its worth the work - Bridal Veil Falls|
|Fat Man's Falls|
Distanced traveled -approx 8 km
Distance portaged - 2525 m.
Day 5You guessed it, rained overnight and a misty morning with a heavy, leaden sky promising some serious precipitation later in the day. We eat and pack and paddle off downriver with the "2 Miler" portage from Willow Island Lake to Diamond Lake to look forward to. We continue south and come across an otter feeding in the shallows above a small rapid. He knows we're there but is totally unconcerned and continues to dive and surface and eating while we paddle within 15' of him. He is so quick and busy that we cannot get anything more than a blurry photo of his back or the disturb water surface! Soon enough we are at the beginning of the 2 miler portage. The last section is along the marsh of the creek emptying into Diamond Lake but we're sure there is enough water to actually paddle the last 800-900 m. The port begins with about an 800 m. section of gently rolling terrain which then morphs into a 1000 m. slog though a boggy area which in turn morphs into a 1100 m. walk through rock terraces and easy climbs in pines till you hit the marsh. We paddle the last section! We load the canoe and the skies finally open and it begins to rain hard, driven by a cold northeast wind.
|creek section of the "2 miler" into Diamond Lake|
Distance traveled - approx. 22 km - Total - approx. 80 km
Distance portaged - 3565 m. - Total - 9050 m.
Photos by Sid Bredin excepting those marked DP - Daniel Pike