Algonquin Provincial Park - Lake Travers - Campsite

Petawawa River

Lake Travers to Lake McManus

June 17 - 20, 2005

Algonquin Provincial Park - Sand Lake Gate

Canoe Trip Reports

Petawawa River

Trip Preparation
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
What worked well
Lessons Learned
Photo Gallery

Day 1 - Getting to Lake Travers

Getting Started

Starting from the cottage - (c) D. CarsonWe'd driven up to the cottage on Thursday night in order to get a head start Friday morning. We were up around 7am for a quick breakfast of bagels, juice, and coffee then started shuttling folks back to be mainland to load up the vehicles.

Now shuttling folks a few hundred metres from an island cottage back to a couple of parked trucks in order to then drive to the put-in for a canoe trip may not sound like an important part of the trip, but in this case it was a key part of the process. You see, this trip was going to involve a bit of whitewater, and whitewater has the potential to get people, and gear, a bit damp. So in anticipation of this potential risk, one of the guys had taken the Boy Scout motto to heart and rented a blue SealLine canoe pack.

With 5 adults and assorted overnight bags (since most folks had packed a separate bag for Thursday night) and 1 blue canoe pack, it took a couple of trips to move folks back to the mainland. Logistics and timing wise, we had ended up with 3 vehicles. As we were loading gear into the trucks, someone asked "Has anyone see the blue pack?" which was promptly answered with "It's beside the garage." where it had considerately been placed out of the rain. I'm sure this was acknowledged with words similar to "Oh, OK." Anyway, we finished loading up and headed out for the park.

Algonquin Portage Outfitters (c) D. CarsonIt took about 2 hours to get to Algonquin Portage outfitters who are conveniently located on the Barron Canyon road shortly outside the Sand Lake Gate. There we picked up our rental canoes which were 2 Evergreen Starbursts and 1 Swift Dumoine. All three canoes came with bow and stern air bags and the two Starbursts came with kneeling pads and thigh straps as well. It was only about 10am at this point, and we were well on track since the schedule for day 1 only counted on us getting down to the end of Lake Travers. Of course, any time you think you're on track is a cue for Murphy's law to kick in, which it did as soon as I pulled the roof racks out of the back of the truck to put on the roof. The rack system I use is a Yakima system that uses fixed mounting pads on the cap on the back of the truck and clamp on Q Tower brackets on the front. I love the racks and have a lot of confidence carrying canoes with them, but this time the brackets on the front bar had come loose. Not a big problem since I had made a point of keeping the allen keys that came with the racks in the truck, right?

Well, I had kept those allen keys in the truck, but it turned out that the specific bolts that had come loose weren't that size. <groan> So off we went back into Petawawa to find a set of allen keys. Petawawa wasn't really that far away, but by the time I found a place to buy the allen keys, got back to the Outfitters, and got the racks tightened up and mounted, we'd lost anLoaded up at ALgonquin Portage Outfitters hour. Oh well, we'd planned the trip with extra time on purpose.

Alright, we got canoes loaded up, stopped at the Sand Lake gate to pick up our permit and followed the road down to Lake McManus to drop off the one car at the takeout for the shuttle on the way home. Here we ran into another slight delay as we had to shift gear from the car that we were leaving at the takeout to one of the other vehicles that was going on up to the put in. Maybe we should have had that second cup of coffee in the morning.

From Lake McManus it is about an hours drive up to the put in on Lake Travers. It is a gravel road, but it seems to be well maintained and was being actively graded that day. On the drive up we saw a wild turkey fly across the road.

Looking back to the bottom of Poplar Rapids from the put in on Lake TraversOnce we parked at the put-in we stopped for a late lunch, took a look around and started to relax and enjoy the fact that we didn't have to be back at work for another 4 days. After lunch we started loading up the canoes, and Scott went through his collection of extra gear and asked if anyone needed any dishes, which no one did. Then, as the canoes filled up, we heard an echo from earlier in the day - "Where's the blue pack?"

Guess what! Yep, it was still beside the garage, some 2 1/2 to 3 hours behind us now. This prompted a bit of panic, a bit of frustration, (years of razzing that's still going ), and some serious talk about going back to get it and then catching up, or backing out, or sucking it up and carrying on. In the end, sucking it up and carrying on won out, with the victim dredging out their going home clothes, borrowing an extra backpack, and a sleeping bag.

We'd planned on being on the water shortly after noon, but in the end it was closer to 3:30pm by the time we actually started paddling. Since it was later in the day, we oCampsite on Lake Travers, Algonquin Provincial Parknly paddled about 2/3's of the way down Lake Travers before looking for a site, rather than paddling right down to the end and possibly having to come back to find an empty site. As it was we found a very nice site on the northwest shore, under the pines.

With camp set up and our steak dinner ready we truly started to enjoy the humorous side of the missing backpack as the "victim" asked "Does anyone have an extra bowl?" You got it, Canoes pulled up at the Lake Travers campsitewhile scrounging extra gear, those spare dishes back at the put-in had been completely overlooked. Dinner was followed by a Snackin' Cake birthday cake. This is a cool technique that Wendy taught me and it works really well using a pot with a frying pan style lid. What you do is mix up the cake, or muffin mix, or brownie mix, and put in the frying pan style lid. You then out the pot on as the lid and set the stove down to simmer. Check it periodically and when the cake gets somewhat firm go ahead and flip it over so that the pot is now the bottom. How knot to hang a food packI usually burn one side a bit, but not too much.

Following dinner and clean up, it was my turn to provide some entertainment by trying to hang the food pack. There was a conveniently located tree branch and it really should be a simple thing to toss a rope over the branch, right? Well it turned into a demonstration of how to tie a knot about 10' over my head. Fortunately a little creative teamwork (with me relegated to working the camera) got the knot untangled and the rope recovered. Funny thing was that I wasn't allowed to hang the food pack after that, go figure.




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