Bentshoe Lake – 2/2 – 1st Kayak Camp of 2018

I left off in Part 1 on my beautiful site on Bentshoe Lake in the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails.  It was Saturday May 19th, and my friend Sean from Padding Adventures Radio was on his way to visit and spend the day in the rain with me, doing some kayaking, fishing and catching up.

I collected some firewood after breakfast and waited for my friend Sean from Paddling Adventures Radio to arrive.  Sean had just bought a kayak recently and he was going to come up for the day, do some paddling and some fishing and hang out.

As the rain began to fall, I saw my friend Sean in the distance heading towards the site.  It didn’t take long for him to get to me as the distance from the put in was fairly short.  I hadn’t put my dry suit on as yet so I invited him up for a sit down by the fire before we headed out to fish in the rain.

We visited for a bit and chatted, Sean in his rubber straight jacket and I in my rain gear.  The tarp kept us dry and after a bit, I changed into my dry suit and we hit the water to do some fishing, work on some paddling skills and explore the lake.

As usual I fished and fished and didn’t even get a bite.

And as usual, Sean caught a fish.  His very first fish caught in a kayak. I took a few pics for him and recorded a short video.  Sean is such a good guy, he took the lure off he caught the fish with and put it on my rod.  He pointed to where he caught the fish and I continued to cast there over and over again.  Eventually I started shaking from the cold and we both decided it would be a  good time to have some lunch so we headed to the site to sit under the tarp and warm up by the fire.

Sean had brought me a beverage which was mighty thoughtful and very delicious.  We sat and had a nice lunch and chit chatted and enjoyed the fire.  The day was dark and damp but we didn’t let it ruin our spirits.

Around dinnertime, Sean decided it was time to head out, as my friend Dave arrived for the evening.  They exchanged hellos and talked for a bit and then Sean paddled back to the take out to head home and Dave set up his tent and updated me on the latest happenings.

Dave, who is also known as the Canoe Collector, also has a Eureka tent so now there were 3 on the site.

I was starving so while Dave set up his tent and got himself settled I got dinner going. I had brought way to much so I offered to share my supper with Dave who accepted after some convincing.  Tonights dinner was bacon wrapped beef tenderloin which I had frozen in a big block of ice and had hung from a tree way back in the site in my Ursack bag, and fresh asparagus with olive oil, garlic and salt on them.  YUM!

It didn’t take long to cook and we were eating shortly after.  Dave went to get something to drink and I noticed his unique bear barrel and asked him about it.

He told me he got it about 10 years ago and it’s an old olive barrel. I have heard about people using these and when I went on my first backcountry trip ever, I actually tried to locate one from a few stores where I lived but no luck.  It has rubber inside the lid that seals in the scent and so far Dave has never had an issues with them.  After we ate, he went to hang it and we sat by the fire listening to the downpour and sharing camp stories.  I had a massive headache due to lack of sleep the night before so we said goodnight around 10:30 and headed to our tents for some rest.

I woke up around 530 and the sky was still very overcast but the sun was trying to break through. I was still exhausted so I managed to go back to sleep, and slept until 8am which was crazy late for me.  I got up to find Dave sipping on a cup of coffee and enjoying the view.

I got the bear vault out and the cooking supplies and began making breakfast as I had promised Dave some strawberry pancakes with my homemade maple syrup.  Well I made some hot chocolate with baileys first, then made breakfast. LOL Priorities!

The pancakes were super easy to make and took no time at all. I will be doing a Camper Christina Cooks post on it in the future.  We each had a giant pancake and sat and ate enjoying the view.  I was happy the rain had stopped but it had certainly come down last night pretty good.

After breakfast, we cleaned up the dishes and sat and enjoyed the quiet for a while.  Eventually Dave started to pack up and got ready to head out on his way back home.  He was just here for a short overnight trip and to say hello and back out again.

A few hours later, he was on his way back to the take out and I was once again saying goodbye.  I watched him paddle toward the take out for quite some time and then got up and headed to my tent to look for my Wilderness First Aid booklet.

Next weekend I would be taking my WFA Re certification at Frontenac and I was really nervous about the course.  When I took the course 3 years ago, I only passed by one mark and I had been worried about my re certification for the last year.

To top it off, I had done my last course while I’d still lived in Niagara and my book was in storage with all the other things I owned.  I had to beg, borrow and plead and finally got a book shipped to me from the course instructor and it had only arrived a few days ago. My plan was to study this entire weekend but so far, that hadn’t happened.   Now was the time.

After a few hours, I was getting sleepy and hungry so I decided to eat, knowing it would help wake me up again. Todays lunch was kielbasa with cheese it’s crackers and some laughing cow cheese.  It was a great lunch and I sat munching away as I filled my head with knowledge of how to avoid and help with various injuries in the forest.

I sat on the point in the sunshine and studied for a few hours,  but eventually the breeze died down and the bugs started to really get to me.  I picked up my camp chair and headed into the No Bug Zone and enjoyed it immensely. I had a beautiful view, still felt the warm air on my skin, but didn’t have bugs flying into my mouth or eyeballs making me crazy. It was like heaven.

After a few more hours, I got super sleepy again so I decided to take a nap. My head was still hurting pretty badly from my lack of sleep friday night.  I still wasn’t fully recovered from my concussion, even though I liked to think I was.  I was pretty much normal most days, but when I overdid things, not so good.  The nap was wonderful, but I was lying in my tent, in the sun, with my -40 extreme sleeping bag on me.  It was probably around 25 degrees out so this alerted me.   When I woke up I still didn’t feel that great, so I decided it was time to pack up and head home.

I took down the Eureka Suma 2 first, happy I got a chance to test it out. So far, I really liked it.  Then I took down the VCS13 Backpacker Meshroom, which I loved. I had used the VCS13 on previous trips with Kevin Callan and knew how awesome it was.  Now that I had my own that I could set up and bring on trips myself, I was super happy!

I had booked 3 nights at the last minute, but only due to the approaching rain Saturday.  Originally the trip was only supposed to be 2 nights and I had done that and a bit more so I was totally okay with heading out a little bit early now.

I took my time packing everything up, happy all my gear was nice and dry so I wouldn’t have to hang it when I got home.  Around 630pm, I jumped in my fully loaded kayak, said goodbye to my sweet sight and paddled the short distance to the take out with Swiss Chalet on my mind.

I unpacked my boat fairly quickly and went across the street to get my car. I was amazed at how much rain had fallen, seen here by the massive puddle still left in the parking lot at Big East Lake.  Soon I was on my way home with a stop for some yummy food at Swiss Chalet.

I managed to put away my kayak, unpack my car and put all my gear away before snuggling into bed for the night.  I ended up sleeping 12 hours straight, so I know something wasn’t quite right with me.  I was very happy I’d gone on my adventure though, grateful for my two fun visits with Sean and Dave and ready to do some more challenging adventures next trip out.

The weekend after this trip I planned to be at Frontenac, hopefully passing my Wilderness First Aid, the weekend afterwards, I will be taking my Canoe levels 1-4 with my friend Sam in Huntsville, and the weekend after that I am teaching kayaking at the Women on Water Padding Festival.

So many awesome things on deck, but honestly, I can’t wait to do another trip, and I am super anxious to do a trip in my new canoe from Backcountry Custom Canoes, which I’m hoping to receive mid July.

Stay tuned. Lots of adventures to come!

Thanks for spending the May long weekend with me. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi, please leave a message.

Happy Camping!!!!  (so good to finally say that again!!)

Camper Christina

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8 Comments

  1. Jim June 12, 2018 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Christina, thanks for sharing your blog and pictures. Based on what you posted I have already purchased the same type water filter and food bag that you used. My current plans are to be in Algonquin 8/31 – 9/6. Maybe we will run into each other while paddling.
    Have a great time, stay sfae and keep posting

    • Christina June 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and for commenting. I hope you have a great trip!

  2. terri p June 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    so happy to see you out there again, Christina! easy does it!

    • adminpower June 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Terri! 😊😊😊

  3. mancamping June 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I was supposed to be out there joining Sean for the paddle that day – Sorry I missed it! Looked like it was a good time even in the rain!

    • adminpower June 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry you missed it also. Would’ve been great to see you and hang out. Next time. 😊

  4. Lindsay June 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Christina,
    I apologize for commenting on a post but couldn’t find a contact form. I found you through this article: https://www.parksbloggerontario.com/my-favorite-places-to-camp-near-st-catharines/

    My Fiancee and I are from Nova Scotia and have been living in St. Catharines for a year now. Last summer we were just getting settled in and found beautiful Decew Falls, bruce trail, laura secord trail.. and that’s pretty much it for hiking.

    This year, we are looking to experience St. Catharine’s by camping and I’m hoping you can help.

    All of the places you mentioned in your article are beautiful, but we both don’t drive so I am hoping you have some suggestions for places to camp within St. Catharines — or at least accessible by bus that we are able to go this year.

    We live in downtown St. Catharines and would only have to take a tent/food/water with us as we’d only have the time off of work to stay for one night. We would also need a place we’d be allowed to have a small fire to cook.

    Decew Falls and a few others are beautiful and I’m sure POSSIBLE (not sure if legal, definitely not for fire) to camp… but we need somewhere safe as we will only be in a tent.

    Thanks in advance,
    Lindsay

    Hoping you know of some places!

    • adminpower June 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      HI Lindsay!

      Thanks so much for commenting on my post. I’m sorry, but I don’t know of anywhere that you can camp in St. Catharines that is accessible by bus. I have never camped in St. Catharines as I don’t know anywhere to do so. The only suggestion I can offer is to ask at Outdoors Oriented (on fourth avenue) if they know of any type of place. I’m sorry. You also are not able to camp at Decew or on the Bruce anywhere in the area that I know of. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Feel free to contact me re hiking in St. Catharines anytime at cscheuermann@hotmail.com. Sorry I wasn’t able to help. CC

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