PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A CONTINUATION POST FROM Portaging a kayak-3×2 at Scorch Lake – Algonquin Park PART 1, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT POST!
It had been a very long day yesterday, starting at 5am for me and earlier for Joyce. We had spent yesterday taking 9.5 hours to portage and paddle to get to our site on Scorch Lake, one that was clearly the worst site on the lake, even the privy was covered in branches , pine needles and cobwebs like no one had visited it in a very long time! Regardless, we’d made it and we were proud and by 11 we were both in our beds trying to sleep. I didn’t succeed very well with that task, but I did my best. At 6:15 I got out of my sleeping bag to visit the privy and was amazed by all the fog on the water. I really wanted to go back to sleep but with a mirror lake in front of me covered in fog, there was no chance of that!
I changed my clothes, grabbed a few necessities and walked down the hill to my kayak.
As I arrived down by the water, I noticed some footprints on the beach. They looked like moose and were pretty fresh. I wonder if he’d been by earlier and I’d missed him? Always so close, but yet, so far!
In order to get into my boat I had to walk through the water and it was pretty cold. There was even what looked like frost on my deck lines and bungees. Brrr.
I headed out on my paddle and started taking photos, everything looked pretty and I was in awe.
As I’m horrible at making decisions and picking the best photos, I’ll just post them all! LOL
After a few hours the fog lifted and I was pretty hungry. I headed back to site to get my strawberry pancakes going and figure out how I was going to make them without a spatula.
I set up my stove in the sunshine and got all my ingredients out. I sat and thought for a minute what I needed to do to make a spatula and then got to work making it.
I used this piece of cardboard from my chocolate bar packaging and folded it up into a squarish shape.
As I always bring foil on my trips as I find it invaluable and always light and easy to carry, I grabbed a few pieces and began wrapping the cardboard with the foil.
Before I knew it, I had a spatula! VOILA!
I boiled some water, enough for a hot chocolate (no baileys today due to weight, sniff 🙁 ) and a little extra to rehydrate the strawberries. I put them in my little covered pot and let them sit and rehydrate while I enjoyed my hot chocolate and mixed up the pancake mix. I added just a bit of water for now as I would use the strawberry water to top off the rest of the powder and didn’t want it too liquidy.
I mixed it up right in the bag to avoid messiness, a trick I’d used since my first trip when I had also made pancakes, at that time, lucky enough to be able to add fresh blueberries picked in the park.
When the strawberries were ready, I added them and the juice to the pancake mix and then got the pan hot and ready to pour in the mix. I had also not brought any type of butter, oil, etc, but as I had a non stick pan, I hoped that would do the job.
I did my best to wait patiently until the pancake bubbled up and was cooked enough. I have always found if you try to flip it too soon, it will definitely stick and I wanted as little mess as possible. It worked like a charm, as did my spatula! Once flipped I added some bits of the chocolate bar I used the wrapper from on top to make strawberry chocolate pancakes. YUM!!! They looked messy in the end, but the messier the food, generally, the yummier it is!
I ate enjoying the view praying for a moose to step out into the swamp but sadly, no such luck. After breakfast I cleaned up fairly quickly and chilled out in my hammock. Joyce took a few pics for me showing how I use my paddle float as a pillow. It actually works amazingly well as pillow. I put it in one of my tote bags used to carry my gear on the portages as a pillow case so it isn’t squeaky or slippery and it worked awesome! (note: I haven’t seen my paddle float since this trip,…. have you??? If you found it on one of the portages, please let me know and I will pay the shipping to get it back to me!! THANKS!).
I lounged in my hammock looking for moose and animals (which I saw none of, as usual) and waited for Joyce to do a few things before heading for a hike on the Scorch Lake Lookout trail, she’d told me about.
Here, moosey moosey!!! Well at least I had a comfy spot to watch from. I loved my hammock!
Eventually, Joyce and I paddled over to the hiking trail for Scorch Lake Lookout. Joyce actually did a post on the hike and you can view it by clicking here. Here are just a few photos of mine that I really liked from the hike.
After our hike, we paddled around the lake and eventually headed back to camp. I had a blinding migraine so I took a short nap in my hammock but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop the pain. After a few hours I got up thinking I’d be sick but it was a false alarm. Thank god! Getting sick in a privy is not something I’d recommend! LOL. I was pretty hungry and I had a simple meal, so I figured I’d give it a try and see if it would help my head at all.
Dinner tonight was fairly simple, but delicious. I had spaghetti and dehydrated… rehydrated sauce. I also added some dehydrated mushrooms, dehydrating them at the same time as the sauce, in the boiling water for the spaghetti. I cooked it until the excess liquid was gone and it was perfect! I am loving this dehydrated food option. So far it’s working out fabulously and it also made me feel much better. Thank goodness! I hate migraines.
Before nightfall I got out my rope bag and ran a line, all the way from the privy to the site.
If you are wondering why this was done, you might want to check out my post on getting lost at 3am going to the privy?
Running this line made me feel super confident if I had to go to the washroom in the middle of the night and it took no time at all to run it. Great suggestion offered by one of my readers! Thank you!
The days were quickly getting shorter and soon it was dusk and then dark.
Joyce and I had some fun by the fire, playing a few rounds of Family Fued. I’d brought a small deck of the cards that I’d brought on my trip with my mom to Silent Lake and we had fun taking turns guessing the answers. We also played creepy faces with our flashlights… not really a game, but it was fun! We stayed up til around 1030-11 and then headed to bed. It was quite cold and tonight I decided to try putting some rocks from the fire in my sleeping bag to keep me warm, as I’d been chilly the night before. It actually worked great! I wrapped them in my pack towel and then put them in one of my bags for my pillow or thermarest, one of those. It was lovely for about 4 hours or so and I slept very warmly!
Soon it was morning and time to get ready to head back out of Scorch Lake. I’d been both dreading it, and looking forward to it. Hard to explain but there is the anxiety of it all, and then the challenge, do we make it, can we do it faster and better than when we came in, can we do it at all and just the sheer desire to get it done? hahaha. Lots of questions looming for sure. But first, it was time to try out my dehydrated eggs that I’d learned how to make from my friend Kyra.
I had dehydrated the eggs pretty well and they were almost a powder. I got out the ingredients, some real bacon bits, some cheese I’d dehydrated, and the eggs. I boiled some water and put the eggs and the cheese in it in the little covered pot I brought. Then, I waited, packing up my gear in between as we’d need to get off the site and on our way fairly early if we were going to get out of the park before nightfall!
They eggs didn’t get as fluffy or ungrainy as I would’ve liked. I added more water to try and re hydrate them a bit more.
Then I’d added to much and had to cook them a bit in the pan to reabsorb the water. They ended up pretty good, but not perfect. I would have to try this again when I had more time to re hydrate and get it right but for now, these would do. The bacon and cheese definitely added to them. I laid the mixture out on a big wrap and started eating.
Not bad at all! Although I had brought way to much, it was pretty tasty overall. I only ended up eating about half of it, but I was still happy I’d given it a try and I knew with some more experience with them, I could get them to be a lot better. For now, it was time to get going!
I took a few last pictures and a quick video of the site empty in case you want to check it out sometime. Sorry for the quick pans, it was time to go and I was getting anxious.
After checking and rechecking everything was packed, we headed out for our short paddle to that area before the portage that was too shallow and rocky to actually paddle through and got out several times to walk the kayaks behind us.
It was a gorgeous day and I was looking forward to enjoying it as much as possible, regardless of all the portages that lay ahead of us and the strength I knew it would take to get back to the parking lot.
We got to the first portage and I aced it like a champ. I carried my boat the entire km without stopping and shortly after I arrived at the other end, I saw Joyce coming along with her boat as well. WOW! I was really impressed as her boat is much heavier than mine and she is also carrying a dog every step she takes. Amazing!!! We both rejoiced and then walked back to get our gear. This day might be better than I could’ve hoped! My shoulder, however, needed help. It was red and raw and bruising. I put on my short sleeved shirt to at the very least have something between my skin and my kayak and it did seem to help going forward.
We left the portage and headed into the serene river and I was enjoying every minute of it. I still was on the lookout for wildlife and I still was disappointed I saw nothing, but I guess you can’t have it all.
Way too soon, we arrived at portage #2, but this one was only 660 meters, and we both nailed it like superstars!!!
On to number three and our final portage. Sadly, it was a very very short way from portage #2 to portage # 3 and neither of us were very anxious about doing the third one. We had made good time so far. It was only 1pm and it was hot and sunny out. We decided to take a break and refuel and recharge. We stopped at an island and had some lunch and a lie down and took about an hour to rest. Eventually, we headed to portage #3 ready to kick some butt!
I did kick some butt and was totally exhausted by the end. Joyce kicked butt as well but it took her a tiny bit longer, understandably. At the end of portage #2 I had actually picked up her boat to move it to the put in for her while waiting for her to come through with her gear and was amazed at how heavy her boat was. I had absolutely no idea how she had carried it through one portage, let alone the three of them with her dog strapped to her chest????
But she did make it and I was so happy and proud of her. She never complained once, just kept going. I honestly don’t know if I would’ve been able to do what she did? Way to go girlfriend! You killed it!
We celebrated and took a bit of time to rest and eventually headed into Kingscote Lake for our final paddle through to our cars. We were extremely delighted over our reception there and our goodbye serenade!
They went on and on for about 5 minutes straight and it was pure joy! We had made it through all of our portages, not once, not twice but three times each …. twice now. We were both really happy and proud of ourselves, and I personally was looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight and letting my bruises heal. Speaking of… these are the markings left by portaging my kayak on this adventure.
I earned every mark and was somewhat proud of the pain I’d endured to prove I could accomplish this feat. Will I do it again… I guess you will have to wait and see about that one!!
Eventually we made it back to the put in at Kingscote Lake and put our boats up on our vehicles to get ready for the trip back to our homes. Without counting the one hour stop we made, it took us 7.5 hours to get back and 9.5 hours to get out to the site, so we managed to shave 2 hours off our time. Pretty awesome indeed! I gave Joyce big hugs and said goodbye to little Goliath and headed on my way, hoping to get a bunch of km’s in before darkness fell. I had hit a deer on my way home from last trip in Algonquin and I was a bit nervous about driving all these back roads in the dark. Although I am happy I get to avoid driving through Toronto now that I live in Muskoka, I have new challenges, like avoiding animals and having to take back roads in total darkness, instead of brightly lit highways. I prefer the new route still, but just saying, not everything is totally perfect!
I really hope you enjoyed my adventure and you come back soon to check out another post! If you’d like to leave a comment, advice or just say hi, please do so. I love chatting with everyone and appreciate your comments and feedback.
Big thanks to Joyce for suggesting we do this trip and for being such a wonderful camping partner! I can not wait for our next adventure!