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8 days solo in my Chestnut Chum-LaVerendrye, Quebec

Discussion in 'Places to Paddle' started by robin, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. robin

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I left home in late July, early morning and arrived at LeDomaine, the base where you buy your permits to canoe camp in LaVerendrye Reserve, Quebec by late afternoon. I was soon back on the road for another 100 miles to my put in in the northern part of the park, 40 miles of that gravel road.

    I got to my put in shortly before dark and camped lakeside at the short portage, way too tired to head out this first night.
    Early the next morning I was ready to go, canoe packed and as eager as a 65 year old solo tripper can get.

    My route was to be Circuit 70, which is circular, but 1/2 way through the circuit I headed south on Circuit 77, and then back tracked back to 70 to finish the route. About 58 miles or so when I finished, all lake to lake travel with some river travel mixed in between the lakes.
    The first day of travel was upstream but the current wasn't much of a problem. I portaged 3 times around chutes where the river dropped.


    Soon I entered my first big lake, Lac Lambert. The wind started out pretty easy, but soon it picked up. A storm was coming in and I had to fight my way up the lake, cove to point to cove. It was a tough day, I passed a campsite but chose to paddle on to the next a few miles up the lake. I arrived shortly before the rain began and I managed to process some firewood before all heck broke loose.
    It doesn't take much to make a happy camper, some hot coffee, some warm grub and a good tarp.

    Not long afterwards I heard the drone of a small outboard motor approaching my campsite. Soon a nice couple from the park entered the campsite with tools in hand. They trimmed, raked and inspected the site, all was good. We talked a little, they told me my route was in good shape and that this was day one of a 10 day trip. Thier boat was loaded to the gunnels with gear and food, and they had to portage it just like a canoe tripper. UGH!

    My new friends heading off to the next campsite. I have a new respect for those who keep our trails and campsites open and clean.

    Soon the storm ended and I enjoyed a nice evening paddle on the quiet lake. For me, nothing comes close to an evening paddle in my wood canvas canoe after a day of wind and rain

    To be continued.
  2. OP

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Part 2

    The next day was again windy and stormy, but it cleared and calmed down soon after I set up my camp. I heard some voices coming down the lake and soon spotted 2 canoes headed my way. They where 7 young boys, 2 of them appeared to be the leaders in the sterns of the wood canvas canoes. They where from Camp Nominingue, a boys camp in Quebec. They where in good spirts and seemed to be having fun. They where surprised to see my "cedar canvas". Some interesting canoe information on the camps website


    As they moved off in the distance their laughter turned to quiet conversation and I couldn't help but wonder if I was the topic.
    "Who was that old guy by himself with a wood canoe" "Probably a Yank"
    I came across their campsite the next day and noticed they used one large tent and cooked over a fire, and left a spotless campsite. It was good to see young men building character and having fun out on the trail.


    Later that evening I paddled the shoreline and tried some fishing. I found a good spot with a little current and was rewarded with two find Pickerels (walleyes) I hit the old 10 second delay on my camera and balanced it on a rock lakeside to get this picture. I released the bigger fish and ate half the smaller fish that evening. Ummmm good!


    The next day I arrived at Chute Henault about lunch time, so I ate the other half of the cooked pickerel cold with some maple syrup spread across the top. One of my favorite tripping spots, a fine canoe and a good meal, doesn't get much better.


    The rain seemed to follow me south and when it got too heavy I would wait it out under a cedar tree. Here is my outfit, a Duluth Pack Cruiser Pack, an early Duluth Pack Day pack with two water proof food bags inside, and two water bottles in the front pocket, one filled with water, the other with my favorite tripping beverage, and an old Army surplus bag for fishing tackle, camera, binocs and repair tools. A 15' Chestnut Chum and 2 beavertail paddles.


    to be continued.
  3. OP

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I was soon heading back north and the weather stayed unsettled. I would get caught in a downpour and I then would stop to drain the canoe and have a cup of "cowboy" coffee brewed over my little twig stove.


    Before I left on this trip, I was cautioned by my brother in law that maybe my days of solo tripping where behind me.
    I guess it's like Harleys and Viet Nam, if I have to explain, you will never understand.

  4. bartcanoe

    bartcanoe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Where's the rest? Love the pictures and seeing someone tripping in wood and canvas
  5. OP

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi, Thanks, That's about it for a trip report, Yes, I enjoy tripping solo in my wood canvas Chestnuts, not sure if there is much interest here anymore.
    Thank You
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    No Brainer.

    Huh? What you talking' about?? Keep the trips and the posts coming!:cool:
  7. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I was waiting for more, with bated breath!
  8. bartcanoe

    bartcanoe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I don't know about anyone else, but I can't think of anything better than a wood and canvas canoe being used for what it was intended for. Keep it coming.
  9. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    not sure if there is much interest here anymore

    Lots, thank you for posting. Put us as many as you have, these are great for those of us who have tremendous difficulty getting away for this much time anymore!!
  10. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member

    Thanks for posting. Really nice photography especially considering you had no help. Nice to see an old Chestnut where it belongs!
  11. ggetty

    ggetty Camillus Canalrat Master

    What a great trip! Great pictures too! You have my envy and have been to places that I may never see. Keep your Chestnut in action and post away!
  12. MackyM

    MackyM LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Anyone know what happened to the web forum', Robin linked to?
  13. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    You are an inspiration, I can only hope to be tripp'en when I reach 65. And I've already put down the W/C for lighter canoes.

    And yes, please keep the posts and pics coming.

  14. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    It may seem like you are paddling and portaging solo, but you are actually taking many of us 'along' with you through your photos. Please keep tripping, and snapping pics as you go, so that us dreamers who are still at home can enjoy our vicarious pleasure.
  15. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member


    Well said!!!
  16. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker


    I still miss some old threads from this site. We lost some really great information.
  17. kayamedic

    kayamedic Kim Gass

    I am Yellowcanoe on canoetripping and the ADK forum . YC is a Kevlar boat(yes with wood trim). Now.. I have tripped with Robin a few times and I think we have to cut him some slack for a week or so. It is prime tripping season and he might not even know of the "difficulties".

    About three years ago I dragged sorry YC out of the water in a pouring cold downpour into Robin's site on Little Tupper Lake, and staggered to his tent. He welcomed me with a warm tent, dry chair and a hot cup of coffee...
    I did make cinnamon buns on hot stove later
    Robin wrote to me last week that he was frustrated about all the spam artists and the bored cyber meddlers trying to get on and was thinking of just pulling the site. I don't blame him one bit.

    It takes a huge amount of time and good tech advisors to make running a site possible. I think that we paddlers love to share our experiences but to be able to run a forum is a bit beyond most of us. That said, it is not impossible as some have many talents. Funny in this age of "connections" it's sometimes hard to make that link of paddler/programmer/ tech guru possible.

    It can be done. It's done here. I am thankful for that. If you want to offer help to counter the hacker who apparantly was after Admin privileges you might consider PM to Robin. Though as I mentioned he might be "out" for a while.

    I also liked the emphasis on traditional tripping.
  18. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The web forum' is back online.
  19. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I'll respond perhaps partly to brag but more to encourage. I've been solo tripping since 2008 and I am now 68. WC canoe is still okay so long as I keep the weight under 90 lbs. Carrying is not the problem it is the lift to the shoulders that is hard. But solo brings it's own challenge. I just got back from Ontario. I was out three weeks in a base camp. Someone back in the city (pop 30) got nervous and called the RCMP about my car "abandoned beside the road." Fortunately, the RCMP took information from my license plate and called down south to the states and inquired if anyone had heard from me or was concerned. My daughters were not concerned and told them to wait a week more at least before sending out the search party. Seems the local powerboat people cannot grasp a solo paddler out so long or alone. They tried to justify the panic by saying how bad the weather was and how hard was the route I'd taken. All of which was nonsense unless you're trying to portage your 20 ft stern drive and they all forget a canoe in bad weather can beach in a cove where a powerboat cannot.
    A few pictures.
    My hero is a fellow I met in the Adirondacks who built his own stitch and glue. He was still running the routes and portaging solo at 84.

    Attached Files:

  20. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Hope this does not embarrass the fellow but this could be any of us at 84 years of age.

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