La Verendrye Circuit 30 another not going far nor fast

Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
The trip was supposed to be two circuits..30 and 33 for a distance of about 100 km. Things did not turn out that well nor that way.

I launched at Grand Barrage..and there was a grand barrage of blackflies..mean and biting.. It did not take long to get ready to go.



It was about two pm and running counterclockwise on the circuit about 4 km away were four campsites. I checked them all out and picked the one with the best exposure for minimum bugs. I was concerned that two bottles of Bens 100 might run out. If I had known. There was a bit of a breeze, headwind actually.

Pictures from site 30-101








Next day I worked my way over three easy portages and a barrage du castor which was huge. I say easy because they were though I seemed to be first through this year and there were some blowdowns though nothing like in Manitoba. Some bog bridging was really iffy. In my old age I find that I am not liking loading sites like this too well, especially with a solo canoe



Working toward Lac Canimina.





I pull into site 30-79. Its marked for reservable for large groups but its Tuesday and its getting stormy and so I stay. It is very windy at camp and the fire is giving needed warmth. Did I mention there was nary a bug? I pull on all my woolies including long underwear, hat and gloves. Yes its about four pm.. It's a beach site which tends to give little shelter.






I check out this widowmaker. Seems it won't move at all.. and if it falls won't be on the tent though this picture makes it look like "what was I thinking"?



O by the way I see a fisherman. No canoeists yet. He is in the distance.

Next morning is the best.. its getting warm. I see some birdlife





Loons too but they are being evasive.


I get down the arm of Canimina to the beginning of the 600 m portage into Lac Myon. First I step out and what looked solid wasn't. Crawl out onto the boggy bank. Look up and see the first of many blowdowns to shove the boat through.. Had to double carry.. the port starts out right up an esker and goes down the other side. I hate eskers..maybe.. The skeeters are out as the port follows a dryish watercourse and its hot and sunny. I am so dirty that they don't bother me..no repellent on.. or perhaps they are not yet ready to bite. Finally I get to Lac Myon.. and paddle across that little puddle to find myself looking at a dock set back from the edge of the bog about 50 feet. Ugh.. I fall in again but find I can get my feet on some submerged logs and drag the canoe to the dock...climb on the dock and wonder what to do. I take each pack over and then as the dock is unsteady drag the canoe over the swamp. Trouble is there is a river running downhill and the muck continues. Later I look back and wonder how I got through at my decrepit age but I did it. On with big pack for the 230.

Not all short portages are easy.. After 100 m the trail goes straight uphill ,crosses a road and goes straight downhill..

At the end by the shore of Nichcotea, I pause for a pic.



I have a few km of paddle across Nichcotea which is big but dead calm this day. Third campsite is 30-50. I am having trouble with my fingers..eight of them have split tips and there is blood over everything I touch. I can't get bandaids to stay on with all the loading and unloading. I have some 15 more portages to do circuit 33 and I know that things will be incredibly painful and maybe not possible. I wimp out.Opting to go up Grand, which is a beautiful lake that I have never camped on.

Here is from the campfire at 30-50.. which too has a beach




Easy paddle up Grand the next day but the wind powers on about noon with whitecaps so being on the lazy track now I camp at 30-24 and read a very good Garrison Keillor book of stories.

I have time to doodle around the lake which has beaches, rocky islands but no moose. The largest mammal I see is a mouse. I am so bummed about that.

I find this campsite..





Looks perfect for a gathering(30-23) and only 5 kms and no portages from the car. I saw a couple of fishermen on Grand. Total I saw NO one camping at the canoe campsites, saw NO canoes and only fishermen who camp at the accessible SEPAQ sites.

Would be nice to have a gathering but it seems we have all moved on.

That night was my second on 30-24 and it started raining at dusk.. It was pouring when I got back to my car at Grand Barrage and kept pouring all the way on my drive to Montpelier VT. I would have liked to stay in St Jerome that evening but everything was booked for a Quebec holiday. I never knew St Jean Baptist was a long weekend. I do know now.

Bugs? Aside from dedicated biters at Grand Barrage, some at the first campsite, some swarming mosquitoes on the 600 meter portage not much. I rarely had to pull out the repellent. At the Grand Lake site toward dusk the blackflies swarmed but would not bite.. Things are odd this year.
 
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Joined
Jan 31, 2013
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In the mountains North of Montreal.
Thanks for taking the time to write your trip report. I must say that I enjoyed it very much. I sort of lived your trip trying to imagine what you were doing/feeling. Geez I miss being out there. Hope to get back in the saddle before September.

Wish I would have known you were coming through.

I also feel an gathering of the clan would be nice. Miss you guys, have a good summer.

Gerald
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
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136
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Ottawa, Canada
Thanks YC. A good trip report and some great pics. You seem to be enjoying your camera.
I haven't done those circuits for about 10 years now.
I need to get back to LaV as I miss it. This year is shot but LaV is on my must-do list for next year.
All the best,
Ted
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
My crappy camera is a waterproof Pand S that does not float. I tried to teach it to swim on the North Fork of the White in Missouri. Thankfully its orange. Its a Nikon AW 100.

Not great. Tends to fog though the filter I got for it to avoid flare falls off. It does have a bracketing feature so I can get some pseudo HDR out of it and Photomatix does the rest at home. I find high contrast the bane of outdoor photography when there are things in bright light you don't want washed out and things in shadow you don't want to look like just shapes.
 
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Oct 12, 2012
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Alburnett Iowa
Thanks YC for the TR and pics. I haven't got out yet this year. My spring trip to the BWCA got iced out, and the waters locally are in flood stage. I could go anyway but paddling floody muddy waters is not to fulfilling to me. Dave
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
YC wrote:
"to the beginning of the 600 m portage into Lac Myon"

"the port starts out right up an esker and goes down the other side. I hate eskers.."

"Finally I get to Lac Myon.. and paddle across that little puddle to find myself looking at a dock set back from the edge of the bog about 50 feet. Ugh.."


I say:
The worst portage I refused to do...I walked the road back to my truck cause in my case it was the end of the trip...what a tough portage, had it all, bugs, mud, more mud, up that steep hill, and more mud right out from the shore. You need to slow down, cause portages like that where made for others way farther away from social security than you or Me. A great trip report till I read that. I don't know if I should praise you for perseverance/being hard core or scold you for us old timers who walk around the tough stuff!!!
Anyway, I enjoyed the report, I liked the pictures too, and those guys fishing in the boat behind the merganser was funny.
"
Working toward Lac Canimina." was excellent, made me wish I was there. Thanks for the TR, but you need to pick easier solo routes
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
IIRC there was a lovely 900 meter portage at the southernish end of Grand Lac Victoria that had a long steep section going up the esker. I remember someone on this site writing of the climb up it.. :)

I traveled that portage the other way with the esker slope on the descent.. :)
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
Ouch! Yes, That was a tough climb, but I did it only once, the next time I dropped my canoe and gear on the other side of that one too and walked around by way of the road.
I guess that's cheating, but I call it "creative tripping":confused:

The more I look at that merganser watching the fisherman, the funnier it gets!

Also liked the "Here is from the campfire at 30-50.. which too has a beach" picture, pretty much has La Verendrye written all over it
 
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What an amazing place, had never heard of it. Great pictures and report, enjoyed. Thanks for posting it up. Site 30-101 really looks like somewhere I could spend some time.
 
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