Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trip Report: Day:3 Lower Missinaibi River - Mattice to Moose River Crossing.

Day 3: July 2, 13.
-Km's Paddled: 40km
-Portaged Meters: 3050m, yup Over 3km.
-General Weather: Sunny, No clouds
-End Of Day Camp.

Getting Ready to Break Camp.

After a great sleep listening to the falls all night, we had our big day in front of us. The last day of portages, and big one at that. We ate Oats and drank Coffee and set off. Along the rest of the Thunderhouse portage there is a log book. Turns out we were the second people through this S/S so far. Portage should be good! We paddle the 2km to the first 700m portage to Stone rapids and breeze through those as water is higher than normal. Which brings us right up to the "Hell's Gate Canyon" Portage. A relatively flat except the super steep ending. At the start of the portage in thick bush I find a old Moose Shed, Quite old from being buried in the bush but what a souvenir for sure. We load up and take off. Bug shirts on as the portage is over grown, we plan of trekking in as far with full gear then duping half and continuing one, About 1km in we both dump half our gear. Sweat pouring down our heads, dripping though the nets and the thousands of mosquitoes in the bush make for a portage you do not want to stop in. Andy and I hike the full 2.3km without a water break and man it felt good to get the packs off our backs.

Hell's Gate Canyon.

We back track to our dumped gear, cooling down and walking fast. It is a nice trail, lots of logs in the way, but manageable. As Andy dropped the Canoe off about 50m behind where I dropped the pack I was waiting and standing still with my bug shirt on, and I kid you not.....there must have been about 3000 mosquitoes on my. I looked like the bee beard guy but with mossie's! Insane, The most bugs I have ever encountered in the bush. I question the heavens above why can't this river be runnable in late fall when it would be o so much more comfortable! We stop on the way back to the end of the portage to over look the Canyon and take some more pictures. Again quite a sight to see back in the bush. We feel very fortunate to have cast these sights upon our eyes.

Owen From MO, mentioned to us, that if you cast your line at the base of Hell's Canyon you will be guaranteed a fish within 5 min. Andy to Owen up on this and needless to say Owen won.  Very Quickly Andy caught a bass, one that would be a perfect lunch for us. After we pressed on from the portage, we were faced with the set called "Long Rapids" we decided to line about half of them and run the rest. It went smooth and again another good learning experience in lining the canoe. Everyday I get more comfortable, and confident. So much fun.

Lunch is served.
We find a nice beach in Bell's Bay for lunch. I get the fire going from the piles of driftwood around. Within Minutes we have a hot bed of coals and just the perfect size for frying up some fish and sweet potatoes with Maple Syrup. Andy Cleans the fish on the shore, and throws the trimmings back into the water for some other animal to enjoy. Within 5-10 min Lunch is ready. Whoa man! It tasted so good. Nothing like fresh fish from a northern Ontario river. We devoured lunch quickly with smiles n our face. After lunch we pressed on, and made it to our campsite, but realized we had tons of time left in the day, and decided to press on. We ended up putting another 15km under our belt.

This Site was high up on the shore, we had to scramble up the ledge to get to it, Very Mosquito-y. We got a fire going and then hung out below. It was shady which was nice. I laid in the tent for a bit to write in my journal and record some info. Andy went fishing on the shallow gravel bars long the river. A quite night. But the mossie's were loud all night, buzzing away like a drone through the night. Quite loud. Again hit the sack around 10. Long tiring day, From here no more portages!

On To Day 4.


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