This is the Rock Lake Access Point (Algonquin Access Point #9). It's on a short river connecting Whitefish Lake to Rock Lake. This was to be my 7th canoe trip in Algonquin Park.
Approaching Rock Lake
Literally around the corner from the access point, Booth's Rock, the hill that dominates the eastern shore of Rock Lake, comes into view.
Largely a repeat of my fall trip, but instead of accessing the loop from the west via Smoke, Ragged, and Big Porcupine Lakes, this trip I went in through the east, from Rock Lake. About 12 km of portaging total.
From my campsite on one of the islands of Rock Lake, I had a view of the rock face on the western shore which apparently contains pictographs.
Life on Rock
I looked for the pictographs, but could not make out anything. But I was impressed by these irises that found room to grow at the foot of the cliff face.
Goodbye Rock Lake
From the pictograph rock, I headed south on Rock Lake. This is the start of the 3km portage (2895m signed) to Lake Louisa. In August 2012, I disembarked just beyond the grass in the water---water level is much higher now.
Probably a dog, but I'd like to think this was a wolf. That's my size 9 water shoe above.
After a double carry (so 9km total walking), it was nice to get out on the lake in fine weather and light winds. This is a beautiful lake.
Only one other group on the lake, so I was able to snag this beautiful site on the southwest shore of the lake, near the portages leading south and west.
Morning on Lake Louisa
The great feature of this site was the rocky drop-off, where I saw fish and other aquatic creatures appear.
While eating breakfast, and watching minnows, I noticed a blurry shape emerge from the deeps...[top centre]
Denizen of the Deep
This was my first encounter with a turtle in the wild...the shell was a bit bigger than a dinner plate.
While observing the turtle and spooking a mink, I enjoyed the supreme luxury of french-pressed coffee with my walnut-and-blueberry porridge. Yum.
Goodbye Lake Louisa
My campsite was very close; just on that point on the right.
Felt longer than that
North Grace Lake
One of those perfect paddling days
What a difference 10 months makes
Last September, I was windbound here for an hour or two, at the westernmost campsite of North Grace Lake (here looking toward the west end of the lake, where in the dip of the treescape the portage leads to Lemon Lake). Today, barely a ripple.
This is the takeout at the west end of North Grace Lake. The last 10 metres is paddling through mud, thanks to the beavers.The paddle is supported only by mud and leeches.
After crossing little Lemon Lake, there is one more portage to cross to get to McGarvey, my home for the night. Ummm, if you lost an egg container this spring, it's waiting for you here...
McGarvey Lake put-in
There are three sites on the lake. Last fall I took a very sheltered site on the north shore to escape the winds; now in bug season that would be madness. There is a nice east-facing site visible on the island in the photo, but I opted for an open site at the west end of the lake.
Next morning. Always a relief to spot the yellow portage sign. Can you spot it? Just to the right of the boulder.
Last year I travelled from here to Bonnechère via Whatnot, Coon, and Big Porcupine Lakes. This time I'm going more directly to Bonnechère, with just a small lake interrupting the portage.
This little lake en route to Bonnechère (Lemon Creek Lake?) featured an impressive scum of pollen, which I believe is from pine trees (Jack, Red, or White? I'm not sure...)
In the interest of safety, since I travel by myself, I spent a bit of money to get this SOS satellite messaging gadget. The Delorme InReach device pairs with my phone and allows me to send text messages, e-mails, and SOS messages with attached maps. Worked well, and cheaper than a satellite phone.
38.9 mm of rain
Now I know what that means. I was happy to have brought a second tarp. This is a beautiful campsite on a point at the entrance to the northwest bay of Bonnechere Lake.
Bull moose in the rain
North end of Bonnechere Lake, en route to Phipps Lake.
A rare rain-free moment. But more to come...
(Sorry, no photos of this section from Bonnechère through Phipps and Kirkwood to Lawrence--it was a nightmare of mosquitoes and black flies. Only the centre of the lake brought any relief.)
Packing up, Lawrence Lake
Morning. Rain is easing. The hammock is packed. Grey hammock tarp will come down next. Then breakfast under the cheery yellow tarp.
Rare flat part of the portage trail from Lawrence to Rod & Gun Lake.
Orange amidst the green
Between Lawrence and Rod & Gun Lakes
Rod & Gun Lake
One of my favourite little lakes in the park. One nice rock face, one beautiful island, and the feeling that you are way up on top of the watershed. The far end is the outlet, leading down to Lake Louisa.
Back to Lake Louisa
After descending the beautiful portage (i.e. downhill all the way!) from Rod & Gun Lake, you wind up on this northern inlet of Lake Louisa.