Smoke Lake, 3p.m. Ready to go on a five-night loop through the southwest part of Algonquin.
On Smoke Lake, heading south to Ragged Lake portage.
Took about 1 hr 20 min to get here, the south end of Smoke. That's a Swift Osprey 15' solo canoe, rented from Algonquin Outfitters.
The put-in onto Ragged Lake.
Planned to go to Parkside Bay. Stopped short, in the channel, as light was fading.
Huge electrical storm that night. Next morning, you can see how the once-tightly pitched silnylon tarp has sagged in the rain.
Heading for south bay, and the Devil's Staircase portage up to Big Porcupine Lake.
Ragged Lake is full of stumps from logging and changing water levels.
I love this part of Big Porcupine, where the narrows enters into the big northern section of the lake.
On the northern section of Big Porcupine. Next, through the shallow second narrows to the southern section.
Looking back after threading the narrows
The southern section of Big Porcupine is just around that corner.
Leaving Big Porcupine to carry over to Bonnechere Lake.
I do double carries. This is the first load. The canoe is the second load. Two packs allow you to trim your canoe more easily than one big pack.
Approaching the put-in onto Bonnechere, you have to descend a bit...
...to the muddy put-in.
A cool feature of Bonnechere is this rocky narrows called the Devil's Razor. The entire ridge of rock is covered in canoe paint scrapes.
Chose this campsite on a point in the northwest end of Bonnechere.
It's mid-September. That's gotta be the last blueberry in the park.
Tarp and hammock. That's a Warbonnet Ridgerunner bridge-style hammock ...extremely comfy.
Next day on Phipps Lake. The portage from Bonnechere is supposed to end at the treeline. Maybe it did once, but now you have to go about 200m further to reach the lake, just off-camera left.
Phipps to Kirkwood was so short, I didn't bother putting the yoke on the canoe .
The take-out from Kirkwood, beginning of the portage to Lawrence and Pardee Lakes.
Looking back at from the portage landing. The approach was really shallow (middle-ground) but luckily I was lightly laden and squeaked through.
End of portage. Left side is Pardee Lake (route up to Harness Lk, etc.) and right side is Lawrence Lk (route to Lake Louisa).
Need to get down to the end of this L-shaped lake.
On Lawrence. It's hard to see the other arm of the "L" until you are upon it. A channel opens up on the right.
Leaving Lawrence for Rod&Gun Lake, you have to really climb. Though short, this was one of the steeper portages of the trip.
All the portages on this route are well-maintained, like highways.
First glimpse of little Rod&Gun Lake.
Putting in onto Rod&Gun, you have the feeling you are up high at the top of a watershed. I guess you are.
Before crossing Rod&Gun, I checked out this cliff face, looking for pictographs. You never know!
Heading down the portage trail toward Lake Louisa
Finally reach a little inlet of the big lake, Lake Louisa
Approaching the main part of Louisa. It's a big beautiful lake.
Ended up staying at the same campsite I had last year.
The sun came out.
Getting ready for the sunset
It did not disappoint.