Rented a Swift Osprey solo canoe from Algonquin Outfitters. Great canoe, efficient and friendly outfitter.
From Access Point 9 (top of map) south through Rock Lake, Pen Lake, west to Welcome, Harry, Rence Lakes, north to Frank, Florence and Lake Louisa, then back east to Rock Lake.
The access point is up this river. Here is the river mouth on Rock Lake, next to a busy campground.
First view of Rock Lake. The hill on the left is called Booth's Rock. There's a hiking trail to the top.
Found a campsite on Rock Lake's east shore about an hour before sunset.
Sunset on Rock Lake
Next morning, heading south past those islands toward Pen Lake
Between Rock and Pen Lakes, a 375 m portage avoids these falls.
End of the portage on Pen Lake. Water levels are very low.
Pen Lake is long and narrow on a north-south axis. I need to get near the central hill.
Wind gave me a free ride south. Pen Lake is a real beauty.
Found the river at the south end of Pen. The portage should be at the forest edge.
River was extremely shallow, with a bit of pulling necessary.
And a beaver dam to lift over. Beyond the dam, water levels made paddling easier.
Approaching the new take-out, due to low water levels.
The new take-out is about 40 m downstream from the high-water take-out.
The 355 m portage circumvents this waterfall, which is just a trickle this year.
The portage ends here in a beaver meadow.
Now paddle up the channel on the right to the next portage take-out on the other side of the meadow.
2285 m portage to Welcome Lake from the meadow is a doozy. Canoe rests make it easier. And a yoke pad!
Light at the end of the portage tunnel, as Welcome Lake appears.
Beach at the put-in on Welcome Lake.
Lillies on the river that leads to Harry Lake.
Campsite on Harry Lake. I had the lake to myself.
Campsite on the north shore of Harry Lake.
Blackbird hammock. Tried out a new under-quilt protector from 2QZQ. It protects the down under-quilt from rain splash, stops the wind from robbing the quilt's warmth, and adds an extra air pocket of warmth.
Morning mist on Harry Lake. Nighttime low was 7.5 degrees.
Morning mist on Harry Lake.
Mist starts to burn off while I have breakfast.
Ready to go. Need to cross the lake to the corner where the tree-scape dips. That's the river that leads to Rence Lake.
En route to Rence Lake.
Last of the water lilies this year.
Last view behind me of Harry Lake.
Foundation of an old logging road bridge.
Arriving at Rence Lake. The route follows the shore for only about 100 m before entering another river.
It took a while to find this portage take-out. 320 m to Frank Lake.
Put in on Frank Lake. A small lake with one nice campsite.
Frank and Florence are really one lake. From Florence a 1725 m portage leads to Lake Louisa, my destination for the day. At one point the portage trail uses a stretch of this logging road.
Put-in at Lake Louisa. You can see the yoke pad on the removable yoke. The pad was recommended by the outfitter. It saved me a lot of pain.
Late afternoon sunlight was dazzling me on Lake Louisa. I was tired from the sun and portaging so I was happy to find the second-closest site unoccupied. This campsite on a rocky point on the south shore has a sunset-viewing bench (!) and room for a lot of tents.
View north from campsite bench.
Next morning I headed out to the northeast end of the lake in windy conditions. Luckily the wind was from the southwest!
Looking back southwestward on Lake Louisa.
The portage back to Rock Lake is at the east end of Louisa, where a bear has caused the closure of several campsites. This was to be the longest portage of the trip.
Walking back for the second load i spotted this fellow.
Closer inspection revealed him to be a pine marten.