To celebrate our anniversary (4 years), we booked a site on Cloudy Lake at Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park for Labour Day weekend. This would be our third trip into the park and a new lake to explore. We invited other friends along and had a great weekend camping with them.
We went in through the Cold Lake access point on Catchacoma Lake and had a good paddle down through narrows into Gold Lake and then eventually into Cold Lake. Reaching Cold Lake was the boundary of the park.
We did a 1339m portage from Cold Lake into Cloudy Lake. The Portage was really neat. There was a lot of barren rock and shield, so the portage was marked with a lot of yellow blazes on rocks, rock cairns, flagging tape and small yellow portage signs. This portage is probably better suited for experienced paddlers because you need to be able to read and know the various markings to stay on the portage trail.
It was probably the hottest weekend all summer. It was at least 30 degrees celsius and very humid. I was happy to spend the weekend on the water. Once we reached our campsite I had to go for a dip!
We slept with the fly off our tent because it only went down to a low of 17 degrees celsius. I loved it so much. There were no bugs so we could even keep the doors open a little to help air flow.
I woke up the next morning at sun rise. It was already extremely muggy and it was before 7AM! B and D were up at 5AM to go hiking through the backcountry. I took this opportunity to capture a few photographs.
B and D returned early and just in time for breakfast!
I spent the day dipping in the lake, starting my nature journal, hanging out with Banjo and our friend S. When the guys returned from another backcountry hiking excursion we had lunch. S went down to the lake to grab some water when she noticed a weird black thing in the water, maybe a loon. But with a closer look it was a black bear swimming toward our campsite!
We all rushed down to the water to get another look and the bear was scared so turned around. We were happy to see its reaction, because that’s exactly how a bear should behave. It swam back to the other side of the lake and we didn’t see it again. It was incredible to watch and one of the rewards for getting out into the wilderness.
For those of you who believe it’s better to camp on an island if you’re afraid of bears, think again. They can swim! Here is a video that I took.
After all of that excitement it was time to play with Banjo.
We spent the evening hanging out on the various “front porches” on our site and had a few bush martinis. It was a wonderful short trip and made me realize that any amount of time spent out there is worth it.
I will definitely be back to this lake. Kawartha’s are beautiful and so close to home.