We had a lazy morning packing up because we didn’t have that far to go to Moccasin Lake. When we started loading up our canoe, we could hear gunwale thunder approaching the same portage we were. It was a girls group of 4 canoes. We all landed at the same time (good thing there was enough space), but B, Banjo and I had our packs on before they were all out of their boats. We portaged 1030m to Muslim Lake where Banjo and I waited for B to go back and get the canoe.
I knew the girls camp would be approaching the put-in at any minute, but only 2 girls eventually came out. One was crying and the other looked and motioned me to not say anything.
The girl (let’s call her Sally) tripped and fell on the portage and cut her big toe open. According to her, it was the result of the leader (let’s call her Maud) chasing her down the trail. Maud ordered Sally to change from her flip-flops into her shoes, and asked that she carry a “low kit” (it was a diabetes girls camp) and other gear. When Sally refused (because it was all too heavy for her) and took off down the portage, Maud chased after her so that she wasn’t on her own, and that’s when Sally tripped. If she was wearing her running shoes instead of her flip-flops like asked, she wouldn’t have cut her big toe open.
“NO! It doesn’t matter, you were chasing me!” cried Sally. “I want you to call my mom right now!”
At this point I asked the leader if she had any first aid supplies, but they were left back at the beginning of the portage. I brought mine out and handed it to Maud so that she could take care of the injury.
“I don’t want you to touch me!” yelled Sally. I asked if she would let me take care of her foot, and if that was okay to take her flip-flop off. She did. So, I performed first aid on little Sally while she said that she hated it out here, and that she wanted to go home. All this time Banjo was lying beside us. I told Sally about Banjo’s misadventure in Algonquin and if the dog can make it 16 kms out of the interior in 4.5 hours with an allergic reaction, surely Sally can make it one more day until the bus was ready to pick them up at the Rain Lake access point.
B made it back and we packed up our canoe. He asked Sally if Banjo could say hi, and Banj went over and licked her face and didn’t we see a little smile out of Sally. Banjo performed therapy and I performed first aid.
I was surprised when I didn’t get a thank you from Sally or Maud for helping and using my own supplies (that will need to be replenished, like gloves, bandages, cotton swabs and a biohazard bag).
We had a few small portages to do. A 370m from Muslim to Wenona, 540m from Wenona to Bandit, and 440m into Moccasin where we stayed another night.
4 hours after we made camp, the girls camp came paddling by our site. Still no thank you or anything.
Moccasin is a beautiful little lake. We had it all to ourselves. We listened to a thunderstorm and had a little bit of rain for about 10 minutes until the sky cleared up again in the evening.
Our last night was spent on Casey(‘s) Lake. We portaged 185m out of Moccasin into Juan, and 450m into Jubilee where we paddled by the girls camp loading their canoes. We then portaged 450m into Sawyer(‘s) Lake and 310m into Rain Lake.
From there we paddled to our last portage of 1330m into Casey(‘s) Lake. The lake was at full capacity. When we got to the put-in, 2 groups paddled from the other portage to the 2 campsites we could see. We had to paddle to the last one. Not sure why it wasn’t taken because it was the cleanest, most pleasant looking site we had stayed on during our whole trip!
The sunset on this lake was incredible as we watched a weather system roll in.
Just as we started the trip with Ralph Bice, we had to end the trip with him. Instead of portaging from Daisy Lake into Acme “pond” Lake and into Hambone, we opted to paddle across Daisy again to the portage into the big waters of Ralph Bice. This was a challenging portage of 1455m considering we had just done a 1235m from Casey(‘s) into Daisy.
Ralph Bice Lake looked amazing! What a great view from the put-in. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this lake. It was originally named Eagle Lake and then Butt Lake, but finally named after Ralph because it was his favourite.
We had a 295m into Hambone and another 135m into Magnetawan to our access point. It was 11:55am when we rolled out of there (we broke camp at 7:00am).
It was a great trip! The 3 of us spent some good quality time together and we were able to see 4 moose and 2 families of river otters. The only thing that was surprising was the amount of people we saw. I think next time we’ll opt for a northern route to see if we can find some more solitude, and less campsites trashed by youth camps (granola bar wrappers, feminine products tossed in the bush, dirty underwear, socks, etc). The sites were well used.
Typical items left behind on campsites:
- bread bag tags
- granola bar wrappers
- elastic bands
- hair elastics
- bits of garbage in the fire pit (peels or packets)
- twist ties
- ropes hanging in trees
- small tent pieces
- tent pegs
- dirty socks and/or underwear (we had to burn underwear on Moccasin Lake that we found in the bush)
What am I missing?