Friday, August 8, 2014

Frontenac in 25 photos

I took Tanker out on his first ever canoe trip last week, and it was amazing despite raining every. Single. Day.

Setting out in full Gore-Tex
We left our hotel in Kingston on Monday the 28th in heavy rain, had a full breakfast at Denny's in steady rain, hit a gluten free bakery in more rain, picked up our rental canoe from Frontenac Outfitters in pouring rain, got out permits at the Frontenac Provincial Park office in wet weather, and left from the Big Salmon Lake launch in persistent rain.

Paddling for all of 2mins in our rain jackets, we hit our first portage up to Little Salmon Lake. We could have avoided it by doing a longer paddle & longer portage directly to Little Clear Lake, but it was the only way we'd see Little Salmon Lake.

And encountering these loons almost immediately on Little Salmon Lake was worth it.

Another portage up to Little Clear Lake and a paddle to the North end, then we set up the tarp over the tent pad so it could dry out. I had conveniently packed said tarp in the bottom of the canoe pack, because I'm a planner.

"Can't sleep - pack will eat me"
A hike to Tetsmine Lake and Lynch Lake (not accessible by portage routes - backpacking destinations only) gave the ground under the tarp some time to dry a bit while providing some nice sights.

Lovely lush forest trail

Pretty spillway under a footbridge

By the time we returned, the rain had ceased and we set up camp.


We were treated to a lovely sunset on Little Clear Lake to end our first day in the park.

I could get used to this.

Next morning we set off again after a good breakfast and a bit of time spent filtering water down at the shore in the company of some of the park's residents.

Rat snakes are a threatened species, though this one was pretty chill.

Back across Little Clear on our way to Black Lake, the forest gave way to some rockier shoreline.

Tanker manning the bow.

Another 2-portage day, with Tank carrying the pack and me as Captain Canoehead.

Like my hat?
A bit of extra investigation of the portage and backpacking trails between Black Lake and Big Clear Lake, then on to our second campsite.

Rocks and trees

Water lilies were everywhere!

The North shore of Big Clear Lake is gorgeous stone cliffs, which we paddled under and then hiked atop after setting up camp.

Tanker meets Big Clear Lake

Base of a scenic lookout

It rained again overnight and into the morning, but a sleep-in brought lovely sunshine.

View out the tent flap on Wednesday morning.

Tanker does breakfast dishes at campsite 13

From Big Clear we paddled down and portaged to Labelle Lake, then our last portage of the trip brought us back to Big Salmon Lake. Arriving at our campsite before 2pm, we did our longest afternoon of hiking to a couple of scenic views.

Mostly of swamps.

Some of which had residents.

We put up the tarp again as there had been thunder rolling around, but no actual rain fell that evening. We enjoyed our first campfire of the trip that didn't need a lot of faffing and hand-holding to stay lit - the joys of actual dry wood - as the sun set on our penultimate day in Frontenac.


View from our tent pad
 We awoke Thursday morning to incredible stillness and solid cloud cover.
You can see the underwater rock shelf in the bay

We had hoped to have a cup of coffee down by the water in peace & quiet, but unfortunately while it was brewing the two 4-year-old boys from the next campsite woke up and it began to rain again. We drank our coffee and had breakfast under the tarp instead, then packed up and headed for our extraction point.

Rocky shoreline

Frontenac putting on a show

Coming back in to the launch

Great times!

Then it was off to Bon Echo, but that will have to wait until next week..

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