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Saturday, October 9, 2004:
Left Woodstock at 3:30 am
Nap, then breakfast in Gravenhurst at 8am
Drive to put in on Shoe Lake (UTM 664,840E, 5,008,120N [Based on UTM Zone 17N, NAD83])
W on ShoeLake
P 1097m to Blue Chalk Lake
SW through Blue Chalk Lake
P 46m to Red Chalk Lake
SW through Red Chalk Lake
P 457m into Carcass Lake
S through Carcass Lake
P 823m to Upper Pairo
SE through Upper Pairo
P 137m to Lower Pairo
Camp on north shore (UTM 661,530E, 5,003,810N)

Today's Portage Distance: 2560 m
Total Portage Distance: 2560 m
Today's Paddle Distance: 8.2 km
Total Paddle Distance: 8.2 km

Sunday, October 10, 2004:
P 1463m to Black Lake
E through Black Lake
Stopped to visit Randy and Candace
P 914m to Black River
E on Black River
P 230m to Horse Lake
Camp on North shore of Horse Lake, (UTM 666,140E, 5,004,510N)

Today's Portage Distance: 2607 m
Total Portage Distance: 5167 m
Today's Paddle Distance: 6.3 km
Total Paddle Distance: 14.5 km

Monday, October 11, 2004:
P 210m to Black River
E on Black River
P 340m around rapids/falls
P 40m around rapids
E into Wren then Little Wren Lake
Take out at Little Wren Access Point (UTM 668,380E, 5,005,900N)

Today's Portage Distance: 590 m
Total Portage Distance: 5757 m
Today's Paddle Distance: 4.1 km
Total Paddle Distance: 18.6 km

Maps & Info:
  • Click here to see the pictures that Matt took on this trip!

  • Darren Cope
  • Mike Proper
  • Sandra McSween* (Proper)
  • Hil Schooley
  • Matt Fallowfield


Saturday, October 9, 2004:

I packed everything up with Darren at my apartment in Woodstock on Friday, the 8th. Darren and I laid down to try to get some sleep, and then at 2 am we went to pick Hil up from work. When we got home Hil got cleaned up and we left Woodstock at 3:30 am after hitting up Tim Horton's before getting on the 401. Just past Kitchener we met up with Mike and Sandra at the service station on the 401. We proceeded to drive to just outside of Barrie for a quick pit stop for gas and food, then continued up the 400, joining onto #11 North to Gravenhurst. Once in Gravenhurst we found a Municipal parking lot to park in and sleep for a few hours waiting for restaurants to open so we could have breakfast. Mike, Darren and I went for a walk at about 4 am and found a place called "The Elegant Goose" that opened at 8 am, serving an all you can eat buffet.

Back on the road we headed back to the Swift Canoe and Kayak Dealer on the Northbound side of #11 to pick up Mike and Sandra's rental boat - a Swift Temagami. From there, after signing all the necessary paper work, we continued up #11 North and took the exit for #118. On 118 we went to Scougog Lake Road, and headed North on that to join into #35. Once on #35 it was only a short drive to the put in on Shoe Lake Road. There we dropped off all the gear and the canoes, and found a car with the license plate "SHOE LK". I took my car back to Little Wren Lake access point and Sandra followed me to take me back to Shoe Lake.

All 3 boats were loaded and we were on the water headed West down Shoe Lake. It was a very windy, overcast day. We found the portage to Blue Chalk Lake, and it started to rain. That portage was 1097m long, and it followed partly on ATV roads and partly on portage trail. We went Southwest through Blue Chalk to the portage to Red Chalk lake, this one was only 46m long, more of a lift over. Southwest through Red Chalk, we had to pump water in the little bay because we were all out, and this was the first place sheltered enough from the wind to make it possible to do so. We put a tow line from the stern of my boat to the bow of Darren's solo boat to cross the open portion of Red Chalk to the portage to Carcass Lake, at 457m it was a relatively easy portage, the only difficulty on any of the portages this day was the fact that it had been raining and things were a little bit greasy. Continuing South through Carcass Lake to the portage to Upper Pairo Lake, this portage was a little longer at 823m and it was still quite windy at this point. We took a bit of a break to rest from the struggle with the wind and rain. After our break we proceeded Southeast down Upper Pairo Lake towards the portage to Lower Pairo. The portage to Lower Pairo was 137m long and upon completing that we paddled Southeast down Lower Pairo Lake to a fairly sheltered campsite on the North shore. We had a cold, wet night, and the site was pretty poorly laid out. The tents were way to close to the fire, and the fire pit was really poorly constructed. We had a good supper of Ham, and potatoes with vegetables. We were all in bed early because of the weather and we all got a pretty good sleep after an exhausting day of paddling.

Sunday, October 10, 2004:

We got up relatively early and had breakfast of oatmeal, apples, granola bars, and bagels. On the water for around 10 am we got not a bad start after packing up all of our wet gear. We headed towards the portage from Lower Pairo Lake across to Black Lake, at 1463m long it was the longest portage of the trip. It was also the most confusing portage of the trip, winding all over the place, following everything from roads to ATV trails, to practically invisible portage trails. We finished this portage and we had lunch on the West end of Black Lake on the water. I took over the solo boat today, so I served lunch out of my boat since the food pack was in it. We paddled East on Black Lake to find that there were some other canoeists (the first we had seen through the trip so far), and it turned out it was Candace, Randy and Yosimite, whom we had tripped with in the Frost Centre earlier this year. We stopped to visit with them for a while, Randy started a fire to warm us up and dry some of our stuff out. It was a nicer day but it was still cool, and from walking through the bush and puddles on the portage we were all pretty wet. After our visit we continued East down Black Lake towards the portage to Black River. This portage was 914m around some falls and rapids. Once we got to the top of that we took another break in the sun on a rock that was sheltered and was actually pretty warm. We left there and headed East on Black River to the portage, 230m, over to Horse Lake, the mud was not as bad this time, but the water was down a lot from where it was earlier, so it was still pretty mushy. We returned to the same AWESOME campsite that we had earlier this year. It's on the North shore of the lake, and it is sweet for swimming, and the layout is pretty decent too. We had soup for supper, Darren and I went for a quick swim, and then we sat around the campfire for a little while. We all went to bed after hanging the bear bag and yet again we all had a pretty decent sleep.

Monday, October 11, 2004:

Got up and had a breakfast of champions, one that was introduced to us by Candace on the last trip to the Frost Centre. We made up some freeze-dried western omelets and had some bagels leftover so we had western sandwiches with cheese. Really good breakfast but really time consuming, so not too bad for a day that you have lots of time. We packed everything up, pumped water and then headed for the portage to sadly leave one of my favourite places in the world. We portaged 210m back into Black River, and then headed east to the next portage. This one was a 340m portage around the rapids, and falls that Darren and I ran earlier this year. We walked down along the river to check out what we had run before, and there was no comparison, with the water down it was nothing like earlier in the year. We got back in the boats and paddled a short distance to the falls where there was another 40m lift over. At the falls we took some pictures and kind of took our time as we didn't really want to leave. All loaded up again we headed to the next lift over at the small rock barrier, would be a shallow rapid with enough water. From there we were on the home stretch unfortunately… We continued East into Little Wren lake and then over to the takeout point at the parking lot. We unpacked the gear out of the boats, took everything up to the parking lot and I took Sandra to get her car. The only wildlife on the trip was the 2 deer that Sandra and I saw on our way to get her car. We got back to Little Wren Access point, loaded the trailer, and strapped the canoes on. We were off to go home, as I have already said it was against our will, but we had to. We dropped off the rental boat, and then headed for Barrie to our normal stop at the service station. Our trip home was pretty uneventful other than the lights not working on my trailer, and Mike getting a speeding ticket.

Overall it was an excellent trip, and I would actually like to return and do a modified loop of this in the winter on cross-country skis.
  This page was last updated on May 3, 2005 at 09:31 PM