Exploring the Upper Marshland River

Above, you can see the trip I did today. My intention was to explore the upper section of the Marshland River, to see how far I could paddle down it before reaching a long portage.

Here’s the play by play of that trip, which totaled approximately 16kms.

I hugged the shoreline, as I usually like to do, all the way down to the entrance of the Marshland River. I took a few pictures and videos on my way down, even though I’ve already covered this area before. It’s still a beautiful place to paddle and listen to the sounds along the way.

It was early morning and the sun was still low in the sky behind me. I came across this rock face where the reflecting sun off the water was dancing on the rocks and it looked interesting.

I continued on;

Until I reached the entrance to the Marshland River;

I wasn’t on the Marshland River too long when I sighted an orange sign on shore;

The Marshland River is a part of a locally recognized canoe route, so these marked campsites are here to support that route.

As far as campsites go, this was a perfectly acceptable site. There were level areas for the tents and there were multiple fire pits with lots of wood to be had. Access to the site was easy and the view was quite nice for a river site.
Once again, I mounted my water walker and continued on down stream until I reached a blockage;

It was during this short portage that I made a disturbing discovery.

The floor tube of my kayak may have been flat for a long time before I discovered it while portaging. The kayak still paddled very well, even though the floor was flat, but I couldn’t imagine why it went flat, since I hadn’t really done anything that might cause a puncture during my outing today, so far.
Anyway, since the kayak was still paddling fine, I continued on down the Marshland River and pretty soon came to another obstacle;

After looking at the distance, and considering my situation with the flat floor tube in my kayak, I decided that I wouldn’t be doing this portage. I also felt, at the time, that, even if I did the portage, I would soon run into another impassable section of river.

So, I decided to head back and maybe find a beach along the way where I could stop and take the floor out of my kayak to check for leaks.

Here’s the kayak parked at that last portage where I decided to turn back.

That’s the way back.

I headed back out towards Esten Lake and when I got there I decided to check a beach that I knew was close by. As I approached the beach, I could see that someone had set up a dining tent on it, so that beach was out of the question. I hadn’t intended to paddle right across to the other side of Esten Lake, where there were more beaches, but that’s exactly what I did. I figured that it would be easy enough to follow the far shoreline all the way back to the boat launch from there.
The main beach on the far side, was empty. This is the same beach that me and my son camped on, when we drove in with the truck, but this beach was quite a bit farther from where I was. There were a couple of other beaches closer to me and I could see, from a distance, that one of them had a small tent on it. The other beach looked empty, so I headed for it.

I was relieved when I was able to determine that the reason for the leak was my own mistake of putting too much pressure in the floor tube. Had it been a puncture, caused by hitting something, or just by using the kayak the way I normally do, I would have been discouraged, because that would mean that I would have to walk on eggshells, so to speak, every time I used the kayak.
All the tubes in the kayak are covered with heavy duty fabric tubes, except for the floor tube. That fabric tube helps to prevent over-inflation leaks by containing the more flexible inner tubes, so that they have a harder time expanding to the point of failure. That is why the instructions, which are printed right on the floor tube, state that only 1 psi should be used in the floor. I didn’t pay enough attention to this detail, but I will from now on.
After I had something to eat, and checked out the area a bit, I headed off, once again, towards the boat launch. There are small beach areas all along this shoreline, so I stopped, again, at another small beach to take a break and check out the area.

After I left this beach, I continued on back to the boat launch, where my truck was waiting. It was another fine paddling experience, except, of course, for the flat floor tube, but even that was an experience that I learned from, so all is well.
Just another few pics from the day;


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