Ice is Out – Kayak is In

Part 1

So, the lakes are once again free of ice, and I was back in the paddle again. Today I obliterated my previous one day paddling distance. My last paddle of the season last year was a 20km marathon around Elliot Lake. Today I paddled a total distance of 27kms, which took me a full 8 hours. I began at 6:30am this morning, and I arrived back to the launch point at 2:30pm.

Above, you can see the route I took. I did stop for something to eat along the way, but that was only for about ten minutes. I took over 300 pictures and videos along the way, so join me for my first paddle of this season.

So, I was off and paddling at around 6:30am, and it was promising to be a magnificent day.  I decided to do this post in two parts because it was such a long paddle, and I have so many pictures and videos that I want to share.

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The sun was just coming over the trees as I set off on my adventure. The air was cool but not uncomfortable.

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I headed down the shoreline, which was illuminated by the rising sun. The water was like glass, but there was no morning mist, which made for clear pictures.

I love the sounds of the awakening forest.

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I noticed, pretty quickly, that there was a lot of floating debris on the water after the ice had melted.

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I could tell this was going to be a monumental day for paddling, as I headed down the peacefully calm lake.

The sounds and smell of the newly reborn forest were magical and I stopped paddling many times along the way to just take it all in.

I wasn’t on any kind of a mission today, I had no idea where I was going, or how far. I just wanted to paddle and experience this wonderful wilderness.

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The kayak was performing beautifully, and I can’t say enough about how fantastic these Advanced Elements kayaks are.

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Everywhere you look around here there is a beautiful scene, and I took full advantage of that with my cameras.

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As I had expected, there was no one else out here this early in the morning, and this early in the season. However, later in the day, on the way back, I did encounter a couple of small fishing boats.

The last remnants of winter were still hanging on in the shade of the forest but, with the sunshine and temperatures we’ve been having for the last few days, they will be short lived indeed.

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One of the things I really like about coming into Esten Lake in the morning is that the sun is behind me. It makes for good lighting ahead, and is much easier to see where I’m going.

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The ruggedness of this wilderness always amazes me, and it’s no surprise why past explorers chose to travel through it via the lakes and rivers.

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I made my way down the lake, stopping quite often to take pictures and videos, and also just to enjoy the quiet and beauty of my surroundings.

I was headed towards an area where there are a number of islands, and the lake opens up a bit.

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Many of the deciduous trees had already started to bud although, for the most part, those trees still looked pretty bare, as a whole.

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As I often mention, I usually stay pretty close to the shoreline when I’m paddling. I just find it to be more interesting and I’m not really in a ‘going somewhere’ mode.

I suppose a lot of people might find this kind of stuff boring, but I just can’t get enough of it. As a matter of fact, quite often I’ll go back and watch these videos just to get my ‘fix’. This is very helpful in the winter months, when I can’t paddle.

As I arrive to any particular area, that’s when I decide what I might do, I never really know until then. For this reason, it’s very hard for me to tell anyone else what I’m going to be doing at any particular time. I don’t even know myself, until I do it.

This ended up being the only beach that I could land on today because the water levels were so high.

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I remounted my steed and headed back out into the lake.

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I was headed towards the islands to see if anything was new there since I had lasted visited.

At this point I knew that most of the beaches would not be suitable to land on today, so that would certainly influence where else I decided to go. I headed over to the first island.

Most of these islands already have established campsites on them and, as you can see, the view from these campsites is not too shabby.

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Next, I set my sights on an island that I refer to as second island, which is an island that I have camped on before. This is the big rock on the end of the island. The chair that used to sit on the top of that rock, was now located near the bottom and it required rescue.

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Fortunately, it was still in one piece, so I loaded it onto the kayak and paddled it around to the landing area.


At this point, I needed to make a decision on where else I was going to go. It was such a beautiful day and the paddling conditions don’t get any better, so I headed in the direction of the river that leads to Quimby Lake. I really didn’t know how far up that river I would go, I would just see how things went.

I will continue this post as Part 2, because I don’t want it to take forever to load for anyone who is reading it.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Avril Frame on May 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, sounds like Spring really gave you a burst of energy. The water looks like glass…. almost not real. It must be an eery feeling to feel like you are the only one on the water. I looks very peaceful. Keep on paddling. Luv Av

    Reply

    • Ya, just like the energy that causes the forest to come back to life, I do get a burst of energy at this time of year. I really love when the water is so calm like that. It’s so nice for paddling.

      Actually, eery is not a feeling that I experience out there, in fact, I feel more at home out there than anywhere else. I guess it’s just in my blood.

      Reply

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