Easy Esten

For the long weekend, me, my brother, and his son, headed to the islands in Esten Lake, since it’s a fairly easy paddle, and it’s the first time up here for my son’s brother, aka ‘the boy’.

Now that the weather has cooled down, from that tropical hot spell that we had a while back, It promised to be cool and a mix of sun and cloud for most of the weekend. The guys arrived on Friday evening but, since it was fairly late, we decided to wait until Saturday morning to launch our trip.

We arrived at the launch location the next morning, and loaded up the boats for the paddle into the area of the islands. There was no way of knowing if any, or all, of the islands were occupied but, since there are five islands in the immediate vicinity, I was confident that we could snag at least one of them.


My brother and the boy are paddling the canoe as far as the islands, and then the boy will have my kayak for the rest of the weekend. He wants to try it out, to see if it suits him, so that he can get one for himself.


We reached the islands to find that all of them were vacant, so we set up on the island that we find to be the best of them. I took my usual position, up on the high side of the island.


My brother and the boy set up on the lower side of the island, where there is a constructed pad for the tent, and where the main fire pit is located.


There were these nice, colorful little flowers blooming all over the island, which was nice to see, since this island had been severely burned by a fire last year.


After we got everything set up properly, the boy was off for his first ride in the kayak. He didn’t have any problem, at all, adjusting to this inflatable kayak. He just got in and went.


This is pretty typical of the weather we had all weekend, although we did have a rather annoying wind, at times. It was cool, and sunny, just perfect for camping.


This is where we did most of our cooking, at the main fire pit, although there is a smaller fire pit at the top, near my tent. We only use that one for sitting around at night, weather permitting.


There were some anxious moments, as threatening clouds rolled by, but we only got a few sprinkles, not even enough to wet the ground.


Since the limited bathroom facilities that were once here got burned in the fire, me and my brother took it upon ourselves to reconstruct some new facilities. As you get older, it gets much more difficult to press your back up against a tree, to do the dirty deed, and we also wanted to make sure that the boy had, at least, some comforts, so as not to deter him from ever coming back this way again.


Now there’s one confident looking paddler.


The chef, taking the boy’s order. There was some concern about certain food items that were brought along but, in the interest of protecting the names of the innocent, we will just leave that subject for mockery around other campfires to come.


All that cooking is hard work, so the chef takes a much deserved break, to ponder what he did wrong.


Now, seeking the wisdom of Buddha, he begs for enlightenment.


These guys weren’t about to let being out in the wilderness interfere with their social scenes. There was a very good signal on the island, so fingers were busy tapping away, to keep up with what was going on hundreds of kilometers away.


There were a number of treats to be had on this trip, one being this rainbow, from a shower that, thankfully, passed us by.


By the evening, the sky was clearing again.


In the morning, after breakfast, the next day, father and son headed off for and exploratory paddling trip up the river, and into Quimby Lake. On the way, they saw a cow moose, which was another treat.


There they go, off into this distance, on their trip up the river. I stayed on the island to cut some much needed firewood, since we didn’t bring any type of camp stove with us for cooking.


The boy, celebrating after making a spear, to provide us with food, in the form of wild game. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much game to be had on this small island.


The hardship of cooking took it’s toll on the chef and, also, he did some fishing and caught two nice smallmouth bass, which he pomptly filleted and cooked for us all to enjoy. After all that, I’m sorry to say that we did lose one member of the team on this trip. May he rest in peace.


I like putting my tent up on top here because of the view, but there are some drawbacks also. It is more affected by winds, and you have to get up early, because the sun will shine right on the tent as soon as it rises, which then causes the temperature inside the tent to rise to an uncomfortable level.


The boy was out exploring the islands in the area all weekend. Here he is investigating an island where he suspects there is a Yeti, since he heard sounds in the bush on this island. I was really impressed with the way this kid paddled for a bit, and then stopped to listen, and take in the scenery. Not many kids his age have the patience, or awareness to do that.


Here he is again, paddling close to the island that we’re camping on.


The sunset from my tent location. Now you can see why I like this spot so much.


We gather, on this high end of the island, in the evening, so we can watch the sunset and, eventually, the stars.


The boy, ready for any bears that might choose to interrupt our quiet evening.


The high side fire is now burning, and the wait for the stars has started. On this night we were to have another treat. We sighted a UFO that passed almost right over our campsite. There was just no explanation for this bright light, which was not in space, but at about the level a plane might fly. However, this bright light was white, and non-flashing, with no sound at all coming from it. This tends to rule out a plane. It remains unexplained.


The morning brings more fantastic views from the high side campsite.


Then I went down to the low side campsite, to start the fire for breakfast, and this was the scene down there.


The coffee is on, and ready for those weary travellers and stargazers.


The early morning sky looks favorable, and the water is calm.


Looks like a fine day for our paddle back to the Esten Lake boat launch.


I paddled my kayak in to the islands. This time, the boy will be paddling the kayak back out. A distance of 6kms.


He looks pretty cool to me. He made it all the way back out in fine style, and the trip went into the books as another fantastic time had by all. To end this post, lets check out some video of that strong performance by the boy.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kennyboy on August 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Very cool! As I’ve always said, no matter where I traveled there is no place that surpasses Ontario’s beauty.


    • Yep, as much as I like to experience other places, they just never seem to have the lasting effect on me that the Great North of Ontario does. If there were no other place to go to, I’d certainly have enough here to keep me busy for a lifetime.


  2. Posted by Mike F on August 12, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Holy smokes… “the boy” is all grown up!


  3. Such a good camping story!
    I wonder if your UFO might have been the International Space Station. I’ve watched it go overhead a few times, and it looks much like you described.


    • Hi Paula;

      Thank you for your comments on my blog post. As far as the Space Stations goes, the object that we saw was definitely too low to be in space. I could easily tell that it was at about the height that a plane would fly. I’m the kind of person who really needs a lot of proof, before I will even consider something to be true. I know that, sometimes, things are not what they appear to be. However, I could not see any logical explanation for this bright object we witnessed. Having said that, from this very same island, last year, both me and my brother witnessed something else which, at the time, we could not explain. On the horizon, at night, we saw two red lights that seemed to be zipping, in a back and forth motion, from side to side. It wasn’t just a slight back and forth motion, it seemed to cover, maybe, fifty feet or more. Later we discovered that these red lights were from communication towers, but we still could not explain how they were moving like that. The only explanation I could come up with was heat in the atmosphere was somehow causing this effect.


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