Foggy Rye

When I got up this morning, after a full night of heavy thunderstorms, I had no idea that I would end up paddling Rye Lake. But, that’s exactly what happened.

Again, this was not an early start, I just decided, on the spur of the moment, that I would paddle Rye Lake today. There’s a bush road that goes about 1.5kms into Rye Lake, and it’s real narrow, so it would be a problem if you were to meet another vehicle along the way. Also, since we just had a night of heavy rains, I was a bit concerned about driving in. At first, I was going to park the truck at the road entrance and walk in, to see what the road conditions were like, and also to see if anyone was in there.

However, as often happens, I just drove in, without stopping. Like I often say, I just listen to my ‘gut’ and it was leading the way.

When I got in to the lake, I saw that there was an old trailer on one side of the road, and a small tent on the other side. There were no vehicles, so I assumed that these were just place markers. In other words, greedy people who don’t want anyone else camping there. I see this a lot up here, and it just confirms what I’ve known for a long time. Greed is epidemic in human culture.

Anyway, it is what it is, also something I’ve known for a long time, so with that said, I parked the truck, and unloaded the kayak. I was on the water in no time at all, and it was a very foggy day, as you will see from the pictures and videos.

At times, during my paddling today, it seemed like the skies were clearing and, at other times, it seems like more rain was coming. However, in the end, it didn’t rain on me at all. In fact, the few times that the sun did come out, it got sweltering hot and humid, so I was fine with it being mostly cloudy.

So, here we go on the exploration of Rye Lake;

As I’ve mentioned before, camping on Crown Land is allowed for a maximum of 21 days, in any one spot. That’s a long time, and the MNR doesn’t have the resources to keep tabs on all the campers out here. However, this was the first spot where I’ve seen an actual sign posted regarding camping time limits.

I knew, before coming in here, that this was a well-used camping spot. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t come in here yet. So, I wanted to see, now that camping season is just about done, what everyone was so jealously guarding.

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As I paddled along the shoreline, I couldn’t really see all that far ahead, because of the fog, so I never got a full view of the lake, all at once.

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My first impression was, that it was a fairly typical rocky lake of this area.

There are a lot of little bays and rivers around the perimeter of this lake, and I wanted to explore them all.

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It was a very wet morning, after all that rain, as is evident from this spider web.

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Overall, this seemed like a relatively shallow lake to me. My fishing map shows this lake to have Brook Trout, but my guess is that they would be few and far between.

I’ve been experimenting with putting my camera on the front deck of the kayak, in order to give a better feeling of the place I’m in. It seemed to work a bit better this time, but uploading those long videos to YouTube does take some time. This is why I’m actually composing this post the day after I made the trip.

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As I continued paddling, the fog did seem to be lifting, although very slowly.

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Another few weeks and all the trees will be in full colour.

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As I was paddling around, I was also watching for possible campsites along the shoreline of the lake, but it was very rocky, so setting a tent up would be a challenge.

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Sleeping on the rocks is not much fun.

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There were lots of nice points, like this one.

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Down towards the end of the lake, I started to see this scum floating on top of the water. I don’t know if it was because of all the rain we had.

I could see a bit further ahead now.

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And the sky was brightening, which was causing contrast issues.

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Here you can clearly see the scum on the surface of the water that I was talking about. It seemed to be mostly down at this end of the lake. I’m thinking that this lake probably sees a lot of motorboat action in the summer months.

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Exploring another inlet. I believe this one was a small river, either coming into, or going out of the lake.

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I wasn’t too impressed with this. I doubt that I will be paddling this lake all that much, but I did want to explore it at least once.

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The water was pretty clear in other areas though, and there were lots of weeds, so I don’t think this was a dead lake by any means. Maybe there was a reasonable explanation for the scum on the surface on this day.

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When you see scenes like this, you know that the water is very shallow.

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There were a lot of places like this around the lake, with fairly flat rock, that might seem like good camping spots. I did see the odd, old looking, fire ring, here and there.

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At this point, I’m past the end of the lake, and headed back up the other side.

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I knew that there were a few longer bays that went in from this side of the lake, so there was still a fair bit of exploring to do.

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Heading into one of the longer bays.

You can hear a raven cackling in there background there. It took off soon after I arrived.

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I don’t know what this big pile of dirt was doing in the middle of the water, maybe beavers? It seemed a bit out of place.

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I’d like to know how that spider got out onto this dead tree to build that spider web?

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That grassy area that you see there is a beaver dam that stretches all the way across this section of the lake. I don’t know why the beaver engineers built a dam here, it’s the same depth on both sides.

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I pushed my way through this small gap, without getting out of the kayak. I just hopped and pushed until I made it through.

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Here’s a closer look at one side of the dam.

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And here’s the other side.

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After I got out of that dam area(that’s a joke, you can laugh now) I headed for an area where I knew there was an island.

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And there it is. There are actually two islands here, just off the mainland. One is a larger island, which is this one, and one is smaller, and closer to the mainland.

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Again, this is part of the larger island. It does look habitable.

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Here I’m headed into the gap, between the smaller island and the mainland. There is also a gap between the smaller island and the larger island, but it’s not a wide.

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As the captain of this vessel, I decided to send in a landing party, to check out the larger island.

So, as you can see, it’s not a bad island for a night or two. It really is the only choice, for an island campsite, on Rye Lake.

After I checked out the island, I was getting closer to the area where I had parked my truck, but there was still a couple of longer swampy areas to check out.

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The periphery of this lake is very jagged, with lots of points and bays.

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I was starting to see a bit of blue sky now but, when the sun did come out, it was deadly hot and humid, so I was quite content to keep the clouds for a little while longer.

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Lots of this type of shoreline around Rye Lake.

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This was mostly swamp in here, so I didn’t paddle too far into it.

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A little bit of bright colour here and there.

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Wow, check out that blue sky now. It was getting really hot and humid, and I had dressed for cooler temperatures, so I was starting to overheat fast. Fortunately, I was not far from where the truck was parked at this point.

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Another swampy area, near the end of my explorations for today.

So, that’s it for the exploration of Rye Lake. I’d definitely camp on that one island here, but I don’t think I’d be bothered with those campsites at the end of the road, that those people covet so much. To be honest, for much of the vacation period, those bush campsites are hell for bugs, and anyone camping there will pay the price in blood, for saving a few bucks on Crown Land. Early in the season, they are great, or late in the season too. But I avoid camping in Crown Land bush sites in prime vacation time, both because of the people, and because of the bugs.

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