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7/06/2017 7:56 pm  #1

Magnetewan-Mubwayaka July 3-6

My trip report is here:

Hopefully cross-posting is okay.  Didn't want to go through the hassle of resizing pics


7/06/2017 10:55 pm  #2

Re: Magnetewan-Mubwayaka July 3-6

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7/11/2017 10:16 pm  #3

Re: Magnetewan-Mubwayaka July 3-6

The text.  I'll get the pics up when I get a chance.

Just got back from a 3 night trip to Algonquin. Went in at Magnetewan and up to Mubwayaka. For those who have never been to Algonquin, I believe it is an Anishnabic word for "always head winds" (okay, not really but it it was it would be apt).

The idea for the trip is to head out as most people were heading in after the Canada Day weekend and come in as people were heading out for the next weekend.

The ride for this trip was a Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe. I got a few nasty looks from people portaging the first two little ones as I sailed by balancing it with no hands (considering the portages were a flat 135 m and 295 m I don't know what they were complaining about).

The paddle out was mostly sunny and the winds were hitting at that perfect angle where I didn't even need to J stroke to correct my course.

The portage from Ralph Bice to David was the 'Big' one for the trip, a massive 7620 m. Okay, the 7 was a typo but I liked the way it looked; really just 620 m. Bit of a strange portage. Because of high water this year, there really is no landing, just a foot or two up. Even stranger, from where the portage sign is, there was no identifiable trial. The trail started 20 m or so to the east. Don't know why they wouldn't just move the sign. 

After hitting David, a quick hop brought me to Mubwayaka which is a nice little lake. From the other end of the lake there are two routes out, both over low maintenance portages so I wasn't expecting much in the way of company. There are only two sites on the lake with only one reservable. The other is in case of emergencies (and looking at how closed in the second site was and how buggy it is this time of year...)

No thanks

I didn't even see the main site until I looked back from the second site. I saw a rocky outcrop and I decided to check it out. Wasn't until I was close that I saw it was the site. Around the back of the rocks was the put in. In lower water it might even be a small beach.

Hidden site

From the other side

Two things struck me about the site. First off, someone had been busy beavers. The fire pit had full benches with a back rest and they built (what I assume was) a drying rack. The second thing was how much food the previous people had left unburnt in the pit. Egg shells, a bunch of aluminum foil, fruit slices, and some honking big asparagus. But there was a bunch of wood around so I burnt off the food right away. 

Being bug season (okay, bug season in Algonquin lasts from when the ice melts in the spiring until the snows come in late fall) I set yup my hammock as close to the water as possible. Of course that meant pretty close to the fire pit. I'm not a big campfire guy and with no rain in the forecast I didn't have to worry about getting holes in my tarp.



The view

I also thought about how being a teacher allows me all sorts of time to camp in the summer ... right when the bugs peak. Maybe I can convince the school board to have vacation in May and September instead. Then again, no air conditioning in my school so cancel that idea.

The first night there was still a solid breeze coming from the north so bugs weren't much of an issue until around 10 PM so 10 was when I went to bed.

Plan for day 2: Catch up on sleep. Woke up around 9. Looked at the water. Went back to sleep. Woke up at 10:30. Stared at the trees for a bit. Got up at noon. Had breakfast. Sat by the water. Went for a nap. 

Probably expected with the food but there was a bunch of wildlife. Red squirrels were chattering away at each other. A chipmunk with guts actually stepped on my foot as I was having breakfast. Later it tried to take a hot dog bun from right beside me. As I got up from my nap, a 2 ft long garter snake slithered under my hammock top check for insects in the fire pit. Waking up from a nap and seeing a snake through blurry eyes can wake you up quick - even if there are no poisonous ones in the park.

Later in the evening when butchering music on my penny whistle I saw what was likely a beaver swimming across the lake. Could have been an otter but the head looked too big.

On the topic of otters, on day 3 there were 4 young ones playing around my site. Only managed to get a picture of one but they were less than a meter away.

Day 3 I woke up around 10 and went for a paddle. I went a km or 2 up David's creek. (formerly) Jeff's maps say the 1st km is sometimes so shallow you need to walk the shore but with the heavy rain this spring, I was barely able to even touch the bottom with my paddle. I checked out the portage from Mubwayaka towards Tim lake and it sure looked 'low maintenance'. Side note, make sure your sun screen is spraying evenly. Mild sunburn on my shoulder with unburnt blotches where the sunscreen went on thicker. I'm sure I''ll get a few strange looks from people.

As I was having an early dinner a kayaker (Uppa?) went by having a busy conversation with this go-pro. As I said, you can't see the site I was at until you are past it so he might be surprised to see someone waving at him when he checks the video. Only person I saw on the lake.

Also of note on day 3 is the wind switched back to it's normal south-westerly direction which meant less wind was getting to the site. Deer flies in the sun, mosquitoes in the shade, and at dusk,m there were still a bunch of black flies around; I guess as a result of the wet spring. 

Day 4 was paddling out. Got up around 9. Left by 10. Of course the wind in my face. Not a problem though since I was in no rush. The wind was nice because it kept things cool. I didn't realize how warm it had gotten (30C/86F) until I got to the car.

A couple gear notes.
First time I actually brought a bug jacket with me (On Sight). My normal loose shirt and bug net work fine but it was nice to have a 1 piece. The thing I appreciated is that the bug shirt was long enough to cover my backside white visiting the thunder box.

I had also ordered a new hammock and tarp from James at Little Shop of Hammocks. Sadly instead of being delivered as expected it sat all day at the post office on the Friday before I left - I guess a victim of and extended long weekend. A couple positives though. First it's nice to get home to presents and it also gives me an excuse to go out and try it before my big august trip.

Last edited by keg (7/16/2017 2:17 pm)

     Thread Starter

7/16/2017 2:16 pm  #4

Re: Magnetewan-Mubwayaka July 3-6

Finally added pics

     Thread Starter

8/28/2017 10:22 pm  #5

Re: Magnetewan-Mubwayaka July 3-6

I enjoyed your report.  I was out that way last year in the early Fall, and that site was occupied by some people I had encountered on the carry from Ralph Bice to David.  I stayed on David but took a day trip to David creek, and went past that site in a driving rain.  It looked like a fun site for another trip, but the occupants at that time were hunkering down against crazy rain, which is probably what I should have been doing.  

At that time the exit from Ralph Bice to the portage to David was a straight up deal out of the water, which I found difficult.  I too found the portage sign placement questionable.  Almost a cruel joke.  You could look for that thing until forever, but I was lucky - my soon-to-be-kind-of-neighbors were on the trail and I could hear them from Ralph Bice.   

Otters.  That would be really cool.  On my list of wanna-sees.


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