Top 9 Paddling Books To Read This Winter

It’s that time of year when you get home from work and all you want to do is get lost in a good book. For us canoeists and outdoor enthusiasts, these books are usually stories and memoirs of past wilderness adventures and resources for future backcountry ambitions. Here is a list (in no particular order) of 9 books to read this winter.

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1. Great Heart: The History of a Labrador Adventure – James West Davidson
A personal favourite and an ode to the “Lure of the Labrador Wild”. This book recounts the events of three expeditions into interior Labrador in the early 1900s: Leonidas Hubbard's fatal 1903 attempt with companions Dillon Wallace and George Elson (as documented in Lure of the Labrador Wild) followed by Mina Hubbard’s and Dillon Wallace’s 1905 head to head attempts to complete Hubbard’s unfinished business.

The book is based on journal entries from the expeditions and gives great insight into the unimaginable struggles and suffering these parties had to endure as they trekked into the unknown territory of the Labrador backcountry.

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2. Canoeing with the Cree – Eric Sevareid
Canoeing with the Cree is a heart-felt true story of two recent high-school grads epic canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 1930. The author (one of the boys) retells their incredible 2250-mile route which showcases their ability to persevere and do the impossible when odds were greatly stacked against them. This is an great read that showcases how their struggles and accomplishments transformed these boys into men. 

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3. Alone Against the North - Adam Shoalts
Adam's thirst to explore the thickest, wildest and loneliest corners of Canada fascinates me and his multiple journeys to the Again River is enough to spark the explorer’s soul in all of us. This is the perfect read to get you stoked to plan some adventurous routes for the coming summer.

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4. History of Canada in 10 Maps – Adam Shoalts
As the title suggest, the book is an account of ten maps that significantly impacted our geographic knowledge of Canada. Hats off to Adam for the freakish amount of information he puts into ten stories of epic Canadian history. The hardships of these explorers were unimaginable, let alone their ability to map, with precision, inconceivable amounts of desolate, unknown wilderness.  

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5. Canoe Country - Roy MacGregor
Canada’s love-affair with the canoe is proclaimed in this book in a poetic way. I’ve never pulled as many canoe quotes as I have from Canoe Country. The book also provides valuable information on how the canoe has shaped our country by pulling from historic events and figures which is laid out in an easy to read way. 

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6. A Life in the Bush – Roy MacGregor
The life of a man who has spent his entire life in Algonquin Park. Working in the mill until the ripe old age of 75, Duncan McGregor's life is documented through the eyes of his son (Roy MacGregor). His love for the bush and for trout fishing has shaped his simple life. But his thirst for knowledge and continuous urge to read made him a fascinating man.

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7. Ontario’s Lost Canoe Routes – Kevin Callan
Our bible of canoe routes. You can find my copy with dead mosquitos, dog eared corners and the smell of campfire on every page. I must have read this book fully-through several times. Kevin’s ability to describe canoe routes in technical detail but also provide his own experiences and personality is what has captivated readers for 17 of his published books! I am slowly trying to knock each one of these routes off my list.

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8. The Lure of Faraway Places – Herb Pohl
Pull out the maps and shit yourself while you retrace the epic routes that one (old-ish) man accomplished. This book was recently shared with me by a friend and was promised to inspire the inner voyager. 

Herb Pohl is a modern-day explorer and has tackled and created some of Canada's most difficult undocumented backcountry routes of our time. Not only is this a feat but most of the time he does these trips solo. The book recounts journal entries from his most epic adventures with great detail and information. This was another book I couldn’t put down and was continuously blown away by his routes and more so, the sticky situations he would consistently get out of.

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9. Lines on a Map – Frank Wolf

I have read many of Frank Wolf’s articles throughout the years and this man is a true beast. Every year he seems to scheme up a new trip that ranges from 3-6 weeks in Canada’s north. If you don’t know who Frank is, check out his trip map of Canada, truly amazing. Lines on a Map provides two decades of Frank’s adventures captured in this entertaining and inspiring collection of memoirs.

Top 5 Trips of 2016

As we are midway through the season and many are still planning their trips for the year, we thought this would be a good opportunity to share our top 5 trips from 2016. 

5. Barron Canyon - Algonquin Park

  • The Barron Canyon was an incredible place to paddle with so much to see
  • Sights include waterfalls, natural rock waterslide (that you can actually slide down!), and many beautiful lakes

4.  Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands

  • Noah's first ever solo trip 
  • Solitude found close to the city (need to get into the interior as some of the outside lakes are more popular)
  • Great fishing on many of the lakes

3.  Nellie Lake Loop  – Killarney Provincial Park

  • Alex's first ever solo trip completed on his 25th birthday

  • The area is surrounded by mountains and the views are fantastic (you can hike to the peaks for the best views)

  • Fishing was great once in Murray Lake (many other lakes do not allow fishing in the area)

2.   Chiniguchi River Loop – Temagami

  • Paradise Lagoon is one of the nicest places I have ever seen

  • Trudging through boggy portages and sinking waste deep in mud proved to be rather fun

  • Another trip with great fishing (again there are lakes you cannot fish on)

1.   Steel River Loop

  • Longest, and most remote trip to date. This included the most difficult portage to date (Diablo Portage)

  • Whitewater along the Steel River system

  • By far the best fishing we have ever experienced. We actually had a competition who could catch the most fish in 5 minutes and the person that lost typically was the person who had only 1 cast that did not bring in a fish…

Outdoor Adventure Show

We figured it would make sense to do a little recap on the Outdoor Adventure Show, since it was just this past weekend and we had the pleasure of meeting so many great people. We look forward to the OAS every year. This is mainly because it seems to fall at the time when you are most looking forward to the summer, and it is the perfect time to start getting excited by checking out some new gear.

This year the show had enough to keep us entertained for a solid 2 days. The vendors, the products, the people at the show, and the speakers all made it a great experience for us. Lets take a look at each one of these areas.

The Vendors/Products

There is a very interesting selection of vendors that they bring to this event each year.  We tend to be most interested in the booths related to camping and the outdoors but it is pretty cool to see some other booths like dive shops, adventure guides, and Spartan races too. I have to say, even the VIA Rail booth came in handy for us this year!

KIHD Stove

KIHD Stove

There were really two booths that interested us most. The first was by a company called KIHD Products (pronounced “KID”), which had a few different products at the show including flints and chairs. The one we were most interested in was the KIHD stove, as we have been exploring “Stick Stoves” for some time now. It would be nice not to have to pack as much fuel on our longer trips by having a stove that uses biomass. And the bonus is that it is a Canadian made product!

The next booth that was of interest to us was the Wabakimi Canoe Outfitters and Eco lodge. We met Burt and Brenda who run this outfitter and they spent some time helping us determine a potential route for our big trip this summer. A few minutes into the conversation and we were pretty sold on what they, as well as what Wabakimi had to offer. We still haven’t settled on this trip but we are getting good vibes from this location for sure.

The People

Photo with  CamperChristina

Photo with CamperChristina

That’s right…this part includes all the wonderful people that we met while we were at the show. We started this Northern Scavenger blog about a year ago (2016) and wanted to share our stories to the outdoor community in hopes of being able to inspire but also to be able to learn from others. We have met so many amazing people (virtually), and we got to put some real faces to the online accounts we have made friends with and this was a real highlight for us.  Unfortunately I think we were so excited to be talking with these people that we only ended up getting photos with a few of them. Here is a picture with CamperChristina that she thankfully shared with us!

The Speakers

Photo with  The Happy Camper  himself (Kevin Callan)

Photo with The Happy Camper himself (Kevin Callan)

The speakers are the final area we wanted to cover, and was another reason this show was so great this year. We got to hear from some of the greats such as Hap Wilson, and Adam Shoalts who are truly legendary explorers and continue to inspire us on our expeditions. We also got to hear from some of our other favourites such as Kevin Callan, David Lee, and Brad and Wayne Jennings.

Adam Shoalts  - Writer, Explorer, and Public Speaker

Adam Shoalts - Writer, Explorer, and Public Speaker

It was great not only to get to hear them speak and tell stories from some of their trips, but also to take some time to meet and talk with them after. There are many things to be learned from these explorers and we take an interest in their vast experience.

To conclude without dragging on too much… this show continues to be an event we look forward to year after year.  This gathering of like-minded people hopefully has inspired you as much as it has us to get outside and dip your paddles into new water.

Enjoying The Struggles of Camping

I’m not much of a hunter but the other night I found myself watching MeatEater with host Steve Rinella hunting Sitka Blacktail in Prince of Wales, Alaska. What I learned is that this section of Alaska is notorious for its abundant rainfall, and during their trip, this was no exception. The conditions were horrendous, there was constant rain, high winds and they didn’t see a buck for the entire time they were there. Watching Steve endure the elements from the comfort of my living room made me happy that I wasn’t in their same predicament. They were constantly wet, cold and they had a grim look of despair on their faces for the entire episode.

At a certain moment when the entire group was at an all time low, Steve brought up the concept of low and high grade fun, half jokingly. But this idea of graded fun (experience) really stuck with me. It’s a concept that grades experiences based on their ability to resonate in our lives.  It’s a philosophy that, I’m sure, all outdoor enthusiasts can relate to.

A “graded” experience is not one that you can rank from 1-10, it’s the idea that different types of experiences will have a different sort of affect on your life, whether it builds character or gives you an adrenaline rush. The higher the grade of experience, the more rich, and higher quality that experience will be in your life.

A low-grade experience can be associated with something that is easily attainable and doesn’t take much to accomplish. It can provide a quick rush of dopamine or a short span of engagement. An example is riding a roller coaster or going down a waterslide. These sorts of experiences provide instant gratification but the memory quickly fades. These sorts of lower quality activities don’t have the ability to keep you satisfied for a long period of time.

A high-grade experience on the other hand is the idea of delayed gratification. A high-grade experience will keep you satisfied and provide memories that can even last a life time. But what makes these experiences such higher quality is the fact that they don’t come easy and they take hard work and commitment (whether it be mental or physical). A high-grade experience can be agonizing and relentless, it can push you to your limits and make you want to quit.  Its paddling through a downpour, battling headwinds, or trekking through portages while getting eaten alive by mosquitos. These are some of the experiences that will push you to your limits.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a situation outdoors where I was cold, wet or exhausted and wished I was anywhere but there. But on reflection, these were the trips I have the fondest memories of and look back on with the biggest sense of satisfaction and a profound sense of accomplishment. 

This feeling of accomplishment and gratification is impossible to get from quick thrills. I may be preaching the importance of short term pain for long term reward a little too much, but I believe it’s these aspects of an experience that makes the reward that much more sweet.

The wilderness is a "wild" place and it's not for the faint of heart. It can be a cruel mistress and it can knock you down to your knees if you let it. But it is this raw, unrelenting wild beauty that keeps its allure burning inside of us. So really, watching Steve Rinella getting pelted with rain and wind, I shouldn't be pitying him, I should be envious, because those memories he is creating are his for a lifetime.


The Importance Of A Backup Plan

Alright so reading this title will probably give away the fact that there is a reason that we are sharing this post. While many times as interior campers we are striving to reduce how much we are required to carry, there are certain things that we feel it is important to have a backup plan for.

To provide a little context we will share with you our story. We had done a very good job packing for our trip to the Steel River and thought it might have been the best packing we had ever done. We are getting better at finding ways to eliminate enough gear that it is easy to carry, while still ensuring that we have everything that we need. 

Our plan for filtering water was to use a Miniworks pump made by MSR that we have used for most of our trips this season. This pump has already had some issues with pumping water as it seems to get plugged up pretty often requiring constant cleaning of the filter on the inside. When you do not clean the inside of it, you would be pumping for an hour before you could fill a 1L Nalgene bottle...

While I was filling our bottles on route to our next site, I took the pump apart to clean it and one of the "O-Rings" that keeps the pressure inside the unit, fell into the water and sunk to the bottom faster than I could even realize what had just happened. Without this in place there was not enough pressure inside the unit to properly filter the water. 

Luckily Noah had brought some chemicals with him for backup. The chemicals we have used in the past have been by a company named Pristine. It comes with 2 bottles that you are required to mix together to allow the chemicals to react, and then add to the water to make it eligible for drinking. These do not really pose as a quicker solution for water purification as they do still require time to react and clean the water. 

Our issue occured when we lost Noah's day pack while paddling under a tree, losing the 2 chemicals and a variety of other items as well. At this point we were just over halfway on the trip, with the only way to get drinking water being to boil the lake water. This became a new task for us to complete when arriving at a new site to ensure that we had enough water for the next day. On top of this issue we were running low on our fuel for our stove which we primarily used for boiling our morning water for oatmeal and coffee. This meant that not only were we going to have to boil all of our water, but also that we were going to have to boil the water over the fire..

Although this isn't a trip ending scenario, it was one that really did add extra work to our days. When you have long paddling days you need all the time you can get, and also all the water you can drink! This was also a rare circumstance where we went through both water options leaving us with only one option left. 

Some of the other areas we feel are important to bring extra materials would be a flame source (either both matches and lighters or just multiple lighters), as well as food and warm clothes. Having backup plans in each of these areas will help to ensure a successful trip in the woods



Find Your North Near Home

-Next time you have an itch to find your North on a day where you’re bounded to the city, grab your canoe and look in your backyard, you might be surprised in what you might find-

As most of us can relate, weekends can fill up with priorities and commitments making canoe trips to the far north not always a viable option. Sometimes in these situations you can surprise yourself by stumbling over a little touch of wilderness in your own backyard. This past weekend we had one of those experiences.

Being from the GTA and only having a half day available, we decided to get our paddles wet and test our luck on the Credit River. We planned to put-in at Streetsville Memorial Park and paddle down a meandering 7 km to Erindale Park. Although local water levels were going to be really low, we were itching for anything and decided the trusted plastic Coleman could push us through whatever rock garden or shallow flats the Credit had to offer.

Upon arrival the trip started with a portage through the Bread and Honey festival in Streetsville. Doing very little research before heading out, we were not expecting the crowds and lack of parking. We ended up having to park north of the park and put in at the bridge on Main Street.

The water as expected was very low but high enough that a not-so-obvious line could usually be found. The route consisted of moving water with class I rapids scattered through various rock gardens. Although rapids were small, sections were long and winded around rock obstacles and river bends which allowed us to practice canoe control and maneuvers. This alone presented some challenges which required us to thread the Coleman through very narrow wandering sections of canoe-able water.

The scenery along the route also did not disappoint. Similar to other rivers systems in Southern Ontario, the Credit has left its mark on Paleozoic shales etching out cliffs that hug the river bank. Paddling through these beautiful areas made us forget that we were in the middle of Mississauga a stones throw away from Suburbia.

Being a Geologist, the landscape is always the first thing to catch my eye, but the wildlife in the area proved to be a close second. Along the way we startled a deer walking along the bank as well as a blue heron hunting in the shallows.  Its really nice to know these pristine little pockets can still be found and enjoyed in the expanding Greater Toronto Area.

The route took a leisurely 1.5 hours and surprisingly required little walking. If water levels are on your side, there is only one portage around a man-made dam. During higher water levels, rapid sections can easily become class II to III. Early spring would be a great time to do this route if you were looking for close-by white water.

Technology's Place In The Woods

Camping is all about getting away from the fast pace of our day-to-day lives to slow things down for a while and enjoy the simple things. For many of us, technology plays a large part in speeding up our lives and making them easier so that we can do more. Being in a world where we are always connected can get exhausting, and its nice to have a break from it all and turn off for a while. That being said there are many pieces of technology that have been created to improved our time spent in the woods without taking away the authentic experience.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

This is a tool that many of us take for granted in our everyday lives, but on more difficult and remote trips, is a tool you cannot go without.

SPOT (Satellite Messenger)

A company called spot has come up with a Satellite tracking system that allows you to notify friends and family of your GPS position and status, mark waypoints, track your progress on Google Maps, or notify rescue officials in an emergency no matter where you are. 

Cell Phones (Without Service)

I know when I write cell phones everyone is thinking, wait he just said that this was to be less connected, I'm confused? There are many different uses for cell phones and I am going to mention the uses for your phone that do not require service and still add to the unconnected experience. 

  • Taking Pictures - Cameras on phones now are amazing and save you bringing a camera
  • GPS - Many phones while out of service still have some GPS functionality and when you are truly lost, can provide a reference point for where you are by triangulating your position. Although I will emphasize, just a reference point, as it is not nearly as accurate as a true GPS
  • Music - While I personally enjoy the silence and sound of a good campfire, many people enjoy being able to play some music from time to time. Even if its to avoid having to listen to another one of your friends terrible stories that was likely a "you had to be there" type situation

Video or Picture Camera's

For those who do not have a cell phone or prefer to take higher quality images, you may want to bring a better camera. GoPro's and other portable cameras are also becoming more popular and make it very easy to capture your trip to reflect on and show others upon your return

Battery Power Banks

When you are already bringing other technology on your trip, you might want to have a way to charge your devices when the battery dies. Many companies now create power banks that will allow you to charge any device that will plug into a USB port and some hold multiple charges per bank

Solar Charging Panels

Another solution that allows you to charge your devices via USB would be Solar Charging Panels. These collect sunlight during the day and allow you to charge your device while on the go. Only downside would be if you do not have very good sunlight you might be out of luck, which might not be a bad thing

A Last Minute Change in Plans

       It was a Wednesday evening at the very end of July in 2013, just before the long weekend that rolls into August. I had just gotten off the phone with one of my good friends, Andrew, who I was going away with that weekend to one of his friends cottages. He had just informed me that there was some kind of change in circumstance with the cottage owner, that would leave us without plans for the weekend. Myself being a person who does not waste a minute of his time, and sometimes thinks that he has more time than he really does... I was pretty disappointed that we were now left with no plans for the long weekend. I sat there with a beer trying to determine what I was now going to do for the weekend. I finished my drink, called Andrew back to pitch the idea of packing our things and driving up to Algonquin for an interior trip. As he also has a passion for the outdoors he quickly accepted these new plans.

       I woke up at 5am as I was in Waterloo for school and I needed to meet Andrew at Square One for 7am - where the bus takes you to. Andrew picked me up, we packed what we thought we would need for our 3 night trip and we hit the road. We arrived at Canoe Lake in Algonquin for about Noon. We strolled into the main office on the beach there to talk to the girls who were dealing with the permits. We step up to the desk and one girl says "Can I have your last name please?" She was obviously thinking that, being as it was a long weekend, we must have a reservation. Anyone who has booked a few camping trips in the past can attest to how quickly these provincial parks can book up. We explained to her that we didn't have a reservation and that we drove up to see what might be available. She looked back at us with a completely blank face for a few moments before breaking into a bit of a laugh that was joined by the other girls listening in to our situation. With that laugh, she remarked "Well, lets see where your camping then." Andrew and I look at each other with a bit of a, 'what have we gotten ourselves into' moment. 

Map showing the campsites we stayed on each night

Map showing the campsites we stayed on each night

       We figured out that we would be camping our first night on Burnt Island Lake, second night on Otterslide Lake, and the last night would be spent on Little Otterslide Lake. With it already being about 1pm it didn't leave us with a whole lot of time to get to our campsite with light. Without wasting too much more time, we rented our canoe and began packing it all up. We managed to fit everything that we had packed into the canoe and we set off around 2pm.

       Paddling straight into the wind on Canoe Lake was a tough start but we managed to get to the top of the lake in good time. We had our first portage going from Canoe Lake into Joe Lake, which is a very well maintained trail over a man-made dam into Joe Lake. This might have been the part where we realized we had over packed on our trip. We had not thought through how many portages we would have or how long they would be. We also did not consider who would be carrying what on each of the portages which really didn't help our situation. Happy that we were done our first portage we continued on.

       We made our way across Joe Lake while the winds slowly picked up and started to get stronger. We got a little bit disoriented with our map, and with the weather not being the greatest we found ourselves a little lost while trying to find Little Joe Lake. It didn't help our situation that the waves were kissing the gunnels of the canoe on each pass as we had a lot of weight in the boat. We happened to run into a father and son duo who were in the same situation. We got talking and explained our situation to them and they were shocked we actually found sites as they had booked 5 months in advance. We worked together with them to find the first of the next 3 portages. We had run into some other paddlers going the opposite way near this portage who informed us that it was possible to skip the first 2 of the 3 portages as the water levels were high enough to do so. Andrew and I knowing we had over packed jumped at this opportunity to not have to unpack our canoe and lug all our gear by foot, doing multiple trips. The father and son decided to follow suit. We managed to paddle around the first portage as well as the second portage that was right after it. Then we got to the third portage.

       It was starting to get dark and the father and son were also going to be camping on Burnt Island Lake, one which we knew was completely booked. As we approached the 3rd portage in a row it looked as though there was a river to the right that we might be able to use to avoid another portage. This was the last portage going into Burnt Island Lake, the father and son opted not to take a chance and to just complete the portage by foot. Andrew and I took our chances and began to paddle around the corner. We had made it a good ways down a river and we were feeling pretty confident in our decision to take this route. Everything was all good until we turned a corner only to realize that there was a very shallow upstream section that we would have to walk up. Knowing that we had come too far to turn around and go all the way back based on sunlight, we decided to unload the canoe, trek through the woods to find the portage that we were supposed to be on. Morale was getting low as we were tired and the weather was not the greatest.  It took us way longer to do the portage in this manner than it would have if we had just stuck with the father and son and done it all by foot. Where we were in the river required us to walk back though knee deep water with an uneven bed of rocks under it, to an entrance in the forest that led to the portage. By the time we had completed this portage the father and son were long gone, and we likely added over an hour to this portage.

       Looking at the lake we opted to take the right shore knowing that there was a chance we were going to paddle a full circle around this lake to find the available site. We passed the first 3 or 4 sites that line the right side of the shore and we were getting more and more discouraged as we started to brainstorm other options. Andrew looks ahead and notices that there seems to be a sign with no canoes near it. We paddle over to find an empty site and we could not have been happier to be here. It had been a very long day for us and this was the best thing that could have happened for us. With not much time left in the day, I started a fire while Andrew got the tent set up. We cooked some dinner, cleaned up the site, bear proofed, and went to bed.

       Day 2 started well with us knowing we had already accomplished the more difficult section of the trip. Less paddling and only an 800m portage in our way of Otterslide Lake. We made breakfast and hit the water to get the travelling out of the way to be able to have some time to relax on our next campsite. Paddling through Little Otterslide Lake gave us an opportunity to take a look at what campsites we might want for our last night in the woods. We happened to run into the father and son that we had met the day before who informed us of the struggle they experienced to find an available site. They had decided to take the left shore and ended up doing a lot of extra paddling before finding a site.

       We made it into Otterslide Lake and we found a spot directly straight across the lake when you come out of the river. We had made good time which left us with time to get some swimming as well as some fishing in on the lake. I have previously caught some small mouth bass in Algonquin however this lake was more known for its Trout fishing of which we did not have as much luck. When you get the the farthest point in your trip I always get this feeling of remoteness and with a lake as beautiful at Otterslide, we were happy to be there. 

       Day 3 was likely the best we had felt on the entire trip. Knowing that we didn't have a single portage to complete was a very motivating feeling and the icing on that cake was that it was a very short paddle. We also had finished a lot of our food which helped with weight, and everything was getting easier. When you have done a few trips you realize how good you get at packing your canoe after doing it a few times. You start to find the best places to put things and it just happens a lot more quickly. Having been able to view a few sites on our way past Little Otterslide Lake, we had an idea of where we wanted to be. Luckily one of the nice island campsites became available just as we were pulling up. We quickly grabbed this site and set up our camp for the evening. It is a bit of a comforting feeling being on an island as it is a little less likely to run into any issues with animals. Not to rule this out at all, you still need to be responsible with your food and storage. Again having lots of time to fish and swim we took advantage of this and enjoyed the rest of our last full day in Algonquin. We even found a spot across from our campsite that we could jump off some small cliffs that were there. I knew that with the amount of paddling we were going to have on Sunday, combined with my need to be back in good time to finish up an assignment for class on Monday, I knew we were going to need to be up early. 

       Day 4, I woke up around 5am and began to pack my things. We got the tent and the rest of our gear packed into the canoe. That morning is still one of my favourite mornings I have ever experienced while camping. There was a thick fog across the very still water. There wasn't another person in sight and there was a great silence across the lake. With the canoe packed and a very quick breakfast to give us fuel we were on the water by 7am. We were much quicker on the portages on the way back, and we were a little more thoughtful about which portages to skip. We paddled hard on our way back to the Portage Store at the launch of Canoe Lake. Usually a tradition to at least grab a beer after my trips to discuss our accomplishment, we packed the car and got right on the road back to Toronto. After unpacking the car, Andrew dropped me back off at square one and I was back in Waterloo for 7pm that night, giving me just enough time to finish my assignment for my class.  As far as last minute trips could have resulted, we were very lucky and felt very accomplished after completing this with such little planning.