Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Our camp site is on the west shore right where the channel opens onto Crean lake

For this years annual Thanksgiving canoe trip we paddled to the camp kitchen on Crean Lake in the Prince Albert National Park. The group from left to right; Zoe and Taiga, Dave, Karen, Cathy, Cathy, Shaun, and Valery in front centre

Taiga is 5 months old and had lots of fun on her second canoe trip.

The first day (Saturday Oct. 8) was VERY windy. Environment Canada was forecasting winds of 30km/hr gusting to 50km/hr. Here we are stopped on the lee side of a point for a break from fighting the head wind. We ended up eating lunch here. It may have been windy but at least the air temperature was warm and it stayed that way for the entire weekend.

Taiga is very well behaved in the canoe, she usually just goes to sleep. Her PFD is getting too small for her. She is a lab and is a very good swimmer, she only has the PFD because it has a handle that makes it easier to haul her back into the canoe if she decides to jump ship. (which she hasn't done yet)

The evening of the first day saw the wind die down. This photo shows the view from my tent the following morning, fantastic! When I got up the temperature was 3 degrees C. Frost on everything was evidence that the temperature dropped to below freezing that night.

On the second day we set out in the canoes to explore an area called lost lake. It's a lake that is pretty well hidden from the main lake and separated by a small beach. We found an inviting beach that made a great lunch spot. There were many wolf tracks (large and small) in the sand. Notice the interesting purple sand.

Here Shaun is very serious about taking a photo of our wood pile.

When we returned from searching for lost lake Valery set to work setting up his sauna and heating large rocks over a fire. Water is poured over the rocks to produce the steam and heat. After a good soak we jumped in the lake for a cool down. I didn't take the inside temperature of the sauna but the lake water was 11 degrees C.

We usually have a large potluck style thanksgiving meal. This year it consisted of chicken cooked in a dutch oven, cauliflower, beans, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and apple crumble, all accompanied by lots of wine. Everything is baked fresh in the woods even the pies!

Here Taiga is ready for bed tucked into her blanket inside the tent.

Shaun's rather unorthodox but effective method of packing his dry bag.

On the last day the wind had completely died and the lake was calm and warm. We took our time paddling back to the vehicles. The distance that had taken 4 hours to paddle in the wind now only took us 2 hours. We stopped to rest, we stopped for lunch, and we stopped for a second lunch.