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.


Prairie Voyageur said...

A nice fall outing. I'm curious, which end of Crean Lake is Lost Lake on? I see two unlabeled nearby lakes on an online topo map on both the south and east sides of the lake, I'm curious how far you paddled.

Just a note it would be handy to have the topo map viewer you use on your links page, I'm occasionally looking for this viewer and can never remeber how to find it.

Your post reminds me I've seen a trail indicated on old topo maps between Crean and Kingsmere Lakes I've always wanted to go back and try, but have never got around to it. I'm guessing it may require some bushwacking and not likely as fun as paddling around the lakes (especially in bug season).

Bryan and Vikki said...

Taiga is getting so grown up. It happens so fast. We are busy making a snow suit for our puppy Ishi... She gets the shivers quickly...If you have a good coat place pass it on to us. Enjoyed following your trip...

The Gremlins Hammer said...

Hi! Stumbled across your blog- really enjoy it. Looks like you guys had a great time and enjoyed some really nice weather. Taiga seems like she doesn't mind the canoe & camping at all!

We are looking into a PFD for our dog to have while he crews on our boat this winter. Do you have any suggestions on a brand, or is one just as good as the next?

-S/V Gremlins Hammer

Wildpaddler said...

Hi Prairie Voyageur, Lost Lake is in the top right hand corner of the map that is posted. In the image it just looks like a portion of Crean Lake but there is actually a thin bit of land separating the two lakes. We didn't actually get to lost lake the day we went for a paddle. Like the day before the wind had come up and we didn't feel like dealing with big waves again. As for the map viewer, I'm not sure which you are referring to. is a good place for online maps.

Hey Gremlins Hammer,
Thanks for the comments. Taiga is a real joy to have around. She is great in the canoe, for the most part she just lays on the bottom and sleeps. At the time of the trip she was only 5 months old and very well behaved. While in camp we had her tied up in case she saw a squirrel and took off running but now that she's another month older I don't think that she would run off. She's seen deer and other critters on some of our walks and hasn't chased anything yet. Her PFD is an Outward Hound, I think Zoe bought it from Petsmart.

Bryan and Vikki,
Yes Taiga is growing fast but she's still cute. We are currently looking for a coat for taiga as well. I took her for a walk during a blizzard yesterday and she didn't even notice the cold but I think that a coat and booties would be a good idea for when we go winter camping. So to answer your question, no I don't have a good coat place, I am looking as well. If I find anything I'll be sure to pass it on.