Kattawagami River

CanadaOntarioJames Bay south
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Bill Holland
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
0 km
14 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
500 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

This river is not for beginners there is no one to help if your luck goes bad.
This river can kill you!

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Day 1
June 18th, 2009

I left work at 3.30 pm stopped for gas after about 3 hours, at a cost of $60.00, but I hadn’t started with a full tank. Next stop was on a logging road off of hwy # 11 norths at 9 p.m. By then I had driven about 450km, I called it a night and decided to sleep there.
It was very buggy, but I went for a walk before sleeping in the van.

Day 2
June 19th, 2009

Got up about 6 am, hoping I was up early enough it would be cooler, and less buggy. No luck the bugs were waiting for me. I had a quick breakfast using the cook stove; I should have used a campfire as it would have kept the bugs away.

That day I kept driving north to Cochrane, a total distance of around 700 kms. From Cochrane I turned East on Hwy 652 and kept going North East for 160 kms, this brought me to the Kattawagami River and Lake, here I hid my kayak in the bush by the river, and hung the food bags from a tree, in hopes of keeping the bears away. The bugs were nuts here. On the drive to hide the Kayak I saw 2 moose and 2 bears. I got pictures of a bear with its baby. There were also beaver in the lake.

I drove back to a small lake 40 kms East of Cochrane and decided to spend the night, and started a campfire which did drive the bugs off. During the evening a conservation officer stopped by to check up on me, he asked for the details of my trip, and said he may see me later.

Day 3
June 20th, 2009

Today I drove back to Cochrane and dropped the van in the long-term parking at the train station. The weather was kind of crappy so I hung around Cochrane until almost lunch time. That’s when I bumped into another Canoer who was also going to Moosonee, but on a different River, his name was Aaron Wood. We had breakfast together and talked of our trips. Aaron tried to talk me out of my trip and to go along on his, and I thought about it for a moment, but in the end I decided that I had already planned for mine and still wanted to do it (by planned I mean picked a river on the map) . About lunch time I set off on my bike, I rode 92 kms that day and spent the night camped by a small logging road.

Day 4
June 21st,2009

Didn’t sleep too bad, but the tent is very wet from dew, I’m hoping the sun comes up and dries the tent off. I’ve noticed that the bugs take turns, during the day time the black flies cover the tent, but after the sun goes down the mozzies take over, and they are still waiting on the door of the tent for me to get up in the morning. Also seeing noseams, (yes that’s their name) like a black fly, but very small. My back seems to be very good today, sleeping on the ground must be helping it, no leg cramps which is a surprise after all that biking yesterday.

End of day 4
I rode too long today, cramps everywhere, total ride over 2 days 160 kms.
Today was hard going, I had no strength, I had ridden further yesterday with no cramps and it had seemed easier. I went to the camp ground at Kattawagami Lake, where I spoke with the guy who lives there, after buying a 2 lt. bottle of Pepsi off him for $5.00, and collapsing into his lawn chair for 30 mins, I told him what I was planning to do. He had some serious doubts about my idea to say the least. He talked to the local natives there, who said it would take around 14 days to get down the river. They hunt this river every fall. They said for $450 they could have one of their friends meet me at the bay at the end of the river, and he would take me to Moosonee. I decided to pass on the $450 hit. From what the natives say the bay still sounds bad and the mud flats go out up to 3 kms from shore and 10 ft. waves are common, plus I will probably have no food by the time I get there.
I am hoping to make the river in less time as a Kayak is faster than a canoe. (It took me 10 days).
I camped in the camp ground at Kattawagami Lake that night, $10.00.
Before going to bed I retrieved the kayak and all my gear, I hid the bike in the bush by the river.

End of Day 5
June 22nd, 2009

The brand new tent I bought for the trip lost its first zipper, thank goodness for duct tape and a sewing kit.
Not been eating well, I don’t have much appetite; I wonder if it is because of beaver fever or something, I have been drinking unfiltered water. The water filtration system I brought will not pump water anymore.
Other than the cramps from last night I am feeling pretty good, still no appetite though, I did have a couple of pancakes, but that was as much as I could eat.
I had a pretty good day paddling, had to stop to get the water out of the kayak 3 times. The first time I stopped to portage around a small set of rapids I may as well of run the rapids as I tipped the kayak getting out. Second time I was running the rapids my spray skirt came open and I got water in the kayak while going through the rapids. Third time I had stopped and backed into some bushes to rest for a moment, the bushes snagged the drain plug in the back of the kayak and opened it, I realized there was something wrong soon after when the kayak started filling with water. So far the river is a bit boring, long and flat with bush on both sided, no wildlife. (Mainly because the natives hunt the river each fall, so all the critters know to keep away except at night)
Chris wouldn’t like it here, at night when you get in the tent all the black flies are all over you, and end up on the inside walls of the tent, took me 30 mins to kill them all.

I didn’t know I had a hole on the inside of my pant leg; the black flies had got inside my pants and chewed my leg to pieces. Could have been worse the black flies could have gone up instead of down

End of day 6
June 23rd, 2009

What I would do for a can of pop!!!
Better day today. I only had to portage around/through1 set of rapids today. Did it the easy way took off my cloths and walked the kayak through a shallow part then had a swim (the weather was nice).
I’ve been in the kayak for 2 days I NEEDED A SWIM! I may have traumatized a fish or two.
I have a bit more of an appetite today I managed to eat a pack of chicken flavored noodles still want a can of pop!
If I did this again I’m using a bigger kayak so I can bring about 30 liters of pop.
Got to Bailey Lake today, here it took me 2 hr. to find the river out of the lake.
There was a cabin on the lake with a big sign out front “Moose Cree First Nation, private property stay out” so I had a look around, the cabin was fully stocked I could have lived there for a month.
But NO POP! So I left.
Tonight I camped on a small Island below a set of rapids, nice place, bushy but not too bad for bugs.
Normally my tent door would be covered with bugs but not tonight.
I left my clothes out to dry. Just heard a big bird land outside hope it did not fly off with my undies for its nest.
6 days to make the train, may be late!
So many bug bites it’s hard to get to sleep.
During the day I saw some kind of hunting bird, possibly a fish eagle or something like that.
One had a nest right at the top of a tree over the top of a set of rapids, it would of made a nice picture, but I couldn’t get to my camera. Remember in a kayak you cannot move too much.
Next time I do an outing like this I am bringing a can of raid, so that everyday I can spray the bugs that are on the door of my tent. In the morning when you get up you don’t want to go outside as they are all waiting on the door to attack you.
I notice I am getting over my craving for a can of pop finally, still hate water though.

End of Day 7
June 24th, 2009

Very wet day today lots of rapids, five of which I had to portage, one I should of portaged as I ended up riding my life jacket down. I lost my paddle and it went down the river without me, got lucky though, Chris had bought me a spare paddle before I left, so I was able to catch up with the other one a ways down stream.
I have been wet all day, walking through water is just the easiest way sometimes of getting through the rapids in this area.
I’m wet, the food is wet, the tent is wet, and the sleeping bag is wet.
Note to self, wet lighters don’t work. I have one that would spark, but not light, I used that to light one of the others which wouldn’t spark so I did get a fire going.
There are so many rocks in the river I have rubbed 2 holes in the bottom of the kayak; I’m hoping I have what I need to fix it.
I camped on an island where two rivers meet. The river I’m on has a very bad set of falls, with a rock filled river as far as I can see. Guess I will be walking the river again tomorrow, hope it stays warm.
P.S. The marine silicone I brought with me for repairs doesn’t work, so back to the old faithful duct tape. The only problem with duct tape is that the rocks rub it back off.
Good thing the portages are so close together so the kayak doesn’t have time to fill with water!

Day 8
June 25th, 2009

Long hard day today, shallow rapids all day, only made about nine miles tops.
Hope River opens out tomorrow, this is no fun!
Everything is wet, and it looks like it is going to rain. I would call this off tomorrow if I could.
My food is holding out so far, though the drink crystals are running low. At a set of rapids today, I had run one small set, then landed the kayak on the east shore trying to spot a way past the waterfall below when I realized I had landed at the wrong shore. Now I have to paddle across the rapids I had just come down to get to the west shore. The only way to do this is to Eddie hop, which is where you point your kayak upstream and then paddle like hell until you get to a rock with an Eddie behind it, and then do the same again, going from one Eddie to the other until you get to the other side. One wrong move and you are going over the waterfall backwards.

End of Day 9
June 26th, 2009

Ok, you can send the rescue helicopter now!

After days of rapids, waterfalls, and portages this is just no fun anymore!
As soon as you leave one portage I’m looking ahead to see how I’m going to get around the next set of falls. I’ve been using my GPS to mark each of my campsites at nighttime, and my last three campsites and really quite close together. The weather has cleared up and is warm again, my food is still holding out, but I have lost some to water damage. I lost my fishing hooks on one of the portages, so I guess I won’t be finding out if there are any grayling in the streams this trip.
I also screwed up big time today; I was roping the kayak through a set of rapids when I carelessly threw the spray skirt into the kayak without fastening it to anything. The kayak rolled in an Eddie behind some rocks, and it took me a few minutes to realize that I had lost the skirt, of course by then no sign of it. SHIT STUPID!!!!!
The holes in the bottom of the kayak are still letting in water, if I ever get to open water I will try the duct tape again, thinking it may stay on better when not sliding over rocks all day. Still not seeing much wildlife, not seeing any bears, which is a good thing, as the gun has been so wet it probably wouldn’t work anyway. I’m managing to keep the sleeping bag dry now, which is nice since nothing else is dry.
I seem to of left the black flies behind, but still have the horse flies and the deer flies, but they don’t bite as much.
The first two days when I started out the river was quite flat and boring, then it turned to fast water and rocks everywhere, I would take boring over the rocks. Now I am on the Canadian Shield, exposed granite, nice waterfalls, but just too damned many of them.

June 27th, 2009
Day 10 Lunch break
I don’t see the rescue chopper yet!

Still rapids and falls, back to back. Most I have to find a way around, as even if I could find a way through without tipping, the kayak will fill with water anyhow no spray skirt remember. My nose is sun burnt.
Stopped for lunch today, that’s the first time I have done that, before this the black flies would have eaten me alive during the daytime if I had stopped.
Starting to see sand along the shore line, I’m hoping this is a sign the rapids are coming to an end. The bush is more open, no grass, but lots of moss. It’s still forest though. Mostly pine /black spruce.

June 27th, 2009
End of day 10

GPS shows I got nowhere again today!
Looks like I’ll be late for the train. My goal was Monday June 29. I camped at the top of another set of rapids and had a big fire tonight to keep the horse flies away. Didn’t work a dam, bugs seem to fly right though fire and smoke to get at me, these are big horse flies. They still don’t bite as much as deer flies, but seem a little faster to bite dark colors. Dark colors seem to attract all the bugs, I have found the best color to be the light green camo outfit.
The weather is still holding good. These horse flies are hard to kill! You hit them and they just come back for more.
I had beef stroganoff for supper, one of the packs of food I got from bass pro. These are great for this kind of camping as the packs are water tight and they have meat, noodles, peas, some kind of seeds and other bits in there. Would never eat this shit at home, but out here poor old body needs it!
The day started off wet and overcast so I tried my alcohol cook stove this morning, it worked great, had hot chocolate, and pancakes cooked inside my tent, nice and dry, and no bugs at me “breakfast in bed” getting spoiled out here!

June 28th, 2009
Day 11 lunch break Stopped for lunch again today, I’m feeling a bit better. I stopped on a soft clay bank and there were wolf, bear and moose tracks, so there are animals here, just keeping out of sight? The way to tell moose from caribou tracks is the moose have big hooves like a horse; the caribou have smaller hooves just a bit bigger than a deer.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the set of falls I camped at last night turned out to be the last set of falls.
Look for a set of falls with a small river joining the main river from the west. The small river splits and goes around a little Island. Close to the west shore of the river you are on the water about to go over a waterfall, the small river you are joining above the island is nice and calm. Paddle around to the back of the island cut across to the main shore, portage 200 feet down below the falls\rapids, and your home free, last portage! Piece of cake!
Open River from here on if a bit shallow in some places, I had to get out and walk the kayak twice this morning. The shore looks sandier with sand cliffs, but only one or two stories high at most. It doesn’t take to long before the country gets lower no cliffs and the shore is muddier. The forest here though is a mix of every kind of tree and bush you could think of, too early in the year for berries though.
Seeing lots of geese and goslings today, also seeing damsel flies never saw damsel flies up stream. No more black flies, the mozzies still bad at night.

Still June 28th, 2009
End of day 11

Got my first clue that I may be getting close to the bay!
Found nice places to camp right where the Kattawagami River and the Kesagami rivers meet, both are big rivers. Where they meet there is a nice grassy point of land which looked like a nice place to camp. So I unloaded my kayak and started to set up camp. After a while I noticed I’d left the kayak too close to the water, the back end of the kayak was in the water, and so I pulled it up on shore, and went back to getting the tent ready for the night. When I started to gather fire wood I noticed my kayak is partway into the water again?? Ok, so I know I just pulled that kayak up onto dry land what gives? Taking a closer look at the river gives me the answer. The tides coming in! About 45 minutes later the place where I’d put my tent is under 4 in” of water. If the tide had come in at say 2AM. I would have woken up in my tent when my feet start to get wet, and then would of had to find a new place for camp in the dark, plus would have lost my kayak because it would have floated away before the water got to my tent
If you camp here look in the bush around the corner from the point, there is a man made clearing big enough for your tent above the high tide mark, also good idea to get into habit of tying the boat up at night just in case. The river water by this point is getting very murky but it’s not salty.

June 29th, 2009
Day 12

Lunch on the bay
You know you’ve reached the bay because there are trees along both shores but nothing in front of you but open water.
This part of the bay is called Hanna bay, and is actually part of Nunavut.
I thought it would be neat to stop on the mud flats of the bay and have lunch out there “look at me world I’m having lunch out on James Bay”
With the tide low the mud flats were uncovered, so I picked a big rock and set up my small cook stove and had lunch. It was during this time I realized the tide had really gone out, its 300 yards to the river channel leaving behind soft mud, so now I have to drag my fully loaded kayak though the mud all the way back to the river channel.
Lunch on the tidal flats sounded neat, but I think I’ll pass on it next time.
By the time I got the kayak off the mud the weather had gone to hell, rain with lots of wind, looks like I’m not getting onto the bay today. I paddled back upstream about 2 miles, I’d remembered seeing what was left of a small hunting camp, I got back to this abandoned hunting camp just as the tide was at its lowest point, so it was a muddy mess getting up the bank pulling the kayak and tied it off. Time to check this old camp out
I found there were 3 shacks, two had no roofs left but the third one had over half of its blue tarp roof still up. I found an old wood stove in one of the other shacks and moved the stove over to shack 3, and found a chair some dry fire wood and set up my tent inside the shack so even though it was raining outside I’m dry and comfortable in my shack, smoky as hell, the wood stove has no chimney but the smoke from the wood stove keeps the bugs away.
Would be nice to sit back with a nice cup of hot chocolate or coffee but I ran out, also out of drink juice powder so I have murky river water to drink YUM. I have one pack of food left that will be tomorrow’s breakfast. If I can’t get out of here tomorrow I’m out of food and drinks, things are going to get dicey real fast if the weather stays bad and I have no food. Not a proper sea shore here just mud, not nice.

June 30th, 2009
Morning day 13

It’s overcast with about a 40 mile wind from the east, the wind would blow me to Moosonee, but it would more likely sink me first. I’ve got a nice fire going in my wood stove, I’ve got food for the day I collected rain water last night so for a day or two I’ll not have to drink nasty river water.

Still no berries! There are lots of different flowers and plants though, I may have to read more of my eatable plants book, see if I can put a name and use to some of these plants.
I would rather kill a rabbit or something to eat, but no sign of rabbits around.
Opened last pack of food (dried stew) this morning, another one of those I got from bass pro. The one I had yesterday was very good, this one even after 10 days with very little to eat it still tastes like shit, guess I’ll have leftovers tonight.
Time is only 9:00 AM and I’m already bored, there is one other cabin on the river a bit farther up stream. Last night I thought I could here noises coming from that direction, so I think I’ll go upstream and see if anybody lives at the other cabin, maybe pay them for a ride to Moosonee
No luck! The other cabin up stream is in better shape that my little shack, but nobody is there, and its locked up tight.
The weather is still bad, I hung clothes out to dry, and of course it started to rain again, so I hung everything inside the shack.
2:00p.m. the rain has stopped, the winds died down, even some blue sky, too late today to make the run for Moosonee, but if the days like this tomorrow I can get out of here.

Evening still day 13
Nice evening sitting on a log over what should be a nice beach (reality foot deep mud) watching the river flow by.
I found a small white tarp in one of the other shacks so I spread it on the shore and put my red kayak on it, I figured if someone went by it should catch their attention, maybe I could get a ride to Moosonee.
No one went by; in fact the last person I saw was at the campground I started from 10 days ago.
Of course I’m overdue now so someone may come looking for me sooner or later (can only hope).

P.S. no one did
P.S. I just saw a rabbit!! My next project will be seeing if I can catch supper

July 1st, 2009
Start of Day 14

6:00 A.M. the suns out but no wind, I’m going to try my luck and run the bay.
If the weather holds I should be in Moosonee for supper.
3:30 P.M. day 14 still.
The nice weather didn’t last!! A north wind picked up with a vengeance causing 3 foot waves. Started to think I’d used up my luck, but the wind pushed me into the shallows over the tidal flats. Luckily the tide was low, not enough water for the big waves, but the wind was still blowing like hell, I couldn’t paddle against the wind so I got out and started to walk, I was on the deep side of the tidal flats about a mile off shore but the tide is still going out so I’m walking in 6 in. of water towing my kayak behind me, the north wind is cold but I have extra clothes in the kayak, adding more clothes blocks the wind, wasn’t cold in the kayak because the kayak sheltered me from the wind
About 2 miles ahead there is Sand Point Island, it is the only island on this part of the bay this is now my destination. I got to within about a mile of the island by walking in the water, but now the tidal flats go out around the island, so I’m going to have to get there the hard way, I start walking across the flats dragging my kayak behind me, the footing is still soft here, but not too bad. I’m moving, but very slow, I drag 50 ft. rest, drag rest, I do this for about an hour. This sounds like a pain but its better than just sitting on the flats getting cold in the wind! Footing gets better as you get closer to the island, more sandy, less mud. I decided to carry kayak and all my gear all at the same time so now its carry rest, carry, but its faster and I get farther between rests, I have to carry everything at once because don’t want to leave the kayak behind and carry the gear to island then go back for the kayak, if I did that and the tide came back in and got my kayak before I got back to it. I’d be up shit creek!
I got to the island about 5 minuets head of the tide, the tide water literally chased me up the rocky shore of the island.
I could have just waited for the tide to come in and paddled to the island but I did not want the wind to push me away from the island

July 1th, 2009
End of day 14
Sand Point Island is a lovely small Island, and I mean “small” more or less round about a 1000 ft. across. The beach of the island is a proper sand and rock beach, not mud! With a sandy spit that run south east from the island maybe 500 ft. just above the high tide mark. The island has probably less than 100 trees on it, but all the fire wood you could ever burn washed up on the shore. The trees made a nice shelter to put my tent up out of the wind, I gathered firewood and got a fire going, and then hung my clothes out to dry. I checked my GPS, I had made it almost half way to Moosonee, and Chris has probably cashed in my life insurance by now.
Time for a look around the island. There is the wood frame left on the west shore of an Indian hunting camp, I guess they use the island in the fall to hunt from. At the west shore there is a big white cross, anybody coming east along the coast is going to see the cross, so I hung my red kayak from the cross in the hope someone might go by and give me a lift. Great idea, but there is no one out there to see my kayak unfortunately.
There were 2 graves on island marked by wooden markers, one grave was that of a baby??
There are geese on the island, they come to the shore at high tide to eat greens, but unfortunately my gun doesn’t work after being wet so long. There are also wild strawberry plants, but there will not be strawberries for a month or so, even goose berry bushes, they should have berries some time after the strawberries.
Hey I’ve got a fire, it’s not raining, windy as hell but the trees give me cover, I’m good.

July 2nd, 2009
Day 15
Morning on the island, it’s an ugly day, strong wind from the west and foggy; don’t think I’ll be traveling today.
I made a crude fish trap out on the tidal flats, but with no reads or anything to weave between the sticks I’m not holding out much hope of getting a fish. There is almost nothing in this bay because the water is so mucky, there are no shells or crabs, but making the fish trap gave me some thing to do. Lack of food is getting to me; I find I have to rest often.
I also set up a snare to see if I could snare a goose, I used my fishing line and ran a line out onto the beach made a loop with the line, pilled up greens from around the island and spread them around the snare as bait, had no luck with this ether, but may have worked sooner or later?
On the island there is a flock of birds, the male is nice looking red and black not as big as a robin but nicer looking, no idea what it is, will have to check out when I get home.

July 2th still lunch
While piling up weeds for the geese I found one that has a big root looks which sort of looks like a dandelion, but grows on the beach, I can’t find it in my eatable plants book but I tried the root anyhow, it tasted ok and I didn’t drop dead so I guess that’s supper. My eatable plants book said you can make tea from wild rose pedals so I tried this. Rose petal tea must be good for you I can’t think of any other reason why you would drink that crap! Also iris’ on the island, but the book warns all irises are poisonous. (Perhaps I should just eat the book!
There is even a fox stranded on my island, it looks like he’s been digging up turtle eggs. I’ve been finding small dig marks about 3in. deep sometime with a shell in the hole about the size of a chicken egg, wonder what turtle comes into James Bay?
P.S. tide went out at 12 today should be high tide about 8:p.m.
Had a walk on sandy spit that runs east from island, nothing out there just drift wood and old goose nests, wonder how many of the goslings the fox got?
I found two sand piper nests; if I’m still stuck here tomorrow I’ll use them as bait in the fish line snare, see if I can get a seagull.
Another zipper went on my tent this evening good thing there are almost no bugs on the island or it would be a very buggy night.

July 3rd, 2009
Day 16

Up early this morning, 6:00A.M.
The day is overcast, cloud as far as you can see, and foggy, not raining, and NO WIND, if the wind will stay away I may get out of here.
No big rush to pack up camp, the tides out!
8:00 A.M all packed up, kayak is loaded and I’m sitting on the flats waiting for the tide.
If the wind picks up before the tide comes in that will be heart braking.
This morning I noticed that I needed to use a piece of string as a belt because my pants would not stay up,
Not eating for 3 days is starting to have an affect!
(9:00A.M. the water is still 500 feet away, to hell with it I’ll carry the kayak out to the water, and as soon as the tide comes in enough to float the kayak I’m off. I think I have about 30 km’s of bay to cross today. Going to have a soar ass by the end of this day.

Still July 3, 2009
End of day

Crossing the bay it’s foggy for about the first 3 hours, because of the tidal flats you still have to stay about a mile or two off shore, and in the fog that means you can’t see much. There are sticks and logs floating in the bay so if you see one of these ahead you paddle towards it, just so you know you are moving, I had to hang my watch on my back pack in front of me because I kept looking at my watch and would find its only 5 min. since I last looked. I also used my GPS to mark were I was every hour so I could see that I really was moving towards Moosonee. Of course the dam wind just had to pick up gain about 11:00 a.m. the wind this time was not too bad, though the waves are about a foot to foot & half, some white caps, but still able to paddle against. About 3:00 p.m. I got to the delta of Moose River. You my have noticed there is no mention of stopping to answer the call of nature! NO I DID NOT WIZ IN THE KYAK! Just that I’d not had a real meal in 3 days and the only water around was rather nasty so going 6 hours without a stop wasn’t a problem.

Still July 3, 2009

After about an hour of paddling up the river one of the local natives Leo came by, he was the first human I’ve seen in 14 days. Leo was out on the river with his really big boat trying out a now motor he’d just got, and took pity on a stupid white man paddling in off the bay. Leo gave me a ride to the docks, loaded my kayak in the back of his half ton and drove me to the train station. We got to the train station at 5:10 p.m. the train was leaving at 6:00 p.m. I staggered into the ticket office dripping wet, and shaking so bad from the cold I could barely speak. I got a ticket to Cochrane $65.they didn’t charge for the kayak? We loaded the kayak into a box car with my pack and everything still loaded the way it was when I left the island that morning. I used a phone to let Chris know not to spend the life insurance money. I bought Leo and I coffee and also gave him $45 for giving me a lift to train, was well worth it. The coffee warmed me up, whilst we are having coffee I realized I was still wearing my helmet, so I took it off, I realize that sitting in a coffee shop wearing a white helmet can look a bit stupid! Leo took my kayaking helmat used a marker and added some native art to the back of the helmet, geese, trees and a few Cree symbols (probably says take pity on stupid white man, he knows not what he’s doing)
It turns out it was Leo J Etherington who picked me up; you can find some of his art on the net http://www.pbase.com/leojetherington/large . I got on the train and found a seat with no one sitting close to me, by this time I realized that I had not had a swim for about 5 days, and I’m still wearing the clothes I put on 15 days ago. Evan the smelly people are looking at me funny, the smell around me shot right past BO. Its now in the range of decay mixed with a bad constitutional problem, like something the dog would roll on. I realized later I could have changed into my rain gear and left the other bad smelling cloths in the box car, but it’s too late now. So off we go towards Cochrane, at a pace a kid on a bike could keep up with, 200 km which took 5 hours?? The rail bed is so bad the train has to go slow or it might derail, but I’m happy I’ve not eaten for 3 days, there is a food car on the train, and I have money! 3 cheese burgers and 5 coffees later we got to Cochrane. The cheese burgers were the plastic wrapped ones you heat in the microwave, but they tasted like the best burgers I’ve ever had. The coffees were also very good, and they keep me warm because my cloths are still damp. We got to Cochrane at 2:00 a.m. (that’s the middle of the night) and the van was still there so I loaded everything in. I had also left clean clothes in the van, so I changed next and found an ATM got some more money, then find an open motel its 3:00 a.m., I found one? Got a room $80, leave everything in the van for the night, and first thing is a long shower then a real bed! With sheets and no bugs!!

July 4, 2009
Day 16

Morning in the motel. For the last 15 days every morning I got up, got the fire going, fight off the bugs and just try to stay alive one more day. Today I’m in a nice bed, with clean sheets; I had a nice shower last night, time to get up, and EVERYTHING HURTS! all the cuts bruises and scratches from the last 15 days of bug bites falling on rocks crashing though brush which have not bothered me, now its their turn for attention!
I can barely get to the washroom, and then almost crawl out to the van for the first aid kit, use up all the antibiotic creams and bandages in kit, and then I feel a bit better. There is a Laundromat in the motel so I throw everything washable into the washing machine, and set it going. I packed up the van better, and handed in the room key, moved my laundry to the dryer including big sleeping bag and put in $4 leave it to run. Then I go for a real breakfast, the same place I had breakfast with Aaron Wood over 2 weeks ago, today’s breakfast tasted better.
The same lady served me breakfast both times; she even remembered me and Aaron being here week’s earlier. After breakfast back to motel laundry to pick up clothes.
Then its back up highway 652 to pick up my bike, which I apparently did not hide very good, someone had found it and took it, I guess when I hid it, in the back of my mind must have been thinking I’ll not live to pick this up, so no reason to hide it good.
Nothing to do about it, so time to head home. Half way home I stopped for pizza at Pizza Hut got a medium and ate it all, I finally felt full, and I got home about midnight.


Post date: Wed, 10/07/2009 - 19:46


under handiccapped accessablity it should say no access