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 Post subject: Trip Suggestions
PostPosted: January 20th, 2005, 9:57 pm 
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I am looking for a trip for a group of 6 to 8 reasonably fit 50 somethings. We have extensive outdoor experience, intermediate canoeing ability, good map-reading skills. One of our group would rather limit the rapids to C-1 so we are probably looking at a mostly lake trip with possibly some connecting sections of river without long sections of rapids. We don't mind portaging. We would prefer a trip without a lot of others especially the motorized set. Member of our group have done sections of the upper Sturgeon-Weir, McLennan Lake loop, Wapiskau River, Besnard Lake-Black Bear Island Lake, etc. We are looking for something in the 5-8 day range. I have contacted Ric at CRCO and, as always, appreciate his suggestions. I was just wondering if anyone out there has some other ideas. Thanks!


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2005, 10:43 pm 
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I would suggest looking into Laurel Archer's book about 15 Saskatchewan rivers.
There are trips that may meet your criteria, or sections of trips, that are not too skill-demanding as far as running rapids is concerned.


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 Post subject: Laurel's Book
PostPosted: January 21st, 2005, 7:51 am 
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Thanks, Otter Mel. I have her book and I have Marchildon (sp?) and Robinson's book about the Churchill and I have accessed the Canoe Saskatchewan Trip reports. All of these sources have given me some possibilities. I was just wondering if someone had some suggestions of other Northern Saskatchewan smaller river/lake trips (like the Wapiskau) or a lake to lake trips that we could consider.
Thanks for your input.
Ralph


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PostPosted: January 21st, 2005, 10:16 am 
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Ralph,

We did the Waterfound last summer. This one might fit the bill. The river has a lot of C-1, C-2 with one section of C-3. You can portage around all the C-3.

We drove to Waterbury Lake and had a flight from the Fond du Lac to bring us back to Points North.

We did it Sat - Sat. We had two very experienced flat water paddlers, one intermediate flat water paddler and one complete novice. The experienced paddlers had only intermediate ww skills, with the other two having none. We ran everything except the worst of the C-3. We had no problems at all. We ran the river in mid July. and I think it was running at about 25 cms.

You can shorten it up by having someone from Points N pick you up at the bridge that crosses the river before the second big lake on the route. We would have liked to spent more time on the upper stretches rather than on the lower stretch. The fishing was great and the grayling on the upper stretch was fantastic.

If you need more info feel free to ask. We rented canoes from Ric, so you could hit him up for info on it.

Jerry


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 Post subject: Waterfound
PostPosted: January 21st, 2005, 9:53 pm 
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Thanks, Jerry,
I'll have to look into this a little more. It sounds interesting. I'll let you know how the research goes.
Ralph


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 Post subject: Waterfound
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2005, 1:39 am 
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Jerry,
I did some reading in Laurel Archer's book and it sounds interesting. How hard was it to drive to Waterbury Lake and how much was the flight back to Points North? How long does it take to drive from Missinipe to Points North?
Thanks again,
Ralph


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2005, 12:14 pm 
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I second jerry's recommendation of the waterfound. We paddled the waterfound/fond du lac last summer and enjoyed it immensely. We flew on a scheduled flight to Points North and got shuttled from there (we had a canoe waiting for us at Points North.) Maybe Ric could arrange this for you. Can't beat the price, and from what I've heard of the drive to Points North, it is a much more convenient option.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2005, 9:37 am 
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My son and I paddled the Waterfound & Fon Du Lac last summer. It was an outstanding trip. I made some notes on the trip right after I got home. If you decide to do the trip, I think I can find the notes and email them to you. There were some differences between what Ms. Archer said in her book and what we experienced. I sent her my notes, and she thought it was because the water was quite high. We landed at the beginning of the Waterfound just days after the ice began to break up, most of the lake was still locked up. I highly reccomend the route. We did have a bear bite a hole in the stern stem of our Dumoine one night, but it didn't push it over and bother the food underneath it. A little duct tape patched that up nicely. It was pretty expensive for our shuttle out and back from Black Lake, I want to say around $1500 US. We drove to Points North with our canoe. If I remember right it was 4-5 hours of gravel road from CRCO. We had one flat, luckily less than 1 mile from one of the few, if not only, places we could have gotten it fixed. Next time, I think I would have a second spare tire in the back of the truck.


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2005, 2:29 pm 
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Thanks, pdlgsltd,
I will confer with my paddling associates to see if this route interests them in terms of the route itself, of the cost of the flight and the drive to Points North. If we decide to do this I'll get back to you about getting those notes. Thanks for your input,
Ralph


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2005, 3:23 pm 
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Ralph,

I'll second what tom said earlier. If you are pushed for time and $s isn't a critical point, flying would be the way to go. With that said, we were pushed for time, and $s were a dediding factor on what we could do.

We could not afford a flight to Points North and then again to the start of the Waterfound. We could justify one flight and canoe rentals. The flight we chose was from what Laurel calls, I think, the Cat's Meow camp site on the Fond du Lac. The campsite itself wasn't as impressive as we thought it might be, but it was perfect for the plane. It was 38 mile flight and cost us a total of around $600 for 4 people and two canoes. $150 per person was acceptable to us.

As for driving, we left north central MN at 6pm Friday night and hit Waterbury Lake at approx. 9pm Saturday evening. The drive from CRCO's office to Points North took us about 5 hrs. We had 3 spares, and twenty gallons of gas, as we heard you could expect flats, which we didn't encounter, but we did lose the dust caps off the axels of our trailer. Some beer cans and duct tape, Red Green would have been proud, provided enough protection for us to get there and back to La Ronge. I didn't mind the drive, but I'm used to driving these types of roads. Would I drive it again, you bet. I would want more time to do it however.

We rented two canoes and a bear barrel from Ric. We saw a caribou, and no bears. We keep a very clean camp, and wipe down the bear barrel each night with amonia. We did not camp at any sites that had been used for shore lunches.

We too found a few differences from Laurels book and she e-mailed me some up dates before we went. I also have a few notes for the trip that didn't show up in Laurel's book. We found that no one could tell us exactly where the road came out on Waterbury Lake. We have that down, and I e-mailed that location to Ric. We have some nice campsite locations too that didn't show up in the book.

I think the next time I go, I will bring my kids along. The trip was something they could do!

If you need more info, or have some specific questions or just want to chat about the trip feel free to ask.

Jerry.


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 Post subject: Waterfound
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2005, 9:31 pm 
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Thanks again, Jerry,
Both you and pdlgstld are very enthusiastic about the trip. I will have at least one hard sell in the group so it will be interesting to see what gets decided. If we decide to go, I'll will be in contact for further information.
Ralph


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 28th, 2005, 5:33 pm 
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Location: Wytheville, Virginia U.S.
Jerry R.--

As for driving, we left north central MN at 6pm Friday night and hit Waterbury Lake at approx. 9pm Saturday evening. The drive from CRCO's office to Points North took us about 5 hrs. We had 3 spares, and twenty gallons of gas, as we.

Was that driving all day and night???? Thanks.

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 28th, 2005, 9:26 pm 
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Mark,
Yes we drove 24hrs straight through, we were pressed for time. There were 4 of us, and we took turns.
Jerry


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 Post subject: Re: Trip Suggestions
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2005, 10:19 am 
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Location: Canmore AB
Ralph wrote:
I am looking for a trip for a group of 6 to 8 reasonably fit 50 somethings. We have extensive outdoor experience, intermediate canoeing ability, good map-reading skills. One of our group would rather limit the rapids to C-1 so we are probably looking at a mostly lake trip with possibly some connecting sections of river without long sections of rapids. We don't mind portaging
As you have said that C1 may be the limit for one of your group . Based on this, I would hesitate to recommend the Waterfound. There is route finding required on a lot of the rapids, with boulder gardens at the bottom of many of them. Even one of the first rapids out of Waterbury Lake although C1 is a blind RH turn with no real place to scout. . There are long sections of rapids so a solid back ferry should be in your repetoire. A plastic boat is a must with Kevlar at the bare minimum. It's a great route but it is isolated so a mistake up there could be expensive.
Hugh

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
M.T.


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 Post subject: Thanks, Hugh
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2005, 8:02 pm 
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Hugh,
Thanks for your warning. Some of our group have the required skills and boats but not all. This will be a trip where the trip must suit all of the paddlers. It is good to hear about the difficulty of the rapids and I really don't want one of our group to be in fear for most of the trip.
Thanks again,
Ralph


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