By Chet Caneff
On Day 2, we were excited to wake up to perfectly blue skies again!
The thing that wasn’t too exciting happened to be the mosquitos swarming in front of our net. We were all intimidated to get out of the tent in fear of being eaten alive. One of us finally got the courage to run to our bear barrel (a food storage barrel with bear-proof latch on it) and grab our breakfast.
This morning we were having loose granola, a whole bag of it. We felt like kings because we were eating breakfast in bed on an ELC trip. Once we were done with our gourmet meal, we packed up our sleeping bags, changed into our swimsuits, took down the tent and pumped water from the river to fill our water bottles. After loading up our canoes, we were ready to hit the water.
You looked into the water and it looked like you were looking into a mirror, you could see your reflection absolutely perfect due to the lack of ripples in the water on this calm day.
The first rapid we came across was a class 2 that we ran with ease. The next rapid was Bruiseasy falls, a class 4 rapid that we had to portage around. The portage was 150 meters long and the trail was fairly flat and easy to carry our gear over.
After our portage, we paddled across Stonehouse Lake, a very long and narrow lake. When we were coming around a bend Aaron saw something swimming about an eighth of a mile away and pointed it out to us. We quickly came to the conclusion it was a bear once it reached the other side of the river and climbed out and onto land and hurried up into the woods.
After that little bit of excitement, we were on to rapid No. 21, another dangerous class 4 that we had to portage around. This portage was not quite as easy as the first one, and, unfortunately, it was the longest portage of the trip with a distance of 410 meters. The trail was no walk in the park, with many rocks and trees to maneuver through as well as a few steep inclines leading to a very steep put in.
What came after the portage though was one of the highlights of the trip for people with fishing poles. After only a few casts, it was clear that this was the spot to be if you wanted to catch fish — just below the rapids in the fast-moving water. After fishing out of the canoes for about a half an hour and catching many, Brad and Chad still hadn’t had enough so we pulled over and they fished from shore while we were eating lunch.
When we were done eating lunch we were excited to find out that we could jump in the bottom half of the rapid and swim it, so we walked our way up the shoreline and found ourselves a nice spot from which we launched ourselves into the middle of the current. From there we were just along for the ride; the water would take us wherever it wanted to until the strength of the current lessened and we could swim to shore. We all swam through the rapid two or three times before loading back into the boats once again.
The next rapid we came across was a class 1, and everyone made it through with ease.
Rapid 24 came soon after and was a bit more difficult. The class 2 rapid had some pretty decent sized waves in the middle of the channel, but if you could avoid those it was a pretty decent paddle. After that we had one more portage for the day — a 275-meter portage but once again was relatively easy to get our gear to the other side. Now we only had a couple of kilometers to go until we would be at camp for the night.
X-rock was a beautiful campsite that was elevated overlooking Rapid 26.
My group had creamy potato soup for dinner along with three fish caught at our lunch spot.
After supper, we went swimming to clean ourselves off a little bit before we watched the sun set over the trees. What a beautiful sight and the perfect end to the perfect day.