Creeks and Trails of Woodland Caribou Park
A solo canoe trip into
Woodland Caribou
Provincial Park

Martin Kehoe
Part 1
Wallace Lake, Haggart Lake, Bird River, Eagle Lake
GPS Waypoints Listings at the bottom of the part 8
Click on a Picture

 As I set off on Wallace Lake for a 30-day canoe trip into Woodland Caribou Provincial Park (WCPP) the mercury is near 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A southwest breeze pushes me across the lake to the Wanipigow River entrance point. The water levels are high and there are no beaver dams to get over. In two and a half hours camp is being set up on Siderock Lake. The Obukowin Portage marker is easily seen from my site. It is not my route this year but it is nice to see it so well marked.

It is so hot that a bug net is hung from the tarp to allow better air movement than a tent. The sleeping bag is left in the stuff sack. As darkness falls the breeze dies and the mosquitoes congregate on the outside of the netting. After a hot and humid night with little sleep it was time to dress and make a dash for the Deet and a head net. That allowed enough protection to get the gear out onto an open rock with enough breeze to get some relief.

 The high water made for easy travel up the Wanipigow River and into WCPP. It took me four and a half hours to reach the campsite across the water from the Crystal Lake entrance sign. My little thermometer read 95 degrees F during camp setup but soon read 100 degrees F again. Cold air was predicted to arrive this evening so the tent and tarp were set up in a combo that offered a tight defense to the impending clash of the air masses. Fishing was good but distant thunder told me to get the fish filleted and retreat to the fortress to fry it. As I cooked supper in my fortified annex the storm arrived in all its fury. My walls showed the stress of the wind but only a little spray spattered in the hot oil as dinner preparation went on.

Click on a Picture

While enjoying the first fish of the trip the wind really increased and the ground under my annex started to rise and fall as the roots were put to the test by the swaying treetops. Before the last fillet was finished the gale lessened with my floor still intact. A bright flash and a thunderous crack two seconds later prompted me to squat on the balls of my feet until the lightening hits were further away. By 7:30 the storm turned to a medium rain and sleep came fast at the mercury had gone from 100 to 75 degrees F in short order.

 A pleasant surprise in the morning was only seeing about a dozen mosquitoes on the tent mesh. Leaving the camp at 8:00 and using the winding river put me on Broken Arrow at 10:30. A nice summer day and north wind made for an enjoyable push south on Broken Arrow to the 300 meter portage to Haggart Lake. Once across the portage the wind carried me down to a campsite on a point with a nice view. Sunglasses were needed the next morning for the east traverse of Haggart, for there was not a cloud in the sky. It is the fourth day and my senses have started to sharpen. It is that way on a lot of my solo trips. The first few days are OK but my enjoyment really starts to build from the fourth day on. Two years ago, my 30th and last night was spent on Crystal Lake to savor one last night of the peace and solitude.

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Park Information

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Maps for this trip

Part 2

Copyright by Martin Kehoe, March, 2007