Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Paddling the Bagwa Loop

I decided to take advantage of the good weather and head up to Prince Albert National Park to kayak the Bagwa Loop. It didn't take long to throw the gear together.

Soon after leaving Saskatoon I passed a swirling mass of Snow Geese in the air and on the ground. Signs of autumn.

I decided to go counter-clockwise and do the long leg on Kingsmere lake while the weather was calm. It's a fair size lake and if it's windy the waves can get big. Not on Sunday though. The lake was pale green clear glass, like an antique bottle. A lot of the lake is shallow and the bottom was perfectly clear. No tropical fish here, though. But the sun was warm. What a beautiful fall day.

I set up camp and watched the sun slowly go down, taking plenty of photographs.

It started raining in the middle of the night soft but steady. It was still pattering on the tent fly when I woke up. I briefly considered sleeping in to see if it would stop, but my bladder disagreed. And it could just as easily get worse as better. By the time I finished breakfast it had stopped, thankfully. It's always a hassle packing up in the rain.

Although the rain had stopped, I put the spray skirt on the kayak. It makes it a little more awkward getting in and out, but it definitely keeps you warmer and drier.

Shortly after heading out it started to rain again. I stopped to dig out my rain hat and neoprene gloves. When I glanced up there was a moose in the reeds only about 30 feet away staring intently at me. I knew I'd never get my camera from behind the seat and out of the dry bag without spooking it so I just watched. I didn't move as I drifted slowing closer. When I got about 20 feet away it snorted, bellowed and turned away, plowing through the water and reeds. Behind it was a young one. It peered at me a bit longer and then turned and followed Mom. (The photos are of another pair I saw the first day.)

Although I'd camped about half-way around the loop, I'd left the two portages for the second day. The portages themselves weren't too bad, but getting in and out of the water was pretty mucky!

Back out on Kingsmere Lake, the wind was picking up and whitecaps were starting to appear. With the wind against me and the rough water it was definitely harder work than yesterday. But as I got closer to the end of the lake it was more sheltered and the water flatter, and the sun even came out.

We're lucky to have the boreal forest and lakes so close to us. It's beautiful country.

2010-10 Bagwa Paddle

1 comment:

  1. The Bagwa was always a favourite of ours - we did it most years in the fall. Other than the muddy portage access, it was a nice traditional fall trip.