|West Long Lake|
Our plan this last weekend of May was to run the Piskahegan Stream. When we arrived, we saw the water level was lower than we would have liked, and hemmed and hawed whether we should go ahead down this rocky stream. I knew the water level would keep dropping during the next two days, and it was already scratchy.
Then Biff reminded me of our low-water trip down the Nashwaak a few years back, and how we both swore we would never push a heavy boat down a rocky trench again. So we switched over to Plan B: the headwater lakes of the Lepreau River, only ten kms away.
The headwaters of the Lepreau River flow through a culvert and into a marsh off the Lepreau Road. After a carry of about 15 metres, we set off down the deadwater to West Long Lake.
One short carry around a deadfall, one push over a beaverdam, a short walk through alders and a push over one last rock and we were in the lake. Nothing to it, really.
We were lucky, the breeze blew us gently down the lake. There were loons to keep us company, and skeeters and blackflies as well!
However, once we decided to sacrifice Biff on a rock that sat smack in the middle of the lake, the bugs were no problem at all. Here he sits, screaming maniacally as the little bloodsuckers rip him apart.
Actually, they weren't that bad. But here I sit, three days later, still scratching the spots on my arms and legs where the welts persist. Pass the Stop-Itch, willya?
We set up camp at the far end of the lake, and went exploring. We found the outlet to Victoria Lake just around the point in the next cove, and John and Biff could not be discouraged, they had to check it out now!
I followed them, and heard their hoots and laughter just out of sight ahead. It was quick and narrow, about three or four hundred meters into Victoria Lake, hard to say, but there were no steep drops. About halfway down, a tree leaned out and blocked the stream with its leafy boughs. I managed to get to the right side, away from the thicker trunk, and grab some branches as I was pulled in. Slowly, I twitched my way through the twigs, it took me about ten minutes, and then met John and Biff after one last rocky quickwater stretch into Victoria.
Sorry, I had my hands full, no images of this thoroughfare this time. Maybe next.
We had to put off the exploration of Victoria Lake for another time, as I had to be back home early the next day, my wedding anniversary. There is a well-travelled portage trail that we hiked back up to our campsite.
Well, it wasn't the river trip we planned, but it was fun too. We'll try the Piskahegan again in the fall, just after a big rainstorm. There shouldn't be any bugs then, either.
Lepreau Falls, a playground for intrepid kayakers, at the river's mouth
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