If a tree falls….twice Part two
We spent three days camping,hiking,exploring on Biggar Lake.
We attempted to make it to the portage just north of our site but our efforts were thwarted by a very well constructed beaver damn. So we turned our boat around and made our way to Birchcliffe Creek to see if we could find the campsite which was half way down it.
As you can see from some of the photos the trek down creek was no easy matter. Six beaver dams, a couple of log jams and a lot of downed branches. Andy had luckily brought his Meyerco folding saw and began to make quick work of any branches which swept across the creek. What should have been a quick half hour paddle turned into quite the long venture. But it is moments and experiences like these that keep me coming back to the back country.
We eventually made it to the campsite on Birchcliffe creek. A small campsite with a great set of benches made up. We could tell that no one had used the site for quite awhile. A quick survey of the area found and a few pieces of the old bridge which connected a logging/access road and crossed the creek. We also noticed that the forest around us which had once been random and hodge podged was now neat and tidy and dominated by tall pines. The area had obviously been clear cut in times past and then re planted.
After a bit of exploring and a small trail snack we headed back for the site. The trip back down the creek was much easier as we sailed over the beaver dams. At the mouth of the creek is a nice beach which we decided to explore and walk. It would make a great place for a shore lunch which we’ll try to make happen next year.
The nights on Biggar were very active. Three species of owls were called out/in to the area surrounding our campsite. The Northern Saw-whet owl, Barred owl and the Great horned owl. I don’t know what it is about this year but we have heard owls and called them in every trip we’ve been on. I have grown very fond of these birds and am always excited when we receive a call back. We use the iBird Canada app to call in the owls and a iPhone with a small speaker or the iPhone placed inside a right side up canoe which makes a great speaker. The nights were capped with some amazing star gazing, satellite watching and some crazy shooting stars.
(Photo credit Wikipedia)
On Saturday we started to make our way back to North Tea Lake. Pete took off ahead of us, with Andy and myself took our time exploring every aspect of the lakes and rivers in between Biggar Lake and North Tea Lake. We made camp in the late afternoon and watched as quite a few canoes made the way down into North Tea. The site was large and sheltered. The only downside was the extremely noisy neighbors we had. Chopping down trees and yelling late into the night, I often wonder what possesses people with that sort of mid set to come back country.
The next moring, as is tradition with any Paddle In camping trip, it was raining. We waited for a break in the rain, jumped out of our tents and quickly broke camp. A quick paddle across the last quarter of North Tea lake and then a small paddle back down the Amable Du Fond river was quiet and uneventful. Until we came to the beaver dam we had previously shot over. The beavers had been busy all week and there was no way of paddling across it. A little cursing and some wet boots later we were back on our way to Kaywawaymog Lake and the truck.
This fall trip was great. We could not of asked for better weather. I’m always amazed at how much there is to see in Algonquin. We’ll be back to do this route again some day. This was also the last interior trip for the season, which when I see the canoes all hung up in the garage is always a bit of a sad moment. But that does not mean we are done camping for the year. We have some weekend trips planned, some yurt camping and of course we have to throw in a couple of walk in winter trips.
Stay tuned this week for even more blogs highlighting some of the new gear we used as well as a couple of weekend photo blogs.
Matt – Paddle In
P.S The blog name! If a tree falls…twice. Well on our second day we all heard something that we had never experienced before. A massive tree fell somewhere near us scaring the wits outta all of us. We spent the next hour talking about how none of us had ever heard that while being in the bush. The next day, same thing. So if two trees fall in the forest and Paddle In is there to hear it , do they make a sound?