Day 3 of my stand-up paddle board camping trip began early once again. Without feeling rushed I had enjoyed my breakfast, packed everything up and was ready to launch by 8am, but it would be 30 more minutes before I was actually underway. I was speaking with Dave and Kate, a couple from Toronto who were sailing and camping their way up the Trent-Severn. They too were looking for a spot to camp on Stoney Lake and we were comparing notes on our maps when a cottager, on his way to Granny’s for breakfast, overheard our conversation and offered some advice. He knew Stoney Lake well and pointed out an area on the map where he was sure we’d find an island to camp. Like many that I would encounter on my trip he was incredibly generous with his time and very helpful. I left Youngs Point behind and set off in search of my next camp site.
I entered the south end of Clear Lake before 9am, again it would seem that I’d have the whole lake to myself for a while. By 1030 I had reached the other end of Clear Lake and the Canadian Shield began to reveal itself as I made my way between some islands into the lower end of Stoney Lake. I rounded Davis Island, passed through another channel and could see the not-so-subtle McCracken’s Landing way off to my right. Based on the directions I’d received I knew I’d gone too far.
I made my way south towards McCracken’s Landing and then west along the shore, doubling back towards my destination. I found the island at last and it had 4 designated campsites. This island is free of cottages and can be found just south of Stock Island, but I have yet to come across a map where it is identified. I was paddling around the island, exploring each campsite when Jack, the cottager I’d met in Young’s Point, came by on his boat to make sure I’d found the spot. As I’d mentioned, the people I encountered this week were incredibly helpful, hospitable and generous with their time.
I chose my site, left my gear behind and explored the area a little further when Dave and Kate came along and chose a site of their own, we’d be neighbours again for the night, with a few hundred feet of forest between us. I toured around some more, eventually making my way over to McCracken’s and enjoyed a cold refreshing coconut water on their patio. Glamping at it’s best!
I think the photo below sums up how I felt by late afternoon. Camp was setup, firewood collected, water purified and it was time to enjoy my hammock for a while before some swimming and supper.
After dinner it was time to enjoy a quiet campfire and to reflect on the incredible day that I’d had. As the sun set over Stoney Lake I reviewed my day’s route and planned one for the following day.
Stay tuned for Day 4 of my SUP camping trip.