Day 6 Route for my 2014 SUP camping trip
I’m up at 7 and begin to shiver as soon as I undo my sleeping bag. I debate making some breakfast and coffee but decide to just get moving. I pack up, put on every layer I’ve got and am underway by 8am.
The wind, while not as bad as the last couple of days, will still be in my face today, for at least the 1st 40min anyways…
I kneel down for the the first 30min until I am nearly across to the west side of Clear Lake and at least partially sheltered from the wind. Then, finally back on my feet, I enjoy the scenery as the next 90min takes me at last into Young’s Point.
Back to Granny’s Restaurant for breakfast which leaves me too full to paddle as a light rain blows in. It’s a slow day at the lock so the lock operators offer their hospitality and a spare chair in their office to pass the time and wait out this round of showers.
1pm, seems like the clouds will never break, but it’s time to start moving again. A light drizzle continues and I set off into a light headwind towards Lakefield. On this wet, cold, windy and cloudy day I didn’t really feel like a whole lot of sight seeing but I did feel compelled to snap a few photos on the way into town.
The water tower in the distance tells you that you’re almost there
On a nicer day you might even want to stop at this picnic area on the side of the Otonabee. Perhaps on the way up next time?
Kneeling through the worst sections of wind I make good time, arriving at Lock 26 90min after leaving Young’s Point.
Should I stay the night, I wondered as I finished another bottle of water…. Nope, I’d had enough of being wet and cold. Time to go all the way or at least give it a try.
It was 3:05 as I left Lock 26 behind. 20min of hard paddling and I was at Lock 25, waiting to be lowered to the next level. You get a 10min wait as you get lowered down so no sense holding back on the way there, not when the locks are that close. 15min gets me to Lock 24, and another 10min break. Lock 23 isn’t far away either, but after that it would be 8km to the Lift Lock. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the Lift lock until just after 6pm, so the lock operator, on his way to his car at the end of his shift, looked sympathetic as he pointed me to the easiest portage route. 1 more portage to go soon thereafter to get past Lock 20 (there’s no lock 21) and I was into Little Lake to face one more stretch into a strong headwind as I made my way across the lake.
Wildrock Outfitters was closed by this point, so I’d have to wait another day to return my gear.
35km after 7 hours and 17min of paddling (including lock time) and I’d arrived back to my put in. Phew! My longest day ever on a SUP!
My description of the last couple of days may not make this kind of trip sound like a whole lot of fun. But what’s a nice, warm, sunny day without a cold, wet, windy one to help you appreciate it. It’s all good.
See you on the water!