SUP Camping 2014: Lakefield to Stoney Lake Day 2

I was up at 6 and on the verge of leg cramps.  Could have sworn that I’d hydrated well yesterday, but my legs were telling me otherwise.  I downed some water, washed up and walked over to Foodland to pick up a few things for my trip.  Grabbed a coffee from McD’s on my way back and sat by the water to enjoy it.  It was nearly 7am.

a clear and quiet morning at Lock 26 in Lakefield.

a clear and quiet morning at Lock 26 in Lakefield (looking south)

I had a washroom key to return but the lock operators wouldn’t arrive until 9 so there was no hurry.  I packed up slowly and finally handed in my key around 915 before setting off.

As you put Lakefield behind you, the Otonabee River opens up into Lake Katchewanooka.

Lake Katchewanooka

Lake Katchewanooka

Only an hour in and I was ready for a break in the shade.  I stopped in this exact spot last year….  I downed a full litre of water before I was on my way again, through this weedy section, and back over to the main channel.

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I arrived in Youngs Point, it was just 1130.

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I brought my gear ashore and began the short walk over the foot bridge to Granny’s Restaurant for breakfast.  The place was packed, but I was seated quickly and a hot cup of coffee arrived soon thereafter.

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It was nearing noon of the 2nd day of my camping trip and I hadn’t even struck a match yet, this was feeling a little strange…  Grandpa’s #2 (uh, that doesn’t sound quite right) breakfast special filled me right up; 3 eggs, 3 sausage, 3 bacon, some home fries and 2pc of gluten-free toast!

If you’re not in a huge hurry, and up for the scenic route back, hang a right as you come out of the restaurant, walk 100m, and enter the trail on the left hand side of the road.  This will take you to the dam.  Cross the dam and you’re back at the lock.  While you’re there you might as well take a stroll through Lockside Trading – no visit to Young’s Point is complete without it.

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The trail through Young’s Point Conservation Area

It was 1pm before I set off from Young’s Point and headed into Clear Lake.  There is a continuous flow of high-speed boat traffic on Clear Lake on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I look up to see 4 boats abreast coming straight towards me and decide it’s time to cross to the east side of the lake in search of calmer waters.

By 2pm I’m at the north-east end of the lake and passing amongst the many islands. I tour the area briefly and arrive at my island camp site by 330.  The garbage in the fire pit is still warm.  I spend the next 20min clearing the site of broken glass and garbage 😦  The next thing I do is tend to the fire pit.  Most fire pits are around 3″ deep and 4 feet across.  Not much good for anything but wasting firewood.  I cut the firepit into a 1/4 of its original size and build up the sides.  This will protect the fire from the wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

Cut the fire pit into a quarter of its size and build up the walls.  This will protect against wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

Cut the fire pit into a quarter of its size and build up the walls. This will protect against wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

…and here’s today’s route if you want to check it out, just click to enlarge:

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530 and my hammock is up and enough firewood gathered to get me by.  Not much left to do now and lots of time to do it.  I enjoy my dinner, clean up and take a sunset tour on my SUP before settling in by the fire to reflect on a wonderful day.  The full moon shines upon me and it’s time for bed, uh, time for hammock?

 Check out Day 3 of my trip.

Happy paddling!

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SUP Camping Trip: Day 2

Day 2 of my stand-up paddle board (SUP) camping started early.  I was up by 6 and greeted by a beautiful day.  A thick fog rose from the water into the cool air as I prepared my breakfast over a fire.

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The water was incredibly calm and the air still as I set off to the north.

The calm morning waters of the Trent-Severn Waterway at Lock 24

The calm morning waters of the Trent-Severn Waterway at Lock 24

My plan for today was to cover just 14km which would take me to Youngs Point, and I had all day to do it.  I still didn’t know what my limit might be and I didn’t want to exceed it early in my voyage.  Something as simple as a blister on your hand on day 2 can make for a miserable trip…

Day 2 - 14km route from Lakefield to Youngs Point

Day 2 – 14km route from Lock 24, through Lakefield and finally to Youngs Point

I took advantage of my urban route and made my first stop in Lakefield, just 4km upstream, to top up my groceries before continuing on my way.  The temperature would rise to 30C so I stopped often along the next 10km, to cool down in the waters of Lake Katchewanooka, usually along the shaded side of an island, and to enjoy the many sights and sounds of the area.

Chilling out along a shaded shore of Lake Katchewanooka

Chilling out along a shaded shore of Lake Katchewanooka

I arrived in Youngs Point around 2pm.  I was going to camp by the locks, but this wasn’t my usual camping trip.  I had a picnic table, washrooms and the chance to stroll over to Lockside Trading for an Americano.  This was glamping!

Lock 27 – Youngs Point.  Lockside trading, on the left, is a popular stop for boaters and tourists

After my coffee break I replenished my water supplies – the water is not potable in the washrooms here, or at many of the locks north of Lakefield, so there is some work to be done to stay hydrated.  By then I was beginning to wonder what I would do with the rest of the day.  The boaters seem to have this figured out.  They are well accustomed to sitting around at the locks, waiting, and are quick to strike up a conversation.  Before I knew it the sun was low in the sky and it was time for dinner.

Getting my stove fired up for dinner.  Highway 28 crosses overhead and my gear dries in the background

Getting my stove fired up for dinner. Highway 28 crosses overhead and my gear dries in the background

I barely noticed the sound of traffic from Highway 28, but I did have some noisy neighbours, a family of Osprey perched atop a telephone pole nearby.

My noisy neighbours, an Osprey family, nesting nearby

My noisy neighbours, an Osprey family, nesting nearby

The day time crowd disappears soon after the Lock closes at 6pm.  Only those moored for the night remain, most sleep on their boats, a few setup tents.  Everyone stops by to say ‘Hello’ and to ask about stand-up paddle boarding (I can hardly believe the interest in SUP)  and to share the stories of their own journeys on the water.  I quickly realize that I have taken this waterway for granted all this time!  This waterway draws people from around the world and I was beginning to see why.

Stay tuned for Day 3 of my SUP camping trip as I set off in search of a place to camp on Stoney Lake.

Happy paddling.