was a breeze
Setting out 4 kms to the south, through the narrow cedar brimmed passage between Smokey Lake and Noganosh Lake, we turned east as we entered the larger waters of Noganosh. Now with a gusty wind blowing in from Georgian Bay, the sun finally showed itself as we sailed our way through the scenic 10 km east/west channel dotted with bays and scantly peppered with hunt camps amidst the hardwoods.
To our chagrin, the small island was heavily overused. Festooned with every kind of litter imaginable and many previously thriving birch trees now dead, having been stripped of their bark for fire starter. On the overly elaborate camp kitchen made from enough wood to build a small cabin, a laminated note was posted. The note read, and I liberally paraphrase:
PLEASE STOP CUTTING DOWN LIVE TREES. THERE ARE PLENTY OF DEAD FALLS TO USE FOR FIRE WOOD. TAKE ALL YOUR GARBAGE WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE. PLEASE RESPECT THE LAND THAT WE ALL LOVE.
FRIENDS OF NOGANOSH PARK
After a quick lunch we took to the water again. We pulled over to the south shore after about 3 more kms to investigate a portage that could potentially cut the last 3 kms off our paddle. The portage turned out to be a beautiful yet arduous hike, and at just over 1 km proved to be more effort than the paddle. Upon reaching the end of it (empty handed) we spotted fisherman on the water next to where we planned to camp. We turned around and headed back to the boat thankful that we didn't commit to the walk with all our gear, got back in our canoe, resumed paddling, and hoped for the best.
We finished the last leg of our day's journey, and passed the two motorboats of anglers heading in the opposite direction just before reaching our vacant campsite. This is a camp we know and love. It is the most southern and also the most eastern camp in the park, and seldom used. To our delight, little had changed since last we stayed here. No garbage, no deforestation, no need for notes.
...stay tuned for days 3 and 4