Storm surges,  Seiches and currents on the Great and not so great Lakes.

Storm surges,  Seiches and currents on the Great and not so great Lakes.(Or what you don’t know about flat water can hurt you, or make your trip a little more exciting)

Yes paddling on lake Superior and the other big lakes can be an amazing experience.

Agawa Bay, Lake Superior @ sunset.

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But there are some important things to know, especially if you want to attempt some of the more remote spots along the Lake Superior Water Trail

This from The NOAA site

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/gltides.html

Quote

“Wind and weather conditions on the Great Lakes may create Seiche, an oscillating wave which can be several feet high. In many of the Great Lakes, the time period between the “high” and “low” of a seiche may be between four and seven hours. As this is very similar to the six-hour time period of the tides on the ocean, it is frequently mistaken for a tide.” unquote

Just to show you that it does not just happen on Superior here is one from Lake Erie, a 2 metre rise in levels caused by a seiche.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/11/lake_erie_phenomenon_seiche_ca.html.

The thing to remember here is that just because you are on the “calm” or leeward side of the lake does not mean you are immune from a quick rise in levels.  That water rise on the other side of the lake has to come back sometime.

Calm on Lake Superior, just west of Neys P.P.  Please note how far the debris line is above the calm water line.

 

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So why be concerned, well even if you are only on a day trip, conditions can change very quickly and if you get wind bound some place you will need to get above the storm surge line.

Simple reason is the water can turn into this very quickly.

Largest waves this day were approaching 2m, but the movie does not show the true size.

There is also a very strong and dangerous rip current here during wind events.

Washed beach from the Storm surge.

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Not only do you need to be aware of how far the surge will go, but also the kind of debris you may encounter trying to land.

Pukaskwa National Park

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There is a lot of power in those waves.  Lake Superior Neys P.P.  Just remember objects in the image are much bigger than they appear!

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An important skill to develop is learning to read the rip currents and not only  the wind and Seiche rip currents but also those created by strong flows coming in from the various rivers.  Combined together you will find conditions that would challenge the best.

Rip currents in the Great lakes.

http://www.cleveland.com/weather/blog/index.ssf/2016/06/rip_currents_in_the_great_lake.html

Great site to help you either find waves on your favourite beaches or to avoid a paddle on the big lakes.

https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/

Even though you may be in a fairly protected area you can not underestimate the effect of a Seiche.  This at Killbear P.P. on the Kilcoursie Bay Beach.  If you do not pull up your boat far enough you could lose it!

Or in the case of the rebound part of the Seiche effect it could create weird currents where you are not expecting any because the conditions where you are, are calm.

 

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Smaller lakes  also have their wind issues.  It is something I  learned early in my kayak sprint racing career is that certain courses were really unfair in particular lanes depending on the wind and the currents it created.

It was also one of the warnings I came across when researching  my first trip to Newfoundland.  The “Ponds” as they call them (their name for lakes) can have very dangerous wind created currents, and they were not kidding.  We paddled Trout Pond in Gros Morne Nat. Park  even with the winds easing off you could still feel the power of the wind driven current on the boat. 

Ok Trout Pond really isn’t a little lake, so when the winds blow/funnel between the two geographic features length wise, that is a lot of water that can move.

Table Lands on the north side, yes there is a couple of kayaks in the pic

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Narrows Head on the South side.

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The lakes don’t need to be long or have big geographic features make your paddling more difficult. 

On a spring trip in Queen Elizabeth II Wild Lands P.P., we knew the winds were going to pick up to 60 kph with possible guts to 80 and we got across Head Lake before they did but the West North West winds were the perfect angle for work in Fishog Lake.  The shape of the lake was perfect for the wind to create a strong current down the middle and because of the island gave an outlet for that water flow it became a fairly hard paddle. 

In this image the line in the middle is how the wind and current went, the blue circles are where there was eddies with actual identifiable eddy lines.  We were paddling directly into the wind and current.

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As much as this sounds scary, the idea is to help inform.

There is a good chance that if you know what to look for and what to expect   then your chances of running into difficulty will be less and your will be much more comfortable with where you paddle because there are some great exotic places to paddle that are fairly easy to get to.

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Paddling play to become a better paddler.

Even though it is widely used, it is not something you see written about very much.But it is the skill developer that has been used by generations of paddlers, including the best in the world.

So after many (51 + now) years of paddling/racing/teaching/coaching various self propelled water craft, something I see missing from many sites is a way to develop paddle skills with a really very simple concept.

PLAY!

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Now as simple as this sounds it is a tool that seems to be very much overlooked in todays atmosphere  of various “must have “ courses that you see in many various physical fitness pursuits.

Paddlesport can be very difficult to learn, if you look into the history of how many of todays top paddlers developed, you will find that they had a high percentage of “Play” in their paddle activities. 

It was something emphasized from day 1 when I started to paddle and it is something that I passed along when I coached  and even when I coached baseball and hockey.

If it is all work, all the time, the fun part of the equation will disappear and so will your love for the sport.

In the overall game of paddlesport there are a lot of variances that need to be looked at before you get into any discussion on instruction and work outs.

There are thousands of paddle craft designs and equipment and there is no way on the water you are going to get a consensus on anything. (period) 

You would have had to spend all your time on shore not to have been involved a “sharing of the minds” on just about anything to do with your particular interest.

Let us not open up any of those cans of worms and deal specifically with the aspect of “playing” to become a better paddler.

Besides the type of equipment there is a huge variety of body types (size, weight) physical conditioning, physical capabilities, physiological (fear of ______, learning style), time available for practice and these are just a few.

I found this article in the Toronto Star very interesting.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/2018/04/05/doctors-said-dont-run-ten-marathons-later-toronto-born-runner-john-young-an-inspiration-to-people-with-dwarfism.html

In coaching and instructing I have come across a good number of various “issues”  both physical and medical that given people trouble with participating in various activities including one of my own were I can not sit in a kayak for long periods anymore due to how I broke my tail bone off.

It can be very rewarding to help others work around problems they may have to they can enjoy their chosen activity.  You just keep trying till you find something that sort of works 🙂

So the idea for play is just to explore what you can do with your paddle craft with your paddle, and again not all equipment is equal in its performance and that in itself is not a problem, you learn to use what you have and can afford.

Learn what you can make your craft do, it will make you that much more comfortable on the water, especially if you encounter surprise conditions where your skills are put to the test.

Getting some good instruction will really help you evolve in this type of practice because you will have a solid base to work on.

When playing you want to find safe conditions so that it is as safe as you can make it for easy self rescue or people in your group can easily assist you.  If you have never surfed a 2 metre wave you might want to start on something a little smaller in a place where the waves are not breaking up on a bouldery shore or bouncing off of other beach users.  You don’t have to “cartwheel” your boat to have fun, even side surfing the breaking waves is a lot of fun and a very important skill to have.

Playing in the waves, Pancake Bay P.P.

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When ever I run a river on a day trip I work the various skills I have developed over the years, not in an organized workout but with what ever the river has to offer.

Playing the river, just coming out of a small “hole”

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By knowing what you can do with boat, you  will be better prepared for those surprises that pop up around corners.

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It is even something I do on my wilderness trips, I will find a safe spot and play, catching eddies, turns, ferries, forwards, backwards and a variety of strokes, just so I can “feel” the water and be comfortable.

My son playing on the Agawa low water, right in the middle of a Lawren Harris location.

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Something to remember and practice is that if your craft is loaded down with gear for a trip, it will respond much differently and playing will help you get ready for this.

Even my first time on a SUP while on vacation in Jamaica I played! At these resorts you are really limited on the equipment you use how long you can stay on it, and where you can go.  Over six days I paddled a lot, there was only one day where there was a lot of other interest in the boards.  So with no waves and not to far to go I spent much of my time trying to do a 360 pivot at 45 degrees.  I only managed to get just past 180, but did manage a much lower 360 at much less angle.  Yes I swam a lot but it was fun trying.

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Something to remember while you are playing is that if a top paddler of any discipline messes up while paddling, a high percentage of the time it will be screwing up the easiest strokes/moves even though they practice them all the time.  In WW slalom racing it is usually the simple sweep stroke. 

Funny, one of the first strokes you learn is the easiest to mess up, even for the best in the world, it is easy to see in the other people’s paddle activities with those learning because when they go to apply the stroke, the boat/SUP just does not respond the way it should.

So if you are really interested to go on those pretty day trips or go to those exotic paddle locations you really need to work on your play time.

It will make your paddle that much more enjoyable!

Here are some pics to inspire you to get out and play!

Lake Superior

Grand Manan, Bay of Fundy

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Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Prov. Park.

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Perce Rock

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What were you doing at the Turn of the century?

So what were you doing at the turn of the century?

And we are not talking Y2K, we are talking 1900!

In my 51 years of paddling I have met and paddled with some amazing people, I would like to introduce you one of them.

Our interaction with each other is just small bylines in our stories, but this small part of his story is one I think I should share.

I met Dr. Homer L. Dodge in 1968 at the Hudson River Derby at North Creek, New York when he was an young agile 80 year old.

1968 was my rookie year of WW paddling.  Lets just say that you could not help to be impressed by his paddling skills.  At 80 he was still running class III WW, solo, in a 17’ Grumman open canoe in cold spring high water conditions with his double blade.  ( I believe it was 17’, but even a 16’ would be impressive.)

I paddled a little bit with him in 1969 at a summer time race on the Androscoggin River near Errol N.H.

His paddling style was very smooth and at ease on the river, everything was precise and his moves to run the rapids were well laid out, using the river and the currents to his benefit.

As much as my young exuberance was looking for the next wave, or hole to smash through, his was quiet, drinking in and breathing the river atmosphere, an attitude that I embrace now on my paddle excursions.

It was at this event he told me how he had run the Lachine Rapids in the 50’s, which in a open canoe is pretty impressive for a river that is big and powerful as the St. Lawrence.

Like many stories of river runs in the time before the internet and youtube, a story you listened to and asked questions.

This is how we learned back in my days of my early paddling, at races and club events were knowledge was freely shared.

Here is a picture of him from that event on the Androscoggin.

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As impressed as I was with him then, it is the early stories of about him and where he went that impressed me more.

I won’t steal the thunder from the article linked below, but I will help you set your mind in that era.

At 15 years old, that  would put you in 1903 on a river that we will never see, the St. Lawrence before the dams that flooded many towns and villages and yes rapids!

There were no modern roads, even fewer cars, and the best way to get around was rail or steamship side wheelers (you better google that )

I am sure you will impressed as much as I!

Dr. Dodge in 1968 would not except help to carry or load his boat, I don’t know about later as our paths did not cross again, but he told me when he could not carry his boat he would give it up.

For me, I will be happy to accept if you want to carry my gear!  I figure that way I will have much more time in the boat!

NY Times article

https://www.nytimes.com/1975/01/12/archives/at-87-dr-dodge-canoeing-pioneer-hasnt-put-his-paddle-away.html

Dr. Dodge’s obituary June 30, 1983

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1983/06/30/homer-dodge-dies-at-95/b82474aa-88b6-40a5-a5c5-2cf475925691/?utm_term=.0b40b9497760

Who are you paddling with this year?

So, who are paddling with this year?

(Hint – it is not who think it is)

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DISCLAIMER! Loud voice here!

Almost all the known Archaeological and historic First Nations sites are on private property!  Do not trespass!  Do not dig around!  If you come across a possible site take a picture and note the location and send to the appropriate people.  Give them a chance to confirm and protect the area.

So this blog post is going to be a little different today.

There is going to be homework!

Even though I will try and keep this down to a “Readers Digest” version, there will be a lot of links you can follow and check it out yourselves.

This may be about one specific area, but it is representative of all our Canadian watersheds and paddle routes and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the First Nations Peoples and their history.  It is because of them we have this chance to enjoy all these paddle routes, both the known and the unknown.

As you know like paddlers, many people post on a variety of subjects and are just as articulate and passionate about what interests them and many back it up with historical documents and maps.

Which for those of us who search answers to our waterways history it is a bonus, it is much more easy searching on line as opposed to going from town to town digging through archives and museums, but that hands on searching also a very interesting experience.

I have always been aware of recent history on our rivers because much has been written about it and when I started to paddle whitewater in the late 60’s there was a lot of old logging infrastructure that was still visible and the rapids were coloured by the tannin acids from the logging. (the WW was tea coloured)

In the area where I did most of my early paddling is now known as Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Prov. Park.

I have always been fascinated by the geography of the area (a blog for later) but I always wondered what canoe routes did they follow.  I really never dug too deeply into searching in my youth, just hoped something would “pop” up.  The last couple of years I have looked much harder but have still not found any obvious signs.

This has helped find some more recent items (100 years) that would be easily missed if you were not looking hard.

And just so you know, the next image is not close to any known or historic road access.

An Old submerged dam on the upper Head river.

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Back to the First Nations Peoples.

What we know is there is 4 distinct time periods.

We will keep it simple because each grouping also has several layers of sub groups.

Early Paleo-Indian: 10000 – 7500 B.C.

Archaic:  8000 – 800 B.C.

Woodland:  900 B.C. – 1610 A.D.

Historic: pre 1000 A.D. to present.

Let’s be upfront about the Historic period, the white settlers and Historians of this time period were not kind to the  First Nations Peoples, little (if any) credit is given to their knowledge of the land.

Here is a link to the site and you can click through the time periods.

http://diggingontario.uwo.ca/Palaeo.html

Be careful here, once you start looking it can be addictive and time consuming.

This for the early Paleo period.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2700903/

For the Archaic period.

Even though they do not have specific sites everywhere in this area, the known sites puts these Peoples in the area and it is mentioned that it included the Gull river system.

http://www.academia.edu/248866/Laurentian_Archaic_in_the_Kawartha_Lakes_and_Haliburton

Proof that these Ancient Peoples were here 10,000 years ago is not only amazing, but also lucky that they have found anything at all.

These all make for a fantastic read, you start getting an idea there is so much more history than what general population was taught in schools.

http://www.renaud.ca/public/Archaeology/Ontario%20Archaeological%20Society%20-%20The%20Archaeology%20of%20Ontario.pdf

As you delve deeper into what these people did and how they lived you can easily recognize how they would use the numerous small streams and lakes in this area, and don’t forget this area was a natural easy source of granite and quartz for a multitude of tools.

You can see how the small streams and canyons would be perfect for the weirs and fish traps they would build.

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We are going to skip a few hundred years of the Woodland period here but with a little digging you can dig through the links and find out more of how they lived and where they travelled.

We stop in the mid 1600’s for what  could be the biggest factor in the change in the geopolitical balance of Ontario.

Small pox and Old world diseases that the First Nations Peoples had no immunity to.

It is estimated that up to 60% of the Huron Nation succumbed  to these scourges.

At the same time the diseases were hitting the Hurons the Iroquois attacked and the Huron race almost suffered complete extermination.

You can find the history of Victory County here

http://www.ontariogenealogy.com/Victoria/histindx.html

The part we are interest here is where the Huron villages where located, which there was 55 known locations which leads us to the closest to QEIIWLPP.

Quote “All three of the Laxton sites are on the portage trail from Gull River to Head Lake.”

And Quote “This is on the Head River two miles below Head Lake and is on the same canoe route as the Laxton villages.”

This really excited me! Some of you know that I have been long involved in the Navigable waters fight and spent a “bit” of time finding historical references to canoe routes on various types of watersheds that were not the big named known historic routes.

This route was also used by the Iroquois as they had a camp on Head Lake.

These camps are all located on private property now but the fact the Huron camp on the Head river tells us a lot about what where they hunted and paddled.

What this tells me that the Head river was an established Historic Canoe route over to Lake Couchiching/Simcoe and  Georgian Bay to the west and over to the Gull river and Trent system to the east.

The location is actually pretty pretty strategic, the Huron were very agriculturally based and their camps and villages were away from the easy water access points for better protection.  This camp is on one of the fingers of the Black River escarpment so the limestone offered a little sweeter soil for farming.  It also had the benefit that if you need to go out the back door to escape you could cut off a section of river almost 7 km in length as where the overland route is about 1.5 km long.

This location also gave them access to the huge area that we now know as the QEIIWLPP.

So the question is is this well smoothed trail that is inside the park and leads to the Head Lake dam an ancient trail traveled by the First Nations for thousands of years?

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The dam site is the first swift out of Head lake, there are fish runs in the spring and in lower flows it would be the easiest point to cross the river to the ridge lines and lake systems on the east side of the river.

Let us be blunt here, it was not the First Nations that called this area “Bad Lands” or “barrens”

We know through various archaeological sites that the early Peoples made weirs and fish traps and these smaller stream systems would be perfect for that.

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Also the easy access to granite and quartz for tools, was a big bonus.  Guess where the closest location to the GTA to get this quartz comes from – Yep QE park.

https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2018/01/01/ancient-indigenous-arrowhead-discovered-at-fort-york-turned-over-to-city-80-years-later.html

Granite you ask? Well there is a natural process called Exfoliation, which can produce some rather thin sharp edges depending on where it happens making for perfect natural tools.

Then there is the natural food of the hills, fiddleheads, cat tails, blue berries, black berries, acorns, sumac, Cranberries, and many more.  The only reason the early settlers described it as a “wasteland” is because it was no good for farming or lumber.

Something else I learned last year is that the First Nations Peoples would plant many of these edibles along the portages of the canoe routes which is actually pretty ingenious.

We are very lucky to have inherited the access to paddle these areas many have come before us.

These small rivers and lakes were their highways and their supply line and to think you are taking the same paddle strokes and footsteps of someone who was on the river 10,000 years ago is very neat indeed!

I know who is paddling with me!

(image not from QEIIWLPP)

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Another site OAS

http://www.ontarioarchaeology.on.ca/summary-of-ont-arch

Glenorchy Conservation Area

Glenorchy Conservation Area, Oakville  Ontario, Halton Region.

What the …. is the Glenorchy Conservation area? and why you should be interested as a white water paddler?

It is a 401 hectare parcel  of land that includes a beautiful section of the 16 Mile/Oakville Creek valley in Northeast Oakville.

Well, as a young paddler who started paddling white water in 68 who witnessed the abuse of the GTA watersheds, this is a lasting gift to the future of what the rivers were like in the area.

 

This stretch of water from what is now Neyagawa Blvd./ 4th line to Dundas St. can be an amazing stretch of white water.  Even thought there are changes, this is still a river of my youth.  The Credit River use to have similar ledges and slides till they put the Trunk sewer down the valley in the Middle/late 70’s.

What makes this a great stretch of whitewater?  for one approx. close to 40m of vertical drop over 7.5 k and most of that drop happens in about 4k.  To put that in perspective, it is a 100m vertical drop from where I live on 16 Mile Creek in old Milton to Lake Ontario and it is almost continuous  rapids to the lake. So almost half the vertical drop over a very short distance.

This stretch has the vertical drop with numerous slides and ledges that makes for great whitewater!

I have only run it once in full flood and it was a very solid Class IV with a few Class V trees/sweepers thrown in for fun.

There is a link down below to show you the creek at lower levels.

The higher levels shown are digital pictures of film pictures, taken before the river gauges went on line & waterproof digital cameras did not exist.  Lower level pics can be found in the link below to water levels.

Downed trees and sweepers have always been an extreme danger on this run, some are easy to see, some are submerged just under the surface and sometimes there are log jams hidden from view as you round sharp narrow channels the require very precise moves to avoid them.

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And there has been paddlers who have lost their boats to these trees over the years.

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Yellow arrows show the length and location of a hidden sweeper.

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The old bridge at the put-in is no longer there having been replaced with a new one (no cars allowed )

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The cliffs give a very nice Canyon view and natural regeneration has made almost all signs of past usages disappear and that also makes this part of 16 Mile Creek very special.

You really do feel a long way away from the urban environment.

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This rapid does not really exist anymore as the creek is going through major natural changes here.  We called it “the Banzai Pipeline” after the surfing spot.  At flood levels you could stick the nose of the boat into the river wide curling wave and fly completely hidden across to the eddy on the other side!

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This pic is just below the “Pipeline” and is part of the major transition, there is now a channel forming and the tree that is upright in this pic is now  a river-wide sweeper in the new channel.

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The short stretch  upstream of the 407 is the start of 2 km of river awesomeness in high water, river wide waves, ledges and holes!  But there  has been years where we have had to be extremely careful because of downed trees, and one year there was a land slide and over half the river was damed by the debris which was all gone by the next year.

Hint this guy is a “little” younger me 🙂

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Just below the 407 the fun continues!

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Last ledge in the “awesome” section and yes there is a paddler in there, you just can’t see them and you can see that we are in the bushes to get the pic.

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From here down to Dundas again the Creek is in constant transition, there are channels that we ran that are no longer there and others the size and width and you never know were log jams and sweepers will be.

16 Mile/Oakville Creek trip report & levels Updated May 2017

http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=41612

This is not the first time I have written about 16 Mile Creek.  A number of years ago (1998) Halton Conservation published a fundraising coffee table book called “Halton –  Rising, Wild, and Beckoning” I wrote the introduction for Chapter 6 – “The Sixteen Mile Creek Mystery Tour”

What I wrote then still resonates today Quote ” During high-water conditions, Sixteen Mile Creek is known throughout Ontario as a premier  whitewater river.  Hidden away in the Golden Horseshoe, the creek retains much of its wilderness beauty.  I was introduced to its challenging rapids in the early 1970’s.  Twenty-five years later, during lower water flows, my children and I have encountered all kinds of wildlife, fascinating fish runs, and bird migrations that few people take the time to watch or even know exist.  When paddling from Hilton Falls to Lake Ontario, one encounters the many faces of Sixteen Mile Creek, from a fast moving trout team in a wilderness setting to a raging, unforgiving whitewater river. The best part is that it flows right through the heart of Halton, to be enjoyed, respected and I hope, preserved for future generations.” unquote

I have watched the slow development of Glenorchy Conservation area, and I am indeed very happy that this being preserved!

Waterfalls Hunting in Algoma

This is for the Waterfall hunters/wilderness paddlers out there, it is as much as a warning to be careful as it is a taste to get you to visit the area.

This is really a simplistic introduction and hopefully it will inspire you to learn a little more about map reading and being off the beaten path.  Having been wondering around the woods since I was 5 ( I am a wee bit older now) has had it’s benefits, some through the Scouting program, some with my parents, and a lot on my own just getting out there.

There are dozens of waterfalls easily accessible by road, such as the Sand river, Silver Creek, and High falls.  There are dozens more that take a little work and time to get to, such as Bridal Veil Falls and the two Black Beaver falls at Canyon park and there are thousands more that are on the extreme side to get to.

For one the area is huge! with many different watersheds.

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Even though I have been visiting the Agawa Canyon for thirty-two years now, sometimes 2 and 3 times a year, it does not make me an expert, it only makes me familiar with the area.

Sometimes changes happen fast and sometimes just slowly over time.  I depend on my local contacts up there for anything new that might have occurred, but even they acknowledge they only know what they saw on their last trip in.

This area is beautifully rugged and this is just to drive the point home that you must be prepared and aware of where you are going in. You also have to be aware communication with various modern devices also do not work when you are in most of these deep canyons.

To drive this point home.

Quote  “I took a SPOT satellite messenger (a GPS tracking device, which lost or stranded people may use to send out distress messages) and I fired off a mayday signal with that, but it didn’t get through”

Here is a link to the story from Dec. 2016, from the Sault Star.

https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/rescued-logger-recalls-ordeal-494374

To say Algoma is ruggedly beautiful is an understatement but you need to understand the topography so you know what you are getting into.  It is much easier getting maps and info than it was even 10 years ago, which is great, especially with the ease you can now get Satellite photographs.

Again you got to keep in mind some of the map information and SAT. photos can be a little dated and will not show the real the terrain actually is.  SAT. photos being 2 dimensional can give you a much better idea what is there, but many areas the resolution may not be that good and do not show the true depth of the terrain.

A good free site for Ontario is “Make a Topographic map”

http://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca/matm/Index.html?site=Make_A_Topographic_Map&viewer=MATM&locale=en-US

The site can be a little funky and slow but it is good.

To give you an idea of a well known waterfall, here is the topo of “Bridal Veil Falls” at Canyon Station in Agawa Canyon.  The blue dot is the base of the falls.

Bridal Veil falls

Here is the SAT image.

SAT shot Bridal Veil

And my image of the falls.

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Here is another Creek entering the Canyon.  Again just the maps and SAT. shots do not truly show the topography, let alone how thick the bush is in some of these areas.

Topo. Blue dot is the falls.

Eleven Mile Creek

SAT shot.

Eleven Mile Creek SAT

Bottom of the Falls

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Above the bottom falls, as you can see the topo and SAT shots do not really show what you are getting into.

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A little less drastic, this is a Lawren Harris Location in Lake Superior Prov. Park.  Getting here is not easy either way you look at it.  On the maps it just does not look as big as it is.

Blue dot is again the bottom of the falls.

Little Agawa

What looks like a road is actually the ACR tracks.  There is no hiking trail to this location.

Little Agawa sat

The Bottom of the falls, This is just a whole series of falls that goes up above the ACR tracks.

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Which brings to the old question “If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound”

“Stuff” happens in the woods, sometimes you just can’t tell what trees are sound, and sometimes the storms are so violent they will take down trees you would never suspect.  You just have to choose an area to camp that you think is the safest.

Going to this area fairly often does give me some insight into what might change or what to be aware of.  You know with the hills this steep the slopes can be and are unstable.  So if you are hiking you need to leave enough space between  hikers should anything give way, and yes it has happened to me and that space was a saving grace.

This is a image of a recent rock fall face that happened sometime between my fall 2016 and fall 2017 trips and as you can tell by the fractures in the rock, there will be more here in the near future.  This was shot with my 50-500mm lens.

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Agawa 2017-9610

So as we get into the cold/hard water season it is a good time to work on some of these skills.

Winter……. it is a whole different beast up here, and un-forgiving is an understatement. Bridal Veil Falls at – 30c

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Be a Gord!

Be a Gord.

This posting short, sweet and to the point.

Even though this is pretty saturated with the passing of Gord Downie I have a challenge for you.

I would say I am a fan of his music, I am much more a fan of  the man who gave his name and his effort to save our waters.

I have long been involved in the fight to protect our rivers.

One of the things I felt most disheartened by was the lack of passion of people to put their names on the line.

Gord DID!

Even before his diagnosis.

He was a board member of Lake Ontario Water Keeper.

For those of us involved to protect our watersheds, it was something that we do not see.

If you are passionate about your rivers and lakes this is the challenge I have for you.

Be a Gord!

Put your name and voice on the line!

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A look into Gord the Waterkeeper
http://www.waterkeeper.ca/blog/2017/10/18/its-an-honour-to-feel-this-sad-gord-downie-and-the-making-of-the-swim-drink-fish-movement?utm_source=Lake+Ontario+Waterkeeper&utm_campaign=2f08c54289-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_10_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0114e8b68b-2f08c54289-354540209