After some renewed interest in this old trip report, it prompted me to re-read and re-experience the sense of adventure and challenge I found so rewarding when I first set out on this trip back in August 2009. I found myself geting excited again and eager to return to this setting - embark on another adventure - and share another story - to test the Hobie Adventures (and my mettle) again in a remote, beautiful, and unforgiving environment. What would I do? Where would I go? Who would I go with? As it turns out - a clue was already available in the old trip report itself - in the plaque created to honour James McOuat (pronounced "McHewitt") near where he drowned in his fishing netting - at his castle on White Otter Lake many years ago.
"Roofing and windows were hauled in across fifteen portages from Ignace". I was left wondering what this must have felt like for the enigmatic hermit of White Otter Lake. About 25 miles (40 kms) of paddling and portages - carrying roofing and window materials across 15 stretches of rough, undulating land between countless lakes. The same portages he traversed almost 100 years ago. I am aware that this won't be easy. But rarely are the most fulfilling and satisfying adventures found along the most easily traveled routes. What did he see? What did he experience? I need to know - and I intend to find out.
So this summer I plan to re-trace his route with my two Hobie Adventure kayaks. I anticipate using a large-wheeled and durable cart to haul the kayaks over the rough land from lake to lake. Currently the front runner is this one:http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Paddling/CarRacksCarts/PRD~4015-488/wck-expedition-canoe-cart.jsp
This is what the trek looks like beginning at Ignace (Agimak Lake) from the north, all the way to White Otter Castle to the south. Most of the portages are short. However, the longest one is about 1/3rd of a mile (600 m) in length.
The route is part of Turtle River Provincial Park and includes numerous remote campsites along the way.
So look out for the follow-up to this trip report in the summer of 2013. I'm thinking of calling it something like: "What Did Jimmy See?: 25 Miles and 15 Portages - Do It Like McOuat"