05-Aug-2001 -- Island-to-Island Confluence.
Having recently completed my successful adventure to
45N 79W two days before, I was ready for my next challenge at 46N 80W. I knew that I was going to be in North Bay, at my parent’s cottage during the August long weekend, so I preloaded my GPS at my home in Toronto, Ontario, with the waypoints.
After consulting topographic maps of the area, I discovered that this confluence could be a challenge. The place that I had to get to was on a small island, in the middle of a lake, at the end of a cottage access road, in a remote area!
After talking to my father, who lives in North Bay, we decided that August 5th would be the day. We discussed our plans and gathered our supplies the night before.
6:30am. We load up the red canoe into our power boat for the short boat ride from my parent’s cottage (which is on an island), back to their house on the mainland in North Bay, Ontario. Next step is to load the canoe onto the top of my dad’s 4-wheel Jeep. Not knowing the condition of the cottage access road, we thought 4-wheel might be useful.
Like all good Canadian adventures, our first mandatory stop was
Tim Hortons for food and drink. Then it was off to 46N 80W on Burnt Island, in Lake Memesagamesing (Me Me Sag A Me Sing), in McConkey Township.
South from North Bay to Trout Creek, then west for 60km to the “village” of Loring. We passed other places such as Commanda, Farleys Corners, Bear Valley, Golden Valley, Arnstein and Port Loring.
It was at Loring that we headed north along the dirt cottage access road to Lake Memesagamesing. The road was wide and well maintained. No need for 4-wheel (we used 4-wheel anyway since we came all this way!). Our first stop is at camp Sag-A-Me-Sing, about 10km along the road, at the lake’s southern end. I explain to the owner my mission. “God, that’s a lot of information early in the AM” was his reply. “So what do you do when you find the location?” We told him that we take a picture and go home.
Although we could see Burnt Island from this location, we were advised that a closer access point would be at Parolin’s Camp. We turn back, and turn onto the access road that leads along the south shore of the lake.
After a short 1.2km ride, we arrive at “Parolin’s Cottages” (Picture #6). Tom & Diane Beck were very helpful and understanding. McConkey Township had not been surveyed prior to the GPS. Tom notes the coordinates at all of the significant landmarks in the area frequented by his guests (hunters, fishermen, campers and snowmobilers). It has paid off. One guest with a heart attack was air lifted to the hospital in Sudbury. A life saved for sure.
We unloaded the canoe and started our 1.5km paddle to Burnt Island. A great paddle and we arrived at the island quickly (Picture #4). We found a large rocky area to land the canoe on (Picture #5). From there it just a 120m walk through the bush to 46N 80W. At about 10:45am, clear skies, and 28 degree C, the confluence was achieved (Picture #2). Like most of the other confluences, nothing to note except for huge trees, maple, birch, spruce and white pine (Picture #1).
After taking the pictures (Picture #3), we scaled a nearby small cliff to get a lookout, but the lookout had no lookout. Only more tall trees. We also noted that there was no burn on Burnt Island.
The return trip was exactly the same as getting to our goal, but reverse: Walk along island to canoe, canoe to mainland, canoe on Jeep, drive back to parent’s house, canoe in motor boat, boat down lake, arrive at island, unload canoe, walk to cottage. Back at the cottage in time for afternoon cocktails!
On the road out we stopped at a large beaver dam and pond. The trees had died but created a large rookery, lots of nests. No beaver were spotted, however, we saw a giant snapping turtle. (Picture #7)
A truly great island-to-island adventure!