Day 7 - Maskinonge Lake to McCarthy Bay (16 km)

Day 7- Maskinonge Lake  to  McCarthy Bay (16 km) 

By 8 AM the following morning, the wind was already coming up.

As usual, I took my shot of our island home upon departing at around 10 AM. 

Luckily for us, the wind was at our backs as we made the crossing across the large waters of Maskinonge Lake on our way north. 

I had last been through the area in 2019. At that time, the large camp at the north end of Maskinonge was an outpost of the Taylor Statten Camp of Algonquin fame. It was vacant and not being used when we passed by in 2019. 

As we now approached the camp 4 years later, we saw people moving about onshore and the camp looked very much in use. It was in fantastic condition! 

As we got closer, we saw a woman walking on shore and she waved to us. We paddled over and had a quick chat with her; she was very friendly. We discovered that the camp had been purchased and is now in use once more. She informed us that just that morning they had sent out a group on a 30+ day canoe trip! The camp is now called Temagami Outpost ( I am glad to report that this fantastic location is back up and running, and helping people enjoy the wilderness once again. 

We made our way up through the narrows against a mild swift and into Rice Lake. Getting into Lower Matagamasi Lake through another mild swift, we came up behind a young family in a canoe; they said that they were guests of the camp and out on a day trip. 

At the take-out to the 165-meter portage into Edna Lake were a very old canoe and a canoe cart that had seen better days. We did not employ its usefulness. 

Edna Lake took minutes to cross before we were taking out again to get around a set of rapids on the Chiniguchi River.

Another short paddle across Karl Lake (Edna's husband?) took us to another short portage around yet another rocky drop in the Chiniguchi. 

At the west end of Karl Lake was a slightly longer, but very scenic, portage to the right of the river this time. The trail led us up over some rocky terrain and ended at a campsite overlooking a pretty set of small double falls. 

Someone had gotten very happy with an axe at one of the fire pits there. No trouble with firewood in the near future at this one. 

Above the falls in high water conditions, it was a bit of a struggle getting upstream to the base of the dam; we had to wade a bit. 

The short portage around the dam took us into very windy conditions on McCarthy Bay. Another change that I noticed since my last time there was the dam had been removed for the most part. It was basically converted back to a small chute now, though the warning buoys still remained above it. 

McCarthy Bay, like the previous time I had paddled it, was a struggle against a strong headwind until we were able to reach the lee of the large island to the west. 

We made it to the second island site heading west by 3:30 PM and decided to make camp there for the day. The wind was getting stronger and we didn't feel like battling it just to get a little further up the bay. Besides, I had stayed at that site in 2019 and knew it to be a good one. It had a long rocky point on its southern tip and sported a lovely grove of pines to block enough of the wind to make it comfortable, but allowed enough through to whisk away the bugs. 

After setting up, we enjoyed a wash-off swim at the point, made a meal, and watched the sun slide over the treelined ridge to the west before retiring to the bug tent to dust off what little adult beverages we had left just before the witching hour.