Solo To Clydegale Lake - by Barry Bridgeford
(June 17th to 22nd, 2012)
Sunday morning 10:30 am, departing the Rock Lake access docks.
Swells, waves and wind on Rock Lake ... I headed to the east shore, to line the canoe along the beach.
Obstructions on the beach forced me to paddle across the bay ... taking a rest stop here at the Barcley Estate.
Hopping from the lees of islands and along the sheltering south shoreline, I made it to the channel and portage to Pen Lake.
Unseen here, beyond the first bay of Pen Lake, the wind was still very strong.
I came ashore on the sand spit that joins the west point to the mainland, to checkout the status of the point's two campsites.
Both sites were empty. I chose the southmost with a windy view of the splashing waves.
This peaceful looking area joins the actual tentsite to its south-facing wind-swept rock point.
I had to erect a wind-blocking tarp, since the strong wind reached right into the tentsite area.
After paddling south through a windy rain storm, I entered the last bay before the portage, where two otters gave me a vocal welcome.
The sheltered bay at the portage was welcomingly still.
The slippery beginning of the portage to Clydegale had many rocks washed down from the higher slope.
The portage was dripping wet and dismal .. with this downed tree being just high enough to walk under with the canoe.
At the north end of Clydegale, this moose was chomping weeds. I had to struggle to keep the wind from blowing me back towards him.
The sun finally broke through, welcoming me to the southmost 'island' campsite's beach landing.
Across the south bay I could see a moose feeding, not realizing at the time that two light-coloured wee-ones were just behind their 'Mom'.
By the time I'd set-up camp, the weather had turned back to sullen clouds and brisk winds.
The next morning was overcast with showers, wind and choppy water. But it didn't deter these two!
In the evening the weather broke and I enjoyed paddling around the SW bay. Here's old old burned-out island campsite.
As I circled around the SW bay, the setting sun shone on this cliff. My campsite rocks are just visible far to the left across the bay.
After returning to camp, I was able to grab this 'clear-sky' sunset shot.
Arising early, I was able to catch the mist being burned off the swampy bay to the east.
Looking westward from camp .. the sunrise was lighting-up the shoreline.
Back at the swampy east bay, the misty air created some moody effects.
I became a bit pre-occuppied with the varying degrees of 'mistiness'.
Here's my tent set-up on the island .. again with a wind-blocking side tarp.
By early afternoon, the wind was up again .. but this time with blue sky and puffy white clouds!
This evening's sunset had a totally clear sky. Darkness fell quickly!
The setting sun shone down from island's NW cliff .. down through the forest behind the campsite.
I walked through to the cliff-top and took this shot of the skyline across the bay to the NW.
By mid-morning I was back on to Pen Lake, looking ahead to the wind and waves out of the west.
About a third of the way up the east shore, I came ashore at this campsite.
By mid-afternoon the wind had risen and dark clouds had blown in. To the SW is another campsite, across from Galipo Creek.
Again I had to erect another wind-tarp to keep the tent from being buffetted.
Across Pen Lake, to the call of loons, a very colourful sunset unfolded.
After the sun was well below the horizon, the darker shades of red showed themselves.
As I broke camp, I caught sight of two more moose browsing in the weeds across the lake.
The morning sun had the Galipo Creek campsite's rocks accented against the hill behind it.
After a refreshing paddle down the length of Pen Lake, I was able to slide through the gap at the north end.
Friday 1:15 pm .. as my trip came close to its end, I couldn't resist this shot of the westside rocks of Rock Lake.
... end ...