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distinguished member(1635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/21/2011 09:17AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
We're back! Thanks for following along. Just pulled into Hudson last night. Spent time unpacking and hanging out with the kids. Our last night was in Grand Marais so that we could enjoy one "lazy" day and a soft bed.

Amazing, harrowing at times, 80 mile trip through Wabakimi. Will try to pull together a report soon. We we're stranded for a day at Mattice's fish camp on the SE bay of Whitewater Lake due to wind/rain and forest fire. We did stop at Wendell Beckwith's place on Best Island. Two days before Mattice's fish camp, we'd paddled/portage during the night to escape the smoke/ash (and fire) that took a turn, and started to head our direction. I think we inhaled heavy smoke for the better part of 4 days. The fire ended up along our route, so we had to adjust our plans a bit. Will, tell more later, but what we expected for the most part, occurred. I wish we'd picked a route with less big water (always windy), but it was interesting none-the-less. What we read from others who'd been there provided reliable insight. Forums can be so helpful.

Now it all seems so surreal to come back to "reality".

Forest fire beginning to expand and spread. Taken from our campsite on Ogoki River.

We paddle/portage from 2:30am - 5:30 am, in order to get to Whitewater Lake fish camp (different camp than Mattice) and possible help if things turned worse. This is taken from our 2nd temporary camp site that we hastily left at 2:30am when we woke to ash and heavy smoke.
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09/21/2011 12:57PM  
Those photos are fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
09/21/2011 06:52PM  
Wow!! Didn't realize you were in harm's way. Bet there were no friendly forest service rangers rounding up campers... eek.

Glad you're back and can't wait for details!!
09/21/2011 07:05PM  
Welcome back to "REALITY" as they say...
distinguished member(1635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/21/2011 07:13PM  
It seems (based on our experience) that you're somewhat left to your own judgement when it comes to forest fires. We knew that even if we needed evac, it would be a couple of hours before they could get us, even if they could with the wind/visibility. We felt our best option was to position ourselves in a place where we might receive help. Plus it felt better to be proactive rather than to sit and panic. The only info we got before hand was that there had been 270k acres burned so far and that most areas were smoldering. This one flared up a couple of days into our trip. An employee at one of the fish camps told us that he'd get evacuated only if the fire got within about 500 yards of his cabin. We saw numerous helicopters monitoring areas. Our understanding is they let forest fires burn and unless they get close to structures, they aren't really managed. They had laid down hoses and sprinklers at one camp when the fire was getting closer.

09/21/2011 07:57PM  
Good to hear from you! When we were up in August, the whole north part of the park was closed as the fires were in full blaze. Firefighters were being shuttled in and out over us several times a day. We only had a samll fire that we skirted in about 4-5 hours.

Canoeing at night seems really cool. I must say I have never seen a moon as bright as it was in Wabakimi. My trip report is coming soon, too.
12/12/2011 06:38PM  
Did I miss your trip report?? I've been looking for it every month or so.
distinguished member(1635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/20/2011 07:25PM  
no, your not missing the trip report. i'm just slow. i plan to post over the holidays.
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