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07/29/2014 05:19PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)

Due to the fact I’m really bad at developing or completing trip reports, here’s a brief description and some pictures from my recent Quetico Solo Trip.

If not for a scheduled August 6th Woodland-Caribou Provincial Park “group solo” trip departure, this Quetico solo trip was originally intended to be ten-days in length. But with only about two weeks to re-load for the WCCP trip upon my return home, I trimmed my Quetico solo trip to seven-days. I also changed my original route selection, partially due to the high water conditions.

I departed the Nym Lake/Batchewaung Lake Entry Point late in the afternoon on July 13th and traveled south through Batchewaung Lake, Maria Lake, Jesse Lake, then west to Quetico Lake. I then traveled by the pictographs on the northern cliffs of Quetico Lake, before proceeding northwest on Quetico Lake and eventually returning to the Nym Lake EP on July 19th by way of Kasakakwog Lake, McAlpine Lake, Batchewaung Bay and Batchewaung Lake.

Despite a late start the first day, a lay-over day, and an early departure on the last day, I easily completed the route in seven-days. (Only six-days were travel days though.) I could have completed the route in four or five days, but I took a more relaxed approach considering the WCCP trip would soon follow only a few weeks after returning home. Also, I'm often compelled to camp early if I happen upon a five-star campsite I can't pass up, which happened more than once along this route.

Waters levels were high and several of the portages were more wet and muddy than usual. Weather and wind conditions were reasonable, despite some reports to the contrary. The mosquitoes were brutal though!

I had some beautiful days and several days that were actually quite warm. Naturally, the hot days brought out the stable flies. The blueberries were also starting to appear, but not in great numbers.

I had a period of several days where I saw no one. Unfortunately Quetico Lake was busier than I’d care for though. I can’t report on the fishing, because I didn’t bother to fish. (I plan to devote some fishing time for the WCCP trip though.)

A lot of reminders of the logging industry that once thrived here along Quetico Lake, Kasakakwog Lake, McAlpine Creek, and McAlpine Lake.

So here’s a small visual tour of the aforementioned route. Pictures are in no particular order.

Hans Solo

 
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AdamXChicago
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07/29/2014 10:11PM  
Thanks for the brief post Hans. Great bull moose photos! Were those wolf tracks??
Good luck in WCCP
07/30/2014 05:49AM  
Thanks for the short report and pictures, Hans. I hope more will be forthcoming after the WCPP trip. Have a good one!
07/30/2014 06:44AM  
Tripping is so great. Good to hear you had another great one.
Jackfish
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07/30/2014 07:46AM  
Sounds like fun, Mark. I really would like to enter at Nym sometime. Jesse, Maria, etc. are all lakes I'd like to see and fish.
thinblueline
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07/30/2014 04:04PM  
The last time I was on Jesse a few years ago, I thought I was at Grand Central Station. Apparently everyone else wants to see it to...lol.
07/30/2014 06:21PM  

quote thinblueline: "The last time I was on Jesse a few years ago, I thought I was at Grand Central Station. Apparently everyone else wants to see it to...lol."

Wow really! Timing is everything I suppose. For whatever reason, Jesse Lake is one of my favorites lakes in all of "Canoe Country". There are more spectacular lakes, but there's just something about Jesse I find attractive.

Many times when I've been on Jesse Lake I've had it all to myself, including this past solo trip. I saw no one else on Jesse Lake the entire time on was on it just a few weeks ago.

Although I had a late afternoon start on Day #1, I still made it to Maria Lake before making camp. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but on Day #2 I only traveled to Jesse Lake before making camp, although it's only a 142 rod portage away from Maria Lake.

I didn't make camp on Jesse because I needed to stop early due to fatigue or lack of motivation, but there's this island campsite on Jesse that I just love. I've camped there many times before and I can't seem to pass it by without making it my home for at least one night. (I'm willing to bet that "OldGreyGoose" knows the campsite, because he seems to have an affection for that area as well.)

The only downside of my beloved campsite is that there's another campsite close by. Nevertheless, there was no one at either site, or the entire lake for that matter when I was there less than two weeks ago. Maybe this is why I love Jesse Lake, because it has always been good to me.

Answer to AdamXChicago, yes those were Wolf tracks! That was on "Cedar Portage", which is just west of Jesse Lake and before Orianna Lake. There was quite a few tracks on the trail and two distinct specimens of Wolf scat, one pile quite large! Although I took pictures, I'll spare you the images.

Both the scat and the tracks were really fresh. So at least two wolves traveled down the portage' trail just minutes before I started my trek.

There always seems to be a lot of Wolf activity in that area, because I've heard them on Maria, Jesse and Quetico Lakes several times before.

On a September solo trip last year, I was awakened at about 2:00 AM by a Wolf Pack that was howling up a storm near my campsite on Quetico Lake. I was on a small island, but there was only about 40-yards of water separating me from the mainland. I'm guessing they were on mainland shore when the "choir" began, because it was loud and close. If I could have gotten out of my hammock fast enough, I might have caught a glimpse, but they had quickly moved on.

Thanks for the positive comments gentlemen. Although I've had longer and more exciting solo trips, it was another great trip and a relatively easy one. I also traveled through several lakes and viewed some pictographs I had yet to see during past Quetico visits.

Hans Solo
ParkerMag
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07/31/2014 06:54AM  
Terrific photos. Fuels my interest to try Quetico!
thinblueline
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07/31/2014 07:55AM  
You're right about the timing I guess. My wife and I came out of Maria onto Jesse the third week of June, 2007, and the first four campsites you see on the map were all occupied. We finally grabbed one on a little island toward the western portion of the lake, making us the fifth party on the lake. I couldn't believe it. I had been there years before that when we were either alone or one other party , so finding this many people on Jesse made we wonder what Quetico was turning into. Surprisingly, we still saw a cow moose walking along the north shore one morning on that 2007 trip.
Ho Ho
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08/01/2014 02:54PM  

Thanks for the report and great photos. I want to see bull moose like that!


amhacker22
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08/01/2014 04:43PM  
quote HansSolo: "

The only downside of my beloved campsite is that there's another campsite close by. Nevertheless, there was no one at either site, or the entire lake for that matter when I was there less than two weeks ago. Maybe this is why I love Jesse Lake, because it has always been good to me.


Hans Solo"


I know the exact site your talking about, I think. If I'm correct, sitting at the fire is almost like being on stage at a sunken amphitheater. Its a beauty for sure.
RetiredDave
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08/02/2014 07:25AM  
Thanks for the short trip report Hans Solo. I loved looking at the photos! Thanks to advice you gave me about half a year ago I am taking a solo trip through that area in late August. I plan to spend two nights on Jesse.

I have tarp envy. I studied the photos of yours for practical tips on setting mine up right. My tarps always end up looking like used condoms.

Dave
Castaway
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08/02/2014 08:38AM  
Hans,
I noticed pictures of a tent and a hammock. Do you carry both on your solos?
08/02/2014 09:19AM  

quote Castaway: "Hans, I noticed pictures of a tent and a hammock. Do you carry both on your solos? "

Yes Castaway, I carry both a tent and a Hennessy Hammock. I was wondering when someone would ask me about that.

I started packing the Hennessy hammock along a few years ago so I had a "bug free zone" when lounging around camp. Additionally, on warmer nights I'd sleep in the hammock and keep the tent packed-up. I especially like using the hammock on nights prior to earlier departures and long travel days. It's so quick and easy to break down and pack-up.

One problem when sleeping in hammocks is this; unless it's a somewhat warm night, or you have an attached quilt, you can really freeze your butt off. Trying to keep a Therm-a-Rest centered under your body throughout the night can also be problematic.

If I could ever be more of a minimalist canoe-tripper, I'd love just use a hammock vs a tent. That said, there are times I prefer having a tent to stretch out in. Despite my size, I sleep fairly well in the Hennessy hammock. Still, I find it difficult to fully commit to just using a hammock for my every-night sleeping shelter.

Hans Solo
08/02/2014 09:52AM  

quote amhacker22: "quote HansSolo: "

The only downside of my beloved campsite is that there's another campsite close by. Nevertheless, there was no one at either site, or the entire lake for that matter when I was there less than two weeks ago. Maybe this is why I love Jesse Lake, because it has always been good to me.

Hans Solo"


I know the exact site your talking about, I think. If I'm correct, sitting at the fire is almost like being on stage at a sunken amphitheater. Its a beauty for sure."


Here's a few additional pictures of the aforementioned Jesse Lake campsite from past Quetico trips.

Note to "Retired Dave"; Thanks for the compliments Dave and I hope you enjoy that area on your upcoming trip as much as I have.

Hans Solo

OldGreyGoose
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08/02/2014 04:21PM  
Nice report. Jesse "big island" camp IS very nice and very popular. (Got it and enjoyed it only once.) There's also a little island site way to the west that's nice for one or two campers. ("Snake" island.) Always seems to be wolf prints somewhere around the Jesse area, but think you were pretty lucky to see the bull! Thanks and have a great WCPP trip. --Goose
Canoodler
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08/04/2014 07:32AM  
Mark and others, I have not had much enclosed hammock experience but I would try a quarter inch closed cell foam pad under you on the hammock for insulation. The pad will stay pretty well in place since it is not a slippery item. Secondly, hammocks are not for those who do not sleep on their backs, as in my case. Otherwise they are a convenient and easy form of sleeping shelter.

I liked your pictures. So sometimes you double blade and other times you single blade your solo? How did you get a white Prism? The colored gel coat finishes from Wenona do not include white, unless several years ago they offered this color choice. The boat looks sharp.
08/04/2014 08:49AM  

quote Canoodler: "So sometimes you double blade and other times you single blade your solo? How did you get a white Prism? The colored gel coat finishes from Wenona do not include white, unless several years ago they offered this color choice. The boat looks sharp."

Thanks for the hammock insulation suggestions Canoodler. That's something I'll need to try.

As far as double vs. single blade; I like using the double-blade for those long stretches on big lakes like Pickerel, Sturgeon, Quetico, etc., because you can really eat up the miles quite efficiently. Whereas, I prefer the single bent shaft paddle for smaller lakes and navigating rivers and creeks.

Finally, my solo canoe is the 17' 6" Wenonah Voyager with an Ivory gel-coat, not the 16' 6" Prism. I love my Voyager! It's big, fast and seaworthy. Then again, I've always had an affection for the big, long and lean tripping canoes, whether solo or tandem.

At one time Wenonah offered the pure white gel-coat. Around the mid to late 80's they went to the Ivory and phased out the pure white gel-coat.

Thanks for the nice comments.

Hans Solo

sunnybear09
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08/06/2014 06:09AM  
Hans, Really enjoyed your photos of the Quetico! Hope you do a big selection for the WCPP trip--I would love to see the difference in the vegetation and forest appearance where Jack Pine is more dominant. Always wondered if the forest floor is more open under JP. Have a good trip! Bill
mapsguy1955
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07/13/2017 11:06AM  
Was doing a search for fishing on Jesse, Lonely and Draper and came upon your report here... Great photos... Thank you! This entire thread is great!
 
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