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      42 day solo in Sask./Manitoba/Nunavut     
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Alan Gage
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10/07/2016 04:29PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
This summer My dog and I took a 42 day solo trip from Wollaston Lake in northern Saskatchewan to the Nunavut border on the Putahow River and then back. It was 500 miles of paddling on three different watersheds: Wollaston Lake empties into the Cochrane River. Portaged over the height of land just after it turned south towards Reindeer Lake to put me on the Thlewiaza River. Across Kasmere Lake and over another height of land to the Putahow River. Very memorable trip. Different world up there.

Trip report is posted here: http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/forum/trip-reports/canadian-trip-reports/51372-wollaston-lake-to-goose-lake-nunavut-border-and-back

It's long, like really long, so don't expect to read it in one sitting. I posted a new chapter each day so keep scrolling to find them all. I hope you find it interesting.

Thanks for looking,

Alan
 
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Minnesotian
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10/07/2016 07:02PM  

Wow.

That looks like an amazing trip. Big water, small water, isolation, everything. Thanks for the write up, I now have something to study.
 
1JimD
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10/07/2016 07:15PM  
Outstanding Alan !
Something we've all dreamed of doing !
Thanks for sharing this AWESOME adventure !!
Jim
 
FOG51
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10/08/2016 04:28AM  
Wow what a trip, the pictures were great. Quiet a journey. Sadie didn't look really happy in the rain, but my guess is if you go again and she gets the chance she'll be in the car before you are. Sorry about having your truck broken into, that's one of my biggest worries when we go to into the bush country and leave a truck for a week or two [in my case]. but I guess it could happen in the BWCA so it's something that might happen. Thanks a lot for takeing us along. FRED
 
quark2222
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10/08/2016 07:08PM  
Alan - WOW! I took two nights to read your report. Best one I've ever read. I felt like I was there. Glad I was not! I don't think I would have made it. You are a great writer, by the way.

Tomster
 
10/08/2016 10:44PM  
Alan,

I really enjoyed that report and the pictures. There was some really beautiful country there that I'll likely never see.

I know that a lot of time and effort goes into doing a report like that and I appreciate that.
 
10/09/2016 08:14AM  
I'm only on day 2 but was intrigued with the canoe you use and did some googling.

Custom Canoe

Looking forward to finishing the report. This trip surely fits into what the great Verlan Kruger said - "Happy are those who dream a dream, then have the courage to make it come true".

 
DanCooke
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10/09/2016 08:26PM  
Great trip Alan. I need to get a map out and check out your route. An Awesome adventure.

Bummer about your vehicle and paddles. I had a similar car break in, but they choose to break all but one of my windows out and other vandalism- Car was totalled by the insurance company.
 
mastertangler
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10/10/2016 06:34AM  
Bravo! Nice read, great pics, awesome trip!
 
napinch
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10/10/2016 11:05AM  
Just started reading the trip report. Wow!, pretty big adventure to take on with just your dog. Enjoyed the first week of your trip and looking forward to reading more of your trip. I, too, have been bringing up Google Earth to follow along your journey.
Luke
 
Lailoken
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10/10/2016 12:26PM  
Can't wait to read. Have desire to find some routes outside of Quetico and BWCA which is all I know. Thank you.
 
10/10/2016 03:23PM  
outstanding!
 
hobbydog
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10/10/2016 10:11PM  
Just starting to read this. Wow, looking forward to the rest of it.
 
hobbydog
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10/11/2016 08:01PM  
You really should post this on the main forum or at least in the trip reports. I am really enjoying the quality of the report and great pictures. I am sure many other that do not visit the solo forum would enjoy it as well. What an adventure.
 
ZaraSp00k
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10/12/2016 08:16PM  
quote hobbydog: "Just starting to read this. Wow, looking forward to the rest of it. "

x2

I've often wondered if I should take my passport with me on the trip or leave in vehicle, I now have the answer
 
muddyfeet
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10/12/2016 11:00PM  
Wow, thanks! It's awesome to hear firsthand adventure and i enjoy hearing your thoughts and insights. Highs and lows. I'm curious to hear design features of a boat for 'the next trip'.
 
Alan Gage
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10/13/2016 08:37AM  
Thanks everyone. Glad to know it's being read and enjoyed.

quote muddyfeet: " I'm curious to hear design features of a boat for 'the next trip'. "

More volume. The boat I took was designed to paddle the Bloodvein River (downstream and then back up) and handle rapids up to CII. It performed that task brilliantly last year. Any rapids too big to run were portaged. I thought I'd be able to do the same this year but portages were hard to come by. All the rapids were longer, higher volume, and more difficult; not to mention the much larger lakes and consequent waves.

So the next design is getting bumped out to 32" wide with 21" shear in the bow. I'm putting more emphasis on getting through rough water than speed. No more differential rocker. But since I like paddling hard, and paddling upstream, I'm still trying to keep what speed I can which means keeping the waterline sleek and adding lots of flare above to shed water and waves. Thinking hard about adding a rudder for efficiency when crossing those big lakes as well as for upstream travel.

Hoping to get the paper plans back from the printer today and to start stripping it this weekend. Unsure of the layup but I'm thinking thin strips (1/8-5/32") with a couple layers of S-glass and dynel outside and a couple layers of kevlar inside. Hoping the thin laminate will allow the hull to deflect when hitting obstacles and that the multiple layers of kevlar and s-glass will hold it together.

The boat I took this year was a solid laminate with many layers of carbon, kevlar, and fiberglass. It worked great but was expensive and time consuming to build. Hoping to cut down on time/money and get similar performance without adding much weight.

Alan

 
10/14/2016 06:56AM  
Sounds like you have a passion for boat design and building. Ever thought of going into business for yourself? "Gage Canoeworks" :)

 
10/14/2016 07:20AM  
quote Alan Gage: "Thanks everyone. Glad to know it's being read and enjoyed"

Yes, it is. I know it takes some time and effort, especially for a longer one with pictures, and I appreciate it, especially for a trip like this that I'll likely never be able to do, but can experience vicariously through your report. I always let people know I read their report and enjoyed it.

I'll probably read it again now that I have a little extra time on my hands :)
 
gymcoachdon
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10/14/2016 11:53AM  
Just read the trip report. Seems like a trip that will become more memorable the further away from it you get! Helps you forget the discomfort, and only remember the accomplishment. I hope to do similar trips, but they might have to wait until I retire...

Do you use a particular program to come up with your plans? I am thinking of building a canoe for use exploring some smaller Indiana waterways, most of the plans are for flatwater tripping, or sit on bottom kayak like canoes. I think it would be cool to come up with my own plans.
 
Alan Gage
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10/14/2016 12:29PM  
quote gymcoachdon: "
Do you use a particular program to come up with your plans? I am thinking of building a canoe for use exploring some smaller Indiana waterways, most of the plans are for flatwater tripping, or sit on bottom kayak like canoes. I think it would be cool to come up with my own plans."


I think Delftship is the way to go for canoes. You can download a free version with some features disabled. I thought they might be helpful so I paid for the full version but I don't think I use any of them. You'd be fine with the free one. Link to Delftship

I'm no computer whiz but think of myself as pretty competent. It usually doesn't take me long to get the feel for most software and to fumble my way through it as I learn. But Delftship almost defeated me. I kept struggling and finally it started to make some sense. I'm comfortable designing canoes with it but I'm not even scratching the surface of what's possible.

You'll also need a way to export the form shapes and prep them before printing. I never found a way to do this in Delftship so I started looking at CAD programs. There are some well thought of free ones out there but I found these even more frustrating to use than when I started with Delftship. They just don't work and think like most software we're used to using. I was extremely frustrated when I finally downloaded a free trial of Rhinoceros. For whatever reason my brain got along with it better than the others and I was able to struggle my way through it.

There are some really easy to use free programs available for kayak design, Kayak Foundry being the best I found. Designing a non-tumblehomed canoe and printing forms wouldn't be too hard but trying to do a tumblehomed design is not really possible. You could do it but you only have so much control over the shape. The problem is all the kayak software insists on having a deck. But it's still a quick and easy program to play with. You can quickly draw up a hull and start editing the shape below the waterline to see the effects on resistance and volume.

Designing and building your own canoe is a very rewarding experience and since you're the only person to keep happy you can build it exactly like you want for a specific task. No need to compromise because of what someone else might prefer instead.

Sounds like you have a passion for boat design and building. Ever thought of going into business for yourself?

I like to tinker with the idea now and again but I don't think it will ever happen. My hobbies can die quickly so I'm always reluctant to turn them into a business. When I'm done with a hobby I'm done with it. My worst nightmare would be to have 2 years worth of business backed up and then decide I don't want to build canoes anymore. I'd be miserable as I completed the orders.

But even more than that I'm not a good business person. I like people but I don't like doing business with them. And I'm a terrible salesman. I wouldn't be opposed to doing a boat here or there for the right person but I'm pretty content to leave it as it is now; an expensive and rewarding winter hobby.

Alan
 
10/14/2016 08:21PM  
quote Alan Gage: "
Sounds like you have a passion for boat design and building. Ever thought of going into business for yourself?

I like to tinker with the idea now and again but I don't think it will ever happen. My hobbies can die quickly so I'm always reluctant to turn them into a business. When I'm done with a hobby I'm done with it. My worst nightmare would be to have 2 years worth of business backed up and then decide I don't want to build canoes anymore. I'd be miserable as I completed the orders.

But even more than that I'm not a good business person. I like people but I don't like doing business with them. And I'm a terrible salesman. I wouldn't be opposed to doing a boat here or there for the right person but I'm pretty content to leave it as it is now; an expensive and rewarding winter hobby.

Alan"


Thanks for the thoughtful answer.

 
whitecedar
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10/15/2016 09:14PM  
Alan: Thank you for taking the time to write your trip report, I really enjoyed your photographs and your story!!

Thanks!!
 
10/16/2016 07:54AM  
"The following day I was elated to be paddling across the sheet of glass Kasmere Lake had turned into. I was sorely tempted to paddle up the NW arm of the lake to explore, thinking it would be my last best chance at seeing caribou on this trip, but I didn’t know what the terrain was like for hiking and was too afraid of a strong wind coming up in the following days that would easily leave be windbound."

I remember in 2001 in Quetico having to paddle the length of Basswood to get back to Prairie Portage. The wind was up the previous days and I was full of anxiety. Then to my amazement I had the same conditions you found on big Kasmere. My whole paddle on Basswood was on a sheet of glass. Sometimes you win, sometimes you struggle. :)

I'm really enjoying the read but taking my time with it. I can really relate to the things you say about Sadie as I take my border collie when solo. Luna loves to portage and actually inspires me with her enthusiasm for it.

 
10/17/2016 08:03AM  
What a great report, Alan. The landscape shots, particularly the shot of your camp from atop an adjacent esker, are eye opening. I've never been that far north and the landscape is not what I would have expected.
 
11/05/2016 06:14AM  
"The rain looked like it had quit and the skies were brightening a little when the wind again switched to the NE and the dark clouds began to roll back in. It was like the same rain clouds just kept getting pushed back and forth over us. This was the 8th straight day it had rained at some point and things weren't looking promising when I went to bed."

This is the stuff that's very hard for me when I'm solo. Gotta choose your thoughts wisely. But it sure helps to have your best friend with. :)

I've had your report pinned on my browser. Work is heavy for me now but it's a comfort to revisit the wild north through your pics and writing when I have the time.

The one thing I don't ever see me doing is going back over the same route on the same trip. Just a personal thing but I like new vistas as much as possible.

 
builditbetter22
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12/26/2016 07:15PM  
Wonderful report Alan! I felt like I was there. You are a very good writer.
 
lindylair
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01/05/2017 07:02PM  
Excellent report and amazing adventure. Came upon your post a couple nights ago and read half of it immediately. Finally had to sleep but having the day off, finished the rest the next morning. Great photos, and the mental/emotional narrative was familiar yet enlightening. The trip itself is way beyond my abilities or even wishes at this point, congrats on your success.

About 8 or 9 years ago I was lucky enough to be treated to a week long trip to Wollaston Lake Lodge with their luxury accommodations and gourmet food. Guided fishing each day, in which we traversed pretty much the entire lake some days. Lots of trophy northerns caught in our group and a wonderful experience. Shore lunch each day on a likely looking spot. Could well be that we traversed much of the same water and even stood on some of the same ground. Although ours was much different and more comfortable, despite 40's and rain for a considerable part of the trip. I admire your determination and savvy.





Note the Wollaston lake Lodge hat


 
01/13/2017 08:49PM  
Alan,
AWESOME stuff. I really enjoyed "going along" bears, graves, wind, rain, tougher then hell portages, rapids, wow what a trip. I have always carried passport with me, because of your sad problem of some losers.

Sadie looks like one hell of a great partner, bet she don't argue!

SunCatcher
 
01/13/2017 09:54PM  
Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /forums/index.php on this server.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

This is the message I get when I try to view the trip. Wish I could look at it.
 
Alan Gage
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01/14/2017 12:16AM  
quote LindenTree3: "Forbidden


You don't have permission to access /forums/index.php on this server.


Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


This is the message I get when I try to view the trip. Wish I could look at it."


Has this been an ongoing thing or did you only try to access it this once? I've never heard of anyone having a problem following the link before. Unless something has changed recently at canoetripping the site is fully viewable by non-members.

I have always carried passport with me

It never even occurred to me at the time but I certainly will be from here on out.

About 8 or 9 years ago I was lucky enough to be treated to a week long trip to Wollaston Lake Lodge

I bet that was a pretty neat trip. Never paddled through such fishy water before and never saw so many fish in the water while paddling. Neat place.

Alan

 
Alan Gage
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01/14/2017 12:21AM  
The one thing I don't ever see me doing is going back over the same route on the same trip. Just a personal thing but I like new vistas as much as possible.

That's never really bothered me. Much of the time I find that seeing it from the opposite direction is just about as good as seeing it for the first time. And, at least for me, seeing so much new scenery over 30+ days means that by the time I've turned around and started to head back I've forgotten a surprising amount and things often look very unfamiliar.

When I start a trip I rarely know the location of any potential campsites and it's a relief on the return trip to know the location of the sites I used on the way up and maybe other potential sites I marked on the map along the way, especially when the weather turns bad.

Quite often there will be things I'd like to explore more on the way out that I end up passing by, maybe due to something like bad weather, but when retracing my steps I get a second chance to see them and knowing it's coming up I can plan my days around it.

Alan
 
01/14/2017 09:13AM  
Allan,
I've tried it half a dozen times and always get the same message, I am trying it from my phone, I will try from my wife's computer when I go back to Duluth in a few days.
 
Alan Gage
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01/14/2017 02:16PM  
quote LindenTree3: "Allan,
I've tried it half a dozen times and always get the same message, I am trying it from my phone, I will try from my wife's computer when I go back to Duluth in a few days."


Here's a direct link to the Canadian Trip Reports forum where the post resides. Maybe that will work better. As of today my report is on the top but it might get bumped down a few spots depending on what else gets posted.

Canoetripping.net trip reports forum

Alan
 
01/20/2017 11:27AM  
quote Alan Gage: "quote LindenTree3: "Allan,
I've tried it half a dozen times and always get the same message, I am trying it from my phone, I will try from my wife's computer when I go back to Duluth in a few days."



Here's a direct link to the Canadian Trip Reports forum where the post resides. Maybe that will work better. As of today my report is on the top but it might get bumped down a few spots depending on what else gets posted.


Canoetripping.net trip reports forum
Alan"


Still can't access it with my wife's computer either, weird.
Thanks for trying to help me out Allan, no need to spend more time on me and the link.
Thanks
Linden
 
Alan Gage
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01/20/2017 11:38AM  


Still can't access it with my wife's computer either, weird.
Thanks for trying to help me out Allan, no need to spend more time on me and the link.
Thanks
Linden"


That's too bad, no idea why that might be. Have you tried going directly to canoetripping.net? From there you could find it in the Canadian Trip Reports forum.

Alan
 
hobbydog
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01/20/2017 07:15PM  
quote LindenTree3: "quote Alan Gage: "quote LindenTree3: "Allan,
I've tried it half a dozen times and always get the same message, I am trying it from my phone, I will try from my wife's computer when I go back to Duluth in a few days."




Here's a direct link to the Canadian Trip Reports forum where the post resides. Maybe that will work better. As of today my report is on the top but it might get bumped down a few spots depending on what else gets posted.



Canoetripping.net trip reports forum
Alan"



Still can't access it with my wife's computer either, weird.
Thanks for trying to help me out Allan, no need to spend more time on me and the link.
Thanks
Linden"


I had the same problem from my ipad with this link but not all the time. You can try access it via a free proxy server. Just go to this link and paste the url in an go.

Free web proxy
 
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