After a few weeks back in Toronto I had some idea of what I’d need to do to get into back-country overnite trips. Thinking I was ready and all fired up until I got a flat tire just outside of Toronto and spent several hours in Belleville getting it fixed.
I had planned to put in at Lower Brewers Lock and paddle north to Upper Brewers Lock but was off balance after the tire episode. I decided to settle into a really nice area on the south eastern part of the Upper Brewers lock. At 3pm I went for a short and delightful paddle into entrance to Cranberry Lake. I returned to camp around 7pm.
Upper Brewers to Dukes Profile & Round Tail return (Cranberry Lake) is about 4km
This was the first evening on a lock with other kayak campers, which was very cool. About a dozen locals were also at the lock fishing until dusk.
In the morning I put the kayak back on the car and drove about 20 Km north to the Crosby Flea Market (I never miss a chance, it’s a family tradition!) I enjoyed an early lunch with one of the vendors and then drove back to Lower Brewers and launched the kayak, leaving my car behind! I paddled into Upper Brewers around 1pm and portaged around to the north end of the lock. My ambition was to paddle to Seeleys Bay but I only got to Brass Point Bridge before it was time to head back. I was not being destination oriented on purpose. I wanted to enjoy and pace myself.
Upper Brewers to Brass Point Bridge return is about 13km, Seeleys Bay is about 25km return.
I returned to the Lock and explored for a while. I ran in to a Rat Snake and discovered a family of Otter were living across the water from me. Otters chirp like birds. I discovered a baby Mourning Dove under my picnic table and spent quite a while coaxing her to fly to mom across the river. A nice relaxing evening, even though my car was parked nearly 3km south!
The next morning I cruised back into Cranberry Lake and took a 12 km tour. Spectacular rock out croppings and a very nice swim near the Dukes Profile made it a very nice day.
Random Cranberry Lake tour ~ 16km
The following morning I packed my kayak for the first time with all my gear aboard. My first expedition trip! I had a great launch point with shallow water and felt confident as I paddled the 2.8 km back to Lower Brewers Lock in a mild fog. The boat felt great! The light and fog were magical. A fisherman with float nets was seriously harassed by a local lady which I thought amusing. When I arrived at Lower Brewers Lock I was distracted by the action of the Swing Bridge and shot a bit of video. When I was getting out of my kayak I heard a dreadful splash. My camera! Gone!
Upper Brewers to Lower Brewers is about 3km