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AUGUST 12, 2008

Changing of the Seasons update

The Changing of the Seasons crowd is expected to top last year's record attendance of 116. 

Some changes have been made this year. Saturday's feast is now potluck and along with the ceremonies and old-growth hikes, there will be a ritual sweat lodge.

The eighth annual Nishnabai ceremony to celebrate the changing of the seasons is being held September 12 to 14.

The unique, non-commercial, remote event, hosted by Nishnabai elder Alex Mathias, is held on a campground on Obabika in the spiritual shadow of Spirit Rock. It is open to aboriginals and non-aboriginals of all ages.

Earthroots is again organizing carpools and canoe rentals.

There is a forum discussion with more information or you can email Kim Cowan.

BACKGROUND: Changing of the Seasons

AUGUST 10, 2008                                                    UPDATED: SEPT 17, 2008

4,700 kilometres of canoe routes

It has long been known that the Ontario government's stated length of 2,400 kilometres (1,490 miles) for Temagami's canoe routes was grossly understated. The actual length was a mystery. Not anymore.

Friends of Temagami measured them at 4,700 kilometres (2,900 miles). A stunning difference.


Length - km


  Temagami* 4700 2900
  Quetico/Boundary Waters 3900 2420
  Wabikimi Park 3000 1865
  Algonquin Park 2000 1243

Source: Friends of Temagami

* Wanapitei Lake to Lake Timiskaming, and Tilden Lake to Matachewan


Part of the problem was MNR's artificial bureaucratic imperatives: the District of Temagami, and the Temagami Comprehensive Planning Area. Neither conformed to terrain, wildlands, or use (the Temagami canoe area). The consequence was that much of its efforts did (and do) not conform to reality, and measurement of canoe routes was no different.

FOT also determined there are 1,300 kilometres (808 miles) of winter-only travel routes and 200 kilometres (124 miles) of canoe routes have been "lost over the last 110 years to logging, roads, private land development, hydroelectric flooding and mining."

In its canoe-route research, FOT used Craig Macdonald's Historical Map, MNR's Temagami Canoe Routes Planning Map, Hap Wilson's Canoeing, Kayaking and Hiking Temagami book, and records and knowledge of camps, outfitters, guides and FOT members.

Sadly, MNR will not likely change its use of the old figure. To MNR, if it does not do the work, it does not exist. And since it doesn't have the staff to do the work, it becomes a catch-22.

As for reality: nice work, Friends of Temagami.

  EXTERNAL LINK: Friends of Temagami

Photo: motorboat in chute on Sturgeon River, 2008

Boat in the Sturgeon

AUGUST 6, 2008 This fishing boat was swept over a chute on the Sturgeon River during spring runoff.

I last saw this boat, upside down, its battered motor still attached, July 2006, on the upper landing to the portage around this chute. The motor is now gone, probably in the river.

The boat could have been launched on the river upstream at Paul Lake and portaged around Twin Falls, possibly in the spring of 2005 or 2006. Anglers may have been running rapids below Twin Falls and the motor was damaged. Frightened, they abandoned the boat and it traveled  downstream, over Kettle Falls, and through the next two rapids. Then, in the sharp turn in the river between the two portages separating Renfrew and Perkins lakes, it was tossed up on the landing marring a pristine section. There it sat at the tree line. High water this spring, sucked it into the river, but it didn't go far maybe 50 metres.

I almost missed seeing it when I did the portage on July 6, and was only able to take the photo as it appeared between river surges.

How long will it be there?  

AUGUST 2, 2008

Stop that buzzzzing

July was a month the Chamber of Commerce would rather leave out of the travel brochure. The temperature never got hot, ranging from 7 to 28 C (45 to 83 F) though great for paddling and portaging. Most days got some rain with the month topping 90 millimetres (3.5 inches).

This meant plenty of stagnant warm water for mosquito breeding without enough heat for the females to tell the males they had a headache. So the biting bitches are still maternally yours at this point in the summer when they should becoming just an unpleasant memory. As far as I can remember, it hasn't been this bad since the cold, wet 1970.



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