Churchill River Saskatchewan canoe trip: August 14, 2007

Day 3

It was dry but really chilly in the morning, so on went the toques and down vests. Some of our things were still wet, so we dried them out in the stiff breeze. We were just finishing our dishes when Judy & Gord paddled in. We chatted again for a while. Judy told us about the many pictographs at High Rock Narrows (they had done the same trip last year). We promised to exchange email addresses as they paddled off, but we never saw them again.

We finally set out, but our pace was slowed by the appearance of several bald eagles, a golden eagle, a couple of pelicans, an osprey and many canvasback ducks. Once again, we missed a turn before the next set of pictographs. But while waiting for the GPS to find satellites, Bill took a random cast and hooked a beautiful walleye. The fishing was nothing short of phenomenal.

Once back on track, we saw the Swimming Stone and the pictographs. We ran the easy Swimming Stone rapids on the left. Black bear Island Lake is unique in that it has these rapids in the middle. We stopped for lunch at a large campsite and cleaned the fish for supper.

Then it was on to the impressive High Rock Narrows pictographs. We had to disembark and hike up to see the last two rock faces with pictographs. We were rewarded with a small raspberry patch. Yum.

Black Bear Island Lake went on and on. It is 40 km long. There were several large reaches with strong tailwinds. At first the winds were welcome, but as we got a few kilometers along, the swells were worrisome. We were glad to have brought the 17 foot canoe. The campsite we had in mind was poor, so we pushed on beyond the old abandoned fishing lodge. We saw and heard 3 otters. They were uncharacteristically shy, and refused to have their photo taken.

We found a little-used campsite, but we made it comfortable. All of our campsites had a welcoming loon. We had a separate cooking area with a view. Our campsite was at E0470328 N6163289.