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Temagami: Obabika - Chee-skon-abikong - Bob - Diamond - Wakimika - Obabika Lakes (September 16-18, 2004)
(Click on photos to enlarge)
I've talked at length about parts of this route before and most of it is described as part of Hap Wilson's Route No.6 in his book "Temagami Canoe Routes." So I'll include some pictures this time but keep my comments short.
I decided to do this loop trip prior to Alex Mathius' annual Change of Seasons Fall Gathering near his home on Obabika Lake. I started the trip from his home on Obabika River after driving up the logging roads and his extremely long gated driveway (the old Red Squirrel logging road). It was a 7 hour drive from Toronto and three hours of that on rough dirt roads that, on the way back, finished off my old beater car. But that's another story...
Thursday: Obabika, Chee-skon-abikong, and Bob
From Alex's home I paddled north on Obabika to the site of the Fall Gathering and the portage to Chee-skon-abikong Lake and the trails to the old-growth forest and Spirit Rock. Alex and Ed seemed to have their preparations well in hand so I started my trip on Thursday about noon and hoped to be back in time for the ceremonies on Saturday (unfortunately I ended up arriving about an hour late after a slow start Saturday morning).
Chee-skon-abikong is not only one of the most beautiful little lakes it is also the home of the Spirit Rock, a sacred native site.
I stayed on Chee-skon-abikong for an extended lunch to absorb the beauty before heading toward Bob Lake where I planned to camp in order to keep to my schedule. Before leaving I was sitting at the campsite opposite the Spirit Rock and a long lost memory popped into my head. When I was a child, maybe 6 or 7, I remember my Dad coming home with a new red fibreglass canoe. It suddenly appeared in the back garden and my sisters and I ran out to take a look. I jumped in right away and my Dad said to me, "Don't get in a canoe while it is on land, only when it is in the water." "Why Daddy?" I asked, as kids do. "Because you can damage the hull on the hard ground," he replied. That was my first lesson in canoe etiquette. Obviously at that age I wasn't heavy enough to do any damage but I think he was preparing me for a lifelong love of canoeing. I don't know why that long lost memory came back to me just then. But who knows what powers the Spirit Rock hold.
Friday: Bob, Diamond, and Wakimika
My paddle down Diamond was nice and liesurely. I stopped at a stream empting Small Lake into Diamond. I am always attracted to moving water - even if its too small to get a canoe down.
I walked the short portage beside the pretty little stream to take a look at the small lake. It looked so peaceful. Next time I think I might try the Small Lake route into Diamond, even though the portages have been described as more difficult.
The West end of Diamond Lake, from where it narrows to the portage, is the prettiest part. First you come across an esker island of smooth round stones left over from the iceage. There are some nice campsites at this end of the lake. A little further down is this prominent rock cleavage splitting the land and just big enough to get a canoe in. I saw a Bald Eagle flying above here.
The portage from Diamond is reached through this narrow channel.
The portage takes you into pretty little Lain Lake and then another portage into Wakimika Lake.
The north end of Wakimika has a huge beach and a good campsite.
I was blessed with a beautiful Wakimika beach sunset .
Saturday: Wakimika - Wakimka River - Obabika
Another beautiful day for a paddle down the quiet little winding Wakimika River. Halfway down it opens up into a little pond/marsh where I invaded the privacy of these Canada Geese.
These next pictures were taken over the next couple of days during the Gathering.