Maze of the Woods
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Maze of the Woods

Maze of the Woods

July 21, 2022

Lake of the Woods  boasts more than 14,500 islands and sone 104,000 kms of shoreline. Sitting in the canoe ,it feels like you can see every island and  inch of shoreline no matter which direction you look.  Navigating here without a GPS is a special kind of crazy.

Dead ahead in this picture is thw entrance to Split Rock Narrows. There are also islands, an entrance to a bay or two, and some points.

I ran compass courses with the maps in my lap.Using scales of 1:50000, it is impossible to show every island and rock. The art of it all is knowing/guessing what island or rock has been left of the map and whar hasn’t. Sitting so low in the water, relative size and even distance away is not at all easy to judge.

How anyone could ever have memorized a route from one end of the lake to another is beyond me.

I managed the planned passage on Lake of the Woods in 2 days with the second nuch harder than the first. Wind and more wind plagued me most of the day and by the time I made Nestor Falls, I had paddled close to 11 hours out of the 12 I was in the boat.

Nestor Falls looks like a war zone. Two days ago, while I was being pummelled in Kenora, a tornado swept through Nestor. Four inches of rain didn’t help either. Water levels 5 ft above normal (a 75 year high), meant any rise in the lake was insult to injury.

Tomorrow,  I  head into the bush, destination North West  Bay on Rainy Lake. Surely the severe weather is behind me. Cross my paddles and knock on wood, surely it must be.