Circuits 30-34 La Vérendrye
August 10 - 16, 2003 Eric and Ted in solo canoes
Circuit 34 (40K clock-wise)
Lac du Portage put-in/take-out.33km from Le Domaine.
A large put-in/take-out, car park and overnight camping spot (with outhouse) at Lac au Barrage is across Regional Road 28 from the Lac du Portage SEPAQ site and down a short narrow road.
A good spot to overnight at the start and leave the car for the finish.
Le Domaine staff state problems with vandalism at Larouche site.
Sunday August 10, 2003 (11K)Slightly overcast, medium North wind.
11:15 depart heading East on Lac du Portage
12:30 slow-moving runnable passage between Lac du Portage and Lac Larouche and lunch break.
14:30 Camp south arm of Lac Larouche.
Island campsite 34-23 (rating 8/10). Christened Blueberry Island as it was covered in blueberries. Provided an excellent accompaniment to next morning's granola. Found one old bear scat - nothing else. Nice, sheltered landing and good rocks for swimming. Stew supper. BSA group at campsite 34-24 and had lots of room for tents and good swimming.
Monday August 11 (15K)Overcast, medium North wind.
10:10 departure after granola and an orange for breakfast
Portage to Lac Fada (nothing to note) 11:00 to 11:20
Portage to Lac Quenelle 1 hour. Awkward beginning (4 foot steep barrier) but good after that.
Moran Creek. Pushed through the first beaver dam; through a culvert under the road and into a long very winding creek. Creek was fun as it seemed to wind and go forever although a bit buggy. Took about an hour to transit.
Talked to the B.S.A. group who had the other campsite. They spotted a yearling bear swimming to an island in Lac Moran.
17:30 Camp on Lac Duman. Campsite 34-47 (rating 3/10) Dark, buggy and not much room. Rocky landing. No beach. Spaghetti supper.
Tuesday, August 12 (14K)Clear and no noticeable wind.
Depart at 08:05
Checked out several other campsites on Lac Nizard.
33-19 island site (rating 2/10) dark, buggy, very small pads, a rough campsite. 33-16 (rating 7/10) good view, good ventilation, smallish tent pads slope somewhat, good swimming rocks. 33-14 (rating 7/10) good view, good ventilation, good swimming rocks.
Portages to Grand Lac not friendly. First: portage right just before a rocky chute that can't be run. Be careful. One canoe take-out amongst the rocks. Second: portage left. Rocky and tree-strewn chute that can't be run. Put-in and take-out large enough for several canoes.
18:00 Camp on Grand Lac. Technically the start of Circuit 30.
Circuit 30 (40K clock-wise)
Tuesday evening August 12
18:00 Camp on Grand Lac. Campsite 30-10. (rating 8/10). Lots of room, nice big beach and good view. There appear to be several nice sites along the shoreline. A small sampling of raspberries. Laundry. Pizza supper.
Wednesday August 13 (13K)Partially cloudy, light West wind.
11:15 departure after a good breakfast of oranges, eggs, latke and fried up the last of the salami.
Paid for the late start as the wind had really picked up by then and was blowing straight at us down the lake from the west. Average canoing speed dropped from 4.5 kph to 2kph.
Checked out campsite 30-24. (Rating 8/10) A large roomy campsite. Good, open beach.
Portage on Riviére Coulonge from Grand to Nichcotéa is a chute that was under an old logging road bridge. Only the chute remains, fast moving water, very short but can be run if the water is high enough. Great fun - too short - great eddy practise.
Lac Nichcotéa - more serious wind in our face. Getting tired but no regulated campsites and wave chop not unreasonable.
17:45 island camp on Lac Nichcotéa. 30-50 (rating 9/10). Big wind sheltered bay and really good beach. Rough table and lots of large logs for seating. Two fire-pits and grates. Tent sites flat and fairly large.
Thursday, August 14 (9K)Partially overcast, light West wind.
08:45 departure after granola for breakfast.
Portage into Lac Myon awkward at the beginning - lay canoe against the 6 foot steep barrier, push it as far as you can and then climb up and pull the canoe the rest of the barrier. Ok after that.
Maps indicate a runnable stream between Lac Myon and then portage. Incorrect. Water level too low and way to mucky to get out of the canoe. I tried and went waist deep in muck - had a hell of a time getting out. Therefore the portage from Lac Myon to the arm of Lac Canimina is about 1.5 kilometres. There is a sunny fish camp across the bay from the portage put-in with grass and picnic tables. A great place to clean up clothes and self after mucky episode.
Lac Canimina - finally a mid-day strong wind at our back. GPS says canoeing at 8kph.
14:30 camp on Lac Canimina. Campsite 30-73 (rating 8/10). Open rock promontory but sheltered tent sites. Table, firepit, grates, sheltered landing for 2 canoes and lots of good rocks for swimming, very small beach. Chile and couscous supper.
Friday August 15 (14.0K)Clear, moderate West wind.
09:00 departaure after Muelsi and an orange for breakfast.
Two small portages (135m and 160m) into Lac Longvelle. Nothing to note. Finished the second portage by noon.
Really windy but relatively small lakes and wind either at our back or to starboard. Would be impossible trying to canoe into this wind.
Portage from Lac Longvelle into west arm of Lac au Barrage flat and wide.
Checked out Campsite 30-101. (Rating 2/10). It stinks. Emergencies only and buggy.
16:00 camp on Lac au Barrage. Campsite 30-102 (rating 6/10). Had only a few K to the finish-line but wanted to spend just that one more night out.
Saturday August 16. (2.8K)Overcast, light West wind.
Rained last night and more in the offing to no big finale breakfast. Had wanted bacon, eggs, and pancakes but settled for gorp and a power bar and headed to the take-out.
Breakfast at Le Domaine. 300K drive home.
- We never hung the food barrels but stashed them away from camp every night.
- Maps indicate circuit 30 and 34 to be 44K each for a total of 88K and 6 days. By combining the two, we dropped a small 4K each overlap area. So the total distance covered was about 80K which we covered in 6 days. If you believe the distances to be exact, you don't canoe.
- RR #27 can access the portage between Lac Larouche and Lac Fada, campsite 34-33 on Lac Moran, a put-in half-way down Lac Mitchell and the fish-camp at the south end of Lac Mitchell at the start of Moran Creek.
- RR #28 is the access for the put-in at Lac du Portage, the fish-camp at Grand Barrage and the 160 metre portage between Lac Canimina and Lac Longvelle. It is also the reason why we heard logging trucks at night and in the morning at every campsite on Circuit 30.
- Game of any kind was almost non-existent. One old bear-scat, two new weasel scats, one rabbit and one very persistent squirrel at 30-50.