On a beautiful July day I got a text from @thisismichaeljanzen saying, “Hey want to go for a paddle?” and I was instantly excited!
We met up and drove down the scenic highway 19 on the east side of Riding Mountain National Park to one of the many bridges that cross rivers and creeks. Instead of crossing the river we parked on the side of the road and unloaded a canoe and kayak with @heatherolney. We put them in the water and set off down the river.
The river was quite shallow and we had to avoid some large rocks protruding from the water, and a few hiding beneath. All you could hear was the sounds of birds chirping, the paddles smacking the water, and a soft breeze blowing through the tall grass. Off in the distance above the reeds you could see a magnificent wall of trees. We continued down the river and came across a stunningly large beaver dam! It was so big that the water on the other side was higher than our line of sight while sitting in the canoe! Michael and I got out of the canoe, Heather out of her kayak, and we climbed over the dam and got back into the water on the other side. It was much easier paddling in the deeper water and we moved along at a good pace. On the banks of the river there were many traces of animals in the area. Wide trails with heavily packed down vegetation were a common sight. Also there was a giant beaver hut. There must be some very efficient beavers in that river.
After a short amount of time we made it to the lake. It was quite large and almost perfectly circular. We made our way across the lake to continue on some smaller streams. On the other side we came across two of what we believe are loon eggs.
We tried going down the stream and made it a little ways but it soon became to narrow for our canoe. We headed back and tried the next stream but ran into the same problem. At one point Heather heard a loud rustling sound and then the pounding of a large animal running. Based on the amount of matted down grass we figured that it was a moose.
We had a couple snacks and made our way back down the river. We checked out the beaver hut again and while Michael and I portaged over the dam Heather shot down it like it was a water slide!
We reached the bridge after coming back the eight kilometres and it started to spit. We loaded everything up again and headed back to Wasagaming. On our way back we met a bear on the road, but unfortunately didn’t get and good pictures.
All in all, canoeing to remote Carson Lake with Michael and Heather made for a great afternoon.