Journal of Darren McGinnis - Outdoor Adventurer
Journal Entries: Darren's
July 2003 August
Within the last year, I have managed to paddle the entire north shore of Lake Superior. This encompasses the entire Canadian Border of Gitchee
Gumee as well. Now that I have reached Sault St. Marie, Ontario on my quest for
New York, I have explored from here, all the way to the most westerly
point at Duluth, Minnesota. There is much to see along this most scenic shoreline. You could probably do the entire trip over again and get a whole
new experience from it. I have other objectives in mind at this point though.
My trip from Marathon to The Sault has gone very well. The lake has
been kind and not given me much trouble. I made an offering of rice and
tobacco to Nanabozho at Devil's Chair near Gargantua Bay and that is
supposed to help keep you alive on the lake the Ojibwa believe.
The only civilization from Marathon to The Sault is Wawa, Ontario.
There I stayed at Naturally Superior for four days. Dave Wells, the owner
is a really great guy and let me squat in one of his gazebos. I was also fed
and watered the whole time I was there as well. Naturally Superior is a
beautiful spot and is located strategically between Pukaskwa and Lake
Superior Parks. As an outfitter, Dave runs trips and shuttles out of both
parks for people. It is such a great area though, I envy the guides that
get to work there for the summer.
One event that was exciting for me was when I caught my first lake trout in Pukaskwa Park. I have been dragging a line lots of the way but
have only caught one fish. It was a five pound trout and I pulled off to shore
and cooked the dude. A fisherman in Marathon showed me how to fillet lake
trout properly. After letting my fire die so that it was just a tiny pile
of coals, I laid my fillets skin down over my wire grill. I had also brought some lemon pepper seasoning so I shook that all over my fishy. You can
then quickly turn over the fillet and the skin will just peel right off the
meat from the heat. Turns out tasty as can be. Anyway, I'm glad that I am not
relying on my fishing skills to stay alive though because I would have
starved to death. An old native fisherman from Mamainse Harbor told me
that I should keep fishing the way that I do though because it is the right
way. All I do is drag a red devil spoon far out behind my kayak in as
much shallow water as I can. We'll see how it goes on Georgian Bay.
What else has been exciting? The gull chicks have hatched at this point and are running around on the little islands. I still get attacked though
probably until they begin to fly. I also met up with, paddled, and camped
with several different people and groups that were also out paddling on
the lake. As was the same last year, I am meeting all kinds of really terrific
people that I can call friends now.
So, to wind this journal up, Yoda and I are healthy, happy, and thoroughly enjoying our adventure this year. We were much better equipped
mentally and physically to deal with the challenges of Lake Superior. I
have a whole different perspective of the north shore area now. It is like being in a whole different country when you travel by water. I never felt
that I was simply between Thunder Bay and Sault St. Marie. It always
seemed like I was in some strange, beautiful, foreign land that I had never been before. Lake Superior is a very pristine wilderness that everyone should
try and get out to enjoy at some point. Sibley, Neys, Slate Islands,
Pukaskwa, and Lake Superior Parks are all spectacular, natural wonders that should
be cherished by all in my opinion.
All I can think about every day is that I
have to find a way to get paid to do what I do and be able to live near
this land permanently. I can't wait to experience The North Shore Waterway,
Killarney, La Cloche, Grundy Lake, French River, and The Massasauga Parks
on The North Channel and Georgian Bay. I believe they will be far more
populated than the previously mentioned areas but that should be a nice
change as well. Some stats. I have paddled about 700 km so far. It took me 6 weeks. I
took 2 weeks off during the trip. It was about 175 hours of paddling 5 km
per hour. Therefore I figure I averaged 30 hours a week of paddling.
So, I hope that you are all well in your area of the world and I look
forward to updating you further down the line, cheers, d.
Darren the Kayaker & Yoda the Pug.
1-380 Shuniah St.
Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada P7A 3A6