Taking Back Winter

March 1, 2010

Loch Alva

Feb 14-19, 2010

Paul Maybee

Graham Waugh

Winter: a great time to stay indoors.  Or so I thought.  For so many years, I have restricted my wilderness adventures to three seasons, but this year, I had a change of heart, or maybe I just changed my mind, and decided to go outside.

Day 1: Feb 14

So Graham Waugh and I planned a camping trip in the Loch Alva area which had intrigued both of us since our trip in to Turtle Mountain in May.  Looking out across the hills and lakes from Turtle Mountain, we wondered what other mysteries lay hidden in the green valleys and hills.

Robin Hood Lake

We quickly found a good rhythm walking with the sleds, and because of the well used snowmobile trail heading up the hill, Graham found it easier to go without snowshoes.

Mawhane Mountain Lunch

Mawhane Mountain Lunch

Winter travel is all about layers.  Once we got going on the trail, the layers come off, and as soon as we stopped for a bit of a lunch on Mawhane Mountain, they all go back on again.

Turtle Mountain

The wind has brushed all the snow from the top of Turtle Mountain.  It feels good to be back here, and I’m reminded of that wonderful trip with Graham and Ross in May.  It is especially exciting Read the rest of this entry »

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Day 4: Feb 17

snow water

The next day was to be another day of exploration. We woke up in the bog, and found ourselves right next to the Miner’s Trail. Graham had noticed it last night and mentioned it to me, but I said that of course, it was just a stream, followed by, “but I’ve been wrong before.” Here, Graham is melting snow for our drinking water for the day.

Miner's Trail

Yup, that’s definitely the Miner’s Trail.

To earn our breakfast, we scurried up the Miner’s Trail a short distance and climbed a tree to get a nice view. Read the rest of this entry »

Boundary Rock Expedition 2009

April 11 – 15, 2009

Paul “Tetris” Maybee

Cody “Eddie” Whynot

Rob “Scout” Whynot

Ryan “Rhynot” Whynot

The now five-day trip in search of Boundary Rock starts in Liverpool at the Whynots’ residence -well… on the way to Liverpool that is.  We drove from Halifax to Liverpool in the afternoon of Friday, April 10th – Good Friday.  We got as far as Blockhouse when I realized that I had forgotten the dehydrated broth to my chicken stew.  This may seem like a small setback, but I had spent days on my broth, and it was pretty important for me to get it back.  One solution would have been stopping somewhere and picking up some chicken bouillon, except that it was Good Friday and everything was closed, not to mention it wouldn’t have tasted anything like the broth I had worked so hard on.

Packing

Packing

So I called my wife Mikey to see if she could get the broth to a bus station.  The website was useless and the office was closed, but still she managed to find a bus heading down and got the broth on board.  My hero!  The bus came in just after 8 and once again, all seemed to be going according to plan…

Parcel for me!

Parcel for me!

Broth

Broth

We finished up packing and played a few rounds of pool and went to bed.

Pool game

Pool game

Bed

Bed

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

An excerpt from my journal, April 10th, 2009

“The 8 day trip is now 5 days and goes down the Roseway instead of back up to Keji, but I’m feeling prepared and I think it should be a beautiful trip.  There will be some wild water, but we’re not taking any chances.  Here’s to Finding (or at least searching for) Boundary Rock”.

Day 1

Saturday, April 11th, 2009:  Liverpool, NS

Load up in the rain

Load up in the rain

We start day 1 in Liverpool, and in true Nova Scotia fashion, it is raining.  So we gear up and pack the truck.  The next thing we realize is that we’re short on paddles.  It seems at this point that we’ll never be on the water.  We go to every hardware store around looking for paddles and eventually find enough to head out.  We load up and hit the road.  FINALLY!  But we’re only 45 minutes behind schedule, which isn’t too bad, I guess.

The Intrepid Explorers

The Intrepid Explorers

We couldn’t get to George’s Lake because of a gate, so we set out from Merrymekedge Beach.  Here’s the last photo of us before we set out across Keji Lake. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 2

Sunday, April 12th, 2009: Peskawa Lake

Good Morning Peskawa

Good Morning Peskawa

Windy Lakes

Windy Lakes

High Water

High Water

The Decision

The Decision

An excerpt from my journal: April 12, 2009

“Today was a real turning point for the trip. I woke up at 6:30 and stoked the fire while outside, the wind howled through the bare trees. The news outside was not promising for this trip. There were white caps and a strong wind blasting us from the North West. We took our time with breakfast in the Warden’s cabin and savored the luxury of being warm, dry and safe from the storm outside.” Read the rest of this entry »

Day 3

Monday April 13th, 2009: Sisketch Lake


Allow me to just show again what the campsite looked like when we arrived, just to make very clear the contrast to what we saw when we awoke the next day.

Sisketch Camp at arrival

Sisketch Camp at arrival

Sisketch Camp an hour later

Sisketch Camp an hour later

Sisketch Camp the next day

Sisketch Camp this morning

So that’s what I saw when I woke up the next day. A far cry from the starry night we saw last night. I eventually won the long battle with the wetness and got a fire going (as I was the first one up again) and looked around at the snow covered world that awaited us. What would this mean for our search for the rock? What about canoeing? I’ve never been canoeing anytime other than the summer. At one point the clouds were thinning and I did get a glimpse of the sun trying to beat it’s way through the clouds. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 4

Tuesday April 14th, 2009: Junction Lake

This morning we wake up to what would appear to be- though I’m hesistant to say so this time- a very nice day.  Since I am the only one who enjoys the early morning I get the fire going again and make some coffee and cardamom buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrop.  We got a text from Mr. Whynot saying he would pick us up at Upset Falls instead of Indian Fields, which buys us some more time, and so the plan this morning is to take a few hours to look for the rock before setting out for the bottom half of our trip.  That’s right, we got a text.  Rob’s phone was able to send and receive text messages even from Junction Lake, the middle of the Nova Scotian wilderness.  That’s good to know for future reference, but not something anyone should count on.  The good news is, we’ve got a little more time and it’s all downstream from here.

Junction Lake Morning

Junction Lake Morning

Breakfast in the Sunshine

Breakfast in the Sunshine

Overnight, something interesting had happened.  We got a really cold snap because of the clear night and all of the dead branches seemed to be freeze dried in the morning.  They were easy to just snap off or the morning’s fire.  This was the easiest it’s been to keep a fire going yet.  With the first day being rain, and the two days after that having constant snow, this was a real treat. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 5

April 15, 2009: Somewhere above Roseway Lake, on the Roseway River

This morning, there is no excuse for sleeping in, but still I get up early and start the fire.  Then I realize that today, even I need a few more minutes.  I get back in my hammock and close my eyes for another fifteen minutes while the fire gets going.  I get up again and look out at the river, though I still am not quite ready to look at the canoe.

Sunrise

Sunrise

The sun is just coming up, and I’m including this photo because, like the photo of the sun setting last night, this one holds a lot of meaning for me.  After the day we had yesterday, the sun still rises this morning, and since I see no chance of snow this morning, I’m pretty confident in saying that today is turning out to be a beautiful day.

Frozen Clothes

Frozen Clothes

All of my clothes which I had hung on the trees to dry, had frozen solid overnight.  I think they may need a bit more time to dry… Read the rest of this entry »

Abandoned Annapolis

April 3, 2009

With the start date of the Boundary Rock trip drawing nearer, Cody and I took a drive down to the put in site to check out the condition of the roads and the ice.  Along the way, we made a few stops to explore some abandoned houses in some of the more remote rural parts of South Western Nova Scotia.  We ran into some pretty messy roads along the way, and some ice still on the lakes, but we’re not ready to give up yet.  There is still time for the ice to melt and the channels are opening up.  So here is a photo essay of sorts of our adventures on the back roads of South Western Nova Scotia:

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

I spotted this from the highway and decided to pull in to get a closer look.  I loved the look of the old bricks with arched windows.  I thought this was abandoned, but when we got closer, we could see people working inside and it obviously has all new windows.  It’s nice to see something like this being restored for a new purpose.  Such a beautiful old building.  Is it for offices?  loft apartments?  Either way, this one doesn’t technically count, because it’s not abandoned.  It’s just being given a new life.   …and we’re back on the road:

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

The next thing I saw from the road, was this old farmhouse on top of a hill.  I pulled in to try and get a better look, and we decided to stop in for coffee at the Just Us cafe.  After fueling up on coffee, we continued up the road to try and find Read the rest of this entry »