On Friday May 31, Bob undertook a solo paddle up the Barron River, from Squirrel Rapids through the canyon to Brigham Chute and return. The weather did not live up to the forecast; it was overcast with a chill wind blowing downstream. The conditions were not conducive to scenic shots, but the high water and wildflowers were good subjects. While the water levels were still high they were much reduced from their peak.
On Wednesday May 22, I (Bob) met up with a couple of internet friends in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park; Markus (Mark in the Park, Rogers TV, and Algonquin Outfitters,) and Glen (Cold Spring Tripper). The original plan was that I would be accompanied by Diana and that we would also meet up with Jeffrey and Deki (Jeff's Map / Unlostify) who would be camping in Carcajou Bay. But Diana had a bad cold and Jeffrey and Deki were just too busy finishing up their new Algonquin Map to get away.
Markus and Glen were on the penultimate day of a week long trip and I didn't expect them to appear until mid to late afternoon. My plan was that I would spend a leisurely day in Carcajou Bay and at Carcajou Falls and then I would join Glen and Markus at their campsite for coffee and talk. (That plan was based on an overly optimistic weather forecast.)
In the event, Glen and Markus arrived around noon, which worked out well because the lighting was not all that great for photography. After sharing coffee and junk food at their campsite on Grand Lake, I paddled back to Achray in a very light rain. Here are some photos from my day (essentially all pre-meeting).
Since the Achray Road had just reopened and Sunday promised to be a nice day -- the rest of the week, not so much -- we headed into Algonquin Park. We didn't have a particular agenda. We took the canoe but as it turned out, it was a bit breezy for it to be a pleasant paddling day, so we never launched; our various explorations were on foot.
For the most part the road was in reasonable shape, but not up to summer standards. But there were a few axle breakers that you wouldn't want to hit at speed and the shoulders were washed away in other locations. Hardwood Creek had washed the road out completely and a temporary one lane bridge was in place. The road was closed just beyond the Achray turnoff because of further washouts. This probably has the side benefit of keeping paddlers away from the lower Petawawa River until it has had the chance to settle down somewhat.
In general water levels were high, but at least for the Barron River, slightly lower than they had been for the first few days of 2017 May.
The local rivers are running high. Both the Ottawa and the Petawawa are above or near record levels.
The control dam at Rapides des Joachims is essentially wide open even though the head pond is perhaps six feet below summer levels. They need the capacity to catch the massive outflows expected from central Quebec that are still to come.
For a while, the Petawawa River was threatening the bridge in the Town of Petawawa, prompting its closing. However, by dumping large quantities of blast rock down the shore embankment, they have stopped the shore erosion and the bridge has reopened.
When I was photographing the high water on Corry Lake (Approach to Ice Out and High Water), I got a rare opportunity to photograph a Common Loon - Gavia immer - at quite close range, much closer than I have ever managed in a canoe.