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Bob & Diana McElroy / News / archive / Four Nights on Whitson Lake

Four Nights on Whitson Lake

2019 September 05-09

We recently undertook a short canoe camping trip to Whitson Lake on the Petawawa River in Algonquin Park. The trip was characterized by low water levels and iffy weather. Our primary objective was to locate two historic photo locations and two Tom Thomson painting locations, but our searches were inconclusive. However, in spite of that and in spite of the weather, it was a good trip.

It is our intention to publish a Bushlog description of our trip, but in the meantime, here are some photos:

McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

McManus Lake at the start of our trip was dead calm.

Paddling up McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

The mouth of Spoor Creek on McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

The mouth of Spoor Creek on McManus Lake.

Reflections along the shore of McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Take out for the portage from McManus Lake to Smith Lake at low water

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

The water levels in the Petawawa River were very low. This is the landing for the portage from McManus Lake to Smith Lake.

Between Smith Lake and Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Between Smith Lake and Whitson Lake.

Campsite between Smith Lake and Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

The campsite between Smith Lake and Whitson Lake.

Lining canoe from Smith Lake to Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Lining the canoe from Smith Lake to Whitson Lake -- or rather walking it up.

Pitching the tent at our campsite on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Pitching the tent at our campsite on Whitson Lake.

Contemplating the view from our campsite on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Contemplating the view. We had the lake to ourselves except for one other party. They left the next day and we didn't see anyone thereafter.

Photographing Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-05 - map - explore

Sunrise on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park  It looks like rain is on the way

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Sunrise; it looks like rain is on the way.

Keeping up the diary

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Keeping up the diary.

Rain  A red sunrise seldom lies

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Rain. A red sunrise seldom lies.

The outlet of Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park through the rain

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Our neighbours leaving

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Our neighbours leaving; we were now alone on the lake.

The shoreline at our campsite on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Cardinal Flowers along the Petawawa Rive at Five Mile Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

After the rain let up, we went exploring. Cardinal Flowers along the Petawawa River at Five Mile Rapids.

Low water in the Petawawa River at Five Mile Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Low water in the Petawawa River along Five Mile Rapids.

Many of the old logs still have discernible timber stamps

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Many of the old logs that were exposed by the low water levels still have discernible timber stamps.

Sweet Joepyeweed along the Petawawa River at Five Mile Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Sweet Joe-pye-weed.

Changing batteries in my camera

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Changing batteries in my camera.

Photography in process

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

The big hill on Whitson Lake as seen from the end of the Five Mile Rapids portage

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

The "big hill" on Whitson Lake as seen from the end of the Five Mile Rapids portage.

Poison Ivy with fall colours beginning to show and berries

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Poison Ivy with fall colours beginning to show, and berries

Northern Wildraisin Viburnum cassinoides on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Northern Wild-raisin (Viburnum cassinoides).

The clear water of the Petawawa River

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

The clear water of the Petawawa River.

Great Blue Heron

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Great Blue Heron.

One of the characteristic silver maples of Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park  This ones on quite a tilt

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

One of the characteristic silver maples of Whitson Lake. This one's on quite a tilt.

More rain

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

More rain. It was considerate though; it waited until we were back in camp before it started. But it did preclude a fire as we hadn't tarped the fire pit.

Waiting out the rain on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

Waiting out the rain.

It was raining pretty heavily but we remained dry under our tarp

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

It was raining pretty heavily but we remained dry under our tarp.

The big hill on Whitson Lake through the rain

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-06 - map - explore

The "big hill" on Whitson Lake through the rain.

clearing

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing.

Some morning sun on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Some morning sun.

Morning cloud on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Morning cloud.

Contemplating Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Checking the maps for the days activities

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clouds on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Island shoreline on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Island shoreline.

Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Low water in Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Low water in Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Getting water for the water filter

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Getting water for the water filter.

Chillin on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park and listening to approaching thunder

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Chillin' and listening to an approaching thunder storm.

A thunder storm on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

The thunder storm arrives.

A thunder storm on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

Clearing after the thunderstorm on Whitson Lake

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-07 - map - explore

The beginning of another unsettled day on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

The beginning of another day of unsettled weather.

Enjoying morning coffee on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Enjoying morning coffee.

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  the start of the portage upstream

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids -- the start of the portage upstream.

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  at the islands

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids - at "the islands"

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  portaging from the portage trail down the sand bank to the river

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids -- portaging down to the river just downstream of the islands. Forty plus years ago, the portage around Five Mile Rapids was two portages; this was the upstream end of the lower portage.

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  the Petawawa River at the foot of the sand bank

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  the portage trail and a campsite is at the top of the sand bank

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

The modern portage trail (and a campsite) is at the top of the sand bank.

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  the sand bank along along the Petawawa River

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

The sand bank along along the Petawawa River. Perhaps (probably) the site of a Tom Thomson painting.

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  the sand bank along along the Petawawa River

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  low water

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  low water

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Exploring Five Mile Rapids  an old logging chain exposed by the low water

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

An old logging chain exposed by the low water.

Drying our feet back at camp on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Drying our feet back at camp.

Clearing  on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Today the weather cleared when we got back to camp.

Clearing  on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-08 - map - explore

Another misty morning on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Another misty morning.

Another misty morning on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Another misty morning but with some sun on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Another misty morning on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

The mist has dissipated on Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Whitson Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Weed beds on Smith Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Weed beds on Smith Lake.

Another pyramid  this one on Smith Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Another pyramid -- this one on Smith Lake..

Smith Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Burning bush on McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Burning bush.

Put in  take out on McManus Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2019-09-09 - map - explore

Put in / take out on McManus Lake.

canoe trip

Algonquin Park Five Mile Rapids (Petawawa River) Five Mile Rapids portage (Petawawa River) McManus Lake Petawawa River Smith Lake Whitson Lake