The First Camp Bongopix Canoe Trip

Life is a canoe trip.

We love music, we love taking pictures, and we love camping – but we’re craziest about canoe camping.

We had been living in Whitney for 4 months. How had we not been on a canoe trip yet?! That all changed when Andrea came home in early August announcing that she had set aside 3 vacation days for a canoe trip in mid-September. And that’s why I married a camping girl!

Our camp dates fell right in the middle of the week wedged between two busy Camp Bongopix weekends. This was going to be a fairly relaxed trip – not a marathon muscle crusher like our massive Opeongo loop from a couple years before. We’d have portages involved so it wasn’t exactly a lazy trip, but it was the kind of itinerary that would allow you to enjoy a rewarding journey without feeling stressed.

Our trip began from the Camp Bongopix dock with our first campsite being on a lone island way at the other end of Galeairy Lake. It was raining as we launched but it all cleared up by the time we reached the campsite. And it stayed clear for the rest of trip. What did we do to deserve absolutely perfect weather?!

We would portage to Pen Lake, then follow the Galipo River system (and a long portage) into Welcome Lake. We snapped up a fantastic beach site on Welcome. The night sky was crystal clear so we slept on the beach without a fly on the tent. Magic. Louisa Lake – where we would camp next – would end up being the highlight of the trip.

Louisa is separated by enough rivers and long portages that it retains a “remote” atmosphere – we were blown away by this amazing lake. Incredible islands, brilliant clear water, and tons of jaw dropping campsites. We chose a castle of a campsite on the southern shore in the middle of the lake. And I thought we had it good on Welcome Lake!

Rock Lake – the main attraction on our last day – was another stunner but it didn’t have the seclusion of Louisa (car campground nearby, easily accessible interior sites, motor boats, cottagers, etc.) From Rock we paddled a very chill portion of the Madawaska river into Galeairy and then back home to Camp Bongopix. We threw our packs and gear into our cabin and then headed over to the Mad Musher to celebrate with a savoury meal and delicious pitcher of Muskoka Cream. The Musher’s YUKON QUEST BURGER is officially the BEST post-trip meal!

Lakes visited: Galeairy, Night, Pen, Welcome, Frank, Rence, Louisa, Rock, Galeairy
Rivers: Madawaska, Galipo (all flat water)
Camera gear: Canon 5D Mark-3 body + 50mm f/1.4 lens
Animals: Barred Owl, American Black Backed Woodpecker, Common Loon, Cormorant, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Red Eyed Vireo, Ruffed Grouse
Favourite Lake: Louisa
# of people seen: Between Galeairy and Louisa – 3 small groups of trippers. Rock Lake = lots of people

Happy tripping everyone, thanks for reading!