The 2nd trip started with the switchover of gear from trip 1 on the beach of Grand Lake. It was obvious that trip 1 had a very wet day the day before, as all the gear was soaked. The weather that we saw at that moment was what we would get for the remainder of the trip, clous with some sunny breaks and cool temperatures. Cool it was, especially with the wind. We became champs of the tarps very quickly.
We posed for a picture in front of the colourful trees on Grand Lake to start the trip and managed to get right in tune with nature as we were joined by a deer who was attempting to swim across the lake. We headed to the camp on Stratton Lake that was set up by trip 1, with the tarps and cooking areas already set up. We got to business right away, setting up tents, adding tarps and cutting firewood. Hot dogs and hamburgers were dinner with a lovely brownie cake for dessert.
Day 2 started off chilly and windy. As we took down the tarps, we ensured that a couple were set up as sails, which were raised as soon as we hit the water. As one large floatilla, we sailed down Stratton Lake, without having to put a paddle in the water. The exit into the creek was also quite spectacular and smooth, the campers at the end of the lake were quite impressed. After two short portages, we gathered our lunch and hiked into High Falls. Here we checked out the falls and went for a swim down the water slides. Amazingly, the sun decided to join us for this occassion and provided us with the warmest period of the trip. Mac and cheese with hot dogs and a nice salad was on the menu for lunch, with some cookies and jujubes and licorice and ...
After lunch we made our way across High Falls Lake, Ooze Lake and across the 660 m portage into Opalescent Lake. Before launching to our campsite, we loaded two canoes with wood to ensure we had enough for our stay. Once at the campsite, we rebuilt the seating area for maximum comfort, rebuilt the fireplace for optimal cooking and counter space, and created a phenominal tarp set up to eliminate the cooling effects of the wind. Set for the night, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of chicken wraps, an amazing chocolate cake (double the size, as trip 1 had forgot to pack theirs), and a spectacular display of the Milky Way.
On day 3 we warmed up quickly with a 750 m portage, quickly followed by two more portages and a beautiful paddle down the Barron River Canyon. Did I mention that we loaded up on sugar (jujubes, licorice, cookies, granola bars, etc...) at the end of the portages? Right after the steep walls of the canyon, we found a great campsite that was out of the wind. It also had some local otters and a moose looking for a mate. The latter we figured out as the girls were cutting wood and the cow moose made a mating call which seemed to come from the other side of the bushes. After plenty of exploring, we didn't find the moose or any sign of it.
The final day was a leisurly paddle down the river, with one minor portage, to the take out at Squirrel Rapids.