After making it up the steep hill that’s strewn with downed, bunt trees, we finally found the ancient portage trail. he trail skirts the second large rapid-filled canyon on the East Natashquan River and much of it is burnt over. The parts of it that aren’t burnt over, are grown over. This was no surprise, as Tori and I are only the second people to walk it in the last 80 years. In some areas, the burn made the going easier, but in many areas, the burn made things a nightmare as it left many criss-crossing downed, burnt trees to clamber over. These parts were very hard. And, in other places, the trail was so over grown that it was almost un-penetrable. We had to cut down small trees, and also take two trips with our gear through some badly over grown, and rugged stretches. All in all, it took us 18 hours of carrying to complete the portage, and we did it over the corse of three days, camping tail-side for two nights. I’m sure it could be done a faster if you travel lighter than I do.
As we neared the end on our first trip, I was impressed with the trail’s direction. It leaves the river and mets up with a beaver pond which then connects back into the East Natashquan via a small but deep creek. The deatour saves almost two kilometres of carrying.The course of ancient portage trails like this often evolve over the centuries to become pore and more efficient in their course. But I was amazed at the skill and knowledge of the ancient people who first tracked it’s efficient course without the use of maps.
This is a long carry indeed, about 6km, however, it’s not the distance that made it take so long, rather it was the amount of gear and provisions we had (thought for a two-week trip) along with the condition of the trail.
We pushed as hard as we could the beginning of the portage was like borderline impossible of a steep hill with logs crisscross everywhere But when we got up into the high country we found the old Montagna trail But this portage goes on forever we only made it in about two kilometers, and we have solid three if not more to go Amazing to think that we're afar from the first to probably take a rest right beside this big oh-two place Boulder that the glaciers left here and We're walking on a portage trail. That's thousands of years old Got the hope exhausted super tough day Certain things you got to keep an eye out at all times for very hard to follow the trail old logs that Obviously people have stepped on over the years slightly worn trails The trail this one openings in the trees. Also. There's usually a little bit of a Kong cave where the trail is it might take part of tomorrow too, and we're already exhausted And we're not even half done, so now we're going back to get our second load Luckily we managed to find water just a spring because right now. We're good clip away from the river This portage ends at a small lake and then a creek goes back into the east spread to the natashka, lon Finally the end is in sight Your blisters, I'm sore I'm exhausted I'm Park tomorrow We have to go all the way back and get the canoe and one more barrel so One of the toughest port augers I've ever done With all this walking with heavy loads my feet have gotten really raw and sore this Venture medical kit has a little something called moleskin and that will provide almost like an extra layer of skin To help you from getting blisters It's also important to wear two pairs of socks thinner inner layer And the thicker outer layer the socks rub against each other as opposed to the stock rubbing against your skin And that is another thing that duct tape Is good for throw duct tape on the bottom of your feet and really helps with the blisters? One thing that's always important on long port ologists that you have all the gear you're gonna need and not separate yourself from The important parts of your outfit we ran out of gas and the rest of our gas is Way back three kilometers four kilometers away with our canoe and our last bag No, big deal. I'm just boiling some water over the fire right now But okay at least we didn't forget our lighters or a tent or something like that Beautiful flat open stretch of birth country that we walked through on the last part of the portage that was bored is just mountains everywhere Finally over we did it yeah And check this out a few things that we found along the route no doubt from the natives when they used to travel through the Country in much a similar way. We are but clearly with even heavier gear. I mean everything was metal here Whoa Back in the canoe feels so good still got a deal with this Beaver Dam Super shallow here, and the bugs are bad