20 Aug Nova Craft Canoe Paddle – Found and Claimed!
The Nova Craft Canoe Paddle has officially been found and claimed (on the Pen to Night Lake portage in Algonquin Park) by Andrew Turcotte! Congrats to Andrew! We’d have to say that considering this is his second claim in as many years, he makes finding a paddle look pretty easy. However as Andrew tells it, he made at least 5 attempts and travelled over 4000 km before locating a hidden Paddle In The Park Contest paddle this season. So, there you go…. Andrew really digs being “Out There” and is definitely being rewarded for it! 😉
Andrew’s full story below….
This year the paddle hunting began on July 28th for me. Based on the few clues at the time I thought I had an idea where the Algonquin Outfitters paddle was located. After saying the clues in my head over and over at work I came to the conclusion it would be on Daisy Lake, unfortunately considering this paddle has yet to be found I can’t say why though! 🙂
I started work on this day at 5AM and shortly after I started my shift I realised I had an opportunity to leave work early. I contacted my girlfriend Gracie on my break at around 10AM and asked if she would be willing to drive 2 hours to the Magnetewan Access point and paddle into Ralph Bice to check the 1455m portage into Daisy. At one point on the portage we started hiking a small incline and about half way up I noticed a huge spruce tree on the side of the trail. I immediately got goose bumps, I was sure the paddle would be here! After all the clue reads “It’s on a small ridge top, behind the biggest spruce”.
I proceeded to run up the hill but unfortunately found nothing! We then finished this portage and made our way back to the canoe on Ralph Bice Lake. We then backtracked to Hambone lake and did the 55m into Acme Pond and then did the 420m into Daisy.. better safe than sorry! We called it quits after this portage because it was getting late in the day, and I had to go in for my next shift at 5AM the nest morning and we didn’t get home until about 9:30PM.
On July 30 I took my first break at work and realized the first clue was posted for the Temagami paddle. I wrote the clue down on a piece of paper and gave it to a co-worker by the name of Tyler Bedard. Tyler happened to find the paddle in Temagami last year. As soon as he read the clue he immediately knew what lake it had to be on! I was happy and disappointed at the same time, I was hoping to find the first one! Tyler offered to take me with him but I declined so I could hopefully find my own that weekend. Tyler ended up leaving work early to start his long journey to Dry Lake.
The next day I decided I would try and find the paddle hidden from the sun on a birch. Judging by the picture with the clue it was obviously in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. Something else stuck out on the picture leading me to believe it could be accessed from Bottle Lake. I left North Bay at around 3:30AM and arrived at the access point at around 8AM. I then thoroughly checked the 181m portage from the parking lot to Bottle Lake. I then launched the canoe and began my paddle to the 80m portage into Sucker Lake. On this portage I found many birch trees but none were hiding a Badger unfortunately. I spent about 1.5 hours on this portage, thoroughly checking every tree and exploring the small waterfall. I then paddled back across Bottle Lake to the access point and had an early lunch on the beach. After looking at my map I realized there was a 60m portage into Catchacoma Lake on the far West end of Bottle Lake. It was still early in the day so I went and checked that portage as well, but didn’t even find a single birch tree.
The next day on the first of August my girlfriend Gracie and I left for Killarney at about 6AM. We arrived at the Bell Lake access point around 8:30 and headed for the 710m portage into David Lake. On the paddle across Bell we had an amazing view of Silver Peak, the same peak we were sure the paddle was hiding in the shadows of. After finding nothing on the portage we decided to canoe to the Silver Peak trail and hike it as far as the 970m from Clearsilver to David. Again we saw nothing except for some awesome scenery. We gave up once again and headed home.
On August 6 a new clue was posted. It read “There’s a Badger waiting for you to take, Somewhere near the oldest’s 9th lake”. I knew right away it was going to be hidden somewhere near Access 9 (Rock lake). The next day I headed for Rock Lake but couldn’t leave North Bay until the afternoon and its a 2.5 hour drive. I decided I would check the Rock to Louisa portage but I had my doubts because there was a paddle hidden on this very trail last year. By the time I finally finished the 3km portage it was getting late in the evening and I had to make my way home.
August 10 was another one of those days where I could leave work early. Gracie was off this day so I figured it would be another great day to go hunting! We headed for Kawartha Highlands at about 11AM. For since the clue says to ‘check the alternate route’ I was sure it had to be on the 397m portage from Loucks to Compass Lake. To get from Loucks to Compass you can either take that 397m or you can do a 95m then paddle a small pond followed by a 70m. I figured most people would use the two smaller trails. We checked the 397 over and over but found nothing. We checked every birch tree within eye sight of the trail, even lots that weren’t. We both felt pretty bummed after this failed attempt, even our dog Zeus seemed upset, especially when it started to rain on our long paddle back across Long Lake.
My next ‘attempt’ was on August 14. My friend and co-worker Tyler came along to help me on this day. We left North Bay around 4AM and headed to Kawartha. I had a feeling that the ‘alternate route’ was the portage between Wolf Lake and Anstruther Lake. After arriving at Wolf Lake we had the portage done in about a hour. After another unsuccessful attempt we left Kawartha so we could start plan B. Back to Rock Lake! On the drive to Rock Lake we checked the 1175m from Whitefish to Kearney Lake. When we got to Rock Lake we checked the portage to Gordon Lake which partly runs along the Booth’s Rock hiking trail (better safe than sorry!!). After having no luck we launched the canoe and headed for the 375m to Penn Lake. The first thing I did was fill my water bottle with fresh spring water, and boy was it refreshing! Shortly after we started our hike across the trail to no avail. We then decided we would investigate the waterfalls and I’m glad we did! It was pretty impressive, I could just imagine how it would look in the spring time with the high water! Surprisingly I have done this portage in the past but have never checked out the falls. While checking them out I looked at Tyler and said “Well at least the rewards are definitely out there!” We then walked the trail back to the canoe and check over our maps. While doing so you could hear thunder way off in the distance.
Penn Lake was our only other option, and it was easy for Tyler to convince me to move on. We grabbed the canoe and day packs and off we went down the portage again. We decided that the 1680m portage into Night Lake would be our first stop, and if its not there we would try the 615m to Gem on the way back out. We arrived at the Night lake portage about 15 minutes later at a very nice sandy beach. I was excited and wanted to get going so I told Tyler that I would look to my right and for him to look left and away I went. (The paddle Gracie and I found last year was on the right side of the trail) About 150 metres in Tyler said my name, I turned around and he was about 30 feet behind me, I looked into the bush on his side and saw a large tree with 2 white ropes tied around it. There it was! We took a few pictures, untied it and headed back for the boat! What a relief, after a few weeks of searching it was finally in my hands. I took some more pictures on the beach and we were on our way. Shortly after getting back to the car the thunderstorm started. The rain was affecting visibility so much people were driving 50km/h on Highway 60. Good thing we left early!
If it wasn’t for this contest I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of paddling most of these places this summer, I wouldn’t have experienced Silver Peak, and I wouldn’t have even thought to visit Kawartha Highlands! Thank you Paddle In The Park for getting me ‘Out There!’. I can’t wait to participate again next year! 😉
Submitted by Andrew Turcotte, via email.
We just love Andrew’s passion for the PITPC! Now check out the paddle and all the great prizes that Tyler’s dedicated persistence won for him below:
The Nova Craft Canoe Paddle:
This well hidden, varnished cherry Nova Craft Badger Canoe Paddle, with custom laser engraving, comes with a Badger Paddle Sock and a wood PITPC collector’s tag.
Total MSRP $234.00 CAD from Badger Paddles
The Nova Craft Canoe Prize Pack:
Once you lay official claim to the paddle, you will also win the following gear and prizes from our generous sponsors:
JOHNNY’S BOAT SHOP Mesh Baseball Cap: $20.00 MSRP from Johnny’s Boat Shop
Spork: MSRP $2.98 from Algonquin Outfitters
A Paddler’s Guide to Ontario book by Kevin Callan: MSRP $20 from The Happy Camper
SeaLine 10 L Baja Dry Bag $21.98 AO $21.98
Keynoe Keychain: MSRP $5.99 Kingdom Outdoor Products
Canoeroots Magazine Subscription: MSRP $20.00 from Canoeroots Magazine
Portageur.ca decal: MSRP $8.00 from Portageur.ca
Downloadable Classic Solo Canoeing Basic video: MSRP $6.49 from Becky Mason
Invention of the Board Canoe: MSRP $7.14 from Canadian Canoe Museum
See Sawyer Run Gift Certificate: MSRP $25.00 value from See Sawyer Run
Wildrock Gift Certificate $50.00
Not shown: Folding Handle Sauce Pot: MSRP $14.98 from Algonquin Outfitters
TOTAL PADDLE AND PRIZE PACK VALUE: $436.56