Trip Report – 9 to 13 Jul 2010 – Dumoine River

Another wonderful trip down the Dumoine river, with a bit of a more experienced group with most of us having done the river the year prior. For this trip we were 8 participants (Sunshine, Burger, Gibe, Val, Seb, Sylvain, Wissell with Eric L. joining us) in 4 canoes and wanted to see just how far we could push our food menu. We started planning months in advance prepping the food and decided to have a “freezer” barrel. Essentially an insulated barrel with frozen and cold food and dry ice to keep it at the right temperature for the duration of the trip. (I’ll have to write something on how we did this and things we learned/to be careful about) Having a freezer/refrigerator really opens up possibilities in terms of cooking so you’ll have to keep reading to what we had in store ;).

Day 1 – 9 July 2010 – Getting to the Dumoine and playing in the rapids

After the brouhaha of driving from Ottawa to the outfitter near Rapides-des-Joachims and then taking the shuttle to the drop-off point, we took an easy afternoon. So when we got to a ledge we needed to rope/portage around, we played a little bit in the rapids!

Video playing in the rapids

Arriving at camp, we opened our “freezer” barrel and realized that as the dry ice melts, it expands enough to pressurise the barrel. So we made a note to open it periodically to not create some sort of food bomb! (or just get all our food wet in the next rapid). Opening up the barrel did yield a nice cold mist though :).

Waterproof blue 60L barrel being used as a backcountry freezer with lid open showing mist inside.
The cool freezer mist
Campers sitting around the fire discussing with clothes drying on clothesline in background
Camp set up and drying up

Our dinner that night was chicken with rice and broccoli.

Chicken, rice and broccoli in a camping bowl on top of a blue 60L waterproof barrel
Chicken, rice and broccoli dinner

Day 2 – 10 Jul 2010 – Rapids, Waterfalls, Ice Cream and Fireworks

This morning, breakfast of champions! English muffins, eggs, cheese, bacon and hollandaise sauce. Unfortunately we gobbled it down and I only snapped a picture after most of it was gone.

Aftermath of breakfast, empty pots and pans which contained eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce. Plate of english muffins on top of waterproof 60L barrel
Aftermath of breakfast, eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce with english muffins

We set out for the day, again with this group we could take a relatively leisurely pace, explore and fool around a bit. We started with a few easier rapids, then had a little rock jump, more rapids and ended with a nice relaxing time in some small falls.

Once we made camp, we checked on our ice cream stash and decided it was time to consume before it melted too much! (If I remember the temperature was in the mid-high 20s Celsius) so getting cold ice cream after a day like this was awesome. Add in some strawberry sauce, chopped nuts and bananas and that’s one mighty impressive camping desert!

Ice cream, bananas, peanuts, jam served during a canoe-camping trip
Ice cream on day 2???

And for the finale that day, fireworks! (Just a note here, you probably shouldn’t do fireworks, but if you do, make sure its somewhere where there is 0 risk of fire, it is not dry and comb the beach to pickup everything afterwards)

Fireworks on a beach of the Dumoine river

Day 3 – 11 Jul 2010 – Lazy river, almost forest fire

This day had a bit of rapids but mostly long stretches with decent current. It was also blazingly hot! So we decided to make a lazy river, drift along in and out of the canoes :). Spotted a beaver on the way.

Video of lazy swimming down Dumoine river

I think this trip we had a little mishap with some Naphta (white gas). I don’t remember exactly how it happened but there was difficulty lighting a fire and naphta was involved, but the naphta stream lit on fire and Seb who was holding the bottle dropped it which spilt and ignited the naphta on the ground. He grabbed the bottle with naphta burning on it and turned the it upright again to avoid spilling any more and we ran off in a panic to get water from the river to extinguish it all. It was a bit of a hairy moment and we were afraid it would turn in a big forest fire. Unfortunately his heroic move grabbing the burning bottle resulted in some pretty good burns for Seb but at least there was no bigger fire. I think it made us all remember that even if we’ve done it many times before, you never know when a fluke can happen and turn sour real quick. Be prepared!

For dinner that night, again, due to the freezer barrel: corn, pork chops, potatoes and veggies!

This is the night were we all learned Eric L. liked to wear leopard print banana hammocks (I’ll keep the pictures off). Apparently they are super comfortable but I can only imagine the mosquito bites with all that exposed attack area!

Day 4 – 12 Jul 2010 – Rapids, Grande Chute, Fishing

This day was not as sunny as the previous ones but that didn’t matter too much as we’d be running a good number of rapids (and portaging around the Grande Chute)! On the way Éric L. also did a bit of fishing and we spotted a heron!

The evening had a bit of rain, but we were well sheltered and the warm fajitas did the trick! At least the rain died down enough for us to sit around the fire long into the evening on our last night on the river.

Day 5 – 13 Jul 2010 – last day on Dumoine and back home

Well technically we weren’t in bed at the beginning of this day, my last timestamp being around 1am (that’s a lot of time by the campfire!). Grabbed a quick cereal breakfast (with chocolate milk powder!) packed up the gear and headed out to finish up the river and meet with our shuttle back to Rapides-Des-Joachims. Our meeting point was across the Ottawa river at Driftwood provincial park. I remember this crossing (approx 2.2 km) was a bit hairy at times with some decent waves forming due to the wind. It never got to the point of real danger but it made us wonder what we would have done with worse weather (or if we capsized).

The Dumoine is always a special trip and with the skill level of the group, we made this one a really nice easy trip. Until next time Dumoine!

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