Day 8: Louisa Falls
We woke up, made coffee and breakfast, broke camp, policed the area and said our good byes to Linda. We loaded the canoes and began our south travel down Agnes Lake. The lake is long, deep and wide. Our goal was to get to a camp near Louisa Falls before we quit for the day. The nice part was that we would have no portages, the downside was that the wind was strong, the water choppy and we would face a head wind most of the way.
At one point when the wind was hitting us broadside we attempted to set sail. Unfortunately it was just too much in front of us not allowing for the sail to billow in the correct direction. Paddling against the wind and on the choppy waters was very difficult and took a great deal of energy. There were a couple pictograms along the route that we wanted to catch so we watched the maps closely.
About three miles south of camp we came across two islands that, taken together, have the rough shape of a butterfly or “V”. A narrow channel separates them at their southern ends. The pictographs were located on the east shore of the west island near the channel. We later learned that this is the largest display on the lake. There is considerable amount of red wash, probably hand smears, on the far left of the rock panel. To the far right, quite high up, is a tiny bear. Beneath it is a vertical line with one short appendage extending out and down near the top. Also found on this site is a cross above and to the right of the hand smears, a canoe with two lines for occupants to the right of the smears, and another canoe with two more elaborate figures in it. In this last drawing, one figure stands with the “arms up” posture, while the other is seated with its arms straight out to the wrist, then slightly down.
A couple miles further south along the western shore, about one half mile north of the small bay leading to the portage to Silence Lake we came across another pictogram. There were two drawings here side by side. Both are faded, the right one more so than the left. These were of snowshoe hares. They have the hare’s characteristically long legs. The ears are somewhat indistinct, but still visible.
We paddled a few more miles south until we decided to stop for lunch and rest up. Even though we had covered at least eight miles by now it seemed like twice that. After lunch we continue south on Agnes Lake toward our destination. In the middle of the afternoon as we neared small island on the east of the lake we spotted a great spot to take a break. On the southern side was a shear rock cliff. Maeve and I canoed around and determined it to be a safe place to do rock jumping. The scouts were excited and we docked the canoes. Joey Z and I scaled the rock to a safe jumping spot. Joey was first over the edge. This was at lease 30 feet in the air and the scouts each took several turns prior to us heading back to the canoes.
About three miles later we came across another pictograph. This was located on an island about three quarters of a mile south of the narrows east of East Lake portage. The drawings of two figures in a canoe are on the east shore of a very small island.
Two miles further south was Louisa Falls. We canoed at the foot of the falls in search of a campsite but this one was already taken. We canoed about one half mile further south and found a perfect location. It was close enough to the falls that you could clearly hear the rushing water crashing against the rocks yet far enough away that other visitors would not bother us. The campsite was located on a small peninsula mostly of a couple extremely large rocks. There was a nice fire pit and several places to set up the tents. The scouts picked a location next to the water in a small clearing at the extreme end of the peninsula facing the falls on the east and the sunset to the west.
After setting up camp Steve, Mr V. and Maeve each took a short nap. Tyler sat around the fire pit with his camera. I took Joe V, Travis and Joey Z back up the lake to the falls. We climbed the steep incline and took some photos of the falls. We then continued to the top and came half way down the other side. Here about midway down the falls the upper falls crashed into a ledge like a terrace which was dammed approximately 10 feet out and then a second set of falls began. This ledge seemed to be a perfect natural whirlpool for visitors to take a swim and play under the falling water. The scouts had a great time trying to see who could make it under the falls.
After an hour or so we headed back towards camp. On the way we came across a rock comming just above the surface of the lake. The boys decided that they wanted to step out of the canoe and play on the rock so each took their turn. It was getting close to dinner time and the boys were getting hungry so we decided to head back to camp and make dinner. Tyler and I made the dinner while the others relaxed from their adventure to the falls. After dinner the crew went back to the falls for more photos and fun time.