Day 2: Hauling in on the Rail Trail

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weather: Brilliant sunshine, high of -25 degrees Celsius

Today was the day to hike the rail trail. I looked at my watch. 6:30am. Of course. Everyone else seemed to still sleep soundly so I closed my eyes and willed myself to drift off again.

By 8:30 I’d had enough. Fortunately so had Stephane who wiggled out of his bag and restarted the fire while I snaked my way out of mine.

 

With the extreme temperatures, it was challenging to keep the stove hot. we packed up our gear while waiting for water to boil for coffee, for mini ciabatta buns to thaw and toast, for beans to heat up and eggs to scramble.

 

After cleaning up our dishes we laid out all of the packed-up gear and eyeballed the three Lure of the North sleds we’d be hauling a little further into the park along the well-groomed, nicely flat rail trail. Lyn showed us what had worked well for her the month before and within half an hour the sleds were locked and loaded.

 

It was two o’clock and we were finally ready to hike into our backcountry spot. We moved cars out of our car campsite and into the parking lot, locked them, and started hiking. Lyn, Deb, and Stephane each took a sled. I hauled my 85L pack on snowshoes. The wind blew persistently. After about half an hour, Lyn looked at me, eyes wide, and asked about a white patch on my nose. I’d managed to give myself frost nip.

 

Given our late start, my frost nippy nose, and Lyn’s in-progress recovery from a cold, we decided to pull off the trail and set up camp in the same spot Lyn had camped a month earlier, rather than continue on past the end of Lake of Two Rivers. No one had been through, so we had a small stack of wood to start with. We made quick work of collecting more wood, setting up the Snowtrekker, and getting a fire going. We melted snow for water, heated up curried quinoa and lentils for dinner and settled in for the night.

 

For more on this winter weekend getaway, follow the trip report here.

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