Where To Go: Experimental Lakes Area / Vermillion Bay, Ontario

For many, carsharing is a way to run errands and get around the city when walking, biking and busing isn’t practical. This is our bread and butter, but carsharing can be also used to hit the road and explore! That’s why we’ve created a new feature called “Where To Go”, where staff and members explore Manitoba (and beyond).

This month, our Operations Manager, Philip, took some of his buddies on a six day canoe trip to the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) near Vermillion Bay, Ontario.

“Northwest Ontario has some of the best paddling in the world, and the ELA doesn’t disappoint. The great thing about the circuit is that there are multiple routes for a variety of experience levels. The most common route takes you around in a quick loop with only one difficult portage (lovingly referred to as the Devil’s Staircase). We decided we were going to be more adventurous and extend our trip to explore more of the area.

Before heading out, we booked a canoe and trailer from Wilderness Supply. For those who don’t know about Wilderness Supply, they provide a full service shop that offers a variety of paddle rental equipment, including ultra-light canoes to make those difficult portages a little easier. You can learn more about what Wilderness Supply does here. Peg City Members who rent one of our vehicles can also take advantage of our partnership with Wilderness Supply, which gives members one free day for any multi-day rental!

One of the things I dislike the most about going on canoe trips with multiple people is the inefficiency of driving out in multiple vehicles. We rented one of the Peg City trucks (with a full crew cab and attached a trailer) and we were able to take one vehicle instead of two! All of the equipment, which were in water tight bags, easily fit in the truck bed.

Once we got packed up, we hit the road! Instead of driving half a day and then getting into canoes to paddle, we figured it would be a smart idea to decompress for one night, so we reserved a camping spot in Rushing River Provincial Park, which in and of itself is really beautiful. There was the added bonus of going in the offseason, which meant extra peace and quiet!

The next day we drove the extra half hour to our put-in location and got the real trip started! On our first couple of nights, we found some great island camping with nice fire pit and sitting areas. At one site, the previous campers even left behind some handy wire cooking grates with handles, which made cooking bannock on the fire nice and easy (no good canoe trip is complete without bannock). Speaking of food, canoe trips don’t have to consist of granola bars and trail mix. We made fresh, home-style cooked meals almost every night! After a long day of paddling and portaging, nothing is better than some hot food, a few sips of whisky, followed by a game of cards.

On our trip we also had the opportunity to check out some rapids and falls, and look for some foraging opportunities. We spent our last two nights camped on a beautiful crescent moon beach, which was a super nice break from all the rocks everywhere. The water wasn’t exactly warm, but we couldn’t resist a quick (and loud) dive into the water.

After a few days of relaxing, and peace and quiet, we finally had to head home. Before heading to Winnipeg, we stuck to our tradition and drove into Kenora for some beers and snacks at the brewery, which is never a bad idea after a few days in the bush!

It was a beautiful week with a mix of hot, sunny days,  a couple cooler, cloudy days, and the bugs weren’t too bad! It was great to have access to a truck and equipment from Wilderness Supply, which made planning the trip easier!”

If you are interested in sharing your carsharing adventures, let us know and we’d be happy to feature you on our next “Where To Go” post!

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