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Michael Coley's Photo Gallery - Canada Vacation

[Map of Western Ontario]

A group of about a dozen of us went to Eagle Lake, near Vermillion Bay, Ontario, Canada, for a vacation last year. Above is a map of Western Ontario. (For the geographically challenged, that's just north of Minnesota and Wisconsin.) For a more detailed (270k, 1280x1024) map (showing much more of the lakes and rivers), click on the map above. It zooms in to cover about 1/4 of the area of the map above.

Our main method on transportation was canoes. Due to the shallow creek and lack of roads, the place where we were going (a smaller lake off of Eagle Lake) was only accessible with a canoe or a sea-plane (or by dogsled in the winter). We canoed about 30 miles during the week, mostly on the first and last days.

[Steve and Burt]

These were our guides. Steve Higgins (left) runs Expeditions Unlimited. He organized the trip for us. Burton Penner (right) is a trapper/artist/dog sledder who lives near Vermillion Bay and runs a trap line around Eagle Lake. In the background of the picture, you can see the trees and cliffs across the lake from where we camped for most of the trip. There was a family of bald eagles there. The two eaglets had just learned to fly.

The guides were fantastic cooks. We ate three good meals a day, often cooked over an open fire, like in this picture. Even with the 30 miles of canoing, quite a bit of hiking, and one day of fasting, I still gained 5 pounds! ;)

[The Grill]
[Cliff Diving]

On the second day, we came to this cliff to do some cliff-diving. The water here is about 70 feet deep, and it's about a 35 foot jump (a little higher than a 10 meter olympic diving platform!). That's high enough that you have a lot of time to think about how fast the water is coming towards you! ;)

On the third day, the guides brought each of us to our own separate island or point and dropped us off with our backpack, sleeping bag, a sheet of plastic (to build a shelter with), and three matches. They took the canoes with them, and left us for 24 hours of fasting and prayer. Although it might sound strange, this was one of the best parts of the trip.

[Sea Plane]

After we returned from our Solo Night, a sea plane flew in and delivered us some steaks and Coca Cola! It was a four-seater, so pilot took us up three at a time in the plane to see the view from above.

Here's one of the pictures that I took from the sea plane.

[Picture from Sea Plane]
[Group Picture]

Here's the whole group on the last day, looking very rugged.

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