Whether opportunity, rarity or hilarity, on a few occasions PACT was able to take a load off their shoulders and experience some less traditional methods of portaging.
If you find yourself paddling about twenty nautical miles south of Sioux Narrows, Ontario, lost in the sea of islands that creates the Lake of the Woods, you may happen upon the Turtle Lake Canoe Portage. PACT did not. PACT passed the canoe portage to locate the Turtle Portage Channel. A canal created in 1963 to eliminate a 50 mile detour boaters would have to take to get from Sioux Narrows to Nester Falls in the south of the lake. Recently however, it was realized that the pristine waters of Whitefish Bay, north of the channel, were being compromised by waters to the south and channel was eliminated. In its place was installed PACT’s first experience in new-age portaging- a hand-powered trolley.
After familiarizing ourselves with Trolley Operations and Safety Rules (Provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Ontario) we secured our vessel to the dolly and began to crank the giant red wheel. About three minutes and 30 meters later our canoe dipped nicely into the calm, swampy waters of Turtle Lake. An amusing episode that put the power of portage into our arms.