My first trip to the Canadian wilderness along the logging trail known as the Graham Road was to the Brightsand River in 1980.
There were just four of us in my best friend’s girl friend’s (now wife) nearly new Ford Granada with two aluminum canoes on the roof, the canvas tent spread out in the back seat. One canoe tipped over in the rapids not 50 yards from the car! We learned early on to be ready for anything. We continue to fish different lakes off the Graham Road, for what is now over 30 years! Over the years, our canoes where replaced by boats, 5hp motors replaced by 15hp. Small tents replaced by 12×20 hunting lodges. Cooking over the fire and a small old Coleman stove has been replaced with big fish fry units and even a camp oven. Carrying gear and dragging boats to the lake has been replaced by a 6-wheeler to do the work. Cots, lawn chairs and boat seats have allowed the old guys to find comfort in the wilderness.
The boys were born in 1983 (Scott) and 1987 (Andrew) respectively and they grew up hearing the stories of great fishing and adventure in the Canadian wilderness, so when they were old enough, they started to join in the fun.
Andrew has only missed one year since he was 11 years old and has become a regular on our fishing trips. As Scott got a sales job, completing his Bachelor’s and later Master’s Degree, got married and had 2 children of his own, he did not have time for the slow paced fishing trip with the older men, he wanted an adventure of his own. He wanted something more physically challenging and something new, different. This got me thinking about doing a real wilderness canoe trip again, without all of the comforts of fishing camp.