By Harold Carmichael The Sudbury Star Ever paddled down a remote river for more than 340 kilometres? It’s no picnic. There’s mosquitoes, the blazing, overhead sun, the occasional dunking and the hard task of portaging around the dangerous spots. But there’s also the opportunity to experience a slice of nature most Canadians will never see. Expect breathtaking scenery, wild creatures galore, sleeping under the stores with no manmade noises, and shore lunches of freshly caught fish. Dave Marrone, a Laurentian University Outdoor Adventure Leadership program student, is looking for six adventurous souls to join him on a three-week, guided trip in late June through to mid-July. The group will travel from the headwaters of the Bloodvein River in Red Lake west to the First Nation community of Bloodvein on Lake Winnipeg. “The remoteness is definitely part of it,” said Marrone, 23. “But the Bloodvein also has a lot of history to it. It’s the traditional travelling ground of the Oji-Cree for a long time. There’s pictographs up and down the river. Some of them are very old. (But) they are almost as good as the day they were made.” The cost of the trip is $1,500 and includes all transportation departing from and returning to Greater Sudbury, all rental equipment, all meals, and client care (provided by Marrone and an assistant guide). Marrone said travelling 340 kilometres on the river allows a traveller to see the river’s headwaters and all the various changes in the river’s personality as it heads west. The six trip participants should be reasonably physically fit and have some paddling skills. While the trip will focus on the journey through the land, running of some wild rapids may occur. All rapids are easily portageable. Marrone experienced the Bloodvein River firsthand last year through a summer job. He designed the adventure trip in order to fulfil an internship requirement with his studies. The canoe excursion will take the group through two provincial parks - Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park in Manitoba. The Bloodvein River, incidentally, is a Canadian Heritage River-designated river. Named possibly for the red granite that runs through bedrock, the Bloodvein River cuts through the Canadian Shield. There are boulder-strew rapids, narrow gorges, forests of jack pine, wild rice marshes, bald eagles, black bears and good walleye and northern pike fishing. As well, there are red ochre pictographs of buffalo, human figures, hands and power symbols on overhanging rock faces. To contact Marrone about the trip, call 673-9218 or visit http://bloodvein.sudburyoutside.ca on the Internet. The application deadline is Feb. 15.
Pre-Trip Article Published in the Sudbury Star about Sudbury Outside's 17-day trip on the Bloodvein River in NW Ontario and Manitoba.