Moose River Crossing to Moosonee
Departs: Cochrane, Ont.
Distance: 75 km
8 days / 7 nights
Skill Level: Beginner
Day 1-2You had flown into Timmins the day before and would have met your guide, who had picked you up at the airport, and driven you to Cochrane (1 hour approximately) to your luxurious room at the Swan Castle Inn. You would have discussed the trip with him and he would have already picked up your river gear, stored it in waterproof bags prepped to go. After a relaxing evening and a solid nightís rest you meet your guide at the train station, have breakfast and board the Polar Bear Express for a nine oíclock departure. The Polar Bear Express heads for the James Bay Lowlands and your destination, Moose River Crossing, some 230 kilometres away. After 3 hours of crossing dozens of rivers, streams and enjoying the view of the remote wilderness, the train comes to a gradual halt. Your guide scrambles to get the canoes and river gear off the train. At last, after months of waiting, you have arrived at the Moose River and your river excursion truly begins. The canoes and the gear are carried the short distance below to the water. Then you receive instructions, demonstrations and participate in basic canoeing skills, before paddling down river a touch (yes folks...itís down river) to set up camp. Once set up, itís back to the canoes to paddle and explore the nearby Gypsum Caves, sharpening our paddling skills in the process. You will also visit the Cree burial site along the river and pay your respects. You will learn about the history of Moose River Crossing, the Cree who lived in this area and their beliefs and customs. After a hearty supper you can sit around the campfire enjoying the scenery and trading stories and thoughts or just find a quite corner alone to relax, read or even mark the dayís events in your journal. (Itís your vacation...please treat it as such.)
Day 3-4-5All days start with a nutritional breakfast, a quick briefing of what to expect on the water that day, plus in which area you will later be setting up camp. The next three days on the water will be spent just moving slowly and safely down river. There will be plenty of breaks and ample time for small shore snacks of dried fruits, vegetables, granola bars, homemade muffins, cookies, along with a lot of liquids to keep your energy up till our next campsite and main meal. H.W.E. has designed their trips (length of paddling time each day) to a minimum, so you can enjoy your experience to the maximum and yet be suitably rested at the end of the day to enjoy each campsite to the fullest. As you work your way down river you will be treated to sightings of eagles, geese, hawks and even the odd moose or bear. Youíll see the mouth of the Abitibi River as it roars into the Moose, plus the French River and dozens of smaller rivers that also feed the Moose. The river is laced with islands of all shapes and sizes, most having been named and having a distinct character. You will camp on a sandbar or coast of an island. Not only will you discover its scenery but you will find plenty of firewood and excellent spots to swim or wash. After days of river travel you will begin to feel itís pulse, be in awe of the sunsets for they are second to none and, late at night, when the Northern Lights appear youíll be guaranteed a majestic dance, for they are performing for the mighty Moose and the spirits of all those who have passed before you.