By Ted Ostrowski, North West River, Labrador
NTS Map 13F/8
Map of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Mud Lake area (1:250,000 scale).
We put in on the Mud Lake road along the shores of the Churchill River. To get to this road, just follow Hamilton River road south to the end; it turns into Mud Lake road.
We departed mid-morning, July 30, 1997, arriving at the community of Mud Lake around noon. We then continued on into Mud Lake finding a delta, then following a winding river upstream for 3/4 of an hour until it narrowed to the point of being impassable. The downstream segment was fast, pleasurable and effortless. We headed back to our put-in around 3 o'clock stopping for lunch on a long sandy beach.
Larry Bradley of Break Away Adventures in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was tour guide. Two of us paddled the Sealution "Sea Two" (Larry took my place for the return trip). Terry, a tourist from the US, was also along for the trip. While Terry is an experienced whitewater paddler, this was his first time in a sea kayak.
The water was warm and flat, wind conditions light to non-existent, the weather was beautiful. It was just a dreamy paddle with the kind of solitude that you can only find in Labrador (read: no traffic, no sea-doos and no ya-hoos).
Paddling near Mud Lake (photo by Weegee).
Larry Bradley had all safety measures well in hand, no danger areas or wide expanses of open water to cross, the banks of the Mud Lake channel are grown over with bush making landings difficult. Luckily sandy beaches for good landings are never far off.
The trip couldn't have been any easier; it was just one of those days that you wish could go on forever. In fact the low point of the day was eventually having to put-in at Goose Bay.
On the way to Mud Lake (photo by Ted Ostrowski).
Reflection of the bridge across the channel separating parts of the village of Mud Lake (photo by Ted Ostrowski).
Larry and Terry paddling south into Mud Lake itself (photo by Ted Ostrowski)..
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