The next trip in pursuit of The Group of Seven was to paddle into Grace and Nellie Lakes. The first day we drove five hours to Widgawa Lodge where we put in and then paddled the 12 K (3 hour) trip to the Grace Lake portage. The portage is 1660 metres long and climbs 60 metres in elevation. The group of very tired campers found a site on Grace Lake right across from the mountain with the rock that Franklin Carmichael sat and painted on in 1934.
We only had the one night on Grace so the plan, for day two, was for Martin Kotyluk, the other artist on the trip, and I to climb to Carmichael's rock and paint while the others hauled the gear over to Nellie Lake. I had researched the trip to the rock and Jim and Sue Waddington kindly helped me with directions so finding the rock wasn't difficult for us but there is no trail so bushwhacking up to it is a bit of a chore.
It was thrilling for me to sit and paint on the exact same rock in the exact same place as Franklin Carmichael did all those years ago. We could see why he picked that location. The view across Grace Lake was magnificent as was the one looking south out of the mountains towards Georgian Bay. There was only time for one quick painting and we both chose Grace Lake.
I didn't have enough time painting to create a masterpiece but oh what a memorable day. I have certainly gained a new admiration for the toughness of the Group of Seven members who did these trips without kevlar canoes and high tech gear.