Monday May 28th we left Iskwasum campground still on our trek to Flin Flon following Highway 10 along the edge of the park. The next community is Cranberry Portage, a small resort community on the shores of Lake Athapapuskow, a very large lake. Athapap, as the locals call it which is much easier to pronounce, as it turns out, has more than its share of history.
It was an important part of the pre-European contact trade routes of the Cree and Assiniboine peoples. Long before the fur trade with the Bay and during the fur trade, this location was used as a campsite and portage between Grassy River, at the head of a number of well-used routes from Hudson Bay, and Lake Athapapuskow, which connected to the Saskatchewan River system. Once on the Saskatchewan, routes were open through the prairies to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Archaeological digs on Lake Athapapuskow revealed pottery, arrowheads, and other artifacts which were at least 2,500 years old and indicated regular habitation by the “Shield Archaic Culture”, who hunted caribou in the area as far back as 7,000 years ago. They were eventually supplanted by the Woodland Cree who were nomadic hunters in this region. The site of Cranberry Portage has been an important portage route linking the Grass River and Saskatchewan River watersheds for at least 2,000 years.
This was a great place for us to stop and have lunch and we hoped to check out the art gallery and local stores. May is early in most northern communities that rely on tourists so most were closed. This is a good reason to come back for another visit. There is at least one small private campground in the community.
I just love the history of the fur traders and the early Cree settlers in the northern communities. Just after my love for the untouched beauty of the forest and lakes, many just the way God created them and we have not changed or destroyed.
I hope my writings bring a little of the history and information on the beautiful areas we visit in this country, and not get all of the history so you visit for yourselves. We are just fortunate enough to be able to travel and enjoy the simple beauty we see in the people we meet and the land we occupy. Our travel foot print is very small; we love the luxury of our truck camper. The camper is small and we can park just about anywhere and the 4 wheel drive is also nice. We love arriving at clean campgrounds that show little if not anything of the people who just left it. I cannot believe people who camp and leave their garbage in fire pits and scattered through the trees. People, your tin bean cans do not burn…the garbage bins are just a few steps from you …use them! These people must have had their mom or someone following them around picking up after them… grow up, if your mom is not there to pick up after you please do it yourself. Park people have much better things to do then play mom to you.
There I got my rant out of the way, please leave your campground like you were never there, and report those who are destroying the beauty.
Lunch over we headed out towards Flin Flon, we planned on staying at the very popular Bakers Narrows Provincial Park. For how long…as long as it takes. Well as it turns out we have a lot to say about this beautiful campground and the rocky area of Fin Flon. Now we are “in the Canadian Shield”, stay tuned for a lot of photos.
Until my next post, we hope to someday meet you “Down the Road”. For those interested in our travels a subscription which is free will get you a notification when a new post is put up. We enjoy reading others experiences and spots to visit and would like to share the beauty we find. Charlotte and Gerry..the RV Cowboy