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Killarney Provincial Park 2015 Part 2: Howry Lake to Carlyle Lake

Day 4: Howry Lake to the Georgian Bay

A bird the size
of a leaf fills
the whole lucid
evening with
his note, and flies.
—Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (New York: Counterpoint, 1998).

The sunrise on Howry Lake was stunning.

The sunrise on Howry Lake

The sunrise on Howry Lake

Brian cut and fried up apples while we boiled water for coffee and oatmeal. We packed up and left the site with a sugar-powered burst of energy.

As Howry Lake transitioned into Howry Creek, the paddling became marshy. We decided to take the P455 but we probably could have pushed up the creek further after the boys broke another dam.

The Howry Creek put-in following a 455m Portage

The Howry Creek put-in following a 455m Portage

Murray Lake, as the map shows, is mostly marsh. We followed the path of the current as it formed switchbacks through the lily pads. There was just too much resistance to paddle straight through. Eventually the marsh gave way to lake and we found Notch Creek Portage (P1470).

I was told that this portage was the most beautiful in the park, and it likely is in the spring. In October there’s no water left in Notch Creek. All that’s left is elevation to climb. Murray Lake is 197m above sea level while Carmichael Lake is 267m. That’s 70 metres of climbing with a canoe and gear on your back. That’s 230 feet.

The portage starts by climbing straight uphill. Rather than waste the effort to lift the bow of my canoe up to see the top, I put my head down and started climbing up cedar-root stairs. It felt like it would never end! I’ve done longer portages, but none quite as intense as this.

Carmichael Lake quickly gives way to the main event: Nellie Lake. After chatting with a couple who were staying on site 142, I paddled far enough around the point to see down the length of it. The park map calls it the “clearest lake in the Park with 28 metre visibility.” It’s hard to imagine the clarity until you paddle on it. Looking down gave you a sense of vertigo.

The clarity of Nellie Lake is astounding

The clarity of Nellie Lake is astounding

We ate lunch on a point of land on Nellie—fried tuna melts, a staple on our trips. When we left for the next portage, I brought a stone with me from the shore. I dropped it and watched it fall through crystal clear waters for what seemed like too long before it crashed into the bottom raising a plumb of dust. It’s ironic that acid rain has created a lifeless lake which is stunning in its beauty.

We quickly found the P2525 to Helen Lake. This portage was the exact opposite of the last one. We dropped even more elevation than we gained previously. Unlike Notch Creek Portage, this one followed spacious well-beaten path as it meandered gently down to an unnamed lake.

The gentle walk from Nellie to Helen Lake

The gentle walk from Nellie to Helen Lake

The trail then changes to a technical walk for another 400m or so until it ends at Helen Lake. There were many board walks and halved logs to cross wet spots, but they were too slick to be useful.

Helen Lake is relatively small and we paddled quickly around the south point until we found the P70 to Low Lake. This portage is a simple lift-over smooth granite. The view toward Low Lake is glorious.

The view across Low Lake from a granite ridge

The view across Low Lake from a granite ridge

If you’re planning a trip and the weather is good, stay on this campsite (138). We decided to press on so we could spend a night on the Georgian Bay. A quick P20 at the end of Low Lake led to a thickly choked marsh.

The marshy paddle to the Georgian Bay

The marshy paddle to the Georgian Bay

Another P19 brought us to the North Channel on the Georgian Bay.

The water here was thick with organic matter flushed out of the marsh. We tried to fish but were unsuccessful. (Later that evening we heard fish jump but still couldn’t get a bite!) We paddled past site 134 to check out 133, but returned to 134.

Georgian Bay Site:
N 46° 05.484′
W 81° 33.575′

The site was pretty well used. We were able to set up our tents 30 metres or so away from the point where we cooked and had our fire.

The shadows fell quickly on our Georgian Bay site

The shadows fell early on our Georgian Bay site

I set up a deluxe edition of the flying squirrel, complete with two ears for more headroom. The ground was thickly covered in moss which made for a cushy sleep.

The deluxe edition of the Flying Squirrel

The deluxe edition of the Flying Squirrel

There was plenty of downed deadwood so we lit a nice fire. Brian fried up onions and mushrooms to add to our pesto and pasta meal.

The excitement came after supper. We found a hollow log that had washed up from the Bay. It was about 4 feet long and 1 foot in diameter. We used some deadwood sticks to prop it up as a flamethrower.

Once the fire died down we were treated to the northern lights. They jumped straight up into the air like the bars of an old stereo EQ. What a beautiful end to the evening. The clouds then rolled in thickly and we went to sleep expecting rain.

Day 5: Georgian Bay to Killarney Lake

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.
(1979, I)
—Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (New York: Counterpoint, 1998).

We were surprised to be woken up by the sun. We set our camp down and enjoyed a breakfast of oatmeal with dried apricots.

We paddled Georgian Bay east along the North Channel, then south down the East Channel (go figure). There are plenty of cottages on the islands around here. We picked our way through the islands of McGregor Bay before finding the P905 across Blue Ridge. This was an easy walk along a trail marked by bear scat.

The calmer side of Blue Ridge

The calmer side of Blue Ridge

We were surprised by what we found on the other side. The water was calm on the north side of the ridge but not on the south! The wind was coming straight out of the east, stirring up big waves with white-caps along Baie Fine. We fought for every inch of water along this 5 km stretch of water, at times feeling like we were on the nautical equivalent of a treadmill. By this point in the trip the food barrel which provided ballast in the bow of my canoe was very light. Large waves picked up the bow of my canoe and dropped it in front of the next wave, constantly spilling my momentum.

When we finally made it to the end of Baie Fine we saw a group of four otters. I paddled through them as they dove, surfaced, and snorted at me.

We rounded the bend to get out of the wind and had a lunch of fried tuna wraps at site 38. The weather was starting to look stormy and we had already covered the distance we had planned for the day so we decided to push on.

The P370 from The Pool to Artist Lake felt nostalgic as it follows a bit of the hiking loop we have walked before.

The creek approaching the P370 from "The Pool"

The creek approaching the P370 from “The Pool”

Artist Lake was unique. It was full of massive floating rafts of mud and root balls. They must have dislodged from the ground when beavers flooded the lake.

We picked our way around the obstacles to the end of the lake and prepared for the P900 that was marked on the map, only to find about a P70 over a hill to another pond. We paddled the pond to find about a P80 to Muriel Lake. The pond in the middle must have had a portage around it, but it was full of water this time. It’s always a bonus when you get to skip a portage!

Muriel Lake was pretty. A deciduous forest blanketed the south side of the lake, full of bright fall colours. The north side of Gulch Hill stretched up above the colourful trees.

The south shore of Muriel Lake

The south shore of Muriel Lake

An easy P595 brought us to O.S.A Lake, one of the larger lakes in the park. This is when the rain began and the wind picked up. We paddled into the wind for a couple kilometres before reaching the P130 to Killarney Lake. It’s a shame we didn’t have better weather and more time for this lake. The landscape is classic Killarney. The massive quartzite cliffs to the north would be fun to explore.

At the east end of O.S.A Lake the map offered us a choice. We could have taken the P455 to a different part of Killarney Lake, but the shorter portage gave us the opportunity to explore a “Lo” mark on the map. It turned out to be one final beaver dam we were able to break and paddle through.

The beaver dam on Killarney Lake

The beaver dam on Killarney Lake

To our surprise, Killarney Lake was full of people. We paddled past site 21 and 22, thinking we would camp closer to the next morning’s portage. Site 21, 19, and 20 were all taken. We backtracked and set up camp on site 22 which is a great site once you hike your gear up a 3 metre climb from the shoreline.

Killarney Lake Site:
N 46° 03.574′
W 81° 22.061′

The night grew cold.

Our soggy site on Killarney Lake

Our soggy site on Killarney Lake

The rain had a bit of slush in it as we tried to cook pizzas over a burner. It was too cold for the toppings to melt, so we ate cold toppings on a charred pita. Despite the rain, Brodie got a raging fire burning. I set up the flying squirrel in a pine-needled valley between two low rock ridges. It was very windy, but we were warm in our sleeping bags.

Day 6: Killarney Lake to Carlyle Lake

There is a day
when the road neither
comes nor goes, and the way
is not a way but a place.
—Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (New York: Counterpoint, 1998).

Our final day passed quickly. The rain had stopped overnight leaving only the wind. We awoke to low level clouds and mist clinging to the quartzite ridges.

The fog on Killarney Lake

Breakfast was two days worth of granola bars, chocolate bars, and coffee—plenty of energy for half a day’s travel.

The photographer's selfie

The photographer’s selfie

We paddled around the bends to the P1440 to Kakakise Lake.

My solo boat on Killarney Lake

My solo boat on Killarney Lake

The portage was easy except for the extreme rock-fall that drops to the elevation where the hiking trail crosses. Brian and I had hiked this part of the trail a year ago in the spring when we spent a night atop “The Crack”.

Kakakise Lake is a long and narrow lake. We paddled between the island and the south shore on our way to the P940 which would bring us back to our starting point, Carlyle Lake.

The portage was full of brand new board walks. Many of them seemed superfluous, but it might be a different story in the spring.

A new boardwalk in the fall

A new boardwalk in the fall

We paddled Carlyle back to the parking lot and arrived at noon. There was a man on the site we used the first night and a very friendly duo preparing to leave for Johnny Lake.

We spent our last night in the Super 8 in Sudbury after stuffing ourselves at King’s Buffet. It was a fantastic trip.

< Part 1: Carlyle Lake to Howry Lake

Killarney Provincial Park 2015 Part 1: Carlyle to Howry Lake

It was time for something different.

In 2014 we paddled the Agawa River (fortunately, we made it there before train service ended). The year before that we ran the East Branch of the Spanish River. This year we returned to our roots and took on an old-fashioned flat water & portaging trip. Killarney, here we come!

Day 1: Carlyle Lake

Day one began in customary fashion. I spoke at Wellington Street Pentecostal Church in Bracebridge while my buddy Brian Lachine spoke at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Wawa. We returned from church to find Ben West waiting in my drive way. Nathan West came over shortly after and we loaded up Clifford (his big red truck) with our new custom-build canoe rack and gear. It turns out the rack was a little higher than we needed. We have some modifications to make for the next trip. We hit the road for Killarney by 2:30 in the afternoon.

Clifford with two canoes

Clifford with the very high custom canoe rack.

Meanwhile, Brian and his son Brodie were driving south from Wawa. We were supposed to beat them to Killarney, but we missed the turn and ended up approaching Sudbury. Once we fixed our mistake we found Brian and Brodie waving us down at the entrance to George Lake campground. We made some quick arrangements with a park employee and drove back to the parking lot at Carlyle Lake.

We were fortunate. No one was using site 57, a mere 100m or so from the parking lot. We left the bulk of our food in the cab of our truck, got changed, and headed over to the site. It’s a well used site with plenty of space for tents.

For canoes, Brian and Brodie paddled their faded burgundy Souris River canoe. Nate and Ben paddled my green Langford Nahanni. I solo paddled an old 1930s era red wood & canvas canoe that had been refinished with fiberglass. I used a long kayak paddle to keep up with the tandem paddlers when necessary. I was proud to see both of my canoes traverse Killarney’s waters!

Steve in his red solo canoe

That’s me paddling my beautiful solo canoe unloaded.

For sleeping arrangements, Nate and Ben slept together in Nate’s tent. Brodie slept in Brian’s tent solo. Brian and I slept under an old Spalding tent-fly we dubbed “the flying squirrel”. It’s a light-weight option we have used while hiking the La Cloche Silhouette trail before. There’s something special about waking up and looking outside at the scenery with no polyester in the way.

The flying squirrel

The legendary Flying Squirrel!

Supper was a feast. We packed in a bag of charcoal for the first night which we used to grill Cowboy Steaks. While they were cooking, we roasted a peppercorn squash beside the fire along with some potatoes. The potatoes were not so good—apparently I was too generous with the Tony’s seasoning. The squash, however, was delicious. Once it softened up we attacked it with our sporks under the light of our headlamps.

Carlyle Lake Campsite:
N 46° 03.221′
W 81° 18.240′

(Note: If you highlight and copy the coordinates, you can paste them into the search bar of Google Maps.)

Day 2: Carlyle Lake to David Lake

Estranged by distance, he relearns
The way to quiet not his own,
The light to rest on tree and stone,
The high leaves falling in their turns,
(1984, V)
—Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (New York: Counterpoint, 1998).

I brought my little paperback collection of Wendell Berry’s poems to read aloud in the mornings. Strangely, this Kentucky farmer’s deep sense of place makes sense of the Killarney wilderness.

We woke up this first morning to a misty and overcast day. A quick paddle to the truck for supplies led to a breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked over the fire we restarted from last night’s embers. We set down camp and paddled one last time to the vehicle to retrieve the rest of our food and to start the paddle up Carlyle Lake.

Brian and Brodie starting out on Carlyle Lake.

Brian and Brodie starting out on Carlyle Lake.

It took about an hour—I used my kayak paddle in my solo canoe to keep up with the tandem paddlers. We paused at the Eastern end of the lake to pull over a low beaver dam. The transition between Carlyle and Johnny Lake was choked with lily pads. Nate and Ben followed the maze-like path through the weeds.

There is a beautiful moment on Johnny Lake where you turn almost 180 degrees around a low cliff and catch your first glimpse of the Killarney Ridge. Catching sight of that first quartzite ridge lets you know that you’re in Killarney! We celebrated with granola bars.

We took the P830 to Clearsilver Lake—a smooth and easy walk amongst falling fall leaves. At the far side of the portage we paused for lunch—Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches, crackers, goat cheese, and venison pepperettes. We paddled our full bellies across Clearsilver and took the P980 towards David Lake. This portage was easier than the previous one. The trail ended with a 20 metre paddle to the final P200 to David Lake.

We met a couple sorting out gear on the shore of David. They mentioned that they had been in the park for a few nights and that they planned on camping on David tonight. I told them of our plans to stay on the same Lake. David Lake is a large lake with 15 canoe sites on it, but many of them are in the Eastern end of the Lake, an hour’s paddle from where we wanted to stay. By the time I had made a trip back to help carry more gear over, the couple had left and headed toward site 102. They claimed their campsite quickly! We were surprised to find many of the campsites on David occupied. Fortunately, site 104 was available.

The good ol' food barrel on our David Lake campsite.

The good ol’ food barrel on our David Lake campsite.

David Lake Campsite:
N 46° 08.358′
W 81° 18.240′

We set up camp on this peninsula site and decided to make a run to Silver Peak. It looked like only 3 km or so on the map and it was only 4 p.m. We took the narrow path from the peninsula to the mainland then took the David Boundary Lake portage to the main trail. There are two places between the portage and the drop into the Boundary Lake marsh where the trees part and you climb onto rocky ridges.

The path to Silver Peak (that high-point in the distance)!

The path to Silver Peak (that high-point in the distance)!

All of a sudden, Silver Peak looked a bit further away than 3 km! (It was more like 5 or 6 km from our campsite). We persevered and climbed the trail to the peak, arriving at 5:30 p.m. This was my third time on Silver Peak. We could see the local lakes and the Georgian Bay, but the damp weather prevented us from seeing too far.

The view from Silver Peak.

The view from Silver Peak.

It was still worthwhile. After about a half hour on the summit we raced back to camp.


Father and son on Silver Peak.

Father and son on Silver Peak.

Brothers on Silver Peak.

The brothers on Silver Peak.

As the daylight waned, the transition from exposed rock to forest canopy began to look like a cave entrance. We made it back to the site with the help of our headlamps, arriving at 7:30 p.m. There’s nothing quite like a fast 3 hour hike up and down a mountain to cap off the first full day of a camping trip!

Back at camp, I laid down under the gravity filter and gorged on water (we didn’t bring enough on our hike). Water never tasted so good! Brian heated up a bag of delicious homemade chili that his wife, Cathy, prepared. We feasted on trail mix and chili and went to bed full and happy. A cool wind blew up overnight, forcing me right into my mummy bag.

Day 3: David Lake to Howry Lake

Here where the world is being made,
No human hand required,
A man may come, somewhat afraid
Always, and somewhat tired,
(1981, I)
—Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (New York: Counterpoint, 1998).

Pecan pancakes are a great way to start any day, but they’re a spectacular way to start a morning on a canoe trip! We ate until we were stuffed.

As we packed up I talked to two men paddling across the lake in front of our campsite. They were catching the trail that led to Silver Peak. They were quite surprised to learn that we had hiked to the peak the evening before! They wished us well on the big portage we had ahead of us.

On the final kilometre of David Lake we saw a group of 5 loons swimming in circles, and diving for fish. As we approached the portage, we watched a little red squirrel swim across the bay. I used my single blade paddle today which felt so much more natural (and quiet) than my kayak paddle, albeit slower.

At the beginning of the P2945 I realized that I left my fishing rod behind at the last site. What a rookie mistake! Nathan and Ben volunteered to paddle back so I did a few trips up the first leg of the portage with some of their gear. I found a Williamson lure hanging eye-level in a tree beside the portage. Someone must have been frustrated and yanked their gear ahead without realizing what they left behind.

Portage to Great Mountain Lake

The well worn portage to Great Mountain Lake.

The map shows beaver ponds beside the portage with low water marks. We were able to paddle through two of them to cut a bit of distance off of the long portage. It was more of a mental break than a time saver.

Bever Pond on Portage to Great Mountain Lake

Beaver pond paddling.

We walked the last 1500m of the portage in a single trip. Brian carried the food barrel and paddles, Brodie carried his pack on his back and Brian’s pack on his front! Ben carried his pack and Brian’s canoe along with some assorted paddles. Nate carried his pack, my green Lanford, and the fishing rods. I carried my pack under my red canoe.

There was a beautiful smooth quartzite ridge on the portage that was quite treacherous to walk down under a full load. Fortunately, by Vibram soles held fast. Ben, Nate, and I took a break only to discover later that we were only about 200m from Great Mountain Lake.

We paddled across a small bay to a campsite and went swimming. It was as cold as you could imagine, but it felt fantastic after a long sweaty portage. Brodie won the day when he came down to the water with his blown-up sleeping mat for a floaty. Well played, Brodie. Well played.

Brodie on Great Mountain Lake

Brodie braving the chilly waters.

I cooked up a pot of Angry Red Lentil soup, a staple on our trips. It tasted so good with a bit of lime juice. While I cooked, Ben checked out the camouflage options on the campsite.

Ben's Camouflage

Ben “Red Beard” West blends right in.

Brodie got a nice fire started and we enjoyed a relaxing lunch before striking out across Great Mountain Lake to the P470.

I had always imagined what this lake looked like ever since camping on Little Mountain Lake on our hiking trip years earlier. The lake was as rugged and beautiful as I had expected. The water level was low, and we had to navigate around many dead trees in a swampy bay to find the muddy take out.

The P470 was nice and easy. The trail was wide and downhill. It was odd to walk through a green forest of trees whose leaves had not even started to change colour. We arrived at Fish Lake beside a cabin.

Fish Lake lived up to its name. We trolled down the length of the lake. Nate was first to bring in a nice sized bass. After that we all started getting hits. Not to be outdone, Brian pulled three into the boat with Brodie. I brought one up to the canoe before it spit out the lure. If we were closer to our campsite we could have had a nice feast. We decided to catch-and-release and keep paddling.

Nate's Bass

Nate with his prize.

The end of Fish Lake had beautiful cliffs rising out of the water on the North side.

Cliffs at the west end of Fish Lake

Brian & Brodie dwarfed by the cliffs.

A quick P130 brought us to a beaver pond which ended abruptly at a five foot high dam with no water on the other side. There were boot prints of people who had portaged the length of the creek ahead of us. We had a different plan.

It took us about twenty minutes to break the dam enough to fill the lower side with water. We jumped into our canoes and rode the flow out onto Gem Lake. The beavers had some work ahead of them that night!

Gem Lake was stunning. It might be the prettiest little lake in the park. The sun light reflected off the jagged cliffs while the water reflected the blue sky and drifting clouds.

Gem Lake

The stunning Gem Lake.

A short paddle led to the P155 to Howry Lake. There are two campsites on the middle of the lake. We planned on camping there for the night. We were shocked to find people already on the first site! They told us that they had come in from the other direction (HWY 6), and wondered what the paddling was like where we had just been. We informed them about the beaver dam and the walking they would likely have to do tomorrow.

A paddle around a point brought us to campsite 150 where we spent the night.

Supper was smokies and fried onions. Glorious. It looked like it would rain when we set up our tents, but the clouds passed. We spent time lying out on the rock watching the stars before bed.

Howry Lake Campsite:
N 46° 09.311′
W 81° 28.766′

Part 2: Howry Lake to Carlyle Lake >

Killarney Provincial Park La Cloche Silhouette Trail Guide | Melissa McCulloch

This spring I’ll complete my third circuit of the 73 km hiking trail through Killarney Provincial Park. I already know the trail well. I was hoping that this guide might provide a little extra inspiration for late-winter training. I was disappointed.

The booklet covers what you’d expect: brief write-ups on hiking etiquette, short sections on wildlife and geology, and a description of every section of the trail. I was disappointed for a couple reasons:

  1. The booklet is aimed at people with no hiking experience. I understand that you need to cover the basics, but this guide made me feel foolish for having read it (I get it, pine needles on rocks are slippery). If you need that sort of coaching, you should probably hike an easier trail before tackling the La Cloche Silhouette.
  2. McCulloch could have used an experienced editor. There were enough exclamation marks in there to make me wonder whether this was an email conversation. (!) There were also major proof-reading mistakes like missing spaces between words. This just detracted from the majesty of the trail it was describing.

That said, the descriptions of the trail are accurate. I could picture many of the sites, sections, and hills I’ve hiked from reading McCulloch’s description. I suppose that’s what I bought it for after all.

Killarney Provincial Park, 2008

Silver Peak from below

Silver Peak from below

I’ve hiked the LaCloche loop through Killarney twice now. The second time ’round, my friends and I had the energy to climb Silver Peak. After returning home and looking at the map, I realized that Silver Peak would make a good weekend trip. This past September, my dad and I spent a couple nights on David Lake, and climbed Silver Peak.

Day 1

  • Johnnie Lake
  • 830m portage
  • Clearsilver Lake
  • 980m portage
  • Creek from David Lake
  • 40m portage (not on the map)
  • David Lake

We picked up our permits at the George Lake office just before noon. The fish ‘n chip place in the town of Killarney was still open, so we filled up on deep fried food to start the trip. We parked at the Johnnie Lake access point and had our canoe in the water by early afternoon.

All the portages are well used, so finding our way was never a problem. Finding a campsite on David Lake, however, was. Since the park only sells permits for the Lake you’re staying on (not the specific campsite), paddlers are left to circle the lake to see which campsites are available. Fortunately, we arrived early enough to lay claim to the second site we passed (#106). Since you can’t see the actual campsite from the lake, we clipped our life-jackets around a tree near the water to mark the site as used.

As we were setting up our camp, a couple paddlers came by the site to warn us that they had been chatting with a black bear just around the corner. He never bothered us, and we never bothered him.

After a quick swim to freshen up, we had a great oak-tree bonfire and feasted on hot dogs in wraps with fried onions and mustard. Mmmm.

I set up the tent earlier in the day to be safe, but we both chose to sleep under the stars. We fell asleep to the sound of acorns falling from the trees.

Day 2

  • David Lake
  • Hiked to Silver Peak and back
  • David Lake

We woke up and had pancakes for breakfast. (And percolated coffee—never forget the coffee!) The pancakes may have picked up a little extra flavour from the previous night’s onions, but that’s camping! After a quick 10 minute paddle to the portage to Boundary Lake, we set off for Silver Peak.

The first part of the trail was a beautiful walk along the ridge between David and Boundary Lakes. The mini-climbs were a good warm-up for what was to come. The ridge ended at the Creek that flows into Boundary Lake. After pumping our Nalgenes full of fresh water, we walked through a mostly level forest to the base of Silver Peak. The climb was tough, but we made it to the peak.

The view from Silver Peak is stunning. There’s quite a bit of room up there to move around, which was good since we shared it with 30 or so other people! We spent a couple hours up there, drinking green tea and feasting on Thai tuna & havarti cheese wraps.

Hiking down Silver Peak is a lot easier than going up! We passed many more people in that direction. A quick paddle brought us back to the ol’ campsite where we both had a swim.

Supper was rigatoni with pesto. We wolfed it down!

That night I fell asleep under the partially cloudy sky, staring at the light from the bonfire.

Day 3

  • David Lake
  • 200m portage
  • Creek and marsh that flowed from David Lake
  • 745m portage
  • Bell Lake
  • 190m portage
  • Log Boom Lake
  • 50m portage
  • Unnamed pond
  • 100m portage
  • Johnnie Lake

I woke up to my dad’s voice at 6:45 a.m. “Steve, get up.  It’s raining”. We stumbled to the tent and napped another hour or so. The rain was very brief and didn’t bother us for the rest of the day. We ate instant oatmeal packets and toasted bagels for breakfast. (And coffee, remember?)

As we paddled to the end of David Lake, we saw something swimming across a bay. At first we thought it was a beaver, but it didn’t slap it’s tail as we approached. After paddling like mad to see what it was, we discovered a baby raccoon. After hissing at us for paddling to close for its comfort, it turned around and swam back to the shore it started from.

Again, these portages were well used and easy to find. The wind was a positive factor on the way home. (This is a rare occurrence for me—usually I’m fighting the wind.) We flew down parts of Johnnie Lake with the wind at our back. If only we had packed a sail!

The traditional post-trip Chinese food celebration took place at Boston Cafe in Parry Sound.

It was a fantastic trip.

Administrative Notice

Hi everyone,

I’m in Killarney hiking (probably through a lot of rain) this week.  We’ll continue with the good news section of Ezekiel next week.

Thanks for reading,

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