Killarney 2008

This past weekend, we got back from a week of backwoods camping in Killarney. Click the image below for the entire route (about 34-36km in total, including 5 portages).

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We did 5 days, and 7 people in 3 canoes. We had an ultralight Kevlar (~40lbs), a reinforced Kevlar (~55lbs), and our own ABS plastic one (~75-80lbs). Ours was a real bastard to get over some of the tougher portages, including this really crappy 465m one with rocks at either side, three mud sections (knee-deep, as I found out), and a fallen tree blocking the path. In retrospect, I'm surprised I didn't break my neck getting the canoe through that mess.

The initial trip in was 2 days of travelling, and we got to Gail Lake and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the trip. 5 people in the group took the lighter canoes and did the terrible-sounding 3km portage into David Lake to hike to Silver Peak (it sounded like a tough day). Apparently, they forgot to bring enough water, food, footwear, flashlights, etc. They arrived back at the camp site a little after sunset.

It rained the evening before the last day and continued to rain the whole night, until about noon on the final day. We started early, but it was overcast, so we couldn't keep proper track of time, and didn't know how long we had to canoe. We resorted to powering up the Blackberry, and (amazingly) we got a little signal near the north end of the park. We managed the entire red route before 6:30pm the last day.

My friend has a relative on Manitoulin Island, so we were able to spend a night in their cottage before catching the ferry back home. I use the term cottage rather inappropriately; it had full electrical service, plumbing and heating, satellite television, a hot tub, and there were racks of ribs and bottles of wine waiting for us on the way out. I'm pretty sure we were all suffering a bit of exposure by the time we arrived at the cottage.

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