Day 3 in Killarney Provincial Park, we met up with our friends Nick and Andrew back at the Bell Lake access point. They were only waiting 15 minutes for us before we arrived. Perfect timing or what?
B and I switched up some gear and food for the next 5 days. We were all ecstatic to be there and start our paddle into the interior.
The weather for our first day with friends was fantastic. Blue skies and billowy clouds. There were so many lush green white pines and shield everywhere! Such beautiful country, and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to finally be in the Killarney wilderness.
We paddled about 9 kilometres the first day through Bell Lake and Three Mile Lake with one 40 meter portage over an old marine railway. Hardly worth the effort to take everything out of the canoe and walk it 40 meters and then carry the canoe. But, we were now into a different body of water, Balsam Lake.
Our first site was a beauty. Soft pine needled ground, and layers of pine roots made for a tiered elevation. We had a great swim spot and cooking/camp fire area. We all had a great place to pitch our tents. I was disappointed that we only spent one night here.
Throughout the night I could hear a beaver smacking it’s tail in the wetland next to our site. Of course I thought it was a bear after Banjo barked during the night, but my husband talked some good sense into me and calmed my nerves.
We were up early and I made the guys a hardy breakfast of farm fresh eggs, beans and toast.
Day 4 (for B and I) we paddled 8.6 kilometres and had a 375 meter portage over an elevation of 255 meters into Pike Lake. The end of the portage into the lake was stunning. Calm waters with reflections of shoreline white pines. Once we started paddling we passed through some pretty thick lily pads and marsh. Banjo jumped out of the canoe and sunk in mounds of swampy water and mud to chase sandpipers. It was hard to get her back in, and B’s patience was running very thin until she finally was able to get back in… until she jumped out a second time and it was even harder to get her back in! But we managed and B kept his cool. I was very proud of him. Once we paddled out of the swampy area (about 2 kilometres worth!) we paddled through Pike Lake heading toward our longest portage of the day.
The portage was 640 meters and over an elevation of 240 meters. It was a tough one for me who carried the bigger food barrel. But once again, the end of the portage and the beginning of Harry’s Lake was incredible. Beyond the 7-8 meters of knee-deep mud we had to trek our gear across to our canoes, was a view of the La Cloche mountains. We stayed on this lake 3 nights, and they were the best three nights I’ve ever had in any backcountry.
Stay tuned for Part Three.