On day 7 in Killarney Provincial Park, we packed up camp on Harry(’s) Lake and set out for our first portage back to Pike Lake. I was sad about leaving Harry(’s) Lake because as I said in my previous post, there was a feeling about this place like none other I’ve ever felt in the backcountry. So many personal moments happened like the lone wolf howling at night and during the day, the curious loons around our site and listening to them over the course of our stay. I was able to pick a loon feather off the top of the water which I now hold so dear to my heart. Such a special place to me now, and I will definitely be back.
It didn’t take very long to reach our first portage. The load was much lighter this time around with 5 days’ worth of food already eaten. Instead of 3 trips back and forth on the 640 meter portage, it was only 2 for each of us.
We rested for a few moments on Pike Lake before we packed the canoes and set off through the lake and back through the 2+ kilometres of swamp/marsh that Banjo jumped out in on our way to Harry(‘s) Lake. We decided to leash the dog to the canoe to relieve any stress that she would jump out. When we paddled closer to the swamp/marsh Banjo began to whine. What the heck was with her? She has never done this before in the canoe. Moments later less than 500 meters in front of us, we heard a pack of wolves howling. I thought I felt minimal before, but this time my heart ached and I felt really blessed to witness such an incredible happening. I was humbled at the intense communication between the pack. Through research, I have discovered that, “Although all the functions of howling are not known, scientists believe that wolves may howl to assemble their pack, to claim territory, to warn intruders away from a home site or kill, or to identify other wolves. Wolves also howl in the evening and early morning, in the summer when pups are young…” (http://westernwildlife.org/gray-wolf-outreach-project/biology-behavior-4/).
The pack wasn’t very far (2 km’s) from the portage trail, but we didn’t hear another peep after we paddled by.
It was a beauty day with a cool wind. You could definitely feel autumn in the air and see little bits of the season changing in nature. There were many flocks of geese migrating from the tundra landing in Killarney’s waters. The sound of Canada Geese enhanced the autumn feeling, for sure.
We paddled through Balsam Lake and back into Three Mile Lake where we took the first campsite. B was the lunch chef and had 3 MSR Whisperlite stoves going to make macaroni and cheese.
After lunch we set up camp and really enjoyed our last afternoon in the wilderness. On our map, it showed an old logging camp near by, so we hiked through the forest to find its remains.
Father Sky gave us a beauty sunset to round the night off, and a sky full of billions of stars. I slept very well that night and prolonged, as much as I could, having to get up and pack our tent and sleeping gear up in the morning.
When I unzipped the tent on my last morning, the sun was coming up bright and slowly burning off the fog on the lake.
I spent my last paddle through the wilderness watching a spider spin a web from the canoe to my leg, almost like it wanted me to stay connected to this place.
– Wilderness Gal