If doing a 3090 metre portage wasn’t enough, we had a 1280m + 600m portage from Threenarrows into Artist Lake. This portage is nicknamed “The Pig” and I can see why.
For the first 640m (approx.) the trail climbs 98m, naming it the second steepest portage in the park. You literally hike up to the top of a mountain and back down the other side. Once you reach the bottom (the second 640m) you have to veer left and follow the last 600m to Artist Lake.
For me, it was a steady pace that took about 20 minutes to portage to the top. There, Banjo and I waited for B to go back down, get the canoe and hike back up. When we reached the bottom on the other side, B had to hike back to the top to bring the canoe down. It was easy for me who didn’t have to go back.
Artist Lake was a gem. The put-in is at the beginning of a huge bog, which was so colourful this time of year. Bogs are so awesome! I couldn’t stop admiring it.
We had a paddle across the lake to a 35m portage around falls. 35m doesn’t seem like a lot but we both agreed that this one sucked. Hardly any space to take your gear out, and it was straight up rocks and boulders to the other end. I lost it here. I must have been hungry. We had a protein bar and paddled the rest of Artist Lake to a 165m portage into Muriel Lake where we decided to stop for lunch.
As luck would have it, the sun came out just as we sat down for a much-needed lunch of our usual cheese, crackers, figs, and hummus. Muriel Lake was gorgeous and had 2 campsites. I might want to stay on this lake during my next visit.
After a quick lunch, it was back in the canoe to paddle across Muriel Lake to our last portage of the day. 585m into O.S.A. Lake, Killarney’s most difficult lake to reserve a site on. I can honestly say that this was definitely our longest day.
When we started paddling O.S.A. Lake, the water was calm enough, but as soon as we got into the main lake, the wind kicked up and I no longer could keep glancing at the map to get oriented, but was ordered to get my paddle in the water. It was rough but nothing compared to the first day of our trip on George Lake.
It was risky to paddle all the way across the lake to the most eastern site near our portage the next day. It could be occupied. We bypassed an island site that had campers and decided to just get to the other side of the lake and off the water. More luck, the campsite was unoccupied and had the most beautiful view of the mountains!
All three of us were happy to get out of the canoe and make camp on our last site of the trip.
The day was spent gazing at the views, camp chores, and enjoying our last full day in the Killarney wilderness.