Our final night was the coldest by far. There was no wind, but still it was cold inside our three-season tent. I kept putting a blanket and my sweater on Banjo while she snuggled between B and I.
I set the alarm because we wanted to break camp early. We tried this method many times over the course of the trip, but when the sun only starts coming up around 7:00AM, naturally we had a late start and were usually on the water by 9:00AM.
I had my final breakfast of instant oatmeal and packed up camp in the company of my headlamp. When we hit the water around 8:00AM it was the early morning I had been waiting for on our trip. The mist was rising from the lake as the powerful sun came up.
Since we stayed on the site closest to our portage, it wasn’t a far paddle. You could either take a 120 metre portage that was a little steep into a pond and then lift over a beaver dam, or you could take the 455m, both leading into Killarney Lake. We opted for the 455m. The trail was covered in fallen leaves and the light from the sun was golden. When I reached the end of the portage B whispered “Bear!” I took my pack off and pulled my camera out and snapped a few shots. It was on the shoreline and didn’t even know we were there. And, Banjo had no idea it was there. I watched for a few minutes until it finally disappeared into the forest.
We paddled down Killarney Lake to our next portage of 410m into Freeland Lake, where I watched 2 moose swim across the narrows on the second day of our trip. The portage followed a creek.
Back in the canoe to paddle to our last portage of the trip, a 45m into George Lake. I spotted another black bear on the shoreline! Banjo caught wind of it and growled with the bear ripping off into the bush. What a final day in the park!
At the 45m portage we watched people paddled into the park in droves. It was Thanksgiving Weekend after all and the fall colours were at their peak.
B, Banjo and I had come a long way just the three of us considering the thought of cancelling our trip on day one when George Lake was almost impassable. It was a wonderful adventure, and my most favourite yet. I learned so much as I always do when embarking on such an adventure. It was great to spend time with my husband and Banjo and watch her have the time of her life. She needed it just as much as we did.