I cannot find my Killarney map anywhere. This is so distressing. I feel as though I have lost a piece of my soul *sob*
Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is my favourite place in the entire world. Yes, I have left the province before. Yes, I’ve been to places like Australia, Japan and Hong Kong (God bless their dim sum). But no matter how many amazing experiences I’ve had traveling the world, no other place has ever gotten me as excited and happy as Killarney has and still does.
My first couple of backcountry canoe-portaging trips were actually to Algonquin Provincial Park. Trip #1 included my first moose sighting and getting hailed on in the middle of summer. Trip #2 involved coming down with a fever on the first day of a four-day trip and, after portaging through torrential downpours, returning to a car parked 20 km from the nearest sign of civilization whose engine had gone on strike. After a miraculous tow, we ended up having to sleep in the parking lot of Canadian Tire and trekked home the following day on the bus.
Naturally, I was hooked. And when Trip #3 brought me to Killarney, I was in love.
So much in love that I went for an 8-day adventure on Trip #4 around what was then the perimeter of the park.
Day 2 — This picture symbolizes the war I went through with The Monster. At the beginning of this treacherous 3 km portage, my bag was so heavy that I tipped over and my face fell right into a rock. You can’t see the battle scars, but trust me, they’re there.
Trip #5 was another classic long-weekender with the boys and on Trip #6, we started nicknaming our crews. Team 70 was named so because we climbed Silver Peak (the highest point in Ontario) in 70 minutes.
Team K10 soldiered it out for Trip #7 when a record rainfall of 50-60mm of rain fell the day we went up to stay on the campgrounds, which was the day before the start of our route. Call us crazy, but none of us were willing to give up our annual dose of backcountry nature. The sun eventually came out for us and we got to climb The Crack and encountered a baby bear.
Last year, Team Hardcore did a six-day tour for Trip #8. Laugh at the name, but trust me. If you did what we did, you’d be owning it too.
Then we went back to Algonquin for Trip #9. And while there were some beautiful moments there, I remembered why I hadn’t gone back for so long after discovering Killarney. Algonquin is a park. Killarney is a gem.
So here I am now, in the midst of trying to plan Trip #10 but I can’t find my damn map! So in the meantime, I shall experience Killarney through blogging about it and subjecting you all to hear me blab about how much I love it there!
‘Tage (short for Portage ’cause he can kick any portage in the ass) — my fellow camping buddy — took me on my first trip and still laughs when he hears me getting all excited about going camping. Most people don’t expect it from looking at me, but there is nothing I love more than getting rained on, paddling over beaver dams, getting lost trying to find our campsite in the dark and feeling that wonderful pain that tells you that your body is kicking ass.
It makes the beautiful moments — and there are so many beautiful moments — all that more amazing.
– Cafe <3