Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Weather: 17 degrees Celsius, rainy afternoon / night
Distance: ~5 kms along Bell and Three Mile Lakes
Jenny and I knew the day had the potential to be rainy. Environment Canada’s forecast hadn’t changed much in five days. We grabbed the box of extra large garbage bags and headed out to the Bell Lake Access Point in Killarney Provincial Park.
We unloaded the truck alongside one of the Killarney Kanoes canoe racks. Car by car of Wild Women joined us, unloading their personal gear and repacking it into easy to manage canoe packs. A steady rain started and with all seven clients present we opted to hold our orientation under the awning of the park’s office outpost to keep ourselves as dry as possible for as long as possible.
Getting On the Water
At about 11 Killarney Kanoes put the canoes in the water for us and we started loading. Each canoe pair took their own packs plus a barrel or group gear bag. I took the first round of a threesome in the 17′ Souris River. As we shoved off from the docks the drizzle let up. We chatted within our own boats, between boats, sharing stories about what brought us all together on a canoe trip in Killarney on the first day of fall.
We enjoyed a mid-paddle snack to keep energy up until we could set up lunch at our desired campsite. It looked like another busy weekend in the park and we kept our fingers crossed that Bell/Three Mile campsite #75 was available. As we rounded the corner into the bay, we let out a little cheer and headed for shore.
We took our time to unload the canoes carefully as the rocks were slick. Packs were laid out on the rocks. Canoes were brought up to rest in the bushes above our landing zone. Then we brought up all of the packs with the exception of the Day 3/4 food barrel which we attached to a shrub behind a boulder.
As the women worked together to set up their tents, Jenny and I prepped a buffet make-your-own-sandwich lunch. We enjoyed a break in the rain. Jenny set up a tarp. I hung our washroom kit and our gravity filters in their appropriate trees. We guides managed to get our own tents set up before the rain set in for the rest of the day.
Three of our clients were big campfire fans and happily set out to get one going despite (because of?) the rain. As one got the flames jumping another set out to collect more wood. Several of us started in on sous chefing our vegetarian pad thai dinner under the tarp. We cooked up dinner over our MSR Whisperlites and enjoyed the warm, spicy meal on an otherwise damp evening.
The low, thick clouds made it feel dark at 7:30. We boiled water on the fire for tea. Women hung around the fire for another hour or so and started wandering off to the dryness of their tents. Jenny and I stored the remaining food barrels and retreated to our own tents. I journaled for a little while and snuggled into my sleeping bag, listening to the rain hit my fly.
For the rest of the trip report, click here.