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Written by Erin Randall

Last weekend a group of 13 ambitious Type 1s and 5.5ers (friends, family members, and loved ones of anyone with T1!) set out on the beautiful waters of Killarney Provincial Park in sight of new friendships and endless adventures. The Second Annual 5.5er 3-day Canoe Trip did not disappoint!

The group gathered on Thursday evening at the George Lake Campground where everyone mixed and mingled, reacquainting with old friends and meeting brand new ones.

Day one started bright and early as we dipped our paddles into the clear waters of George Lake. We reached our first portage and before we knew it everyone had either a pack strapped on their back, a canoe propped on their shoulders or in some cases both! We made it to the other side unscathed, put our canoes in Freeland Lake and were about to take off when two people went for an unexpected dip in the lake! Back in our canoes we paddled through Freeland followed by Killarney and out onto O.S.A Lake were we set up camp for the weekend on a beautiful and serene island.

This year we opted for base camping (staying on the same camp site for the whole trip), which allowed us to do some exploring in the form of a hike on day two. The hike found us winding through the forest, over rough terrain, climbing up a bouldering mountain side, travelling through “The Crack”, and leading us to our final destination at the top. The trek challenged each individual and pushed everyone to reach new heights (literally!). And the view from the top. . .simply breathtaking! After all of that hiking we decided to lay low for the rest of the evening. Relaxing, sharing experiences, stories and many laughs by the campfire was a perfect way to end the day.

Our final day was filled with more paddling, portaging and taking in the beautiful scenery. For many this was their first time in Killarney and a trip that will not soon be forgotten. The only question left is where are we going next year?!?

“I hope to do all I can to support my many loved ones with diabetes, and in turn they teach me about and impress me endlessly with their positivity, dedication, perseverance, and strength. Having CIM bring us all together for one wild and fantastic canoe trip is the icing on the cake.” – Meghan Sauve, 5.5er

“This past weekend showed me just how amazing a group of T1’s and their crucially important 5.5ers work together as a well-oiled machine. As a type 1 diabetic participating in this event, I can say it really shows just how much we rely on our 5.5ers for support.” – Trevor Gardner, T1

“As a 5.5er my goal is to provide my unwavering support, to always be a source of laughter and sometimes when necessary be that voice of reason (have you ever tried to argue with a diabetic with low blood sugar?!?” – Caitlin Graup, 5.5er

“I think the 5.5er trips are so great because although the weekend is half T1’s and half 5.5er’s, diabetes is always on our minds. I love that our 5.5ers are able to see a group of T1’s and understand better all of the things we do on a daily basis.” – Shannon Graup, 5.5er

Thank you to Roger Bullock and Meghan Sauve for sharing their photos.