CIM Annual Canoe Trip 2013

Words: Luke Cameron | Photos: Mike Last

I had checked and re-checked my dry sac Wednesday night to ensure I had everything. I have a bad habit of forgetting one or two things when I go on canoe trips. I forgot an extra pair of shoes a month earlier on the 5.5 trip, forgot my water bottle on last year’s Annual trip. It looked like I had everything.

I had plans to meet Amy and Jen for lunch in Port Severn. Of course the two of them were a little late, but I am a patient guy. All of us enjoyed a great lunch at The Damn Grill. We ordered a pizza to go (My idea) to have for dinner once we arrived in Killarney.

We got to George Lake Campground without any troubles, or so we thought. We did discover that a couple welds had let go on the trailer. “Must have been that railway crossing, we’ll deal with it on Sunday”, was the plan. Jen and Amy got the permits, and then we headed to our campsites.

I started to set up tents, Jen was recovering from a low, and Amy chased a raccoon away. People started to arrive just after six. As introductions and sleeping arrangements were made, a bear was spotted, not a big bear, but still a bear. The park rangers chased it away. After that some of us decided to go for a walk. We found the beach, it was beautiful. We got back to camp and recruited others to join us in a dip. The water was great.

Back again at the campsite, Jen started screaming. Apparently, Stupid, the raccoon from the 5.5er trip, was in Jen’s tent. I guess Stupid decided to make a new opening in the side of the tent. With a little persuasion, Stupid left. Duct tape was added to the tent. Everything was good, until the skies opened up and it rained, a lot. I think the thunderstorm lasted 3 hours.

When I woke up, which was way too early, it was still raining, I laid there until the rain stopped, then ventured outside. There was a fire just being started for breakfast. I volunteered to cook the bacon. I didn’t realize that cooking bacon on a campfire in shorts was a bad idea.

After breakfast, there was some thunder and the wind picked up. Yep, it rained again. We all packed up and loaded the trip supplies into vehicles to get them to the canoe launch. It had been awhile since the last thunder was heard, so we decided to venture off while it was still raining. It was actually very peaceful canoeing in the rain.

Everyone made it through all the portages without a hitch. I was shocked because I capsized a canoe on the first portage on the 5.5er trip, unintentionally. We came to our campsite, which was nice. There were a lot of trees and very few bugs. Most of us enjoyed a swim in the clear water of O.S.A. Lake. The water was wonderful.

Later on after a fabulous dinner, Virtue attempted to make Hank a birthday cake. Unfortunately, some of the required ingredients did not make it into the food barrel. I’ll give Virtue all the credit, she used some marshmallows in lieu of the forgotten eggs and oil, and turned that cake mix into a very delicious dessert.

Saturday morning we were greeted by beautiful weather. We packed up and headed out back towards Killarney Lake. The campsite that was recommended was taken, so we paddled to the other end of the lake and found a great site. It had a great fire pit and a wonderful little point that looked out onto Killarney Lake.

Most of us decided to hike up the crack in the afternoon. This time it was clear skies so we were all able to see Georgian Bay from the top. The scene made for awesome picture backgrounds. The blueberries were out and delicious.

Back at the campsite, and after dinner, a massage train was started. It was heavenly. Later on we sat around the fire and told “No sh*t, there I was…” stories. Laughs were abundant.

A hammock was set up, and I decided I was going to sleep under the stars. It was a little cool overnight, but it was worth sleeping in the hammock. I watched as the first hints of morning started to lighten the sky in the east. I could have stayed there all morning.

After breakfast we packed up for the last time and headed back to George Lake Campground. We stopped for lunch on a small point. One of the canoes decided to venture out on its own. My first thought was to remove my pump, then my hat, and then I jumped in. One canoe rescued!

Back at George Lake Campground, packs were sorted out, rental canoes put away, and one last group photo down by the water. Everyone said their goodbyes, except Ryan, his car wouldn’t start. After getting a tow truck and searching Wiki, we had a solution. If you drive a VW, remember the following: if your ignition immobilizer ever prevents you from starting your car, charge the battery for 10 minutes with the key in the “on” position; it will deactivate the immobilizer. For the few of us that stayed to ensure Ryan got going, we said goodbye again and headed home. Another great CIM weekend that always comes to an end way too soon.

I watched as the first hints of morning started to lighten the sky in the east. I could have stayed there all morning.

One of the canoes decided to venture out on its own. My first thought was to remove my pump, then my hat, and then I jumped in. One canoe rescued!

  • Meghan Sauvé

    Amazing photos! Looks like it was an absolute blast.

  • Wow! What an adventure! I’m in awe of the pics – thanks for sharing them!

  • Hendrik DeVos