Topaz Lake, in Killarney!

I’m struggling to stay awake, cosy and almost too warm in my hammock and quilts at 7:50 P.M. We left Orangeville at 6 A.M. this morning; got some wonderful whitefish and chips at Halbert’s on The Channel in Killarney; and back to sign in at the Park and be out on the trail shortly after noon. By 4:45 P.M. we were at the stunning Topaz Lake nestled up in the southern Killarney Ridge of the La Cloche Range. 14.7km, mostly easy, though ‘The Pig’ portage up and then over to the campsite on Topaz Lake was A PIG …

We’re here doing the 85 km La Cloche Silhouette Trail, and will be home after six nights and seven days. Since 1975 I’ve spent well over half a year with Cathy spread over mostly week-long canoe trips, guiding, on our own, with friends, and then nearly a decade and a half worth of annual extended family trips. This is the first time I’ve hiked in the Park, and I’m excited to walk its geology and ecology for the next week.

“We” means Ron J is my hiking partner. Soheil, my friend and hiking partner from two years ago on the Bruce Trail, had to withdraw just a few weeks ago. I was then going to do the trip solo, but put out a general call to folks I’d like to hike with. Ron responded in the affirmative and I’m so glad. He’s a fellow science teacher, had taken a course Cathy helped teach at UofT Erindale, lives just outside Orangeville, has lots of serious wilderness experience — and is a wonderful interested-in-everything fellow naturalist.

Stats: 35 or so campsites to reserve along the Trail; 20 permits in effect now,with some solos; saw a man Ron recognized from videos who was just completing the Trail solo in two nights and three days(!); two young men with seriously ultralight 24 litre packs out for a day less than us!; perhaps five pairs of day-hikers going out and back from George Lake;

… more tomorrow, when I hope to get cell signal up on the tops of the hills on our way to Bodina Lake …

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