Our first vacation of the Summer was at Killbear Provincial Park. It is about an hour and a half north of Barrie. As usual, bdot defied the laws of physics to fill the car. We rented a trailer for the first time. In the past, we have always tented it. The trailer was nice for many reasons. You get standing room, a fridge, a freezer and you don’t have to panic when it rains and there is a bit higher feeling of security. The mattress in the trailer was however, pretty awful, but was still better than anything I’ve slept on in a tent. I don’t think we slept as sounded or restfully in spite of sleeping longer.
This was our first visit to this Provincial Park and it was quite impressive. The staff were always friendly and helpful. The facilities were clean and the grounds are very well maintained. I swear they were always doing something. Clearing trails, cleaning washrooms, repairs, maintenance. It was quite apparent the park was well run. The natural beauty of the Georgian Bay area is remarkable. There are massive rock faces that plunge into the water that have been smoothed down over time by waves and wind. The main road into the park has a bike path along it. It was a great trail, I highly recommend bringing bikes here. The trail was busy single every day.
The first day (Sunday) was pretty quiet. Packing for a week is an undertaking. So packing then driving up – unpacking… yeah, pretty much you just want to eat and sleep. That is pretty >much what happened. A reboot day.
Monday I rode most of the aforementioned bike trail down to the Lighthouse area. It really isn’t much of a lighthouse, is more like a light on a big stick. The Park is dotted with many beaches along its exterior. There are so many beaches. The sand is soft and clean; in many areas, the slope into the water is also incredibly gradual.
Tuesday was a day of discovery. We drove down to the Lighthouse park to check it out. I’ve never seen such curious rock. They looked like something out of a Sci-fi film. Thin, sharp, jagged groups of rocks jutted out along the shoreline. You wouldn’t want to be a ship hitting those. There was the obvious beach beside the parking lot that was full of people but we wandered just down the road and found another beach. A completely empty beach! It was pretty amazing having it all to ourselves. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach but I’m pretty sure Vizslas don’t think they are dogs so Snoog romped around merrily in defiance. She however didn’t go in the water – we think because of the waves but, who knows. One thing we were trying to figure out is where to launch the kayak. I think the best spot is likely the same quiet beach we found. We then drove over to the local store (Detour) to get, what we were expecting, would be a better deal on wood, for the nightly fires. The park gives you maybe 8-10 pieces for 10 bucks, Detour gives you a much bigger bag for the same price… BUT the park wood is hardwood and Detour’s is softwood, so really the burning time is comparable. *shrug* We wandered around the Park a bit too. There are some incredible waterfront sites which we may try and score in the future if we return (which we intend on doing). Our site wasn’t bad (it backed onto the rec trail with no one on one side of us Beaver Dams #204) but there are some really exceptional sites if you look around. We also walked around Sunset Rock. I thought the massive orange rocks were very curious. Geologists must love this area. The view onto the bay was also nice.
Wednesday we woke up late (as we did every day) and finally got onto the water! The first paddle with the new Delta AR12. I’m very sure it is the best rec kayak I’ve paddled. It felt stable (practically untippable), held course and held speed really well. My only complaint was the seat wasn’t that comfortable but it may just require some tweaking. We weren’t sure what to expect with our reactive dog during this trip but she has been very good so far. Snoog even put herself to bed most nights.
Spent most of Thursday at the Twin Points Trail. It is a very short hike through forest and rock. The trail there was short but very scenic. It jogs along the shoreline and up into forest, along rocks… the landscape changes constantly. Of course, there are more beaches here too. In the afternoon we chilled at the beach with poopers and each took a spin on the kayak. It was an interesting location. There was a small bay that had anchored buoys that allowed boats to rest in the habour. So the harbour was filled with some pretty impressive yachts and sailing craft. It was a pretty relaxing day in the shade.
Friday we woke to find an ominous small pile of entrails in front of the trailer – likely some Satanic cult performed a very small ceremony while we slept. Creepy! No body was found. We hiked the Lookout Point Trail today. It was certainly longer than the Twin Points Trail, with way more forest. The vista showed the massive waters that surround the area but was otherwise unremarkable. We came across two people in, what looked like white hazmat suits, in the forest. More cult rituals? No. Scientists from Guelph University cataloging ticks. We met up with the lovely ladies in the parking lot and had a short chat with them. I’m certainly glad someone is keeping track of that pest insect. Dinners have been a lot of reheating with the old Smokey Joe. I guess remembered how to use it. We brought way too much charcoal, however.
Saturday was a chillout day at our ‘secret lighthouse beach’. It was less secret today. We met a dude who was interested in getting a Vizsla and was quite interested in hearing about the breed. Snoog is selective about who she loves. She wouldn’t give him the time of day. *snort* If you are looking for cell reception, this is the best beach in Killbear for R*gers. I had full bars here, I think you can even see the cell tower. Although the dog wasn’t really allowed on the beach – she stayed with us the whole time. We didn’t get any grief. There were lots of people with dogs where dogs weren’t supposed to be. Snoog was quite chill though so I don’t think anyone really cared.
The nights were pretty awesome. We had this incredible *mostly* bug-free zone with a view of the fire. We added some solar lights (which worked quite well) to give it a cheerful glow to relax by.
Of course, the hottest day was the day we had to pack up leave. It was quite the endevour as we didn’t eat or drink as much as we thought we would and had more stuff coming home than expected. it turned out the next renter was really late so we could have spent the afternoon at the Park. *shrug* Still, I’m always happy to get home and we were both hot and tired by the time we packed up so…We stopped in Parry Sound for lunch. Our first attempt was at Brewing Company but it was slammed hard. Wow. I wasn’t expecting a 30m wait for a table in Parry Sound? So we just wandered down the street to Glenn Burney Smashburger. It was an expensive but tasty burger that we both inhaled. They let the dog sit with us on the patio too – so that was great.
Killbear was great fun. I think we learned a lot about the park and could better take advantage of it if we return.
Thanks to IrfanView for offering a way to batch convert Apple’s fscking idiotic proprietary image format into something people can actually use. Worse is they hold your images hostage unless you pay to upgrade iCloud. What a scam. F*ck Apple!
UGH. Another championship game decided by a dubious (embellished) penalty. Sure, the Canada Women were being outplayed but didn’t break. I can’t stand Morgan. She is such an attention whore. Me me me look at me. Meh.