I don't normally head outdoors without any planning ahead of time, but the opportunity arose to get out of the city on the weekend. I didn't want to let any of the good weather go to waste, so Angel and I decided to make an overnight trip to Kejimkujik National Park.
When I think of Keji, I think canoeing. Kejimkujik Lake is a fairly large lake and is put to good use by many Park visitors. Canoe rentals are available inside the Park, which allowed us access to one of the many secluded campsites which can only be reached by canoe or kayak.
It was slightly unfortunate that the winds were high when we arrived. Waves were rough and they were not allowing anyone out into the exposed center of the lake. Canoes were being permitted on more sheltered areas of the lake, so we booked a campsite and went to get a canoe. For $30 you can rent a canoe for overnight trips. I also had to fork over the cash for a ride to the south end of the lake with the canoe. We would have to depart on George's Lake where the wind was calm. After a ride down the winding dirt road, a nice chat with our driver and a short portage we were underway.
Even then the winds were a bit of a struggle. Luckily the distance to the campsite was not great, for we had to push against the wind over waves as high as any on the ocean. Otherwise the paddle was pleasant, as I tried to get the hang of it-- me being more comfortable on my own two feet.
Very soon we were on land and setting up camp. After a short break we decided to paddle north along the shore. I knew if we reached another portage trail in Minards Bay we could hike our way to the Park's fire tower. After fighting some more wind we reached the relative calm of the Bay. As we crossed the Bay we passed by another campsite. Close enough to see someone swimming naked, but far enough so that we couldn't make out any details! They calmly put their clothes back on and we continued on our way.
We passed by an inukshuk placed on a rock sitting in the water on our way to portage "E". We haul our canoe up and hike up the trail. Soon enough the trail intersect a road. We follow the road north for about 30 minutes through the forest until it opens up in a clearing with a fire tower and a cabin. The cabin was open and available for use. The fire tower, sadly, was not. I didn't find this out until I had climbed the ladder to the very top! Let me tell you, it's taller than it looks. I was surprised at the view that surrounded me. I could see land for kilometres in any direction.
I climbed back down and we made it back to the canoe in good time. We approached the water to find that the winds had died down, leaving the waters very still. We retraced our strokes back to camp in time for sunset. The evening was spent waiting for the full moon to rise while fending off black flies and building a fire. Oh, and do NOT get citronella in your eyes.
We went to sleep to the echo of loons from every corner of the lake. In the morning I awoke to the rattle of woodpeckers in the forest. The waters were still calm and I figured we'd make good time. We were to set out north from camp and head straight for Jake's Landing, where the canoe and kayaks are rented out. The lake in the morning was very calm and very quiet as we passed the odd loon here and there. We also stumbled across some terns attacking an intruding gull. I was impressed with the progress Angel and I were making. We crossed the lake in an hour and a half. It took us that long to go 2 km the day before! Our driver from the day before was impressed, too, as we coasted in.
After a short, leisurely paddle further up the river we turned in our life vests, packed up our gear and headed out with arms thankful to be at rest.
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