Difficult is an understatement.
date of hike: August 18, 2016
With a wake up call for 6:30AM and knowing there will be a long drive ahead, there’s only one thing every Canadian looks forward to, it’s Tim Horton’s. Say what you want about the coffee not being up to par with Starbucks – Timmies is essential for any road trip in Canada. Especially this trip to Killarney Provincial Park that Chris and I decided on.
4 hours and a tank and a half of gas later, we make it to….. not the right trail. I missed a not-so-obvious turn and ended up 7 km away from the parking lot that would link us to the day’s trail: The Crack. Once we found the spot, parked, and applied a generous amount of actual bug repellent (find out why I said “actual” here) we were off!
A few minutes in, we reached a small bridge with a Window’s desktop view of a lake, wall of trees, and the sky. Continuing on we walked, climbed, and sweat – or at least that was my order of events. Chris broke a sweat before we even got to Killarney. It didn’t end there, we walked, climbed, and sweat for a solid hour and a bit before we finally ran into a family that told us, “you’re almost there!”. It was the longest “almost” I’ve ever experienced. This trail was rated “difficult”, but that was hardly an indication of how challenging it was. I struggled to understand how people brought their 4 year olds on this hike. Did those kids know what they were in for? They must’ve been aware because they had walking sticks; not the kind you break off of a tree or find on the ground, they were the kind you go out of your way to buy from like a family owned outdoors activity store. Anyway, we kept at it and eventually reached a rocky break through a cliff side, I figured that was The Crack. Chris and I carefully climbed our way up and through, then it was only a few steps before we made it to the top. The view was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. It was worth all the physical work that got us there.
We found a spot in the shade and had our lunch while enjoying the view. We were accompanied by families, couples, and chipmunks. We luckily had a bag of nuts so we fed them – the chipmunks, not the people. After lunch we pretty much had a photo shoot and paired up with another couple to take pictures for each other, relationship goals amirite? The pictures of the scenery didn’t do the landscape justice and it didn’t help that the day was humid so it looked sort of foggy, but I suggest going to Killarney and seeing it beyond whatever screen you’re seeing my pictures on. We spent some time exploring the area and appreciating the outlooks in all directions. Around 4:30PM the photos we took facing the main view turned out a bit darker since the sun was lowering in that direction. Soon after, we packed, wished our chipmunk friends farewell, and made our way down through the crack to hike back.
Following the arrows going back, we somehow got lost and it got me thinking about the film Blair Witch Project. Luckily for me a big family was following us and got lost too. I stopped thinking of the film since there’s safety in numbers, right? When we parted from the family and Chris knew where we were going I was relieved, but damn that’s a real trust exercise. Chris could have been a murderer and led me further into the woods and I would’ve gone with it. Haha, good thing he didn’t! Anyway, we made it back to the car safe and sound… and hungry. Just a few kilometers west following along Hwy-637 we reached a small town and had fish and chips for dinner which was great! Or maybe it tasted so good because I was hungry…
We headed home as it grew darker out, and soon the only source of light were the high beams from the headlights of cars. The drive back wasn’t bad, but I cut it close trying to find a gas station; this is when I found out it’s a privilege to have them open 24/7. I finally reached an On Route to fill up on gas and release my too full bladder.
The day’s trip was lovely and definitely memorable. There’s no doubt that I’ll be planning another day to be back there. I’ve appreciated the little things on this trip like sunscreen and water – this isn’t a joke, those were life savers. But the best thing about this trip was spending it with Chris, my significant other. I don’t think I could have done this day trip with anyone else ’cause I think I’d strangle them by the end of it. My best friend keeps me calm without even knowing it.
p.s. check out Chris’ video of our trip!