The Milky Way was in full bloom that night. There were weather warnings of extreme electrical storms. Some complied and moved tents to lower locations.
Then like paparazzi flashbulbs chasing Marilyn Monroe, like the US fleet raining 'shock and awe' over Bagdad, all hell broke loose on the eastern horizon. Georgian Bay's kinetic energy, catapulted upward by the hot summer day, rained down as fire on the earth.
From a distance we watched mesmerized, tent flies flapping in the breeze. Welcome to 'Kayaking Franklin, Mink and McCoys, 2011'.
These same cycles of earth, wind and fire repeat, 2014, waiting for the mindful to capture in time and place. Waiting for the expectant on a rock in the middle of a water world.
Friday, Aug. 1, leave as soon as possible after work for Killbear Provincial Park. Car-camp for the night.
Saturday, pick up local rental kayaks if required. Congregate at Snug Harbor by 9:30 am. Pack kayaks and launch by 10:30. Those not in boats by cutoff time are on their own.
Saturday option 2 for those renting from Swift in Waubaushene and unable to pickup by closing Friday.
Saturday 5:00 am leave KW, be first in line when Swift opens 8:30. Meet the main group at Snug Harbor by 10:00. Launch at 10:30.
Saturday both options: Paddle to Big McCoy via west side Franklin Island. Setup base camp.
Sunday, Explore the Mink Islands. Possibly venture to the Limestone Islands. Or, relax on McCoy.
Monday, Aug 4, return to Snug Harbor via stops on Franklin Island. Return rental kayaks by 4:00 pm. Perhaps a communal meal in Parry Sound and head for home.
3 day kayak rental + Friday campsite + gas + misc
$108 (single kayak) + $8 (Friday campsite) + $35 (gas) + $7 parking + $5 thunder box fund = $163 before tax
$75 (1/2 of a tandem kayak) + $8 + $35 + $7 parking + $5 thunder box fund = $130 before tax
Don't shy from tandems, with the right partner they go fast. Being in the front means no need to worry about steering.
Saturday to Monday we are on crown land where no camping fees apply. There is free parking at the 'government lot' in Snug Harbor if we get there on time. Otherwise (most likely) $7/day at the marina.
As always with rentals the issue is hours of operation. To name a few outfitters.
Adventure Guide, Waterloo. Great policies for weekend pickup and return. Poor gas mileage hauling boats long distance.
Sojourn, Barie. (705)[masked] Possible to make closing time Friday night, impossible to make closing time Monday night.
Swift, Waubaushene. [masked] Closes at 8 pm Friday. Opens at 8 am Saturday (contrary to their web site). Closes at 8 pm for Monday, although, they have after hours drop off options.
MEC.ca Toronto For weekend rentals they provide the option to pick up the day before and return the day after the weekend.
Hiker's Haven (Oakville) 905 [masked] I believe Hiker's Haven also has the option to pickup and return the day before and after the weekend for weekend rentals.
Caution, if tempted to rent from White Squall in Nobel be forewarned last year they cancelled a dozen boats on us on short notice, a week before the event. Something about our group size being too large.
First time kayakers and/or backcountry campers welcome. Anticipate a full 16 km of paddling the first day. Note: last year the larger group never made it past Franklin Island due to unsafe wave conditions further out. Weather could once again determine where we end up for the weekend.
Please view 2011's commentary at http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/messages/boards/thread/13285141#[masked]
Photos from 2013 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/16570352/
Photos from 2012 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/9526722/
Photos from 2011 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/2682521/
Sunset photo by Margarita. Night sky above by Saman.
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