After months of planning the time was there to go meet-up with my cousin Chad and our buddy Rob. Originally we had a few more friends coming, but eventough planning ahead seemed to work there are always those last-minute scheduling conflicts that pop-up. No biggie. On Thurdsay-afternoon I left Cleveland at about 4.15pm and after a quick and easy drive I was in Brampton a little after 8.30pm. I made such good time that I had to wait before Chad, his lovely wife Lisa and Rob showed up. Gave me an oppertunity to doze-off a bit. We started sorting out the camping stuff, did the groceries pre-loaded the cars with everything but the coolers.
The next morning we made a last-minute stop at the Pro Bass Shop before driving north towards Barrie. A fuel and ATM stop later we continued towards Killbear Provincial Park. Very nice drive after Barrie to end-up at a beautiful park. You really get the 'up north' feeling eventhough you only barely left Southern Ontario.
We registered at the park and checked out our campsite. At least Chad and I did, somewhere between the park entrance and the site we managed to loose Rob... Since cellphone coverage is spotty at best it took us some time to hook-up. It turned out okay since the first time we checked the campsite the previous guest were still pakcing up and it was nice and empty now with the guys from the park cleaning it up for us.
Next item: pitching tents. I had my light-weight tent with me and got everything setup in under 5 minutes. Rob had his done shortly after before we both helped out Chad setting up his 'Palace'. Jeez, that thing was big. After that it was time for the tarp and with finished we had our home for the next few days ready..... Beach time!!
We didn't actually go to beach, but rather to the Cliffs. It's one of the most popular spots in the parks with various cliffs you can use to jump off into Geogrian Bay (off Lake Huron). They vary from 10 to 45ft in height and all kinds of people where doing lots of jumping. You saw young first-timers, experienced 'thrill seekers' and the slightly older crowd (everything over 25 to 75). I made a few jumps, but Chad found his inner child and must have made 10 or more jumps. The water was nice and clear. Althought the latter part was a bit weird since you could see the bottom, but it was soo deep you'll never hit it. Just doesn't look like that if you look down from the top of that cliff...
The first night at the campfire. Well, like kids in the candy store. The beer came out followed by the Captain Morgan which found its way plentifully into the cans of Coke and Lime. We had a blast. All of us needed this R&R for various reasons and it was much appreciated.
We did some fishing on this trip, or better said a lot of fishing. It's not my biggest hobby, but watching your friends actually catch something (after a lot tries...) makes it interesting. I always had my book with me, but I never did read much...
On the Sunday the guys had their biggest fish-success. I very big one got away before, but this time in the first 15 minutes they had 3 catches. The biggest catch of the day was reserved for the guys from Barrie. We lent them our fish-net and they caught a big su**er of a lake trout. I took the picture (see here for that shot and more) and without our net they would have never been able to get it, so... ah well, we caught some pike and some bass, but not big enough for the BBQ.
After a quick visit to Parry Sound (or for the hockey-fans among us: Borry Or town) and a good lunch at Don Cherry Sports and Grill the trip was winding down. The next morning we started to pack eveything up and went for some final jumps of the Cliffs and with a fuel-stop in Nobel we left again for Brampton. For me that was only part of the trip since I had my Brampton to Cleveland leg still ahead of me, which was another 4 to 5 hours.
After picking up some furniture for Chad and watching him putting it together it was time for me to leave and commence the last leg of this mini-break. 5 hours later I was home and rolled into bed and slept like a baby.