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Date: 9/30/2020
Subject: October 2020 e-Newsletter
From: Lambton Outdoor Club

Lambton Outdoor Club
October 2020 e-Newsletter

Nico Van Dyl
Nico Van Dyl is the kind of guy you might find paddling his canoe on a Northern Ontario expedition, downhill skiing in the Rockies, pedalling with the Hares or hiking on a local trail. In short he is the embodiment of a Lambton Outdoor Club all round member, and will as Vice President inherit the gavel after the Fall AGM. Like many of us, Nico was a transplant to Sarnia, but spent the first two years of his life in Indonesia, where his father worked in the Petroleum industry. Political upheaval took the family to the Netherlands, and then Calgary where Nico grew up, spending his leisure in the Rockies as he attended University. He majored in Biology, but landed a job which took him around the world in a curious occupation, sampling crude as it was loaded onto tankers or delivered to refineries. His most exotic location he recalls was Bonaire, the smallest of three Dutch islands off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba being the most well known. After being transferred to Sarnia from Montreal, Nico eventually found work with Suncor as a Laboratory Technician at the refinery where he stayed for 32 years. Nico is a proud father of one son who is married living in Kingston, and with whom he still enjoys camping and canoe tripping. After retirement he decided to devote time to leisure activities, which is where he discovered Lambton Outdoor Club.

Apart from the aforementioned activities, Nico and partner Barb are enthusiastic campers, having just returned from a “glamping” trip to Eastern Ontario. Nico finds the culture of LOC welcoming and encouraging. “I feel safe paddling with people far more experienced than I, and there are so many stories of places travelled and adventures from club members”. This is a challenging time for LOC to navigate the perils of the Pandemic, but Nico is encouraged from his time on Council. “We have  dedicated and experienced leadership; it is a little intimidating but I am looking forward to the role of President”, Nico shared.  Nico and Barb’s home looks out onto a cornfield, with canoes and kayaks strategically stowed. They are in a good place to enjoy nature, and with a paddling trip planned, adventure beckons in more ways than one.

Submitted by Mike Tanner

Great Cycle Challenge 2020
Back a few months ago, our Past President Mike Tanner approached me to see if I could be persuaded to join him in a new cycling endeavor, the Great Cycle Challenge for Sick Kid’s hospital. I immediately said yes as fundraising rides are something I do enjoy participating in. What’s better than getting out doing something you love and at the same time help out a great cause? Initially I said I would match the distance that Mike and another friend had committed to of 400 km. I knew that I would be able to do more, but his friend is new to cycling and 400 km would be a real challenge for him. The way it would work is that during the month of August you try to complete the challenge by either riding on your own, with friends or by forming group rides with other riders from your area who had also signed up for the challenge.

As a result, I registered on the GCC Facebook page (really easy and best of all, free!) and started my fundraising effort. I set a goal of $500, which I considered to be modest, (but you can always increase it and of course this is not a limit as you are allowed to go over). Before I knew it though I had reached my goal thanks to the generosity of some special friends. The question begged: “Now what do I do?” I decided to see what would happen if I put the challenge out there that I would ride a kilometer for every dollar raised. I figured I better put a cap on it as I wanted it to be achievable, so the cap was 1000 km. It turned out that I far surpassed the fundraising goal and my total was just short of $1600.00.  

Now came the hard part, the actual riding. As most of you know, Mike and I and three other grandpas rode across Canada a few years ago and you’ll say 1000 km is nothing after that. Well, the first week came and went and no riding was done. I was finding when you’re at home, life gets in the way and there just isn’t as much time to devote to only one specific activity such as cycling. I do have to say some of the delay was weather related, so that was beyond my control. I had better get my butt in gear, I mean the saddle, if I was going to do this over the next 2 weeks. I managed to do some catching up by riding with some LOC friends. We did rides out to Camlachie, Forest, Petrolia, and down river to Sombra and Port Lambton. I discovered that I especially enjoyed these latter ones. It is enjoyable to ride by the St. Clair river, mostly on paved trails, as there is always something new to see. I used to work at the Lambton GS and it still brings back many good memories of my 33+ years spent in that place, most of all, the many people that became good friends. It is, however, disheartening to see the state the buildings are in now as they are in the process of being demolished. For many years I used to cycle to work, initially from Sarnia, but later from just north of Corunna as life got busier with family and time would not allow riding from home. It amazed me how I still remembered all the little details of that road after all those years, you get to know every bump, especially the ones that you really need to avoid!

I should also mention that my oldest daughter, who lives in London, signed herself and her 6-year-old son and 4 year old daughter up for the GCC ride and invited me to join their ‘Speedy Chamberlins Team’. She committed to doing 150 km and the kids 50 km each. Of course, this meant that we needed to do some rides together as a team. I decided to ride to their place and then went on short rides with her and the grandkids. (I did this twice, once with a head wind and then with a cross wind, I can vouch a crosswind is much better!)

Our little granddaughter, Jaina, really amazed all of us as every time Elise wanted to strike out on a ride to get some kms in, she would say: “But mommy, I want to do more kilometers too!”. So away she would go again, accumulating an incredible 90 km! Certainly not bad for a 4 year old I’d say (even though I am a bit prejudiced). Grandson Ronin was not bad either with 75 km.

Now you probably wondered: but what happened to Mike and his friend? Well that is another story. Mike developed knee problems and his friend got his new bike stolen so neither were able to complete the ride, although Mike did redeem himself and still rode 200 km and raised $300. So all in all, I do think the challenge was a great success as our team, including Mike, raised almost $2500! And, I managed to complete my personal goal of 1000 km doing a ride to Port Lambton from Mooretown, this being the first ride I led as an LOC member. Nationally 52,206 riders raised $9,382,159 and rode 5,134,729 km!

Submitted by John Damoiseaux
             John in training
   This family rides together

Parting Thoughts
It was a cool September evening in 2015 when we gathered at the Kinsmen Centre on Lakeshore Rd for the LOC potluck, presentation and AGM. Actually, the presentation was the draw for me, an intriguing account of riding a bike to the Arctic Circle. I had been a member for a decade and appreciated the Club’s activities which appeared magically on a quarterly calendar, and required little of me than to pay my dues and show up. The pot luck was delicious as usual, and as the room settled for the boring business portion (old school based on a flip chart), they were trolling for a VP. Ronnie Kevan approached me and said “you could do that job, why don’t you stand?” It caught me completely off guard, and the gut reaction was stymied by the thought “yes I could”, and before my brain caught up with my tongue I was launched on a whirlwind career that never appeared on my event horizon. Donna was President and reassured me with her competence, but her personal circumstances changed (winters in Arizona) and a year later I took the gavel and a deep breath.

Like most members, I had little idea how LOC functioned, events were fun, leaders extremely competent and the culture convivial. Behind the scenes though we had a twenty first century body creaking along on a venerable chassis. Payments were by cash or cheque, the website was a vast photo album, and memberships were tracked with a combination of spreadsheets and postage stamps. Just around the corner, LOC was approaching a quarter century, what should be done? I had lots of questions but few answers. The Club had grown over the years and provided an ambitious schedule, but our demographic was aging and systems creaking. Fortunately the spirit on Council was to explore change, and after consulting membership with surveys and meetings, we lit on a plan. I had no expertise in most of these areas, but as an Engineer and ex business owner I was familiar with team building towards solutions, and could draw on much experience, passion and goodwill. We commissioned an interactive website that gave us room to expand, bit the plastic bullet, and took most of our transactions on line. Michelle headed up an anniversary committee, the legacy of which is a bench on the Howard Watson Trail 200 metres East of Modeland Rd, and the tag line winning a competition of a hundred entries, “Hike, paddle, ride... Smile!”

After 3 years our website was showing its age again and was no longer supported by the developer. Another task force convened and spawned our present association with Club Express, which has provided an awesome resource and taken all our administration online. (The budget for postage is virtually zero). Council was streamlined and meetings became more productive. We addressed the contentious issue of membership structure and fees, and changes were approved through several AGM’s. Some of this happened under my leadership and some under Les’. Change is never easy or universally welcomed, but without it we are relegated to the past. The pandemic has brought huge challenges, but new guiding hands, innovative thinking and enthusiastic members  have created new opportunities for sharing on line.

I was totally unprepared for the role of President, but in hindsight it was the challenge I needed to transition into retirement. Stepping down from Council I am grateful for all those who support the club in leadership, committee members and event leaders and those who just show up and get out there. After all, that is what we are about.

Mike Tanner, retiring past President.

Optimistic Interpretation of Reality
There was a lot of playful banter going on when my fellow riders concluded I was a liar, but it made me think. Am I? I have generally thought of myself as painfully honest - my face gives me away any time I try deceit, and with a memory like mine there’s no hope of keeping my lies straight. But am I a liar? Nah. I think the problem is with the nuances of our language.
For example Les and I rode in the same headwind, which he called awful. I’ve ridden in awful winds, and the one we shared on Sunday was nothing like that. It reduced riding speed by maybe five percent. Maybe he’s the mistaken! Or maybe its interpretation based on personal perspective.

Another example: I described to the group a bit about the route we would encounter as we rode through the lovely hamlet of Hillsborough. Specifically, there is a nice little hill. Hmm. Joan assures me, there is no such thing as a nice hill. Well I’ll be darned. Then there was the distance thing. Surely the difference between 35 km and 30 km is not so big... each way?  Oops. It would seem to Barb it is the difference between glorious success and approaching exhaustion. Sorry Barb. I really do get that.

And about the speed? Well the website said we would travel between 18 and 20 kilometres per hour, but surely that’s just a guideline? Oh dear. Another apology is in order. But did I really lie? In the absence of empirical measurements, and presuming my intentions were honourable, surely, we can call my little slip ups ‘optimistic interpretation of reality’? I sure hope so, because we really all did have a wonderful time on our ride from Mike Weir Park to Ipperwash Beach Club and back, including a quick dip in the (moderately wavey)* lake for Jim and myself at the end of it. Thanks again to the wonderful Lambton Outdoor Club people who make riding fun.

*’Moderately wavey’ should be measured at no more than one metre from crest to trough, just to make sure nobody thinks I was lying and it was crazy wild waves (more than two metres from crest to trough)..all this is according to my made up on the spot wave evaluation system.

Submitted by  Sharon Crowe

Positions Vacant
Lambton Outdoor Club is pleased to advise that the following positions on Council will become available as of October 20, the AGM.  If you are looking for a rewarding Volunteer position for a few hours per month, then consider joining our team to manage the Club’s business, plan for the future and  put your skills to work. In general Council meetings are every two months, currently by Zoom from your home (instructions provided if you are new to this virtual technology), or old fashioned together in a room when normal service is resumed (coffee included in both scenarios). These are the opportunities:

Vice President
The position is essentially a training role for the position of President, and duties include being able to chair meetings in the President’s absence. Special projects may be undertaken as opportunities arise. Maximum Term 3 years. No specific experience is required, but would suit an ambitious individual with management, supervisory or business skills.

This role is key to the recording of Council’s activities by compiling agenda items, taking and issuing of minutes and attendance for the bimonthly meetings. Also adopting similar roles for the AGM. The candidate should be detail oriented, be literate in Word or equivalent and have a keen interest in Club activities. You will also be one of the signing officers. Term minimum 1 year, maximum 3.

This role on Council is relatively new, and involves coordinating the activities of 4 other people and being their representative on Council. Webmaster, Newsletter, Publicity and Social Media are all roles currently filled, and  this position seeks to build on their success to effectively market the dynamic programs offered by LOC to new audiences. You will be excited to bring new ideas to the table, use Social Media effectively, and keep LOC moving forward. Minimum term 1 year.

It is the role of Past President to present a slate of candidates at the AGM. Please contact me if you are interested in any of these roles. For 27 years LOC has relied on members such as you to guide the journey and everyone has skills to share. If this speaks to you, but you feel unprepared, then that is normal. Risk and adventure happen not only on the trail, road or lake, but also when we take on new roles in life. Perhaps now is the time to be challenged.

Thank You

Mike Tanner, 519 312 3030,

New Kayak and Canoe Launch
There’s a lot more kayakers in Sarnia Bay these days! Most mornings, you’ll see people taking advantage of the new kayak and canoe launch facility officially opened on August 6th. This was installed by the City of Sarnia as part of their accessibility initiative.  

The launch is designed to ease the launch for those with disabilities, but is not just for them… it’s a great launch facility for everyone. Remember where “Mama Rosa’s restaurant” used to be (the old MacLean Centre)… the launch facility is right in front of where that used to be.  It is open 24x7 to kayakers and swimmers, but not for fishing.
For the winter, the floating dock will be towed over to the boat ramp area to protect it from moving ice. If you’ve not been aware of this new amenity, give it a try!  

Submitted by Phil Vallance

View of the launch from Centennial park

Great Cycle Challenge #2
Back in May, I had a leisurely bike ride to Brights Grove with my recumbent bike. As is my custom, I stopped at Timmies for a coffee where I struck up a conversation with Frank Brennan about my bike. As the conversation unfolded, he told me about the Great Cycle Challenge and invited me to join the Manditos group. I had not heard of this fund raiser before, but it seemed like a very worthwhile endeavor, considering that my wife and two of my sisters had died from cancer. So, I decided to join, setting a fund-raising goal of $500 and a distance goal of 2000 km for the month of August. I was camping for the first week of August, so I had only three weeks to make the distance. But when I returned, I biked every day and reached the goal in just over two weeks. My first ride was on the Kingston to Pembroke trail, going from Kingston to Harrowsmith and back, while my other rides were in Lambton County. I contacted family and friends via Facebook and emails and had a very good response, soon reaching my goal of $500 and going on to raise over $800. I am very happy to have participated in this great activity and know that the money raised will be well used to fight cancer. Cancer can be beaten!

Submitted by Stan Martin

LOC 2020 AGM on October 20th

This year, from the comfort of your own home, you can join the LOC Annual General Meeting for 2020 by Zoom online meeting.

This has been an unprecedented year and we have had to adjust not only our outdoor activity protocols, but our indoor meeting arrangements. Many of you have used Zoom during the year of the pandemic with your family and friends, and some used it earlier this year for LOC’s Travelogue series, so we anticipate it will be easy for all to join the meeting this year.

For now, please log in to the website, locate and click the AGM event in the calendar, and Register for the event. The day of the meeting, the link for the Zoom meeting will be sent by email. If by chance this is the first time you have used Zoom, you will be prompted to download a small applet; it is not necessary to have Zoom installed on your computer. The evening of the meeting we will be available by phone to assist you joining the meeting, but do not anticipate issues.

So please join us for the opportunity to get together online, receive an update from our President and each activity group, and meet your executive, council members, committee chairs and committee members. Who knows - maybe you’ll be moved to put your name forward to volunteer with one of our awesome groups. Looking forward to a great turnout and the first meeting of its kind in LOC history; be a part of it!!

Submitted by Chris Richmond

 Kathryn Gabriel
The term “Bucket List” sprang into popularity with the eponymous 2007 film staring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, and though many people use the term loosely, few actually follow through. Long time LOC member Kathryn had a zest for life, an Irish spirit and an eye for adventure and determined to live her dream. So it was in her seventh decade that the lure of the North beckoned and found her paddling along the French River on an 8 day LOC wilderness expedition. This hardy grandmother did her share of paddling, chores and cooking, running white water rapids, and entertained around the campfire. She had a lively wit and could carry a tune. Another dream was to Winter camp, and again she signed up for a mid-winter trip to the Bruce. A fierce storm derailed the group’s plan, so they struck camp near Goderich at the Falls Conservation area. No stranger to privation, she erected her tent and snuggled in for the night. The next day snowshoeing and Cross-country skiing were the activities, and to her regret she declined a short extra outing to the “Ben Miller Inn” for a five star lunch. You can’t win them all. Under these conditions when you have “to go”, it’s a short trip to the bush. One male companion with artistic tendencies left his signature in the snow; super sleuth Kathryn had no qualms outing the culprit.

My own introduction happened many years before in the congregation at St Bartholomews, where we worshipped and socialized, and she took a keen interest in my three daughters. Kathryn played a guitar and could be coaxed into playing with the folk band.  Later her musical talent could be found strumming a Ukulele with the Strangway  group, and one memorable New Years Day when LOC organized a Talent show, she wowed the crowd with her one woman cowgirl  show. Kathryn loved the outdoors and was a member of Lambton Wildlife and an avid birdwatcher with friend Carol Buck. She enjoyed the company of a group of like minded “crazy ladies” who ventured on holidays far and wide; cycling around PEI, and also Vermont where she fell and broke a wrist. Lest  it be thought she was totally outdoorsy, her domestic side created designer ginger bread houses and with husband Robert excelled at ballroom dancing.

For anyone who knew Kathryn, her signature smile lit up the room, and her effusive and sincere greeting soon followed. She was a genuine lady who packed her life full and rode the tragedies as well as celebrating the mountain tops. She was a friend to many and an example to all. She will be missed by all her Outdoor Club friends, and we send our condolences to her family who must miss her dearly.  

Submitted by Mike Tanner
     Time to enjoy a cup of tea
      Ready to paddle my canoe

Killarney Canoe Trip, August 2020
We were planning to leave on Thurs. Aug. 13th and head to Killarney Provincial Park, for an 8 day trip. There were 8 of us; Judy Mahoney, Andrew Cooper, Chris Hill, Yvon Maisonneuve, Karen Banks, Howie  Boese, Nico vanDyl, and myself, Barbara Auger. I was so anxious and excited to be going , I could barely sleep the night before.
We were meeting the rest of the gang at the Killarney Mountain Lodge where we were to spend the night before hitting the water the next day .  It is a beautiful lodge with tremendous facilities.  And of course the location cannot be beat. Clear water, tall trees,  pink granite rocks and sparkling white quartz.  More and more glorious quartz. Once we were all accounted for, we enjoyed a beautiful dinner on the patio,  a couple of  drinks, and then retired for the night.
Our rooms were in the LaCloche , a new bunk house building.  There were 4 bunks in the room. The ladies were on the second floor, and the gentlemen on the first. The beds were comfy, and the numerous towels big and fluffy. We slept well, all looking forward to the next day. veryone rose early for our first paddling day.  After a huge, nourishing breakfast at Brad's in Killarney, we headed to our start point at Carlyle Lake.
At last the canoes were loaded and we were actually on the water.  I was very nervous and excited at the same time.  It was a warm sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky.  The water was calm, clear and warm.  A perfect day for a perfect start to our adventure.  After about 2 hours we came to a beaver dam that we had to go around.  I thought it was our first portage, but no, it was just a 'take out' spot. Previous to this, I had thought 'take out' meant coffee, but sadly that was not the case.  
There was room for only two canoes to unload at a time, so we took turns, and "be quick about  it".  Sheesh! What a job.  Land the canoe, out with the packs, out with small stuff, over roots and rocks to the other side, 2-3 trips each. In with the canoe, in with the packs and other stuff, and into the water on the other side of the dam.  What had I got myself into??
We stopped for lunch at a lovely spot and had bagels, cream cheese, smoked beef/salmon and crunchy bars.  On the water once more, we were finished with Carlyle Lake and into Johnnie Lake, a narrow, twisty turney waterway, that was absolutely gorgeous.  One could easily get sensory overload.  We were headed to Bell Lake and to get there we had to portage, a real one this time, 300 m or so.  I was not too excited by this.
It was a busy, busy place with canoe groups coming and going from one lake to the next. A lot of the traffic was day paddlers who parked at the Bell Lake site, and rented canoes. Unloading the canoe is a strenuous job.  My pack weighed 35lbs, which doesn't sound like much until it is on your back. There was also 3 paddles, life jackets, food barrel, day packs, fishing rod, water bottles, maps, bailing buckets, and more. It was still  warm and calm, but at my end of the canoe, it was a lot more tired, and the paddle had gained weight.  My eyes were heavy and my shoulders were sore.
After another hour or so we finally started looking for a campsite. It can be a discouraging business as there are only a few sites on each lake, and it is first come..... first to sleep.  We were guarantteed a campsite, just not a partucular one. One site after another was full.  We kept going. At last we spied one that seemed empty and we went in to have a look. It was empty but had barely enough room for four tents. Off again, only 2.5km more, to a bigger, better, fantastic site.  #77, on Three Mile Lake, was the perfect site for us, lots of room, on a point, with  great views, and great swimming.  
We dined on rice and ham steaks. We were all very hungry, and it was the most wonderful first meal of our adventure. We tidied up, did the dishes, had a roaring fire and sat back to enjoy a drink, good company, great stories and lots of laughs. I was finally snuggled in my sleeping bag by 9pm. I was very proud of what I accomplished today.  I paddled 22km and portaged 300m
We now had a day off, with no paddling. Early morning and the mist on the water was swirling and twirling like a thousand ballerinas dancing for joy, back and forth, round and round. It was mesmerizing. It was a warm glorious afternoon, sunshine, warm breeze, and calm water.  There was a game of euchre going on, more swimming, reading and napping. Supper was a wonderful, hot, spicy chili, with freshly made soda bread in the reflector oven.
After supper there were chores to do. We needed to disperse the food barrels, to keep wildlife away from our camp, so 4 of us took one each, and wandered in different directions to hide them somewhere in the bush.  The trick of course, was to remember where they were in the morning. The dry bag with all the small packages of food was pulled high into a tree, using a pully system and 3 ropes. We had seen no signs of bears, racoons, or any other wildlife, however there were a lot of loons , serenading us with their haunting calls, and showing off their diving skills.
The next day we awoke later than usual, 7:30 , and got coffee started. After a breakfast of oatmeal and cranberries, we were on the water by 10:15.  We started paddling in nice, calm conditions to our first portage of the day, a short one of about 30 m.  We were able to carry our packs and then could carry our partly loaded canoe across.  Paddling again, into the wind and some rain showers, but not too bad, and we pushed hard to the next portage. This one turned out to be a grueling 650m crossing, up hill on boulders and roots, still more uphill, until finally, some down slopes to the other side.  Once we were all across, and into the water, we headed to a small island for a lunch break of peanut butter and jam wraps.  Just too good!
We could see and hear a storm front coming as we set out to find a campsite for the night.  The wind had come up, and there was a strong , chop.  The paddling was tough. The first sites we looked at were full, so we turned around and headed back to a previously seen one.  It was a lovely high site, #94, with two firepits and lots of room.  We just got our tents up and it started to pour.  Timing is everything!  The sky blackened, the thunder roared and the lightening flashed. The fury of the gods!  Scrambling to get under the fly, we watched the storm in all its glory.  It disappeared as quickly as it came, and the sun shone again.  The guys were busy getting supper ready, cod cakes for tonight.
We awoke to a cloudy day again, dreary and cool.  As it was a paddle day, no one wasted any time loading up.  After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and bacon we set off for our first portage of 350m. Just before we left, there was a glorious rainbow and a group/flotilla of 7 loons passing by. We took these as good omens and started paddling again in a slight drizzle. The portage was short and actually almost pleasant. It was just a short jump to the next one and this portage was totally different than the previous one.  1053 m of narrow, wicked, up and down terrain.  After almost 2 hours, we were done, in more ways than one.  On the water once more, heading for our site for the next 2 nights.
This site was visible a short distance away.  #70 was the only site on Clearsilver Lake, and it was ours for the next two nights.   There was still a slight drizzle while we were setting up, but everything got done. It was a gorgeous spot on a point of land, filled with huge balsam trees. There was not much undergrowth, but lots of shade if the sun ever came out again!  We awoke Wed. Aug. 19, to a beautiful sunny morning.  The mist was dancing around the lake again, more ballerinas, and a mother loon and her baby were putting on a show for us.
After a scrumptious breakfast of bacon and pancakes, we got ready for our hike to the top of Silver Peak.  This is the highest peak in the LaCloche Range of Killarney, with an elevation of 539m.  The elevation difference between our campsite and the top was 333m.  The trail was a gradual incline, until the last bit of boulders and roots which became a serious climb.  It took us 2.5 hours for the 3.5 km trail.  The view at the top was definitely worth it.  We could see 360 degrees, from the Sudbury smoke stacks in one direction to Georgian Bay and Manitoulin Island in the other. We were snapping pictures like crazy, of the vistas, and of each other like a bunch of giddy kids.
After a lunch of cheese, crunchy bars, crackers, and smoked oysters, we started back down.  We were sorry to leave.  Seeing the whole of Killarney Park, plus so much more, at one time was truly amazing. So much of God's country in one perfect place.
Back to our canoes and a short paddle to our campsite. Our friendly snapping turtle, Franklin, came for a visit . His back was the size of a large platter. He was gorgeous and was the largest snapper I have seen for a long time. They are truly a prehistoric animal.
Tonight is our last night... we will try to eat as much food as possible and pack as much as we can.  We need an early start as tomorrow is a long day. We were all very tired, but a wonderful dinner of beef stew with dumplings perked us up.  
A long, hard 870m portage starts our day tomorrow and then a paddle through Johnnie Lake, and Carlyle Lake to our cars, the lodge, and hot showers. While waiting for everyone to load up, I had a wonderful experience with Franklin, my friendly snapping turtle.  I sat quietly, by the shore, talking softly, and he followed my voice and gentle movements. He was very curious and at one point, stretched his head out of his shell until he was approximately 18" from me. I was very still and continued talking to him.  I could be a turtle whisperer!  It was a surreal experience, and I like to think he came to say goodbye.  I do hope he lives a long and fruitful life.
Finally we were on the water, cloudy, cool and with a slight drizzle.  Our final portage was a short distance away and we were all looking forward to it.......not.  It was a narrow, treacherous, miserable , 870m trail. On the water once more, and heading for home. An overcast sky and a strong head wind challenged us all the way.  A chop of approximately 10-12" and a few whitecaps. We stopped for a lunch break on a wonderful piece of rock/small island.  We were all tired and ate quietly, finishing the bagles, wraps, cheese and crunchy bars.  
It turned out to be the worst paddling day of our whole trip and thankfully it was our last.  I was actually crying in the bow of the canoe, I was so tired, sore, and working so hard. Finally, finally, we reached the end of our trip.  I was never so glad to see shore, and my car. I could not have gone another 10 min.  Once the car was loaded, we headed back to Killarney Mountain Lodge, to hot showers, and the best fish and chip dinner ever at Herbert's.  
I am very proud of what I have accomplished, paddling long distances, carrying huge packs and being of some assistance around camp.  I am now fully trained on the bladder system of water purification, and can successfully fill water bottles on my own. It doesn't sound like much when I say it, but it means a lot to me. It was an amazing trip.  It was truly a team effort with all involved in setting up a site, and taking it down again. Everyone encouraged and praised and supported one another.  I learned a lot and was so appreciative of all the help everyone gave me.
It was a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip. I am glad to be home. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Submitted by Barbara Auger
(Editor's Note: This trip was not an LOC-sanctioned trip, and thus not posted on the club calendar.)
     Mountain top experience
Summertime, paddling is easy
Hike, Paddle, Ride... Smile!

Lambton Outdoor Club | P.O. Box 653 | Sarnia, Ontario, N7T 7J7