The winter trip of our project didn’t exactly begin as planned. We made a stop at Swift Canoe in Gravenhurst to pick up a Raven Royalite solo canoe that I’m using for some winter paddling, and stayed over at our relatives, the McCoys, just north of town. So far so good. But this darn pinched nerve in my neck that I had for a couple of weeks was still acting up, and so we opted for a day of R&R there. The next day things improved health wise, but unfortunately the rain came down. So with the snow quickly melting, we made a shift on the fly and carried on up past Parry Sound, where we were going to stay for a few days on an island, and went straight to Killarney Provincial Park . While it was raining in Gravenhurst it was snowing up there, and by morning a foot of fresh white stuff had accumulated.
Accommodations were going to be a bit more challenging on a winter trip. The options of just travelling along and setting up camp are really reduced at this time of year with the children along. Although I would have loved to introduce the girls to winter camping on this trip, the fact is that it takes a lot of time and I didn’t want this to turn into a survival exercise. With this in mind, I was with great appreciation that I accepted offers for accommodations from many of parks along the way, including the one from Chuck Miller at Killarney. By the time we arrived, the heat had been cranked up in the ranger cabin, making a fabulous base camp. I must say it was nice being able to thaw out whenever required. Surrounded by a winter wonderland, I began by exploring the snow and scenery up to Granite Ridge by snowshoe (with a pack and toboggan). That gave me my first scene to paint, overlooking the La Cloche range. The view facing south overlooking Georgian Bay was incredible, and I captured that with the video camera as I went along.
The Chikanishing Creek is frozen at the mouth, but open a short ways up. With the heavy snow on the banks, it made for a nice paddle, and setting up along it’s banks gave a beautiful view for another piece.
Rain/snow is being called for over the next couple of days; just in time for us to head out for a little winter camping along the coast itself perhaps. Naturally, I am hoping that it just comes down as snow. But you have to take whatever comes out here, and enjoy it. Which isn’t very hard to do in scenery like this.