The Rookie Blessed Adventure (2): The First Most Anticipated Meeting with Killarney
July 8, 2001
Excitement kept me stayed late at night, I couldn’t sleep! I felt like a little kid who’s so excited to go to my first summer camp! And, that’s why I woke up at 7:25AM and missed my 7AM promise to Bang Jeha. *smile* It’s not too bad though; I could still make out our 8AM plan.
At 8:45AM we left Toronto. Me, Bang Jeha, Mpok Cecil, and Cak I in one car; Trisna, Ayrin, Wita, Monic and Oom J in the other car. Off I went to meet Killarney… the 5-hour drive, lunch break and other stops on the way to Killarney couldn’t muffle my excitement. I don’t think anybody knew it… because I’d always stay quietly in my excitement… talking and sing songs for the Almighty. *smile*
All three canoes were first launched from George Lake campground at about 3PM. In this bright sky and clear-blue water I could smell an exciting trip ahead. *smile* My body was giddily warm, like a lover looking forward to her first date. *smile* My first canoe-paddling mates were Trisna and Ayrin, the powerful motor and the perfect describer for canoe paddling. I learnt my first paddling from them.
About 500m beyond the cove, I began to see what Bang Jeha said as ‘beau-ti-ful’. A 360-degree view offered us magnificent scenery of whitish and reddish lofty ridges covered by pine trees. I closed my eyes and face the wind, swallowed it slowly. I heard chitchat of my canoe mates as music in the background of my dancing mind. Here we were… in George Lake, with wind, blue water, one-feet waves and a splendid pine and rocky view. Geology was my first love, so every sight of rocks can always turn my heart upside down. *smile*
An 80m portaging from George Lake sent us into a different lake environment… Freeland Lake. Freeland Lake is a NE elongated lake, bordered by Killarney Ridge on the north side and swampy wetland on the south. The wind was not as strong and the wave was not as high as in George Lake. Everywhere you can see white water lilies spread their wings, letting the sun to kiss their faces. A 455m portaging at the end of Freeland Lake sent us to the most anticipated Killarney! And, in this portage I was made aware that Mpok Cecil still has her strength… she carried the canoe herself. I mind you all; I’m younger than her but still couldn’t carry it more than a step. *smile*
I, Ayrin and Trisna kept paddling to the other campsite, while the other two canoes made their landing at site 20. We aimed at Site 22, but it’s already occupied, and the remaining sites were not as well as Site 20 or too close to the next portage to O.S.A. Lake. Thus, we returned to Site 20. We unloaded our canoes and started to pick the spots for our tents. I found my perfect spot, facing Killarney with northeast bearing, under the pine tree, less than 2m to the rocky shore with calm water. Some of us sat on these rocks; watching fishes, loons, and geese as times went by.
Here I quoted the geological story of Killarney: its distinctive terrain has evolved over an inconceivably long period of time. Billions of years ago a barren, ancient continent lay exposed to the north. This landmass eroded over hundreds of thousands of years. The resultant sediments were washed along in ancient rivers, funneling into valleys and lowlands, or fanning into adjoining shallow seas.
These sediments gradually hardened into rock… horizontally bedded sandstones, siltstones and conglomerates, now called the La Cloche Mountains. This range contains extensive quartzite formations, giving its distinctive white color. The purity of Killarney’s quartzite is 95%, meaning it contains at least 95% quartz.
A process of bucking and warping that began well over two billion years ago created the rugged ridges that dominate Killarney’s landscape. Killarney’s mountains were once higher than the Rockies—years of erosion have reduced them to the lofty ridges that we look up at as we paddle the park lakes today.
Igneous rock intrusions along a major fault zone formed a granite mass parallel to and south of the La Cloche Mountains. Red granitic rock is visible near George Lake, and along the most southerly string of lakes in the park interior.
In later but still very distant times, the glacial action of successive Ice Ages scraped and scoured the rocky landscape. Since the last glaciers melted away some 11,000 years ago, the terrain has slowly developed its own unique character, resulting in the spectacular wilderness enjoyed by us today.
Oom J and Cak I helped me to put my tent while I, the cook of the night, prepared our dinner. *smile* So, “ayam panggang” was our first dinner and Mpok Cecil made our first ‘perfecto’ rice! Soon after dinner, we had our coffee or other drinks followed by a relax conversation by the fire (supplied by Oom J). Mpok Cecil tried Bang Jeha’s GPS to check for the time of sunset and sunrise. As the fire dimmed and the mosquitoes got fiercer attacks we head for our tents.
In the howling wind outside my tent I also could hear the sound of the waves that ran to the little nook nearby my tent. I felt like I slept surrounded by water, wind and trees— the music that I longed for a long time. With a sore on my upper body and a smile on my lips— I soon drifted to a lovely sleep, relieved to know that I was there in the Killarney’s warm embrace.
In my dream I saw:
A cool wind combed through the water,
sending ripples toward the rocky and muddy shores.
It rose against the hillside,
pushing through the water lilies and grass,
Sweeping over our bodies
And rustling into nearby pine trees.
Next episode: Drinking the Love Concoction (July 9, 2001)