Monday, May 30, 2011

Kilarney Provincial Park Brutal Bliss

Kilarney Provincial Park view from our hike
They say that Kilarney Provincial Park is one of Ontario's crown jewels and now, speaking from experience, I can agree, they are right!  This weekend was spent hiking through some of the tougher parts of the Kilarney back country trail but the stunning views, the majestic beauty all around us and the serenity made it well worth the 6 hour trek.

Kilarney Provincial Park view from the top of "The Crack" trail

Scarlet sniffing out something good in the park
The experience of hiking through the back country was amazing, grueling, exhausting and yet satisfying all at the same time.  It was quite an adventure for us and especially for our little Scarlet.  I think she thought we were completely nuts the whole time!

A resting butterfly in the park

Me with Scarlet, on our first day, hours before we REALLY knew what we were getting into!

Mike with Scarlet nearer our campsite
At this point in the hike we were so incredibly exhausted and wondering if the end was even near (but it was close, sort of ... maybe another 30 minutes on top of our 5.5 hours already).

Victory! Me, enjoying the view from our campsite.
So, a 4.5 hr car ride and a 5.5 hour hike later we make it to our site! And the view is breath-taking (almost literally, we were high up and just finished our trek, exhausted and breathing heavily).  The first night was lovely, serene and peaceful and we enjoyed it by a warm fire.

On the menu our first night: We had been munching for most of the hike on trail mix and protein bars and lots of water.  When we finally got to sit down, I was too tired to cook anything so thankfully I brought along with easy snack foods that quickly filled us up.

Dinner (from the top going clockwise): Homemade vegan bean dip (high protein), cheddar rice crackers (for Mike), gluten-free herb crackers (for me), carob chocolate pieces (for smores), graham crackers, ginger snap cookies, and Spicy Hummus dip.

Breakfast: The next day we woke up to a very foggy, very cold and very damp morning.  We decided that if the rain didn't let up we were going to pack everything up again and start hiking back.  The plan was to hike halfway to another site and stay there a night but that plan quickly changed.

Either way, we had to start our day with some healthy and hearty carbs to help us recover, heal and prepare for the day ahead. We have: Bob Red Mill's Organic Hot Cereal, topped with dried cranberry, blueberry and almond slivers (I also added some fresh strawberry slices after this picture was taken).

Lunch: About halfway through our hike we stopped for a lunch break, cooking up some more fuel for the second half of the trip.  We have: Rice noodles with broccoli and carrots, cooked in a tahini sauce, premade at home and reheated during our stop.

We made it! A victory kiss and snuggle from Scarlet
I still find it amazing that Mike and I even did this hike, having basically little to no camping or real hiking experience and doing the 6 hours each way within a 24 hour period and with about 30-35 lbs on each of our backs ... through mud, water, valleys, ridges, bridges and massively huge jagged rocks and survived it all in one piece!  But what's really amazing is that Scarlet, our 2 year old dog did it with us.  What a trooper!


straightfromthecurls said...

Great post, Sarah! I love the photos. :) I love getting out of the city and feeling the tranquility of nature. Definitely soothing. Kudos to you, Mike and Scarlet for finishing the hike!

Sarah-Lyn said...

Thanks Girl! You're the best ;)

Appreciate your comments.


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