Sisters in the wild: Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands

As mentioned in my previous post, I mentioned that during my recent trip to Canada, I spent a few days camping with my sisters. We headed to Queen Elizabeth II wilderness area, a non-operating park is located in the Kawarthas. QEII is beautiful, natural, and wild.  As a non-operating park, there are marked sites, but no facilities (and you don’t need to pay to use the park). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The canoe was packed with gear, the three of us, and Callie, my little sister’s amusingly strange dog.

The wind was FIERCE, and there were many moments when half of the canoe had only air underneath it, as we paddled over the white-capped lake. This was a calm moment of all the ladies, after a rather harrowing lake crossing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKaren and I had our work cut out for us to power us across the lake, and Allison had an equally difficult job of keeping Callie in the boat. In the end, the pup did a pretty good job – there were actually moments when she was a chilled out adventure puppy. DSC_6085We selected a site where we could get some good morning sun and made ourselves at home. After many years of using tiny lightweight tents that you can hardly sit in, it was such a treat to use Karen’s new pyramid tent. It is still super lightweight (partly because it doesn’t actually have a bottom, and is essentially an elaborate tarp system with a centre pole and a few strings that we pegged out to give it the shape). DSC_6101Look at how spacious this is! So much sitting up possible! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACallie seemed trilled to explore the site (particularly the areas that had poison ivy). DSC_6285Once we were settled in, we did some hard relaxing.DSC_6103DSC_6112DSC_6097After dinner, the mosquitoes, the unofficial national bird of the Canadian wilderness, started to carry us away. DSC_6242We retired to the luxuriously spacious tent and played games and played with the puppy.DSC_6161DSC_6164DSC_6169DSC_6176DSC_6165 On the second day, we went on a leisurely paddle up to some other lakes. It was stunningly beautiful and quite eventful. At one point, we saw an adolescent black bear ambling around, relatively unconcerned with our presence. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn addition to a variety of birds and ducks, we also spotted this native species:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe waded into a waterfall (Allison unsuccessfully trying to convince Callie to swim).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were also sure to stop to take some artsy-fartsy pictures of the droplets of rain on the lily pads. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn our way back to the site, it started to POUR. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADespite being embattled by winds, waves, torrential downpours, and ferocious mosquitos, it is hard to argue with the spectacular beauty of this place, and the essential role of spending time in the wild to fuel your life and quench your soul. DSC_6263DSC_6262DSC_6250DSC_6245DSC_6247DSC_6209So, I have realized I am very lucky to belong to this group of weirdos who will drag me out of the house and into the woods to have uncomfortable and amazing adventures. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUntil next time, keep adventuring!

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