My friend from Manchester who lives down the road had a couple of friends to stay this week and we all headed north on a road trip. One of them drives, so it was nice to have someone to do some of the driving leaving me typing this in an antisocial fashion on the way home. We had a few places we wanted to visit and a common goal of seeing a bear. Before leaving, I mentioned this goal in the pub and I was leant two canisters of bear spray and told by some of the other regulars not to worry and that we wouldn’t see a bear.
Off we went to Killbear Provincial Park. We kept our eyes peeled along the way for bears, moose or beavers with a few sudden stops that turned out to be false alarms. The further nor we got, the prettier the scenery with multicoloured trees lining the roads. We googled the park as we got near and read quite a few bear sightings stories. The excitement was building. As we arrived, the park had a big sign up saying that there was a bear in the park.
First trail, the 1.8 km Twin Points Trail. It was a woodland trail that came out on some big rocks with stunning views of Georgian Bay and the lake. There was a little beach and some picnic benches.
We went to the Beaver Dam campsite (where we had been told the bear was the night before) to have our picnic lunch and look around for our furry friend. No such luck and we went off to check out the shorter 0.5 km Light House Point Trail. We reached the top of the rocks with disappointment that there was no actual light house. Luckily we kept going around the corner and found the light house. With lots of rocks around, we decided to build our version of an Iqaluit man. There were not many flat rocks, but we were happy with our little man.
As bears are most active at dawn and dusk, we squeezed in one last trail, the Lookout Point 3.5 km Trail so we could pop back to the campsite before heading to our AirB&B. A less interesting trail, but a nice walk nonetheless. The other two trails had spectacular views and this one didn’t really offer anything that the others hadn’t already shown us a better version of.
Back to the Beaver Dam Campground for one last attempt at a bear sighting. As we pulled up to the area he was last seen in, we saw a few people stood around in clusters looking at something. We pulled the car up, leapt out as it was barely stationary as if it was on fire and ran to the edge of the grass to take pictures of the most cuddly looking 18 month old black bear. The excitement reached ridiculous levels, bordering on hysteria. He wasn’t bothered by us at all and we were closer than we ever thought we would get, or want to get to a bear. He didn’t look up at the people and was just pottering about eating the grass. He did a poo, so that answers that question. We stood watching him for around 30 minutes and headed back to our abandoned car.
On the way to South River where we were staying, we found a lovely little cafe for hot chocolate and baked goods and carried on driving on what was becoming a rather anxious quest for fuel. We finally came across a gas station and saw the man starting to close the door at 19.58. Now, we were on quite a main road with little thinking time, so instead of a calm approach, Leanne who was driving executed a sharp and sudden turn into the station mounting the pump with the rear wheel. The men came rushing out, we giggled uncontrollably. The men turned out not only to be English, but from Plymouth! Anyway, the car, passengers and pump were all in one piece luckily, and we sped off in to the night with a full tank of fuel and tears of laughter streaming down our faces.
We stayed in an AirB&B in South River. It had three bedrooms, was looking out on to a lake and was warm and cosy when we arrived. We had a pasta bake for dinner and lounged around too tired to do much.