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Day 10

August 7th, Ottawa, 8:30 am

Home. Sigh. It's apparently been hot and humid here. The Ontario Tories still haven't called an election, Paul Martin still isn't prime minister (small mercies) and Air Canada is a mess. Doesn't sound like I missed much.

We got home around 8pm yesterday evening and I stayed up late reconnecting with my cat, wrestling with gear, and trying to get off canoe trip time. I woke at 6am and couldn't sleep. The wake-with-the-sun thing is harder to shake than jet lag it seems.

The drive back from Killarney was longer than normal - construction on Highway 17 adds at least an hour to any journey west of Petawawa. We headed out of Killarney just after noon.

Our last day started August 6th, around 7am, co-incidentally under cloudy skies and no wind.

We had bannock for breakfast - a bit of an experiment - but a fun one and a worthy one for me given the hot cereal overdose I'd been suffering from.

Our morning was relaxed. We figured we had lots of time. We had only around 6km of paddling and a couple of easy portages ahead, so we figured we could spare some time to play with breakfast. As it turns out, making and pan-frying bannock really only cost us 20 minutes. We were on the water for 9:20am.

The bannock was wonderful not only because it was Not Oatmealtm, but also because of the delicious fruit compote we made to pour over it. We had a surfeit of dried fruit (our snack quantities were a little wacky) so Irene chopped up some extra dried apricots, prunes and cranberries. I took some of the freeze dried raspberries, combined them with the dried fruit and put a fair bit of water on them. I then just basically boiled it down until the liquid was fairly thick. I stirred very frequently for fear of burning the mixture.

With calm water, we made our way along Killarney Lake easily. We encountered a loon meeting, and they seemed to swim with us for a while. They're beautiful birds and after nine nights of falling asleep to their calls, I can personally attest to their sedative qualities.

Killarney is a dead lake, so the water is incredibly clear - so much so that you will feel like your canoe is actually floating in air, above some aqua-tinted cloud.

We went back across the 455m into Freeland Lake and then the 80m into George Lake. These must be the park's most heavily travelled portages. We were on George by 10:30am and made it back to the canoe launch by 11am.

We changed, freshened up, turned in Erik's knife, and then headed toward Killarney village. We were running on empty so I was relieved to make it to Pitfield's general store to get some gas. It's very expensive ($0.90 per litre while later in Sturgeon Falls it was $0.72 per litre) so we just got enough to get us to a gas station.

We stopped for fish and chips, then headed home, stopping for gas in Sturgeon Falls and ice cream in Deep River. No messing around. Essentials only.

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