Camping Chairs, Killarney Provincial Park, & a Dad Joke

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the sign at the entrance to Killarney Provincial Park at George Lake
Killarney Provincial Park

Transcribed from our podcast, which you can listen to here.

Pamela: Hello and good day, eh! My name is Pamela

Tim: And I’m Tim 

Pamela: And we’re from SuperGoodCamping.com.  We’re here because we wanted to inspire other families to enjoy camping adventures such as we have with our kids.  

Today we wanted to talk about a couple of things, camping chairs, you’re going to need something to sit on and also our camping trip to Killarney Provincial Park.  So Tim, I’ll turn it over to you to discuss chairs.

Camping Chairs 

Tim: Ok, so there are any number of types of chairs, you can go from teeny backcountry chairs which are itty bitty and weigh nothing. They’re just essentially fabric stools.  

Pamela: Like a tripod type of thing.

Tim: Exactly, they certainly do the trick when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, but when you’re front country camping you can afford a little bit of luxury because you can lug more stuff with you. Pamela and I both have pretty wicked Eureka chairs.  It’s like…

Pamela: A dad chair?

Tim: Yeah, but there’s a term for it…

Pamela: A Lazy Boy…

Tim: That’s it!  It’s like a camping lazy boy.  

Pamela: They don’t recline.

Tim: They don’t recline. They’re big, well-padded. They’ve got great arms on them.  Again, well padded.  A nice little drink holder, and a book holder on the side of them.  They’re low to the ground so it’s good and easy to get out of them. That sort of deal. 

(This is the most recent version of our chairs. It looks like ours have been discontinued).

Pamela: Tim’s is a bit higher than mine, so we call his the throne. 

Tim: The kids have Outbound chairs.  Again, Crappy Tire.  I have to apologize for calling Canadian Tire Crappy tire, but Jenn Grant uses it in a lyric in one of her songs, so I’m totally vindicated.  It’s a terrible habit I picked up from an uncle when I was considerably shorter than I am now. 

Pamela: It’s a Canadian’ism.  

Tim: I don’t mean it in a negative way, it’s just that that’s the name that comes to mind when I see the Canadian Tire logo. We do buy plenty of stuff from Canadian Tire.  I shop there. 

Pamela: We have Canadian Tire dollars too saved up.

Tim: We do

Pamela: That’s our retirement fund.

Tim: I’ve got a buck 65, I’m good. I’m set for retirement. If Tim Horton’s starts taking them, oh my God. The kids have a lighter duty chair than our Eureka’s.  But our Eureka’s are…they’ve got to be coming up on nine years old now. 

Pamela: I’d say 8 or 9, yeah. 

Tim: They’re still the bomb.  They’re still awesome. The kids keep growing so that’s the only reason we’ve had to replace their chairs with the newer ones from Canadian Tire. 

Pamela: The little tiny Hot Wheels one doesn’t work for them anymore.  

Tim: It doesn’t work anymore. You can get one butt cheek in there.  But yeah, they fold up, nice and light, ours definitely fold up a little larger and they come with their own carry bag with a shoulder strap because they weigh a ton. You kind of can’t go wrong. It’s one of those things that, for sure, the more money you spend, chances are the better the product is.  I know when I researched the Eureka’s, it was Europe Bound that I bought them from.  I’m not even sure it still exists.  They were taking a shot at being competitive with a Mountain Equipment Co-op. Not quite the level of a MEC, but not miles off.  Certainly between a Canadian Tire and a MEC.  I looked around and they were definitely the best chairs that I could find that did all of the things that I wanted them to do.  To be able to fold up, to be able to stash away, and has carrying capability.  I always take my Kobo or a paperback with me, and a holder for your bottle of water, or later on your glass of wine.  It’s just nice to have all of that stuff with you. A flashlight in it for when you’re not paying attention and it’s dark. 

Pamela: Yeah, the wires off the tent are a tripping hazard. 

Tim: Yes, they are, we should bring that up at some point.  You’re going to be face down at some point wondering what the heck was that? Although they do have reflective lines that you can get for tents now.  

Pamela : That’s it for chairs, for now, we’ll come back to that again at the end if we need to. The other topic we wanted to talk about was Killarney Provincial Park, which was a really amazing experience. So I’ll turn it over to Tim as well for thoughts about Killarney.

Killarney Provincial Park

Tim: Ok, a bit of back-story.  Thomas and I went and did a backcountry trip in Killarney, almost exactly a month before we did our front country Killarney trip. So we were fairly familiar with the area.  And it’s very much a different type of land.  We’re used to camping in a Muskoka’ish area. You know, southern central Ontario kind of thing where you’re looking at grey and pink granite, windswept pine trees, that kind of a deal.  This is more dense foliage and it’s white quartz hills.  It’s very unique. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it before.  So front country I think it was George Lake was the campground we were in. This was this past summer, 2020, so early-ish in the whole C-vid nightmare.  It was a very strange experience.  Pulling up to the gatehouse, the front office, standing 6 feet apart.  It’s a decent-sized office and I think there were 2 or 3 people behind the counters, including one of the counters is the Friends of Killarney.  The other is the park itself.  And then I would say there were 4, maybe 5 people in the office customer-wise. 6 feet apart, follow the arrows.  The very first time in all my years of camping that we didn’t come out of there with the park newspaper or the map that the park hands out.  At the time they were out of them. Which is a nod to just how many people were camping this past summer.  It was crazy. Everything was booked everywhere.  Thank goodness I book things 5 months on the nose out.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten anything.  Some people got lucky apparently, literally looking the weekend before and finding cancellations, but as far as any planned camping, not a chance.  Not in 2020, and I betcha 2021 is going to be the same way.

Pamela: Our campsite was quite close to the lake, we could walk just a very short stretch and be right at the lake.  We had this little tiny beach area too that was right behind our campsite. We could go down and go swimming in there, the dog could come in the water with us there.  It wasn’t the main beach, but it was our own little tiny beach. Also standing on that lake looking out was just a gorgeous view of the white rocks that Tim described.   I think it was the last day or the day before, Brandon and I went for a little hike around the lake.  There was a rock outcropping that we dubbed the dolphin’s nose, because it looked very much like a dolphin’s nose. 

the sun setting above the rock outcropping that we dubbed the dolphin's nose at George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park
The dolphin’s nose

And he actually hiked up to the top of that and he had a spectacular view from the top of it.  And it was just a cool little hike that seemed like our own little private exploration.  And the dog loved it too because he could come with us.  And we also hiked the crack.  

Tim: Yeah, which has been a bucket list item for a number of years. But this being the first year I got to Killarney. Actually, Thomas and I had it slated in to do in our backcountry trip, and we’ll get to that at some point.  The portages were pretty strenuous. They were brutal, so we got looking at what we were going to have to go through to get into just the bottom of the hike up to The Crack and opted out of it, knowing that we were coming back. This time, unfortunately, it was only the 3 of us for the front country trip, so Thomas hasn’t done The Crack. I’ll take him again at some point I’m sure.  Very cool!  I  want to say that it’s rated a 4.5 hour hike from the parking lot to the top of the crack, hang out for 15 minutes and then head back. We did it in 3 and change, 3.5 maybe.  Without any sort of a Taskmaster Tim saying “go-go-go”. I thought it was a fairly reasonable pace that we took.  Very sweaty.  Very boot-all-full-of-squelchy-sweat-running-down-your-legs.  But very cool.  Not as hard as I thought it would be.  We did get up to the very last bit.  The actual crack which it references. It’s just this giant crack in the side of the mountain, full of boulders.  It’s quite a deal, you need all four of your appendages to make it up there.  And unfortunately, our puppy dog, Farley, wouldn’t have been able to make it.  We would literally have had to carry him and he’s not a big fan of that.  So I was the only one that ended up doing the final bit.  Which is a fairly short, although difficult scramble up through that crack, and then boom, you’re on top of the world.  You can see everywhere.  It’s spectacular.  I feel very badly that I was the only one that went up there, but I feel very glad that I did go up there.  There were some little kids up there. I think part of what caused us to use our heads and not try to force our way up with Farley was there was another dog that was partway up and I think they were on their way back down and they were kind of stuck. He was a much bigger dog and couldn’t go anywhere from that point. 

Pamela: Yeah, he could not go down.  And they were there for quite a long time trying to persuade him and then eventually they decided to go back up and see if they could find some other way to try to get back down. It also started to rain around the same time and the rocks got really slippery.

Tim: Yeah, I got up there and started taking pictures and then I lost the wonderful visibility. It’s like “come on, man!”  It was spectacular.  I’m terrified of heights, and just looking around I was at a loss for words and I’m still at a loss for words. 

Tim standing on the white rocks at the top of The Crack at Killarney Provincial Park
Tim at the top of The Crack

Pamela: It was quite a long hike and it was tiring, but it was well worthwhile. 

Tim: Oh yes, we’ve talked before about making sure you take lots of water.  This was one where we took, we thought we took lots of water and snacks and stuff and we ran out of water. 

Pamela: Between the dog and us, we go through quite a bit.  

Tim: Yeah, and it was very sweaty. A pretty darn warm day.  Don’t hold me to it, I think it’s about a 2 km elevation change, something crazy like that.  Over the course of an hour and a half or so that’s a pretty decent amount to be hiking upwards.  Yeah, I recommend it.  It’s such a beautiful place.  It’s still fairly pristine and as far as front country stuff goes.  I think our site was fairly private.  It was very nice to have that path just across the road from us and poof we were at our own private beach. 

Pamela: Oh and one other thing that I recall from our trip to Killarney was there was such a diversity of amazing mushrooms. So I’ve got this whole series of pictures which I’ll post of all of these amazing mushrooms. They’re all different colors of the rainbow. There were purple ones, orange, yellow, red, typical brown ones, some that looked like bagels, some that looked like flowers. It was just incredible.  I’ll post those pictures.

Tim: Yeah, and just a couple of other quick bits, much as I often lament about how terrible the park wood is to burn, the precut stuff they have in bags.  The stuff at Killarney burned quite well, I don’t recall having any smoky, can’t-get-it-going, can’t-keep-it-going issues.  So yay for you guys. We also took a couple of trips into the town of Killarney. Which is fairly itty bitty.  

Pamela: Not much to see there.  

Tim: Blink and you miss it, except that it’s a dead end so you can’t really miss it.  But it’s nice, it had the standard ice cream place. We did get takeout fish and chips.  Which was good, it was very good.  Somebody on Google raved about it, I don’t know that I would rave about it but I had no complaints.  Just a cute little town. And then, quite possibly the favorite part of the trip. I’ve heard so many things about Killarney Outfitters.  We stopped there and I picked up all kinds of stuff. I picked up one of my favorite shirts, that says “I paddle because the voices in my head tell me to”.  Which is very appropriate for me. I picked up bottles for carrying things into the backcountry. I got stickers, I love stickers.  It was great! Very, very cool!

picture of the front of the store at Killarney Outfitters
Killarney Outfitters

Pamela: Yeah, there was a nice little souvenir shop that I went to in Killarney as well, aside from Killarney Outfitters.  As we were standing in line at the fish and chip place, my son recognized somebody that he knows from school. 

Tim: Very small world.  Killarney is four hours of highway driving from Toronto, and then another hour from the highway. I think they actually treat it as a highway, but it’s not.  It’s gravel and construction and potholes.  So it’s a solid hour off the highway to get to Killarney Provincial Park. So it’s weird for somebody that lives that close to us to run into them 5 hours away. Oh, and we took the trip into Sudbury. 

Pamela: That’s true too. 

Tim: We saw the big nickel.

the big nickel tourist attraction in Sudbury
The big nickel in Sudbury

Pamela: We saw the big nickel, the building itself was not open because of COVID, so we couldn’t do the touristy thing in Sudbury.  But we saw the big nickel. 

Tim: It was a nice drive, I think we ate crappy takeout food there too. 

Pamela: Always a highlight for the kids.  

Tim: There you go.  

Pamela: Just for fun we thought we would throw in a dad joke. 

Tim: Do let us know in the comments afterward if this is a feature we should continue with or not. My kids would totally vote against this.  So two windmills are standing next to each other in a field.  One asks the other, what kind of music do you like?  The other replies “well, I am a big metal fan”.  

Pamela: And that’s it for us for today.  I hope you enjoyed the joke.  Have a wonderful rest of your day and we’ll be back again next week.  Our email address if you’d like to reach out to us is hi@supergoodcamping.com, that’s “h” “i” at supergoodcamping.com.  We would love to hear from you if you have any questions, concerns, or if there’s anything that you would like us to talk about. Thanks.

Pamela: Bye!

Tim: Bye!

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