28, 29 July 2014
Killarney is the official start of the North Channel area. It’s a small town with a half dozen marina’s, about 6 places to eat and the normal infrastructure things like a town hall, library, churches, hockey and curling rinks, etc. It’s a combination of tourist and cottage support with a small fishing company. It also acts as a base camp for the Killarney Provincial Wilderness park. The park is one of the largest in Ontario, and has a 40 mile hiking trail that takes you through the LaCloche Mountains.
Yes, we’ve finally hit mountains in Canada. Up until now the islands have been pretty flat, maybe peaking out at 20-30 feet. And while there are lots of bare rocks, there is a lot more trees on the horizon. Very cool.
Killarney is sort of split into two. At the north is the village of Killarney, at the south is George Island. We decided to stay at the Sportsman’s Marina, they use both sides of the channel. We were on the George Island side. We got tied up and plugged in. To get to the other side you ride Tinker Bell. At one time it was a skiff, but it’s present form is a 15′ pontoon boat. We flagged Tinker Bell down and headed across to the main building.
Sportsman’s has about 100 slips and there is also a small hotel for guests. They have a casual dining place and a more formal dining room. (Need to wear shirts with buttons on them)
We had and early brunch and headed to see the rest of the town. It only took 10 minutes for us to walk to the far end of town, passing two marina’s, the bakery, LCBO, the fish store and the general store. We arrived at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and Marina.
The Lodge is a series of log buildings that were built in the 1950′s. In 1962 “the road” finally made it to town after a decade of building. That year they built a really neat round bar with a round fireplace in the middle. It still has the harvest gold and moss green decorations from that era.
The walk back was as quick, we did stop at the museum (closed for lunch), the bakery (raisin and plain butter tarts) and the it was back to the boat for naps.
There were loopers at Sportsman’s that we got to talk to like Adagio and Le Hooker. There were also people spending their summer there from places like Michigan and New York.
For dinner we decided to head back to the Killarney Mountain Lodge. We did stop at Sportsman’s to see what their dinner was (pretty expensive), the Pump House, (pizza and wings). The breakfast / lunch place was closed so the clear winner was the Lodge.
It turned out to be a great choice. Susan had pork schnitzel with mashed potatoes and beets. I had the filet steak wrapped in bacon with the same veggies. We did both laugh, in the basket of home made bread was cellophane wrapped bread sticks, neither one of us remembered seeing them in the last decade. It was a good reminder that we were back in a 60′s lodge. The dinner and service was one of the best dinners we’ve had in Canada.
Of course we had dessert back in the round bar. Susan talked to the bartender and got a drink that was creamy and foamy with a great peach flavor. She got some great pictures of the lodge, the pool and play areas with a chess set with 2′ tall pieces! and horseshoes. While we sat there we played the Junior Edition of Trivial Pursuit. Since the game had been printed in the 70′s we were great at it. (OK, that and it was the junior edition). We held hands while we walked back in the twilight to the boat. Just a perfect evening.
At Sportsman’s on George Island is a giant screen, they show a movie every night. We were not able to get the soundtrack on our FM radio receivers so we gave up and went to bed early.
On Tuesday morning both Susan and I got caught up with doing laundry and getting pictures and posts up on the site. We then headed back into town to get some of the famous Herbert’s fish.
Herbert’s has been around for decades. It’s a location for fishermen to sell their catch. The tiny building has been selling fresh fish and fried dinners for years. We got the box lunch (4 pieces of white fish and fries). We sat out in their outside pavilion at the waters edge. Our tablemates were from Michigan and they gave us a list of places to see on our trip up the North Channel. They also talked about Mackinac Island (on Susan’s bucket list) and things to see and do (like the Hotel Buffet)
After lunch we headed to the Killarney museum. It was an interesting place tracking the history of Killarney back to 1820. My favorite item was the Edison wax tube phonograph player. I’ve seen them before, but all were behind glass. This was out in the open and I could get a close look at it.
We headed back through town and were able to get some great bread at the bakery. Susan also scored a new lure for her fishing expeditions. We got back to the boat and just spent the afternoon relaxing and chatting with our dock neighbors.
After happy hour we took Tinker Bell over to the main dock and headed to the pub that we had passed the day before. We had a simple meal of wings and burgers. I’m not a big fan of breaded wings, but these were really good. They had a very light breading and were crispy. Because there wasn’t a lot of breading they were not greasy.
We had the same problems with the soundtrack on the movie, so we turned in about 9PM.
On Wednesday we are off to Little Current.