Satellite View    The satellite view of the area around Killbear Provincial Park is fascinating. One thing for sure - the road coming in is a long and lonely one. March 16, 2013    When we finally decided on the time and place of this camping trip, Killbear was almost full for the summer. There are many campgrounds to choose from on the  park map . After reading some reviews ( Trip Advisor  &   My Campsite Review ) we settled on Lighthouse Point. One point in its favour is its good situation for viewing both sunrises and sunsets. Lightouse Point    Of the few sites that were available in our time frame, site 1135 seemed best to us. It had some view of the bay through the trees and down the slope. Site 1135    The single  picture of this site shows dappled sunlight, two long picnic tables and plenty of room. Campsite Pictures    Some very industrious and thorough camper has gone to the trouble of taking pictures of all campsites in many campgrounds and making them available on his website  Campsite Pictures . Campsite Pictures: 1135    The six Campsite Pictures of site 1135, taken from various angles, are detailed enough to show that finding a spot for our 7'x 7' tent without rocks poking through will be a bit of a chore.
Friends of Killbear    A good number of provincial parks have an association of Friends to advocate for and publicize the park. The  Friends of Killbear website  is well worth visiting. Tips 4 Camping    In my searching, the  Tips 4 Camping  website keeps popping up. It offers reviews of many parks and information about many aspects of camping. The elemental Killbear -sun, wind, rock, water    The best of our Canadian Shield rises to the surface in this park for all to see and enjoy. (Blind Bay infrared photo) We arrived at Killbear just before noon on Monday. As expected, site 1135 in Lighthouse Point campground was roomy and shady (too much so, really), but the sun drenched, scrubby sites we passed to get there caught us by surprise. By two we were set up. Car camping is definitely less work than canoe camping. The sky was getting overcast but it was still warm, so at 2:30 we headed to the nearby beach (access path beside 1121).  The sand is great here, but the water is shallow for a long ways out and the shoreline is boring. Wendy started another book on the beach. A day after the peak of her poison sumac attack and a visit to the doctor, the blisters seem to be better already. Whether it was the poison sumac itself, or the Prednisone prescribed to treat it, the mosquitoes never bothered her this trip.
After doing without for three years running, is was good to have our kitchen back. We were keen to get a better feel for the park, after our disappointing first impressions at Lighthouse Point, so on the evening of our first day we did a bit of a tour.  Our first stop was the beach at Harold Point. We decided that this was worth coming back to. Our next stop was the amphitheatre, where Henry regaled his audience with an aria. It was getting late already so we headed right around to the deserted Day Use Beach. In the distance (on the right) Harold Point is still catching some sunlight. In between are the Kilcoursie Bay and Beaver Dams beaches (which we never visited). In sunshine this beach would be a good spot for swimming, though I don't care much for the adjacent boat anchoring area. Beech logs from the recent Beech bark disease cull, stored on the Day Use Beach parking lot
Tuesday morning it rained and stayed cool, so we stayed put. By mid afternoon the sun was coming out. With a vodka cooler, a blanket and a book, Wendy is content. I read my book too, but from a tourist/photography point of view, even with a visit to the Visitor Centre, Tuesday was a downer. Campsites across the road from ours, and clustered around the entrance to Lighthouse Point campground have been stripped of their Beech trees and seem desolate to us, even though we could have used some of their sun. Wednesday morning we headed back down to Parry Sound.  Wendy insisted on stopping to get this picture, for Laura. There's nothing left of the site where the Avro was built. The road was renamed later to keep the memory alive. A treat from the French Fry truck in Parry Sound after the obligatory round of boutique shopping. Wednesday afternoon, after our morning excursion into Parry sound we went to the Harold Point west beach. Finally, we felt like we were connecting with the park. This beach is accessible from parking lots at the bottom of the the long, skinny loop of non-electrical sites in the Harold Point campground (near site 565). It is also within walking distance of the far loop of the Georgian campground (path near site 463). Scuttling clouds paled the sunshine, but it was still plenty warm.
The rocks meander off a ways yet to the west from the beach before disappearing under the treed shoreline of Kilcoursie Bay, and make for a wonderful place to explore. Harold Point is the star attraction here. This imposing dome of smoothed rocks is a wonderful place for kids and grownups to climb and sit and soak up the sun. A view of the smooth face of Harold Point. The shallow incline of the tiered and pockmarked rock makes it an easy place to walk and clamber. On top of Harold Point A rock tips up to offer its support. In the middle distance you can see the roof of the Visitor Centre. The choppy waters of Parry Sound and the washed rocks glisten in the late afternoon sun.
Into the deep    The spine of Harold Point dives below the surface. Touched    A sun-kissed, wind-swept maiden, firm-footed on rock-water Wendy won't jump. Looking west from Harold Point Surveying the bay from Harold Point Wednesday evening supper. No those are not french fries. Chicken strips.
Wednesday evening we headed back to the Visitor Center, this time with lawn chairs and some sustenance. It closes at five, but provides parking and an easy access to the shoreline any time. The shattered and weathered layers of rock are a source of never-ending fascination to me. While I meandered around looking for pictures, Wendy clambered west along the shoreline as far as Harold Point. Here she stands on the a spit of rock that lies between and manages to catch my attention from afar so I could shoot this 420mm telephoto portrait. The halo is real. Rake lighting shows this thin layer of rock to full effect. A small rectangular pool near water's edge gets disturbed regularly by spray. This cleanly hewn rock face still glows in the descending darkness of dusk. Finally settled down, on the rocks by the Visitor Centre waiting for the sun to go down
The sun sets behind Harlold Point as we sit on the rocks by the Visitor Centre By Thursday morning the waters of Georgian Bay were finally calm and Wendy takes time before breakfast to catch the sun and the view from down the path by our campsite. Thursday morning we set ourselves atop the rock point by the Blind Bay boat launch. Wendy reads while I go hunting. Plants take root between the slabs of granite. A backdrop of boulders for delicate flowers and grass A line runs through it.
Separation does not shatter kinship. A dragonfly on the rocks An infrared view of rock, trees and sky An infrared view of Lookout Point Rock layers topped by infrared foliage and sky The rock curves around this copse of birch trees
At one o'clock, in the breeze a'top the rock beside the Blind Bay beach, the sunshine is still too vague and Wendy protests with knitted slippers, a shawl and multiple layers. But soon it is warmer and I convince her to uncover at the beach. The small, picturesque beach by the boat launch in Blind Bay. Henry and Wendy baking, a father and two daughters frolicking in the water, an(other?) elderly couple reading in their shade, and a yacht trying to impress. Another view of the Blind Bay beach and of the rock point where we spent the morning Inspired by another beach-goer, Wendy resolves to follow. This is her second dive into the water off the rocks of the Blind Bay point. It's wonderful to be swimming again in calm, refreshing waters. Not to be outdone, Henry follows suit.
Three dives of course - not just two This is a snake fence and tunnel along the road to Blind Bay campground. There are signs everywhere to brake for snakes. We did not see any. On our way back from Blind Bay we drove into the Georgian campground.  There's no parking lot there but we mangaged to find a spot by the path down to this tiny bit of beach so we could have a look. On our way back out of the Georgian campground, we spotted two deer crossing the road, and they were good enough to pose for us while we took pictures through our van window. A dappled deer in the dappled light We also drove through the Granite Saddle campground. Again, there is no parking lot so I had to run out to quickly take this shot of the east beach. On the other side of the rock is another even more spectacular beach. Apparently, you have to be camping at Georgian or Granite Saddle to have access to their beaches.
A drive by shot of the granite saddle behind sites 1027 - 1032 A view through our dining shelter, just before it was taken down before our Thursday supper Our last supper. The dining shelter has been taken down so we can fully enjoy the open air. An evening stroll to Lighthouse Point revealed still more rock formations These rocks are perfectly inclined to the sun. I'm not sure why Henry always has his hands on his hips.
Lighthouse Point was being used as a backdrop for a fashion shoot and as a vantage point for sunset seekers. Glamour girl on Lighthouse Point at sunset (and with reflector fill light) The last glow    Beauty endures, sweeter still, as it falls into the shadow of time. Rest for the soul    Yielding to the earth's embrace Reading by the campfire by the light of a lantern Light painting of a group of rocks on our campsite after dark
Light painting by a flashlight twirling on the end of a bungee cord. The west beach at the main Harold Point camground (below sites 524 -521). At 10:30 in the morning on a beautiful day we were the first to arrive.  This was our last day, and we had already packed up to go home, so this last beach visit was sweet. The view from the end of the rock spit separating the two beaches below the Harold Point main campground An unusually steeply tilting mass of layered rock The east beach at the Harold Point camground (below sites 631 - 621) Henry sits a bit before heading home.
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