Remembrance Day and KEJI Synonymous 2001

Many moons ago Viking started a tradition of a Remembrance Day run around Liberty Trail, encircling Kejimkujik National Park. Over the years there has been on average 4 to 6 persons complete the 55 km run over the various terrain, logging roads, single path trails, roots, swamps, etc. A couple of years ago there was just one (1) runner, while a few years before that there was about 14, including 7 young whipper snappers from Banook Canoe Club, led by Bob Russell, who sort of got lost, getting out of the woods well after dark.

About eight (8) years ago, a few of us who had no vision of doing the run (Dipper, Fireball, and the Sungod), decided to get involved and also do our November 11th reverence in the woods. We thought it would be a good idea to help the runners by-moving vehicles from the start to finish saving much morning/evening time and to also bike into Mason's Cabin at the 44Km mark supplying tea, soup, and dry gear. This support group has grown to the point that we sometimes out numbered the runners. >From what was a 'same day' support venture, it has become an overnight (or two) canoe, bike, and/or hike trip. Some of the support group (Scrounger and Halifax) have on occasion run the thing.

That is a bit of history and brings us to 2001. Due to injuries, chronic problems, and last minute sicknesses, there were no runners. This did not stop the support group from doing their thing. In fact, the support group may become the event, being such a success this year. Hopefully next year there will be some runners, BUT there definitly will be a KEJI Remembrance Day overnighter.


Leaving the Dipper(ill), Goat(ill)Scrounger(relatives in town), IMAX (committements), and Halifax (committements) at home in their kennels, Viking, Fireball, and the Sungod rendevoused in Lakeview to load the C1 racing canoe and Penobscot'16 (sharpest entry of alll Old Town canoes) onto Helga's Toyota at 7:30pm to drive under cover of darkness to the Park, arriving around 9:15. Leaving our canoes tied to the cars we put our gear on our backs, we hiked into Camp Site 'A', an uneventfull, 200 meter, 3 minute trek. It was cool but extremely clear night, the stars brightly lighting the sky. While Fireball lived up to his name and got a blaze going, (while he was stoking the fire I noticed two pairs of eyes coming out of the woods, seems there were a couple German Shepards at a near by Camp. Greg was not impressed when he turned around to see this 100+ pound animal sniffing his crotch.) Viking and Sungod erected the the tents, just in time to realize it was starting to rain. Oh well, time to check and see if there TP in the room out back. Now it was raining, time to turn in.

Woke up around 6:00am, actually woke up for short visits outdoors at 12:00 and 2:00, and it was still raining----hard---- looks like a nice? day this is going to be. Then at 6:45 it stopped. I crawled out of my bag and wondered down the 200 meters to the parking lot to see if any runners we didn't know about were going to arrive. It was now 7:15 and Viking and Fireball arrived to use the 'less' smelly privy---They all stink. No runners--Our responsibilities were now just to have a good time, what to do?

-Pack up and paddle around the Northern loop, setting up somewhere enroute, continuing the next day to Jake's Landing? This would entail a 10 km walk back to our car.

-Pack up, drive to Mersey River, do a two day loop of the Peskowesk area, back to our car. This would still entail taking down our wet tent etc., and breaking camp.

-Our third option was to keep site 'A' as our base camp and do an out and back through the North/West Lakes. This was our choice.

It was looking like it might clear, then it wasn't, then it was----it never did. After Viking cooked a hugh breakfast of 1 pound of greasy bacon and scrambled a dozen eggs, we were in the water around 9:30am. Big Dam Lake was 'glass', it was magical as we paddled the 4km to portage #4, an 800 meter torture, then it was along the 4km Still Brook canal, bit of rain sprinkles but nice. We were now onto Frozen Ocean Lake, and I emphsize the name, it was now windy and cool (cold), as we paddled the 2km to Wilderness Site #8, where we planned lunch at the Adirondack there.

We met Keith Taylor (found out to be a neighbour of Judy Hunt on Grand Lake), Peggy Martin, and their dog Molly, who faithfully chased an orange ball all over the peninsula. We re-established a smoldering fire and tried to warm our wet bods. After exchanging stories, emails, they were off to a new site on Lake Kejimkujik (#20 at the mouth of the West River), and we were heading back to our base camp. It was quite choppy and wind/sprinkles, and getting colder--a few flurries now in the air. Sure wouldn't want to dump.

On the way back we found Tim Farmer, who was to run the loop, with his wife trying to forge across Still Brook at site #5. We generously ferried them across. They also had a dog, seems we were the only ones in the park with our K9's at home. It was now definitely getting cold--I am coming of the opinion that Remembrance Day is the true start of winter in NS. We have not been blessed with very many nice warm days over the years.

Back at camp, get the fire going, cook supper, entertain Tim and Mrs. Tim as they passed through after completing their 25km hike, and now it was dark-and almost 6:00pm. I said I am staying up till at least 7:00, and immediately sat near the fire. In 15 minutes I was alone and talking to myself, with nothing interesting to tell me. Off to bed, it was going to be a long night.

Got up for a short walk, it was now 10:00pm, it is going to be a long night--the tent is frozen, snuggle back down, only up once more until 7:00am and light--12+ hours sleep, and I wasn't tired. There is a bit of snow around but it looks like a nice day.

Stuffed gear into packs, 200 meters out to car, breakfast at Caledonia, bacon, eggs, homemade toast--super at the Touch of Dough, a real goooood greasy spoon. Could be a regular stopping place.

Home and showered by noon to re-establish home life with C.S. Lewis and the Birder.

Cheers, love and kisses