Our final camping trip for this year was a trek not far down the road to Kejimkujik National Park. Kejimkujik.  That’s a mouthful isn’t it?  Pronounced “Ke – jima – koo – jik”  and translated from the Mi’kmaw to mean ‘little fairies’, it’s simply referred to as ‘Keji’ by locals.


Spreading over 400 sq km , it’s a mecca for hikers, canoeists and kayakers , bird watchers and campers, designated a dark sky preserve and the seaside portion is  a wilderness protection area. Over 80% of Kejimkujik is accessible by canoe or hiking only with 47 backcountry camping sites spread out over 17 lakes and connected by multiple rivers and streams.

En Route

We chose this as our last adventure at this time of year to see the fall colours at their optimum and we weren’t disappointed.  We expected it to be chilly so came prepared with lots of extra layers, gloves, toques and wooly socks, because as a friend of mine says ‘any fool can be cold’. But it was anything but cold. More like a moderate summer day with mostly sun and 20 deg temperatures.  Nights were cool so firing up the camper heater for a few minutes took the humidity down.  And of course there was the traditional camp fire with toasted marshmallows.

Colours of Fall

At Keji, the serviced sites are with electricity only so this was our first time dealing with no water or sewer hookup…a kind of modified ‘boon-docking’….four nights/five days to see just what we could manage with using our internal storage tanks, and it gave us three full days to explore. Each site at Jeremy’s Bay is very roomy too, strategically placed so very private and view of neighbours is minimal.  Plus there is a definitely advantage of camping this time of year. Even over the weekend there were very few visitors.

Front Door View

After setting up and enjoying a quiet supper, we took a walk around Kejimkujik Lake just before sunset, returning to light our evening campfire and discuss where to go the next day.

Keji Lake


Keji Lake

The choice for the day was Kejimkujik Seaside Park which was an hour and a half drive from the main camp ground. The trail to the beach through colourful bogs was a 2.8 hike ending at the stretch of beautiful white sand of St Catherine River Beach.

Seaside Bog


Keji Seaside Park


Keji Seaside Park


Keji Seaside Park

Day three was spent cycling around the park.  The trails and roadways are easy and safe for the most part so we explored for the better part of the day, picnicked at Merrymakedge Beach then cycled back to our camp site for a respectable 30 km ride.

Merrymakedge Beach


Mi’kmaw Encampment Site


Jake’s Landing

Kejimkujik Lake is fairly large and dotted with small islands each with designated tenting sites.  While we were eating our picnic lunch we saw a young couple, with two young kids and two cats on leashes piling their belongings into a canoe presumably heading out for an overnight adventure to one of these islands.  Imagine, two adults, two kids, two cats one canoe and  all that gear.  So brave!..or extremely patient…or both.

We continued on the bike path along the Mercy River then headed back to camp.  When one reaches ‘a certain age’, simple is so much better, don’t you think?

Mercy River

For those who prefer a little something out of the ordinary, this park offers Oasis Pods, a cross between a tent and pop-up camper.  How fun is that?  Imagine snuggling in bed at night with a view of the stars because this park is also a designated dark sky preserve with almost zero light pollution.

Sleeping Pod

On our final full day we braved the newest Keji trail, Ukme’k, which means twisted in Mi’kmaw, a 12.6 km medium level winding hiking trail along the Mercy River.  Near the end of the trek we both realized that 5 to 6 km is about our maximum for daily hiking.  Sore knees, sore feet and ankles and we were more than ready to head back to camp for cocktails laced with a couple of ibuprofen.

Ukme’k Trail


Ukme’k Trail


Ukme’k Trail

Well, we made it to our fifth day away.  Water was easy to conserve, having learned many good lessons after seven years of boating with limited resources. Potable water was available to fill our tank at the park entrance and there were filling stations throughout the park every few 100 feet as well as super clean toilet and shower facilities.  Our grey water was at capacity as was the black water tank but we easily pulled through the dump station our our way out of the park.  F purchased a back-up portable waste tank for a ‘just in case’ moment but we found we didn’t need it for this trip.

Portable Poo Pot


Homeward Bound

The trip home was beautiful if just a bit more muted in colour.  We think we may have chosen the best week for leaf gazing now that we’ve had a couple of days of rain and wind and any of the leaves have fallen or turned brown.

On reflection, we both feel Fundy was our favourite place overall.  Five Islands and Keji tie for second place with the Ovens a close third.  Just four outings for this our first year with our little turtle on wheels.  There are already plans in the works for next year but for now RED II is parked in our driveway, unloading and cleaning underway and appointment made for fall inspection and winterizing, after which she’ll be put to bed until next spring.

Back at our little home by the sea we begin to prepare for guests from away. We are so very thankful that for the most part we have remained healthy throughout this last couple of years of pandemic restrictions and that with a sprinkle of caution we can begin to welcome friends and family who have been eager to experience some east coast hospitality.

….peace and love…



I bet you thought, that with all of this renovation talk lately, that we had forgotton all about boating life.  Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  We are still sailing fanatics, still in love with our dear R.E.D. and can’t wait until splash-time this coming spring.  I think what’s changed is that most of our winters have been spent taking courses and fulfilling obligations with our local boating squadron, but this year we’ve tried to keep our time more free.  Now, in complete retirement, we’ve started to re-evaluate how we see our future unfolding, thus all the renovation, selling, maybe even changing location talk.

We realize a lot of you who have been following along with us may not enjoy this little divergence and for that I hope we haven’t disappointed you.  It’s still our boating story.  There are still many boating adventures planned for the future.  There will still be boat modifications down the line.  But intermingled with those stories will be bits and pieces of what we need to do to get to that next phase.  All that being said we are pretty darned excited (and a little scared) about what’s coming next.

But today is all about boating and planning for R.E.D.’s Adventures 2017. We took a break from condo renos to visit the Montreal Boat Show.  There are very few boats of the sailing persuasion to drool over on display although there was a dreamy 30′ trawler at a bargain basement show price of $450,000 that we visited. Moving along…

By law we have to have paper charts for each cruising area onboard so for this year’s trip to Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Port Severn-Trenton and Georgian Bay have been added to our cache.

Trip Charts

Also this year is Canada’s 150th birthday. Entry to Parks Canada Parks will be free.  It also includes free passage through all the many Parks Canada locks. We still have to pay mooring fees but this will be a huge savings for all boaters.  When visiting the Parks Canada booth at the show we were able to register our free lockage pass, free entry to all national parks and of course purchase our mooring package.  The very cool thing though is that usually if we tow a dinghy through the locks it requires paying not only for our R.E.D. but for our dinghy as well (priced per foot) but because of Canada’s birthday gift to boaters, Ballon de Rouge will be able to accompany us for free.  Little Ballon now has his own pass #Q50018. Yay!

Season Passes

So there you have it.  More to come as summer plans unfold but be prepared for a little reno talk from time to time.  Cheers and thanks for hanging in there with us.



A day of more put-putting along.

This next stage was a series of nine locks

that stretch from Chambly to Saint-Jean

10 nm along the Chambly Canal.


Yet another locking experience.

This time the staff threw the line at lock one

and on departure we took their line with us.

The staff then hopped in their little golf cart,

met us at the next lock

where we then threw them the line…

and so on through the nine locks.

Apparently, I throw like a girl

so learned to hand the line using the boat hook.

It was just us with a couple of guys in their sailboat,
wrapped and strapped on their journey south
to Lake Champlain.
One of them spoke to Francois
and told him how lucky he was that I was as passionate about sailing as he was.
His wife would rather be at home on land riding her bicycle and tending her garden.
Francois’ response was that yes, he was lucky
but it was Kathy who gently pushed him in the sailing direction.
Yes, sirree!

We still haven’t experienced warm weather yet.
Even when it’s sunny, the air on the water is still chilly.
We treat ourselves to a small tot of rum which warms our bellies
but our supply was quickly dwindling.
There was internet at one of the locks
so I did a little research
for reprovisioning…
True sailors should never be without their ‘essentials’
(SAQ = local liquor store)


R.E.D. at Chambly Canal Lock 9