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On Deck - Bowron Lakes
Guess who's heading out on a wilderness adventure?! Yep ... Scott & Rachel are going to be sleeping in the dirt again. This time we're embarking on a 100-kilometer wilderness canoe trip. The trip is right around the corner and we're buzzing with anticipation.
Bowron Lakes Canoe Adventure
The food dehydrator has been running for five days straight, as we prepare six or seven back-country suppers. We're starting to get excited, because we're fobbing Alex off on grandparent's in Vancouver, and taking some "grown-up time" - heading off on another wilderness adventure!
Like most people, with gas prices so high, we're setting our sights on a "local" destination. We're also doing a trip that's a bit different than anything we've done together - we're embarking on a multi-day canoeing trip. The place we're headed is about a nine-hour drive from Vancouver, into the interior of British Columbia - Bowron Lake Provincial Park.
According to Outside magazine, the Bowron Lakes canoe circuit ranks among one of the World's 10-best canoe trips. It's a different way of traveling for Scott, that's for sure! (Rachel has done the trip before, when she was quite young, with her family. Still she remembers little, so it's as if we're both going for the first time ever).
To learn more about Bowron Lakes, get a detailed topographic map of the Bowron Lakes Provincial Park and view a video, which will whet your appetite for adventure ... read on.
A Little Motivation for the Trip
I found this video at a Bowron Lake tour guide website and thought it was pretty cool. Anticipation is part of the fun of these wilderness adventures (always looks so romantic and fun, till you're out there slapping mosquitoes and shivering when the rain is pommeling down)!
The romance generally returns and the misery evaporates, once you return home. Somehow, all the mosquito bites are forgotten and the big rain that soaked all your gear just makes you laugh. "What a great trip that was!"
Humans are a weird bunch!
Maps & Such
The Bowron Lakes area is about a nine-hour drive from Vancouver. We'll likely be taking the Trans Canada Highway from Vancouver, to Hope and up to Cache Creek (also called "Trash Creek", since most of Vancouver's landfill waste, is carted there). From there we'll jot north on highway 97, following it all the way to Quesnel, where we'll turn east, onto Highway 26, which will take us all the way to the park.
You get a sense for how large British Columbia is, on the index map, as it's a 9-hour drive, yet we'll only really be about half of the way to the northern border. Mind you, we'll nearly have traversed the Province from west-to-east.
I'm not really sure what to expect from the trip, aside from lots of paddling. (Never really paddled a canoe for any distance, especially one laden with gear, so that will be a new experience).
While the canoe circuit includes some 100 kilometers of paddling, but there's also about 11 kilometers of portaging, where you have to carry the canoe, across open ground. (We're planning on renting a canoe cart, which should take some of the work out of the portages, but there's still the issue of hauling gear, as you can only leave a small amount, in the canoe, while on wheels).
Apparently, paddling in the morning is a good time to be on the water. Winds and storms often come up in the afternoon, sometimes accompanied by rain, which can make it difficult to make forward progress. The BC Parks guide book says "be prepared to spend days on shore waiting for [lake] conditions to improve". Sounds daunting!
The back country camping, food, safety and bear awareness are all things with which we are already well versed, so that part of the trip isn't too much of a concern. It's just capsizing and dumping all our gear into the lake that Scott's worried about! (Suppose it'd just make for a huge laugh, later on? )
Anyway, we're off for our 2008 wilderness adventure soon and we're starting to get excited! As always, we'll post pictures and the details of the trip (and link it here - as promised, here it is: - Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit Journal ) for anyone interested.