Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bowron Lakes

Ahhh... rest week!  After a 16hr training week I was ready to give the legs some down time... so how about a canoe trip on the Bowron Lakes? 

Actually this trip has been in the works for almost 1 year.  We wanted a special way to celebrate my Dad's 60th year and Carter's 10th.  I don't recall who came up with the original idea, but regardless, my Dad, brother, Trent, Carter and me set sail this month on our quest to see the west-side circuit of the Bowron Lakes.  I think I was 13yrs old when my Dad and I canoed down mission creek all the way to the lake.  We actually joked about how it took us 22yrs to get back in the water together :) 

Half the fun was the drive down.  It's a long way and I think it took us approx. 9hrs with stops, although thanks to Mary we had home-made samosas to eat and lots of car snacks.  We stayed in a cabin at Bowron Lakes Lodge.  Which I am writing about to remember to never stay there again.  Never, never.  It was very dirty, damp, old, not well maintained and basically a 'I don't give a shit' abandoned business.  Not that you go on a trip like this for luxury accommodations, but you would expect what they advertise on their website to stand up to what you receive. 

We soon got over it because we didn't have time to piss around with finding a new place so Trent made hot chocolate and tea for everyone and we sorted out our gear and food and went to bed.

The morning brought an early orientation and we started our way on Bowron Lake by 11am.

The first day we ended up paddling for 5hrs.  Our intention was 4hrs, however the campsite we were banging on having space ended up being full.  It was a bit deflating to be honest.  We had all had enough 'boat time' and were more than ready to dock up, set up camp, have a beer and hang out.  It was another 45min to the next campsite, so we all dug deep and made our way...

As it turned out - we couldn't have been luckier!  Our initial disappointment turned into one of the best parts of our trip!  We had a beautiful campsite, with both an outdoor and indoor cooking shelter.  Spacious camp sites AND we had a friggen bull moose come right through our camp !!!  He swam across from the other island and into a swamp behind our campsite.

We made a family vote to take a camping day the next day.  The mosquito's were SO bad... and the weather that day wasn't great.  Raining on and off and the lake wasn't very settled.  So we weighed our odds and decided that a family day of camping was just as good as time in the canoe.  And it turned out to be another favorite part of the trip.  We moved our camp down to the 'prime' spots that were occupied the day prior.  We had a relaxing breakfast, played monopoly cards, swam in the lake and just hung out.  It was awesome!
The following day we set sail and boogied back to Bowron Lodge in approx. 3.5hrs.  A much fast return but just as spectacular!!  It was actually a very rewarding and enjoyable day in the boat. 
We came off the water and decided to take the long drive home.  It did put us home one day earlier but we were all pretty tired as we didn't get home until 11pm.  I think for me, what I thought was going to be a rest week, turned into a rest for my 'legs' but not so much from a sleep perspective.  I did, however get a lot of quality 'down time' and it was wonderful to share this quality down time with my family.  I was really proud of my everyone.  We all took on a natural role and did our share of work, cooking, cleaning, tents etc...  I think my Dad and Carter were so cute too.  They are two peas in a pod and such good little buddies! 

At one point or another we were all out of our 'comfort' levels though and as I am sure you can all appreciate it can create some 'tight' family moments... but you know what?  We were all very supportive and accepting and figured things out together.  At one point Carter just wanted to sit in the tent to avoid the mosquitos and I so felt for him.  I think this trip may have tainted him for life!  He did, however suck it up and did a great job on dealing with it.  And it wasn't just a few here and there... they were everywhere!!  Nasty.

None of us are rushing out to buy a canoe anytime soon, however the family voted it was a positive and fun family holiday that we were all happy we did together.  Nothing like the basics to bring the best out of everyone!  And thank GAWD I am such a tom-boy being out with all this testosterone!

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