The Walk of Life
Days 12, 13 - Overnight canoeing
September 4, 5, 1998
Lake Clearwater, Wells Gray Provincial Park
Preparing for the trip
After a ride through Wells Gray Provincial Park on roads getting bumpier
we reached the southern end of Lake Clearwater. The canoes were already
at the parking (close to the water). The rest was brought by us and our
canoeing guide. She also had waterproof bags (even one or two for cameras
which we didn't expect) with her. We had to pack everything into our canoes
to get ready. Personal belongings went into waterproof bags. Tents, kitchen
and food directly into the canoes. "Who gets the beer eski???"
1st day canoeing
After an extremely short introduction we started paddling upwards. We made
the teams not as we were told to, in groups with strong and not so strong
paddlers each. So we had strong crews and other paddling in circles. But
after some time everything went well. The French boat took a straight line
in the middle of the lake. The British girls enjoyed turning in circles
from time to time and the boys boats ... racing against each other and
against the guide.
We decided to have lunch on the water. We could also have gone to the
shore. But that's too normal. The water was that clean that we were not
even allowed to dump food garbage into it. But the advantage was that we
had enough to drink. And it was a great experience. Towing all canoes together.
Pass food from one end to the other.
After another two hours of paddling and a short stop at a beach with
some swimming (the water was not too warm) we saw our beach. The race was
open. And we won. We had enough time for a swim, to relax and to establish
our amp. establish the camp? The only thing we had to do was to get the
kitchen up into the forest. We decided not to use tents (not allowed on
the beach) and sleep in our sleeping bags directly at the beach instead.
The night at the camp
a famous curry dinner by Mimmi we got our beds ready. No, not for sleeping.
But it's just nicer to sit and enjoy the evening. After some waiting also
Robs campfire and arrived out of the dark. Three canoes, two guitars. We
enjoyed the night with some campfire songs, without a fire till one or
the other fell asleep.
In the morning it was the sun to wake us up. A short dip into the lake
to really get alive. And breakfast was already being prepared. Pancakes!
This was probably the best breakfast on the whole trek. We had enough time
and delicious pancakes (and more as usual).
The way back seemed easier than the way there. We went (or should have
gone) to the other side of the lake. There were some impressing rocks and
underwater cliffs. This time we were almost last. We enjoyed it. We arrived
back before lunch time and cleaned up everything.
On the way to Spences Bridge
On the way back we first stop - still in Wells Gray Provincial Park - at
Helmcken Falls. It's a wonderful quite big waterfall in a very green area.
No this wasn't lunch stop although it was time and we were all hungry enough.
Next stop - back in Wells Gray and outside the Park - was lunch stop.
We stopped at the big junction at the hamburger store. It was special.
They probably sell the best burgers far around. They have everything from
plain hamburgers to vegi-burgers. The spicy mexican style burger was delicious.
And the ice cream shop next door is worth the stop anyway. Taste the colors
of ice cream.
Barbecue at Spences Bridge
After a few more hours (and a shopping stop) we arrived at the junction
at Spences Bridge turning right to the camping. It was another 5 minutes
ride on extremely bumpy and dusty road. But we reached the rustical camping.
Showers were not too attractive - at least not at night because there was
no light. The only thing you can do at this camping is sit around the campfire,
enjoy the barbecue and a wild west campfire soiree. That's what we did.
Day 14 - Spences Bridge to Whistler