BC – Bowron Lakes Day 2

Day 2 10 am

Peter and Marg, who arrived at camp 9 at 4pm, will depart at 10am (not exactly the 8am that was intended). The 1.6km portage to Isaac Lake is not as steep as the first two portages, and passes uneventfully. Isaac Lake is L shaped. The West Arm is 6.8km long and the main arm is 31.2km long. No more portages for three days. However, this is a long cold lake, and is prone to bad weather, especially in the afternoon.

The corner of Isaac Lake, where the two arms meet, is below Wolverine Mountain, and has a ranger station, cooking shelter and Camp 15. Peter and Marg stop there for lunch. Teams 1, 2 and 3 have just departed Camp 15 and are heading south along the main arm of Isaac Lake. The lunch is a quick stop as there is a large sign indicating that there is bear in the area.
Turning south towards the main arm, Peter begins to feel a pain in his neck above the left shoulder. A repetitive stress injury from the constant paddling limits how far this team will make it on Day 2. At 2:30 pm, they decide to call it a day and stay at camp 18 with an enclosed shelter.
Camp 18 is also the designated wood lot site for the area. A few more canoes stop to pick up wood and head south. Around 4 pm, a canoe with three Germans pulls in and joins Peter and Marg at Camp 18.
Eckhart, his girlfriend and a third friend, are doing the four week Western Canadian tour. This circuit starts in Vancouver, heads to the Okanagan, The Rockies, Bowron Lakes, and then Vancouver Island. It is a favorite route for Germans as they travel in their rented RV through the Canadian Wilderness. Eckhart has come to see the Wild West of Canada. Wearing his lumberjack shirt and swinging an axe, he has a fire going inside the shelter and outside in the fire ring. Gear is hanging all around the shelter trying to get dry after two days of rain.
“How do you want your steak”, Eckhart asks Peter. Taken aback, Peter notices that Eckhart has a family pack of sirloin from Extra Foods, still semi frozen after two days in the canoe. “Ah, medium, thanks! Care for some wine?” Peter offers some of their 3L Hester Creek Cabernet Merlot purchased this year at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival. Now this is camping!
“Ah, you Canadians are selling wilderness to Germans, and I haven’t seen one animal”, grunts Eckhart.” I don’t think there are any animals here!” Peter responds, “this isn’t true wilderness here. Look at this infrastructure – toilets, shelters – this is like car camping”. Peter then tells them about the places he and Marg have been to in BC, where there are no outhouses, no people, and lots of animals. Eckhart gets excited when he hears about the Queen Charlottes and the kayaking that can be done in the area.
“How come I haven’t heard of any of these places” he grunts. They then compare the marketing of Canada to that of Germany, where everybody goes to Neuschwanstein Castle. The conversation continues, and Peter notices that the wine cask, that was supposed to last the week, is now half empty after the second night!

About petergsimmons

Global citizenship is conferred on those who have lived in a variety of countries, and who don’t identify with any one culture. I am such a person. Having lived in Jamaica, Canada and Japan, I have been exposed to First World/Third World, East and West, North and South. This has lead to a rich living experience, open-mindedness and curiosity about the world around me. This variety of living conditions in human landscapes is coupled with equally diverse travels in natural landscapes from the jungles of South East Asia and South America to the Arctic tundra; tropical beaches to the Himalayas, resulting in an incredible journey through life itself.
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