Friday, September 17, 2010

Bowron Lake Adventure

Welcome back to another edition of adventures in the lives of our two favorite adventurers! Unfortunately, this episode will again be a one-sided entry, as the camera was in the posession of only Mr. Biggs while Ms. Lexin was down in Oregon having adventures of her own this month.

This most recent adventure took our traveller and 5 friends almost 500 miles north of the canadian border to the Bowron Lakes Provincial Park. The 6 of them passed through beautiful country to get there, and then embarked on a 9-day, 72-mile canoe canoe circuit through 9 different lakes, 2 rivers, and more than their fair share of precipitation. Below are photos of where they went, what they saw, what they did, and who they found along the way.

So first off, let's see who all was on this adventure...

We've got Devon...

His partner Betsy...



Josh's dad steve (looking especially cryptic here)...

And Steve's lovely wife Leslie !!

The four young'uns traveled in Josh's Vanogan to the great white north after convening in Devon's shop to put the final touches on the packing job.

They drove north across the border through rain,

River valleys...


and mountains.

They camped for the night in this lovely little campground in the middle of nowhere. Free of charge!!.

They educated themselves through interpretive signs along the way...

and gazed out across the landscape of Super, Natural, British columbia... reported to be the most beautiful place on earth.

Until they got to Barkerville!!! A living history Canadian gold rush town.
Where they got a real tour from a fake park ranger about all the miners that used to live here and all the opium they used to smoke.

they even had carriage rides!!!

and gave demonstrations... in character...

Of their cornish (or was it danish...) water wheel and how it was going to be the answer to pumping the water out of all the flooded mines in the area.

Oh, they also got a tour of the beards of the late 1800's.

Eventually, though, they made it to the park, and got a look at where exactly it was that they were headed to .

After spending the night at the drive-in campground, the posse got their canoes weighed (only 60 lbs of gear was allowed in each canoe during portages excluding paddles, pfd's, axes, and first aid kits)

And after orientation and a 2.4 km portage, they were on the water and on their way!!!!

But before we get into life on the lakes, we're sure that our readers have a few primary quetsions that need answering. like....

Where did these people poop while canoeing?


Kevin has worked with backcountry waste management for years, and he had never seen any kind of contraption like this before.

But there were also your standard outhouse options along the circuit as well.

The circuit had a number of patrol cabins built along the lakes for rangers to stay in while out. Campers can't use them, however, so instead...

They used the old trapper cabins that had been restored along the circuit.

They often had bunks in them that our travelers could use to catch a little shut eye.

Otherwise they set up camp along the shores and slept in hammocks and...

Tents outside shelters or in plain old campsites.

Steve liked to eat food on a regular basis, and so did the rest of the group.

You can see you much they liked eating in this photo.

so they did a lot of cooking on little camp stoves like this one.

Cooking of BACON!!!!!!

And eating of pasta.

Many of the Trapper cabins had woodstoves in them to help dry out clothes and gear from the rains.

So Firewood needed to be gathered from woodlots around the lakes.

And then had to be split and dried by the fire in order to be useful.

Kindling had to be made.

and outdoor fires had to be made as well.
In their spare time, the group took hikes to little waterfalls, like Lewis falls on Isaac lake pictured here.

sometimes they got lost on their hikes and just needed to sit down and snack.

Before pushing on through fields of devil's club (a thorny plant that grows in forest opening and SUCKS to walk through while wearing sandals...)

They took long walks along the beach.

And paid careful attention to signage and trail markers along the way.

They saw animal tracks, like this moose print.

In addition to the actual animals (on one occasion)!!!!

They even saw Black Bears along the shore.

just hangin out, cruising the strip for chicks.

And, of course, they got their fill of epic landscapes such as this shot looking south down Isacc lake, the longest lake on the circuit.

they even got a few good sunsets.

and a few rainy days that were still beautiful.

And a few evening clearings enough for a little afterglow.

They saw Isaac falls.

and mountain ridges.

and cariboo falls (24 meters high)

and snow-capped peaks across the lake from camp.

They even got some pretty clouds.

At all times, they had to be careful of waterfalls flowing uphill unexpectedly.

They did a bit of fishing, but all they caught was this white-faced mouth-breather.

They even had the chance to paddle some quickwater on the 2 rivers in the circuit.

And no canoe trip is complete until you get out and pull a little....

In their spare time, they played with rocks.

But mostly they played with canoes. They pulled canoes.

Stacked canoes all pretty along the shore.

Paddled canoes in a line.

Portaged canoes some more.

Paddled them some more.

Even carried them on their heads!!!

Paddled them solo...

Paddled them in full raingear...

Paddle them in synchrony...

Paddled them in bright sunshine through marshes surrounded by mountains.

All the way to the end of the 72-mile circuit where they pulled them out of the lakes for the last time...

and found a better use for those canoe carts!



And they had a good time all the while, a family of 6 for a total of 12 days of fun, exploration, wilderness, and paddling.

boo yah.


  1. Such an awesome post Kevin! :) You are SUCH a great story teller! Miss you! Glad to hear you are still out there adventuring! I've been doing some of those myself!

  2. wow! this looks awesome. except for the canoeing part. (just kidding!)
    we miss you, kevin! see you next season.
    love, the bandstras