Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mission Creek

Okay this barely counts as a trip report but we've been a bit lazy lately so I gotta post something.

Last fall Brenda and I paddled two different sections of the Shushwap River between Mabel Lake and Mara Lake. At the time the river was teaming with big red sockeye salmon.

We really enjoyed ourselves and resolved to do more paddling in the area. Unfortunately renting a canoe and then returning it during business hours was a major hassle. So on Saturday we bought a used canoe. Nothing fancy -- a 16' frontier and a bit of a monster really -- but I've always wanted a canoe and this'll do for now.

The world was our oyster! Where to go canoing? Mission Creek seemed the obvious choice. Mission Creek flows out of the hills east of Kelowna and winds through the city and into Okanagan Lake. Brenda was a little dubious about the idea but she was a good sport and we went for it. We left one car at the lake and then drove about 12km upstream and put the canoe in.

Um...the river was really flowing. I mean it was seriously moving. To make a long story short by the time we were 500 meters downstream (which was pretty damn quick) we'd taken on a good amount of water and were soaked to the skin. The water is anything but warm this time of year let me tell 'ya.

A return to shore was promptly arranged and we came to a crunching halt on some shallow rocks, somewhat chastened. Our poor canoe must have wondered just what kind of a future life was in store for it.

We'll go back in a few weeks after the spring run-off.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


We drove up to the Monashees on Sunday morning. The plan was to drive as far as possible on the logging roads and then to ski into Monashee Lake and spend the night.

It should be noted that this was Brenda's idea. She's beginning to make a habit of picking wacky spring destinations and this one continued the fine tradition! We needed the logging roads to be clear enough of snow that would could drive to within a reasonable distance of the trailhead. But then we also needed there to be enough snow remaining for us to ski as soon as we left the car behind. Somewhat conflicting requirements.

The road remained completely snow free except for one section of deep and really dense snow. Of course by now we've taken off the snow tires so at first the little CRV huffed and puffed but just could not get through. Eventually we used our avalanche shovels to clear two tracks and also put the tire chains on (once we remembered that we had them in the car with us) and that did the trick.

With the patch of snow behind us we were home free!

Or not...

I think we can fit through...

Um...perhaps we'd better take a measurement here.

Rats. Not going to happen. This is where we needed to get to...

And of course at this point it started to rain. And it was cold. And the prospect of walking several kilometers (at least) with skis on our backs just so that we could maybe, possibly, perhaps find enough snow to ski...

Well, let's just say that forward momentum was lost at this point.

We did see a bear though. And there was bear scat everywhere.

And I dunno if this was some bear's first dump after hibernation or what but either way I say that this was one big bear.

(And no the bear didn't pass Brenda's GPS through it's system, it's just there for comparison purposes.)