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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canoeing in Sasquatch Country

We had a wonderful canoe to a private beach. We went in circles for awhile because Kyran was a much stronger paddler than I. But I got stronger and he calmed his strokes and I steered the canoe back to shore! The picks are from Hicks Lake which was a quiet, mountain surrounded gorgeous little lake. The toad was at least 8 inches long and so adorable.

Miranda is now known as 'Hot Wheels' as she peeled into the camp site at such a speed that the park warden gave her a talking to and neighbor campers shouted "give her paper!" (ticket) But it was due to stress as we had dismantled our entire tent site to move to a new camp ground on the lake only to have to move our camp 3x's as the sites turned out to be reserved! All worked out for the best as we discovered a new almost empty camp ground deep in the forest that backed an amazing wild ravine.

We had many, many adventures. We found an amazing hike to a private beach on Harrison Lake. We had to hike way up through the deep cedar forest on narrow rocky cliff-rimmed trails (I was a little terrified as cliffs, kids and I don't mix!) But the beach was gorgeous and obviously remote. Harrison Lake is HUGE and so clean. The mighty Fraser River flows from Harrison to Vancouver. One can boat to and from Vancouver from Harrison Lake. We hiked past the hot spring source and witnessed 65 oC water bubbling to the surface. I love Harrison Lake. It is massive and clean with tall coastal mountains surrounding it. The mountains surrounding the lake are crown land so the population of humans is very low (bonus!).

Our craziest adventure happened on our last night. Miranda woke me in a panic, something big was outside our tent and did we remember to put away our food coolers? I was so dead tired and it was pitch black inside the tent--I kept thinking Miranda's voice was coming from the opposite direction and I must have turned myself around in the night. Once I got my barrings, the answer to her question was no. YIKES! Mistaya and Kyran woke in the tent next to us. They said something big was walking outside their tent and it was really stinky. At that stinky info, terror flowed through my brains. All I could think of was the recent bear attack on several tenters in Yellowstone. I wanted to make noise to scare it away, Miranda wanted to remain quiet and let it go about its business of eating our supplies. I warned our kids, "Stay in your tent and be quiet. Worst case senerio, throw yourselves on top of the little kids and form a huddle--if I yell huddle." We decided to use our car keys to flash our car lights and beep the van horn. Next, Miranda took out the lantern and discovered the creature gone and our coolers tossed about. I joined M to clean up and saw a large creature in the shadows. It turned out to be a very big raccoon, sitting on its haunches, eating one of our bagels and smacking its lips! A huge relief that it wasn't a bear or worse a grizzly as Sasquatch park is home to all types of bears, cougars and wolves too. But raccoons can be very aggressive so we were happy when it stopped to lick its long tail and headed for the forest. Sleeping after that was near impossible. I kept hearing sounds and sure enough, the loud "Whoop! Whoop! of an unusual forest owl that sounded more like a primate than a bird--it had kept me guessing the night before. And several frightened little girls needed trips to the outhouse which was 1/2 km away and a very dark trip indeed.

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