Sunday, February 05, 2017

Weekend kayaking on Shuswap Lake, June 5-7 2015

Took the girls for 2 nights' kayak camping on Shuswap Lake in early summer 2015.
I took my little Venture Islay 12 and rented a double from the U of C Outdoor Centre - great value, as a week's rental from there was less than a day's rental in Sicamous would have been. The only sticking point was barrelling through the mountains with this monster on top of the little Legacy, but it all worked out just dandy.

There are a number of boat-access-only campsites on the lake, up Anstey Arm where houseboats are fewer. However, getting there and back from Sicamous would be a bit of a gruelling paddle. A bit of creative Google Mapping suggested there was a launch point near Camosun Narrows, and there was! The launch point was a little sketchy - evidence of weekend partiers and whatnot - but we took the chance.

Launched through a log boom toward the Narrows. It was a good day for paddling; not many boats around and no wind. We stopped at the floating store for sunscreen and to buy a camping pass. They sold sunscreen, but no passes; apparently the rangers came around & would collect money. So we headed up the Arm.

Because there aren't a ton of features, I didn't get any maps of the lake, but that was a mistake; I should at least have confirmed exactly where Anstey View campsite was. The girls were nervous that I had no idea how far it was going to be, or whether we'd paddled past it or what. Rookie captain error.

A little farther on than we had anticipated, we rounded a little point to the campsite.
It's a nice little site with the regulation BC Provincial Park pit toilets and a little shelter/picnic table deal. A nice sand and cobble beach.

The views up the Arm are amazing, with Pious Peak providing a glacier-capped cherry on a forest-green cake. You can't really see it well in the photo, but it's blending in with the clouds in the notch to the left:

Toward evening a houseboat came and beached for the night. We rolled our eyes a bit but they weren't too loud. The rangers came round, sold us passes and some firewood, and warned us that there was a bear in the area. We'd picked a pretty good hang for our food so we weren't awfully worried until we heard thundering cracking sounds in the woods above us toward nightfall - something big moving through. Nothing came of it and we retired early - the no-see-ums are really bad here.

Next morning I took a beautiful early paddle up the lake past some cabins toward Twin Bays PP. When I got back, the girls were ready for action & we took a hike in the woods. Real rainforest feel to the landscape here, in heavy contrast to the blazing heat at the beachfront.

We got to spend an amazing hour or so watching a dragonfly hatch out of its nymph state. It's a real process - amazing any of them survive it. I was too engrossed to get any photos, but here's a YouTube time-lapse:

We paddled about 1k south to a little beach we'd seen on the way up. It has pink sand and this day it was covered in butterflies! as well as more dragonflies hatching. Not sure how I missed getting photos of all this.

I had a nap back at the campsite while the girls played on a log in the water. No more fun has maybe ever been had than the territorial battles over log supremacy.

We had the campsite to ourselves the second night, again turning in early to escape the no-see-ums.

Stopped at the pink sand beach again for lunch on the way back to the car the next day. The car was all in one piece - no mischief-makers this weekend.

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