Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit '11 {Day 1: Bellingham, Washington, USA, to Wells, British Columbia, Canada}

"Isaac, Isaac, Isaac!!!" Fellow Scouts try to warn Isaac to keep his distance from the bears.

One of the cubs scurried up a tree when we appeared (not so quietly) to enjoy bear views.

Bowron Crew 2011 at departure

Only one forgotten item (or so we thought at departure), realized while still on our residential street, so we returned home for.... Zachary's sunglasses!  A few minutes past rendezvous time, we met up with our troop's Bowron 2011 crew, bought fancy coffees for the adults, took the group departure photos, and headed for the Sumas/Abbotsford US/Canadian border.  En route to the border, with only our family of 5 in Grandpa Pete's truck, we prayed the Holy Rosary together, reflecting on gospel meditations of the Luminous mysteries: the baptism of the Lord; the wedding of Cana; the proclamation of the kingdom; the transfiguration; and the institution of the Eucharist.

Our border crossing caused no concern, coolers were left in tact and we continued our drive directly to a Tim Hortons for a bathroom and donut stop.  The truck passenger configuration altered slightly, with the addition of Judah and the subtraction of Zachary.  With Judah came a DS game; electronics allowed on long drives to and from our BSA outings, but never on the actual outing.  How much of the view a  passenger enjoyed depended on whether or not it was his turn on the DS.  Sights included acrobatic airplane maneuvers with and without trails of sky-writing, many miles-long freight trains, osprey nests, teenage acrobats performing flips on the shoulder of the Coquihalla highway/mountain pass, the Bucking Ham Hotel and Wolf Cry Inn, and black bears!

Evening crew meeting on the front porch of the Wells Hotel, BC, Canada

Dinner stop at a fish & chips trailer along the road

Caleb and Isaac prepare the following day's lunches on the tailgate of the truck at dusk in downtown Wells, BC.
"Oatmeal EVERY day?" Isaac asked in astonishment over fish & chips picnic dinner on the highway in Wells, BC.  The look on Isaac's face was priceless!  Asking the crew leader, Zachary, to tell him all about the breakfast menu for the 8 day Bowron Lake canoe trip, Isaac must have anticipated breakfast variety.  Zachary, on the other hand, on a calorie-count mission with a desire to keep things simple, chose a standard every day breakfast menu of oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins and something he fondly called "bird seed bars."  Lunches and dinners allowed for quite a bit more culinary variety.  The use of dry ice in a 5-day cooler, in addition to a standard small cooler with ice, meant we weren't really roughing it in regard to the camp meals.

A final pre-departure crew meeting in the Wells Hotel lobby, resulted in a unanimous decision to unload the back of the pick-up truck and lock up all the gear except the 15 food buckets and coolers (replaceable items), as well as setting up a make-shift kitchen on the tailgate to make the Friday lunches.  Room checks at 9PM and hopes for a good night's sleep, we had one last snooze indoors before embarking upon the Bowron Lakes circuit.

Day 2 {Wells BC to Bowron Lake Provincial Park; Kibbee Lake; Indianpoint Lake} follows.

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