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 Post subject: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
I'm embrassed to see it's been over 5 years since my last post and I haven't been back to let Matt know what a great time we have been having with our little Issaquah, it is definitely the most used craft in our fleet usually in the water at least twice a week when the is no ice on the lakes.
This year (2014) we undertook our longest camping trip to date from Nova Scotia across Canada to British Columbia one of the most scenic areas in north America the plan was to spend as much time as possible in the back country

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Our little car loaded up for what turned out to be a 4 month 20,000KM trip, fortunantly we are backbackers so the was lots of room for our gear and the dog. Gas milage was about 50mpg (imperial) with out a head wind and resulted in lots of spontaneous side trips.

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Since we usually travel on our own self rescue was an important consideration, the bow bouyancy compartment was increased to about 1 cubic foot and a stern bouyancy bag added, the 2 foam pads rolled up adminships have about 30lbs bouyancy each and can be strapped either inside or on the outside of the canoe turning it into a fairly stable raft, test have shown we can re-enter sit and paddle the swapped canoe fairly easily with the pads either in or out although, out is naturally more stable. Our gear is in waterproof packs and is strapped behind the front seat it should add about another 200lbs bouyancy although we have never tested it.

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This was our first planned paddling destination, Kananaskis in the Rockies, it seems late May is too early.

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Fortunately we found some water at a slightly lower elevation, although the water bottles still froze that night.

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We quickly moved on, this was Emerald Lake in Yoho National park we managed to beat all the tourist and had it to ourselfs.

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After a couple of hours on the water we got back to the launch site to find it covered with tourists pointing cameras at us, the joys of having a light craft that you can quickly throw in the water and get away from the crowds to the best spots.

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The is a lot of class 5 and above water in the area.

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Wapta Falls just down the road from Emerald Lake.

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Another days drive and we arrived at Sechelt Inlet
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/sechelt/
our first planned 5 day backcountry trip, notice the weather, we had incredible weather all summer and had only about 6 hours rain.

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Loaded up on the way to our first campsite, it might be the ocean but weather patterns are typical of the large lakes.

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A perfect way to unwind after a 10 day drive across the country.

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The BC coast is the land of big trees these are the small second growth the large ones fell to the loggers years ago although I'm sure they would like these they are protected in the park.

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Abandon camp

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One of the old giants, the slot cut in the stump is for boards the loggers stood on to cut the tree down with a hand saw.

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Kunchin Point campsite and a tired dog.

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Another campsite to ourselves, the campsites have basic facilities (outhouse, picnic table and pad) and are free, we only had to share once on this trip.

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A quick trip to civilization for food and we headed of to the Powel River Canoe route
http://www.canoeingbc.com/canoeroute.html

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The end of another portage and very thankful for a lightweight canoe.

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The last and largest lake in the chain (Powell lake) is lined with float houses in places, most constructed on log floats, some attached to land some not. Most of the land is very steep and landing is difficult.

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The next few weeks were taken up with family affairs and visiting before we headed back into the southern interior and meet up with kayaking freinds who knew the best spots, this is our first campsite on a 4 night trip on Adams Lake.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/adams_lk_poplar/

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Building Inukshuk's seem to be a popular backcountry activity!

More to follow


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:14 pm
Posts: 4855
Location: Greensboro, NC
Beautiful!

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
By now it was midsummer so we headed back into the mountains to one of our favourite spots, Kinbasket lake which is effectively the headwaters to the Columbia River and was formed by a dam at Mica Creek. the lake itself is approx. 200km long with arms heading into the Rockies. Not having time to explore the whole thing we set up a base camp near Mica Creek.

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View from our campsite.

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Our friends Kayaks of what use to be Boat Encampment located on Big Bend on the Columbia River an important trans shipment point in the days of the fur trade.

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Our luck with the weather held these big lakes are notorious for strong sudden winds kicking up dangerous seas very quickly, as you can see we had glass like conditions for 3 days and very light winds for the remaining 2.

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Temperatures were in the upper 30's centigrade so frequent swimming breaks were necessary, the lake on the other hand is glacier fed, very refreshing!

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The Columbia River, we don't do white water so gave that a pass, looks like fun with the right gear and training.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:09 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the pictures of your nice trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 388
Location: Seaford, South Oz
It was worth the 5 year wait for a report like that, well done.

The photos are magnificent but I must admit to being jealous of all the freshwater you have. Even the photos of the lakes with low water levels make my area look like a desert.

I am intrigued by the carrying system on your car - the supports under the gunwales appear to be just sitting on the car roof without being bolted on. Is this the case? Presumably it is stable and safe or you would not have made that distance with it.

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Cheers, Bob

Laker 13 - christened and slimed (just).
Laker accessories underway.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
The canoe just sits on foam blocks that clip onto the gunwale, the straps have rachets in them and the whole thing is very stable, not shown are the safety lines at the bow and stern that we normally have on the highway although they are never normally tight, one of them is a steel cable with a paddlock to discourage any amateur thieves.
The dis-advantages of the system is that sooner or later a bit of grit is going to get under the foam and scratch your car roof, not a problem with the kind of vehicles I drive but I can see why the owners of newer vechicles would want a roof rack.
My problem with roof racks is that a lot of them are not well attached which is not a problem if you take straps down onto the body of the vehicle like in the picture, to many times I see everything just strapped down to the roof rack in which case you better be sure that they are well through bolted to the roof.
Which ever method you use it's best to retension everything after the first few miles or if the is a significant change in humidity it's amazing how much the tension can change with a bit of rain.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
After Kinbasket we hung around Salmon Arm at our friends house and took in a few more lakes in the area, the whole area abounds with lakes and outdoor reacreational opportunities but since it was now high season we left for one of the more remote areas the Clearwater/Azure Lakes marine park.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/wg_clear/
The 2 lakes are each about 22km long joined by a short but swift flowing river, the is a portage or you can take a water taxi from the start of the lakes through the river and up to the top of the chain and take your time on the way back,we took the taxi.

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The water taxi drops you of at Rainbow Falls Campsite and this is Rainbows Falls, about a 5 minute walk away from the campsite and far enough that you can't hear it in bed.

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Paddlers cabin at the campsite as you can see it has become a tradition for paddlers to carve mini paddles and leave them as a record of their visit.

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The Azure/Clearwater is renown for it's cliffs and waterfalls.

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O what fun on a hot day, it was touching 40 degrees C. and I can't think of a better place to be.

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Sam cools off! The are 3 different water falls in the above photos conviently placed a few km. apart on a hot day.
By the time we got back to civilization the hot weather was taking it's toil on the forests and a few large fires produced a lot of smoke in the area so it was hard to see the mountains. Plan B was to head back to the coast only further north to Bella Coola, the wet coastal mountains weren't on fire so all was well and the scernery was great, we didn't do much canoing on this part of the trip so I'll only post a few pictures, if your a gluten for punishment the full album with over 300 pictures is here.
http://s726.photobucket.com/user/NorthernChinook/library/Summer%202014/Summer%202014%20trip


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Came across this little waterfall a few miles along the road from the Clearwater/Azure, Helmcken Falls.

We were heading for Bella Coola and the South Tweedsmuir Park about a 2 day drive.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/tweeds_s/
Bella Coola is known for "the hill" and bears among other things.
The hill lived up to its reputation about 5000ft down in a few km., hairpin bends, gravel road and no guardrails and barely room for 2 vehicles to pass in many places, fortunantly the are frequent wide spots although it can be hair raising going around the blind corners when your the smallest vehicle around.

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The bears have right of way! we were a month before the salmon run and peak bear season but the were still a few around.

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Looks like this grizzly was eyeing up a dog shaped snack! We were sitting in our car about to start a hike when this scene unfolded, we thought we were going to have to intervene with the car but the guy just turned around waved his stick in the air and yelled "go away" the bear shrugged and headed off the road to a salmon stream, seams he prefers salmon.
We went hiking elsewhere.

Just a few more to follow.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
Our next and as it turned out last multi day backcountry trip was to the Nanika-Kidprice lake system in the northern part of the coastal range about 100km of the main high along a gravel road
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/nenikekhNanikaKidprice/

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One of our favourite campsite, although the were couple of other groups on the lakes we had all our campsites to ourselfs.

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Its a tough life!

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Not far from Nanika-Kidprice is Morice Lake which is one of the larger ones in the area unfortunately we were running short on supplies so this will have to wait for next time.

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Early morning fog on Morice lake.

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We next headed further north towards Stewart this picture of my very young wife was taken 40 years ago at the Bear Glacier which at that time would periodically approach the road.

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This picture was taken from approximately the same spot not only has the height shrunk but it's now a one km paddle to the glacier.

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Of course we couldn't resist!

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It's a humbling experience it's not until you get close that you appreciate the size of the thing, at the same time a gale of cold air is blowing down at you from the glacier above and a river of water if erupting from under the glacier not far away, due to the difficulty reach the spot the was no sign of human or animal activity this spot had probably been untouched for thousands of years.

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What seamed liked an easy way up was a 40ft wall of ice, it was far to dangerous to climb without specialist equipment.

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Definitely one of the highlights of the trip and one of the few crafts that could have carried it off, I didn't mention I had to to carry the canoe down a 30ft steep loose gravel bank to reach the water.

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This is Hyder Alaska in the distance as far as we got north and west, we had not planned to come here so didn't have any passports with us although the locals told us it would probably be OK to go across the border, the Americans would be unlikely to bother us but the Canadians might be reluctant to let us back in.

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Finally one of the rare pictures we have of us and our Issaquah under way together on Clearwater lake.

5 years ago when we built our Issaquah our canoeing had been limited to a few overnight trips and portages with a 90lb fiberglass monster of a canoe, it didn't get used much, Mat's lightweight plywood designs have literally opened up a whole new world for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Somewhere around Central Florida
That was some vacation , anyone would love to do it and I sure enjoyed reading along with your descriptions and pictures.
As far as the canoe you were using I have the 14 foot Sasquatch rigged as a solo boat and it is the one canoe I intend to keep for me to use till I am not around anymore , then the daughters can decide which one gets it. I have been in and had a large assortment of canoes in my 70 years and the Sasquatch is the best one I have used. Heck I was paddling a canoe before I was riding a bicycle. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah in British Columbia (picture heavy)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am
Posts: 31
I must admit I have been casting an envious eye at the 16ft Sasquatch rigged as a tandem. For trips over 6-7 days the 14ft Issaquah is starting to get a little tight and the extra length and speed would be appreciated on the longer trips, might have to lengthen the car a bit! :wink:


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