Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The weather was forecast to be great for the weekend, so it would have been pretty much criminal to stay home at this time of year, specially since I had done just that on my last set of days off when it was raining and cold.

A quick look at the map and it was decided that Revelstoke Lake, just north of the town of the same name would be a likely spot to spend some quality time.

The weather was a mixed bag on the way over, but I was confident that it was improving all the time. I had not been up the drive to the summit of Mt Revelstoke for years, so I took this opportunity to do so, as there was still enough hours of daylight. The drive is called the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, and it was much longer than I remembered, at 26km.

I took a couple photos on the way down before heading out to find a camp spot along the lake.

I had pre-scanned the whole area on Google Earth, so it was very convenient to check my location to see what was in the area, and where each road or trail went. Each new area discovered was photographed and documented for future use and enjoyment.

Revelstoke Lake is a reservoir about 150 km long, formed behind the Revelstoke dam, just north of town.
Day two:
It wasn't quite perfect. We had moved into the Revelstoke Lake area the day before, and found a nice quiet campsite right at water's edge. For mid-September, the weather was fabulous; warm, sunny, and calm.
We had spent the day looking for the perfect campsite and recording details on Google Earth for future reference. Carnes Creek provincial Rec area was beautiful, and had most of the attributes of a perfect camp.
But the site we had chosen, with the lake view to die for - didn't have any firewood :(
Last year, we had done our first tour of the area, and the gps held some locations worth checking out, so off we went; in search of firewood, and perfection.

The plan basically invovled checking out every side road and trail that led down towards the lake.
Finally, a small trail led onto a section of the old highway, abandonded when flooding of the reservoir raised the lake level and inundated major sections of the old road.

This trail opened up in both directions, and a short hike to the north found one campsite occupied.

But to the south was perhaps an old abandoned log landing that just about had it all;waterfront, great view of the setting sun, a firepit with plenty of firewood, and someone previously had even levelled out the site for the camper, so I simply drove onto the designated pieces of firewood and shallow depressions in the ground and the truck was level.
A good southern exposure ensured that the satellite dish would work if so desired. I quickly strung up a long line of cord across the area so Harley's leash and carabiner could provide him with the best possible mobility, and pulled the honda generator out in case power was required later. We were now getting close to perfection!A couple who were camped to the north came by on the water, each rowing little inflatable pontoon boats, and a merganzer was southbound along the shore, putting his eyes just under water as he swam like a snorkel to see what was below him. The fire was lit prior to sunset, and then it happened. The Loon call came warbling across the water of the perfectly calm lake. Now, perfection had been achieved!
A raven flew by patrolling the shoreline. Across the lake several glaciers beckoned, and the sound of the tumbling cascade from one could be heard in the stillness. The fire crackled as the sun dipped behind the distant mountains - and the hot dogs sure tasted good.

Morning! The forecast was correct, and the morning brought the predicted sunshine. I waited to step outside with my coffee till the sun just peeked over the mountain and began to warm the hills. It was calm; the lake fog hanging low, obscuring most of the far shore and the glaciers. Overnight, a few leaves had prepared themselves for the inevitability of the season, and, at the slightest breeze jumped from their tree limbs to find a winter home on the ground. The remaining leaves were like me, in denial, and remained steadfastly green. Harley came out for his morning stroll and sunshine, making a safety patrol to make sure the chipmunk was still following all predator safety protocols.
Just as the mists parted to reveal the glacier bathed in the morning sunshine, a lone bald eagle flew up the shore, wondering where his breakfast was. Only the sound of the lake ripples slapping against a driftwood log broke the silence. Time to dig out the solar panel and soak up some of these warm rays to be stored in the battery, so the furnace can keep us warm again tonight - not to mention charging up the laptop battery! Unfortunately, work still pays the bill, and they like it when I show up, so much too soon it was time to pack the camper up and go home. Besides, the new 5th wheel was in the city having some warranty work done, so I was keen to get it home and start getting it ready for winter.
Till next time.