The first overnight canoe trip of the year is always a much anticipated adventure for the whole family.
The southwest corner of British Columbia probably has the least amount of ideal canoeing accessible lakes in all of Canada. Ontario and Quebec get the lion’s share of calm lakes, and while we get the salmon and giant mountains and Pacific Ocean and discount real estate, we’re quite limited in placid paddling places.
Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park, just about an hour East of Vancouver, isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s downright spectacular!
Peace and quiet can be hard to find during the day, the powerboats cruise up and down the entire length and often blare their rear-facing speakers at full volume from dawn to dusk. This weekend we were treated to a float plane practicing takeoffs and landings over and over and over, now THAT was loud!
Regardless, it’s a beautiful lake. The water is pristine and clear and full of kokanee, but little other wildlife. Possibly because of the powerboats.
Erik was super excited to do our first camping trip of the season. It’s amazing to watch how he changes from year to year, now at almost 8 years old he’s really helpful and useful from packing to unpacking. Every year he carries more and more on our “portages” and never complains. And I’m incredibly impressed with how much Anita can carry. I found myself a good strong woman, yes indeed. LOL
About halfway down the lake we pulled over to pee, drink, and eat some carbs. Mmmm carbs! Chocolate covered almonds, Twizzlers, and Werther’s soft caramels. Erik was vibrating and this made the second half of the trip quite hilarious as he becomes a super talker when he gets excited.
By the time we landed at our “secret” site near the Narrows, it was blistering hot and there was little we wanted to do but get comfortable and sleep in the sun.
Anita’s Canoe Trip Essentials
It’s not much ladies. The great thing about canoeing is that no one cares about how their makeup looks. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care at all. So I have my basics.
- Sunglasses of course – you don’t want to go canoeing without sunglasses. The glare off the water can be intense and without sunglasses you can A) damage your eyes and B) will need lots of Advil to care for the sun glare headache you are going to get.
- Eye Drops – I wear contacts and my eyes get dry out on the water – which seems ironic to me
- Sun Screen – this Ombrelle 60 Face Stick is AWESOME. I burn on cloudy days. I burn on sunny days. I probably burn at night. All thanks to my Scottish heritage. It fits perfectly in my life jacket pocket and is super easy to apply on everyone.
- Eos Lip Balm – Water + Sun + Air = dry lips. No one wants to kiss someone with dry canoe lips. Wear Lip Balm
- Cards – Go Fish anyone? Crazy Eights? Beat Your Neighbor? When is a kid old enough to learn Poker?
- Book – Not pictured here because I forgot it. There is nothing like sitting on a beach and reading. The ultimate de-stresser.
Litterbugs on Alouette
Because this lake is so close to civilization and easy to reach, it attracts the non-outdoorsy type who use it for awesome bonfire parties. There is quite a bit of garbage, some sites, like the one below, are veritable dumps. We always leave with quite a bit of garbage to throw out, and kick ourselves for not remembering to bring larger garbage bags.