K2inCanada's Blog

June 14, 2014

Another BC gem – May long weekend report (May 16-19)

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Fishing, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 7:50 PM

In order to not have to worry about getting one of our favourite camp sites on the lakes we usually go to and to avoid the potential party crowds we decided to try something new – we pre-booked a campsite at Big Bar Lake Provincial Park in the southern Cariboo just north of Clinton. I am usually a bit skeptical about provincial park campsites – sometimes the sites can be really close together but I have to say we did luck out here at Big Bar. I loved every minute of it – despite the rain – heavy at times, despite having relatively close neighbours, despite not seeing a bear, despite only catching 1 fish, despite the endless rain – oh I think I already mentioned that :-). That lake is just one of those hidden gems our province has to offer. Nestled in between the relatively flat Cariboo plateau with its mix of forest and wetlands to the north and east, the Fraser Valley with its open grasslands to the west and the impressive looking Marble Range Mountain chain to the south. A great variety of landscapes to explore.

P1160139 (Medium)

We had a little bit of a slow start to the trip mind you. The night before when we loaded the truck we noticed the cabin light was on. It must have been on since the last weekend. Oh,oh!! We tried starting up the truck to see if the battery was dead but it started up okay. The next morning at 7AM though, the starter didn’t turn over whatsoever – completely dead! A fully loaded truck facing into the bushes with the empty car in behind and no way to get the car close to the battery in the truck. We would have to push the truck out behind the car. I figured we should have move the car first as well as it was facing away from the truck but Jeff was in a rush to get going. So we started pushing the heavy truck. Even got it moving a bit just enough to block in the car. Jeff finally realized it won’t work without getting the car out first. Frustrated he gave the starter one last try and YEAH it started up SLOWLY. Guess just moving the truck helped to move the starter into a better position to still turn with minimal battery power. Finally we were on the road and the long drive should charge the battery back up just fine. The drive up was beautiful as always through the Fraser and Thompson canyons and valleys. We stopped in at the Cordial Cafe and SHARED a truckers breakfast – just so we could finish it! Best pancakes in all of Canada. The truck started up again just fine… 🙂

Actually the rain wasn’t that bad all the time – just a constant wet drizzle interspersed by some heavy rain and even sunny breaks on the first and last day. We brought enough gear to stay relatively dry except for Jeff who of course brought nothing BUT his “waterproof” sandals. But in good old boys scouts manner he wrapped plastic bags around his feed and voila – the last pair of socks stayed relatively dry even in the heaviest of rains out on the lake 🙂

While Jeff spent all daylight hours on the lake trying to figure out how to catch the rainbows in this lake I went for a lot of bike rides. Since it was a 4 day trip I brought ALL my gear – float tube, surfski, hiking boots and mountain bike. I used them all in the opposite order. Luckily the area around the lake didn’t have any steep hills until you got to the mountain range which was out of my range (almost). I biked the road we came in on to take the pictures I could not take on the drive in because Jeff needed to get on the water. I biked some old overgrown logging roads towards the mountain range – climbing more than I expected but it was all on a reasonable easy grade. I biked up into the grasslands on the north side of the lake and managed to not get lost connecting some unknown logging roads which eventually spit me out close to where I started by luck and a reasonable good sense of directions since I never saw the lake until last minute. I biked the road into Little Big Bar Lake which was one big mud slide after two days of steady rain and I was covered from top to bottom in mud splatters. I saw LOTS of deer and moose tracks but no moose, a couple grouse and lots of other birds on my bike rides.

I went for a walk in the pouring rain to explore Beaver Marsh at the west end of the lake. They had a big sign up saying the trail was closed due to fallen trees which I of course ignored. And 95% of the trail was already cleaned up and where it wasn’t markers were set to get you around.

On Monday I finally got out on the water. The rain had finally stopped and was replaced by a mix of sun and clouds with a light to medium breeze from the east, no west, no south – it kept changing all the time. I paddled around the lake twice in my surfski in the morning. With the sun and clouds the lake looked even more beautiful! In the afternoon I joined Jeff taking my float tube out to at least be able to say I fished the lake. And I even caught a fish too! But we also got hit by the heaviest rain of the weekend. We could see the dark clouds moving around us for it bit. They seem to be going the opposite direction as the wind down at the lake level. But the downpour only lasted for 15-10min before it stopped again and the sun came out. We were able to pack up in the sunshine. What a great place – we will be back!!!

 

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