A couple months ago, Sparklepants and I took a little trip to the land of our northern neighbor to canoe the Bowron Lakes Circuit.
It’s a roughly rectangular route of 80+ miles of lakes, rivers, and portages on the west side of the Canadian Rockies.
We gave ourselves 8 days. We ended up doing it in 5 and a half. Because we’re crazy like that.
To get ready for 80+ miles of canoeing a combination of lakes and rivers, Sparklepants decided we should train all summer, working on increasing our endurance and also our technical skills.
This involved regularly paddling 10-15 miles at a time, which, in the middle of summer on a calm lake, was pretty easy.
We also went down a local Class II+ river where ultimately our canoe got stuck on a deadhead in the middle of the river, we barely escaped alive, and we had to call Midnight Baker and Sunnykins to come rescue us. That was not so easy.
Anyway, good thing that there are no real Class II sections on the Bowron Lakes Circuit, eh?
The only part that could be maybe classed at all is called “the Chute” and it lies at one of the corners of the circuit.
Luckily, it’s really just a fun little blip, because there is no “phone a friend” out on the circuit.
There are only a few emergency telephones if you need to reach a park ranger and the only way out, if you can’t paddle out, is by helicopter.
The weather is very mercurial out there, and we experienced conditions ranging from hail to thunder and lightening storms to sunny and mild to crazy windy and rainy.
A few times in some gale force winds, we felt like we were going backwards despite paddling like our life depended on it. Which actually, it did.
The scenery is incredible. With 4500 people canoeing the circuit each year, it’s amazing that the environment remains so pristine.
Would we do it again? You betcha.