Voyageur Trips 2009
Having decided to Breakfast at the Billy Miner, in Haney, the 5km paddle was extended by detours to Derby Reach (for a short investigative walk) and a look around the House Boats at grant's Landing.
At the Billy Miner we were joined for coffee by other members, also in festive cheer. A lovely pre-Christmas tradition may just have been started.
Submitted by Jonathan Wilkins
This year the FLCC went on two trips along the Harrison River, the 1st one on Oct 24 and 2nd trip on Nov 8th. We started the trips across from the Harrison Hotel on Harrison Lake then paddled up to the start of the Harrison River and then all the way down to Kilby.
On Oct 24th we had 2 full voyageur canoes, total 20 people. We had wonderful weather, all the trees still had the beautiful colors of fall leaves. We saw lots of salmon spawning along the river, many of them lined up on the shore with there tails cut off, we think that's the job of Fisheries counting the salmon run. There weren't many eagles at all considering there were plenty of fish to eat!
The Nov 8th trip we had 2 voyageur canoes but only 16 people. We had fantastic weather considering the trip was almost cancelled because of the endless rains for days before the trip! We lucked out with no rain and some sun and fairly mild temperatures. It was a different trip from just 2 weeks later. Most of the leaves had fallen off the trees but there was plenty of fresh snow on the surrounding mountains. What a glorious area but it makes you realize that winter is approaching fast! There were still plenty of salmon spawning along the river and more eagles than 2 weeks earlier but not even close to the spectular trip last year. There were so many eagles in the trees last year that they looked like christmas ornaments in the trees.
At the end of the trip we walked up to the Christmas Store and then to the museum for tea & coffee, which was a pleasant way to end the day!
Thanks to all for making the trips so memorable and thanks to all the drivers and shuffling of vehicles.
Submitted by Debbie Scott
The Cranberry Voyageur Races was another exciting fun day. This year the day began clear and cold. Lots of club volunteers were there early to unload boats, move pfds and paddles, setup tents and tables in the registration and marshalling area, deliver pumpkins for the final.
The teams started arriving at 9am to register their team and their chilli for the chilli contest. Everything was ready for the first race to start at 10am. For the first time we had winds down the Bedford Channel so the paddlers had to work hard paddling into the wind and waves, but everyone had fun in the sunshine.
There were the usual boat banging around the course in the morning races. The Final Races included the rush for the pumpkins and the always fun juice run on the beach and boats passing each other in opposite directions as they paddled furiously around the markers then towards the finish line.
At midday the chili winners were announced:
Best Meat - Cran-ivores
Best Cranberries (and Veggies) - Canoe Yahoo
Here's the results from the final races
GH Hot chili 8:33.21
PP Apple blueberries 9:34.43
KS Chickens 10:03.87
Canoe Yahoo 10:17.18
DF Cranberry Kickers 10:31.76
Saints Preserve Us 10:45.15
FLCC Flatwater 7:00.49
GH Bacon Explosion 9:24.81
Sturgeon Bashers 9:25.79 DNF - outside of finish buoys
Great racing everyone and congratulations to Flatwater for placing first overall.
Hope to see you all next year.
Submitted by Cheryl MacIntosh
Not the longest paddle.
Nor the most dangerous water.
But the annual visit to the Apple Days at Derby Reach was a pleasure again, in the early fal sunshine.
Take a picnic, take some time. And enjoy a taste of '00s of different types of apple.
Jane Watt was there to provide some historic background to the site, which was the location for the first Fort Langley.
We had 11 people from the Fort Langley Canoe Club and Ken & Brian Williams on our trip, paddling 2 voyageur canoes & 1 tandem canoe. The people included Debbie C, Debbie S, Cheryl & Glenn, Rita, Miftah, Bert, Ken, Brian, Katie, Lee, Cindy, Sylvia. And Greg shuttling boats. Thank You, Greg!
We went up on the Friday afternoon & set up camp near Savona in the wonderful cactus field overlooking the valley. The night sky was amazing, so many stars and the milky way was very prominent! We packed up early the next morning to get ready for our days paddle & move camp that night.
The paddle took us from Savona to Juniper Beach. The day was spectacular, beautiful blue sky and the weather was 30+c. We played in the rapids and swam in the cool surf. Our lunch break was on a rocky island where we swam and played in the rapids going down & up & down in it many times. The voyageur went over once and the tandem went over a few times but that is half the fun!
Debbie C, Rita & Miftah swam down with the rapids after our lunch break, it looked like they had a blast!! We carried on to the Walish Bridge where Deb C, Rita, Brian & Ken were brave enough to jump off, it must be at least 30ft above the water!
We arrived at Juniper Beach around 4pm where we set up camp in the Provincial Park. We had delicious food contributed by all, even beer & appetizers! Later we had a camp fire and the sky was manificent again, so many stars. One draw back was the quantity of trains that passed through, there are tracks on both sides of the river so we were surronded! It was a sleepless night to say the least.
In the morning we set off for our paddle to Ashcroft. We were in awe of the scenery from Juniper beach to Ashcroft. The brilliant blue sky was a perfect complement to the terrain. I'm sure our view from the water is unparelleled. The landscape includes deep post-glacial deposits and large scale erosion features. It looked like castles formed on the bluffs, it was amazing. The water was very fast in places and we had some good drops. We surfed the canoes in the large waves. The best was Deb S & Ken in the tandem, with Deb in the bow with the churning water scrolling over and into the boat with Ken in the stern at last two feet in the air without any water near him and staying in that position for what seemed at least five minutes!!!!!!!
We got out at Ashcroft after another wonderful day. We ate up the wonderful leftovers from the potluck dinner before we headed off home again.
It was a fantastic trip and we hope to do it again next year and maybe even try a new section of the river.
Thanks to all how helped organize the trip, what an amazing group adventure.
Submitted by Debbie Scott
What do you do for the August long weekend if you are a member of the Fort Langley Canoe Club, especially if you are a Voyageur Paddler?
Celebrate Fort Langley’s fur trade origins, that’s what!
About 30 of us dressed in period costumes and arrived in formation, just as the Hudson’s Bay Company voyageurs would have done some 200 years ago, to the tune of muskets and cheers and applause, then paraded up to the fort. So what if many of us put in at the airstrip just upstream of the Fort?
Twelve of us dug deeper into the spirit of it all by putting in at Hope on Saturday morning early and paddling to the Mission bridge, where we camped in the Matsqui campground. It was a long day of paddling, so we appreciated a quick supper, and the latest news.
Maybe we’re not quite voyageurs yet.
Submitted by Katie Stein Sather
On the morning of July 1, 2009, 13 sleepy-eyed members of the Fort Langley Canoe Club loaded vehicles for a 4:30am roundeveous to board the ferry from Tsawwassen to Duke Point on Vancouver Island. Fittingly it was Canada's day and we were about to experience an unforgettable part of BC. A beautiful sunrise was promising and set the stage for the remarkable vistas that awaited us. Seven hours later 2 fully loaded voyageurs and 1 kayak departed from Toquart Bay south east of Ucluelet for the 5 day trip. A cloudless brilliant blue sky framed the surprisingly turquoise Pacific Ocean. The open crossing to Hand Island was choppy, eliciting squeals of delight from most of the group and caused anxiety for the less experienced.
The Broken Islands Group is part of the world renowned Pacific Rim National Park. We had all heard about it's unrivaled beauty but we were speechless as the water gradually became clearer, more aquamarine with glimpses of white sand beaches that teased our senses. Is this the beginning stages of Alzheimer's? Past memories confused as the present? This is the west coast of Canada, not Jamaica? A refreshing splash of cold water from the paddle behind, the reality of pine trees not coconut trees, an eagle soaring above added to the visual disparity. It was 5 spellbound days of spectacular scenery and picture perfect weather!
There were rock formations, sea arches, caves, colourful marine plants, a family of deer, eagles, a lone gray whale feeding on the bounty of the sea, a peaceful lagoon that could be the setting for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Waterland...."you go that way, we'll paddle this way....oh! we meet again! The tide is changing. Hurry, before that channel runs dry and we're forced ....to ...stay......longer......Hey! I'm going swimming! Did Rita H. see those rocks back there? Maybe we should check them out?........" We were 13 wide-eyed land lubbers with jaws open and camera shutters clicking incessantly.
We camped on Willis, Clarke and Hand Islands, and stepped ashore on Wouwer, Dicebox, Effingham, Benson, Dodd and Gibraltar Islands. Sincere thanks to Ken Williams our skilled, knowledgeable guide for leading us through this unbelivable natural wonder in our backyard. The photos are untouched, but don't take my word for it, do yourself a favour and go take your own pictures and create your special memories. I'll go with you..........
Submitted by Debbie Cheong
For more photos of this beautiful trip, click Broken Islands Gallery
Doubts about the early season weather for a trip into the wilderness left this planned outing with too few to make a Club Voyageur event. But three intrepid couples did set off with their own tandem canoes and were rewarded with 4 beautiful early summer days and nights, paddling on the Lillooet, Harrison and Little Harrison Lakes.
Leisurely camp fire dinners, with the setting sun to the background of gentle music and rushing mountain streams. Aaaah.
Join us next year!!
Submitted by Jonathan Wilkins
It was particularly poignant for me, that the FLCC outing to the "tree cemetery" that is Stave Lake coincided with the first anniversary of my mother's death.
Under the loving watch of Captain Jonathan we crossed The Fraser on the Albion Ferry to Maple Ridge. With Gralin hauling the trailer with the two canoes, we drove to the launch just above The Stave Lake Dam.
Leaving behind the motor boats, we paddled on past the muddy shores where noisy gun-popping, and dirt bikes and dusty 4x4's jar the silence with snoring drones as yahoo's rev on the shore of the quiet waters, glad that this indulgent activity is restricted to just one small area of this lovley lake.
Paddling through the gateway of the graveyard, we pass the Island guarded by the magestic prehistoric heron-lizard, and enjoy the vista of seeing one ear of the snow-capped Golden Ears, or Twin Peaks.
The still lake glistens like emerald glass reflecting the lush forests on the cliffs as we paddle through the heart of the drowned trees to the shore across from the pump station.
Our tireless and constant rhythm stroker, Debbie, stood up in the bow and peered into the clear waters to see what unsuspecting trunk would snag and tip us. Unfortunately a missed photo for we floated stealthily through the shrines and stumps of passed magnificent giants. The sacrificed earth-lungs were drowned for power when the valley was flooded in 1910 for the Stave Lake Dam.
Branches of hair from the giant roots resembles Methuzala, as a monster tree-spider looms with curiosity out of the water twelve feet above our heads to view it's visitors.
After lunch the plan was to hike up the steep logging road to Davis Park. We hiked to where the view of the lake was superb, but as the direct route was blocked, we headed back to avoid a 4 hour walk.
Walking alongside the creek in the sylvan glade a lake enticed with clear sapphire waters for us to swim.
Sandy ochre shores cradle monuments with arms beckoning us. Trunk furniture of tables, arm chairs and yes couches too, are spaced for our leisure to view the snow capped mountains and the crystal lake crematory in isolated wilderness.
On this May Day weekend we celebrate the dead and all that is given to us and be thankful for leaving the noise behind to revel in the beauty of Stave Lake. We hope our visitors will join us again for we made a jovial team.
Submitted by Sylvia Langmann
Groups of people arrived at Camp Squeah throughout Friday night. Julie had a feast waiting for us: chicken, soup, bread, and pie! We retired to our cabins shortly after 10pm eagerly waiting for our 5am wakeup knock. The group was separated into women, men and couples. After some discussion we’ve decided to break the group up into snorers and non-snorers for the next sleepover.
We had 30 minutes to get ready for departure to Yale and we did it – thank goodness we did not have to worry about things like packing up tents and eating breakfast! The dawn was just breaking when we hit the water at 6am. Glen and Jonathan were our two steersmen, Mark and Jim our bowmen and what a great job they did. Glen’s boat took the more adventuresome route at times and so the front three paddlers got some good river showers. The river being quite shallow, we did not get quite the excitement some wanted, but it was great fun. We started the trip in fog, which made the moving water a bit of a challenge, especially when we had to maneuver around some fishing boats at the end of a stretch but we were always greeted with a hello and a wave. (They really thought we were nuts to be out on the river at 6 am and wearing bike helmets to boot!) As we got closer to Hope the sky cleared and we had a great view of the snow covered mountains. Off the water at 8am, most of us walked to the Home Restaurant and had a hearty breakfast before heading home. Plans are already in place to extend the trip for next year.
Submitted by Sue Tuttle
On March 15, 2009 under changing skies, of clouds and sun, we set off in 2 voyageur canoes to cross Grant Narrows. We were led by Dave from the Beaver Canoe Club and he and friends had 3 tandems. It was a mini crossing and a short paddle –perhaps an hour and a quarter to slowly adventure up Widgeon Creek to Pinecone Provincial Park. The views surrounding us were magnificent, with a clearly defined snow line part way up the mountains all around. The creek was noticeably shallow in many spots, deep in other places, sandy and clear. We cheerfully joked about the tide going out and the possibility of carrying our heavy voyageur canoes through the shallows.
By the time we arrived at the destination at the head of the creek, the skies had clouded over and it was raining. We found some intrepid campers packing up to go home. After a bite to eat and a change into hiking boots we set off on the trail. Some might call it a grueling hike that day as we trudged over and under fallen trees, through deep snow, up and down the creekside where the trail was washing away with rushing water and slippery rocks to negotiate. It was a challenge and a great workout! All the while it was snowing heavily. At the Falls, which were wild and beautiful, we ate and then did the return hike, all in all over 6km, I believe.
Back on the water again, we experienced more weather changes - rain, hail and even blue skies for a moment. Our canoe managed to get grounded on sandy banks in the shallows a number of times. Nothing to do with me of course! Some folks were soaked, most of us chilled somewhat - but all happy that we made it back to the warm cars. We would like to return on a hot sunny day and swim in those clear waters!
Submitted by Miftah Hollands