Voyageur Trips 2010
Many half-day, one day and multi day trips are planned each year, visiting many beautiful locations in, and around, the Lower Mainland.
We continued tradition with the Second Annual Advent Pub Paddle with another visit to our "regular" - the Billy Miner in Haney
How do I join one of these trips?
Our regular club membership plus CKBC fee entitles you to join in the Voyageur recreational paddles. Or you can come try it out for the minimal drop-in fee. The club has PFDs and paddles for new members and drop-ins to use.
The date that reservations may be made is listed next to each event.
If you would like more information, please :
or email the contact listed
Thompson River Paddle Sept 10- 12, 2010.
The enthusiasm exhibited for this popular voyageur paddle-camp has not waned and for 3 years now those who have been fortunate enough to experience the exhilaration and adrenalin rush of the power of the mighty Thompson River make every effort to keep their calendar free for this amazing adventure.
On Sept. 10 an eager scouting crew of 6 with 2 voyageurs in tow behind the well-traveled Rawstron luxury coach, made their way through the spectacular Fraser Canyon to the outskirts of Spences Bridge in search of an unfamiliar and unmarked pullout that winds down to the banks of the Thompson.
Our hopeful destination of Martel was unavailable to us that weekend as DFO conducted research on that area of the river. Fortunately the convenient Juniper Beach campground was able to accommodate our group of unreserved campers and the clutter of our tents. By nightfall, all members arrived and our much needed sleep in anticipation of white-water paddling was challenged by the squeal and screech of the frequent trains that thundered only an arms’ length away.
Saturday morning was brilliant, the blue of the sky contrasted the magnificence of the barren landscape. It was a perfect day to traverse the haystacks and boils of the Thompson. Our revered leaders Ken and Brian Williams guided us expertly along the pristine beauty of these badlands. Hoodoo spires loomed overhead as protective sentinels above the sand cliffs that rose steeply from the river, the stillness broken by the frequent splash of fins from a record breaking salmon run. Lower than usual water levels did not diminish the power of the water as it rushed along and provided us with ample opportunity to test our skill to keep our voyageurs upright.
Successes were exhilarating, near spills were exciting and the frequent upsets were pure fun albeit humbling. The prowess of Brian’s and Ken’s skills were evident as they taught us to surf the big water in the boats, it was thrilling to accomplish and inspiring to observe. Brian’s tenacity to battle the river was amazing, his skill and control in the tandem even in a spill is captured in that awesome photo with the bow straight up out of the water.
It was an unforgettable 2 days. The vista from the river is unique. There are no descriptions to do justice to the stark beauty of this dry land, tree-less rolling hills, tumbleweed, sagebrush and cacti, the blue-green clarity of the Thompson, eagles soaring, even the engineering marvel of the railroad chiseled in the barren cliffs and occasionally sheltered by tunnels into the rock.
White water paddling and swimming through the churning waves, the leap from the Walhachin bridge, the unrelenting, sleep disturbing trains, top it off with a resilient group of paddlers, friendship, laughter, good food and a respect for the unpredictable power of the Thompson River. Join us next year!
Brian’s tenacity to battle the river was amazing, his skill and control in the tandem even in a spill is captured in that awesome photo with the bow straight up out of the water.
Brigade's Day August 2nd, 2010
On the morning of July 31, 2010 ten members of the Fort Langley Canoe Club began their Brigade Day celebrations by launching two canoes into the Fraser River at Hope. It was the start of a two and a half day journey covering over 112 kilometres on the mighty river with the goal to reach Fort Langley on August 2, to commemorate the day the British Parliament passed an Act to establish the colony of British Columbia 152 years ago.
Our modern day voyageurs had the luxury of travelling without heavy loads of beaver pelts and furs and had the safety of lifejackets and cell phones. The river and the weather, however, don’t care what year it is and there were times on this voyage when the wind pushed back harder than the current carried forward and, if there was a break from paddling, the canoes lost ground.
The first night’s campsite was beside historic Harrison Mills, just a short paddle up the Harrison River from the Fraser where rain forced an early retreat into the small group of tents.
The second night’s camp was at Mission and in the next morning the two canoes became five with thirty-seven paddlers.
This enthusiastic group of modern voyageurs, carrying two acting-dignitaries, arrived at Fort Langley on schedule. Such an arrival in the 19th Century would have been met with a riotous welcome from many who were anxious for the latest news from the gold fields. In 2010 the banks of the Fraser, below the Fort, were lined with well-wishers who wanted to catch a glimpse of what the sight might have looked like, way back when, and capture it with digital cameras for posterity.
For the small group of voyageurs who started in Hope, each paddling approximately 35,000 strokes, the powder gun salute and the jubilant crowd was a welcomed home coming.
This same celebration will be re-enacted next year by the Fort Langley Canoe Club.
See video of the day on You Tube
Nicomekl River Trip – May 2, 2010
What an adventure, Katie Stein Sather was our leader. We launched our canoes at the bridge on 192 Street just south of #10 Hwy - 11 people with 6 tandem canoes, we were told we were paddling about 16 km, no problem! We started our paddle with a little history of the area from Glenn. Cheryl MacIntosh showed us her childhood home beside our starting point. We paddled downstream along the narrow meanders, of the Nicomekl River through the grassy banks. Our first huddle was crossing over the oil spill boom that was collecting the diesel from the spill up river from earlier in the week. We carefully got out of the canoes on the muddy banks & pulled the boats across one at a time.
Just past 176 ST bridge the winds started to pick up to gale forces! The river was very wide, with white caps at times and a good challenge for us. We paddled very hard without breaks until about 152 St bridge were the river narrowed again and was quite pretty with the trees hanging over the river banks. After we passed through the flood gates going into final home stretch, the winds were very bad again but we were almost to the end which was Elgin Park. The beaches were lined with oysters, we were nearing the ocean, yippee!
It was pretty neat being under the major bridges at 99 Hwy, 152 ST and King George, paddling on the river was like being in another world away from the busy life above. We saw eagles, geese, kingfisher birds, a seal, etc. It was a great 5 hour trip and we are now, so much stronger for it!
Gotta love the breaks between spring showers, boy were we lucky !!!
The trip began with a brief synopsis of the geography and history of the Salmon River, researched & presented by Alison Wilkins.
The river is 33 kms long, originating in Aldergrove at 274th/43rd. It flows through Williams Park towards Trinity Western and meanders to the Fraser, west of our boathouse.
The river has been used for generations as a trade route and source of food by the Sto:lo people. James McMillan used the route in 1824 when searching for a location for a supply post and farm for the Hudson Bay Company. He travelled from Semiahmoo Bay along the Nicomekl to Portage Park at the base of 204th/52nd, (behind the Langley mall) portaged 8km to Trinity Western then canoed the Salmon River to the Fraser. The river remained an important source of food for the early settlers and as a transportation route for food and furs.
We set off on a portage of our own- 13 people with 2 Voyageur canoes, towards the boat launch near 96th Ave., upstream from the flood gate. We paddled upstream for 2 hours along the meanders, through a seldom seen part of Fort Langley, as far as the fish trap at the junction of Glover/Rawlinson Crescent. We lunched and returned downstream in a speedy 1 hour journey, arriving back in time to see the start of the kayak & canoe slalom event.
The Salmon River is currently facing a number of challenges:
Overfishing with stocks remaining low
Decreasing levels of the aquifer supplying the river
Invasive aquatic species
Development in the watershed area
Increased agricultural use of water and farm drainage
To know more about this local water system check the Salmon River Enhancement Society web site - www.salmonriver.org
The meandering Salmon river was considerably larger than most paddlers had expected.
21 February 2010 - Up from Barnston Island
We paddled downstream—or is it upstream? from Barnston Island to Fort Langley on February 21. Of course, with the incoming tide. Thanks to Cheryl for noticing—it saved us some work!
Katie was just getting used to pulling a canoe trailer again, but the big parking lot at Robert Point by the ferry (pictured below) proved easy to negotiate. Katie, Sylvia, Joan, Alan, Sharon W, Bev & Reimar, Deb S, Sharon G, and Miftah enjoyed a spectacular day on the water. Warm, bright, sunny. What else could you ask for in mid-February??
Good company, that’s what! And we had it.
Going upstream afforded us a different view of Robert Point on Barnston Island, where we made a quick stop, Bonson’s Landing on the north side, Pitt Meadows airport, Hammond Cedar Mill—celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and the Golden Ears Bridge—no toll to pay this time. Lunch was at Derby Reach Park. Without the fog, we could see the remnants of the Haney Slide that we missed earlier in the year. You could tell the Olympics were on only by the colourful scarf someone wore…
1 January 2010 - New Year’s Day paddle
A wonderful way to start the new year was enjoyed by three Voyageurs full of paddlers eager to paddle off a couple of those Christmas lbs.
Thanks to Judy for hosting the Pot Luck that followed, allowing us all to put those lbs back on !
The brave Voyageurs tackle the mighty West Creek on New Year’s Day.