When I asked my friends to go with me to a trip to Bowron Lakes, British Columbia, I had preconceptions. I knew that we were going to be surrounded by the most wondrous views, especially of the Cariboo Mountains. But I never thought that while my friends and I were having fun paddling through the canoe circuit, that we would have such an emotional connection with the place.
Before you shake your head at me, let me tell you a bit about our Bowron Lakes trip.
It’s like being in Middle Earth
You know how in those Lord of the Rings films., you’ve always wanted to teleport to Middle Earth because it’s just so beautiful? All those mountains dwarfing the men of Gondor and the rivers that can take you swiftly to any place you want to go. Well, New Zealand isn’t the only place with its slice of Middle Earth paradise because Bowron Lakes in British Columbia is a breathtaking place to be.
Imagine canoeing 6 major lakes, 116 km long, through the Cariboo Mountains. My friends and I had to stop talking at one point, just savouring the purple mountains at a distance, and laughing our eyes out when we saw a lone beaver just casually swimming by.
The best part is the thick, lush green of the Bowron River estuary. This got us all the more giddy, mainly because there aren’t a lot of trees to see in the city. And we’ve also seen countless birdlife (some of which we identified with the help of other people canoeing in the area). We saw Canadian geese, mallards, and coots; birds I never thought existed.
Paddling to different lakes
We knew, going in, that completing the Bowron Lakes Chain might not be possible (it takes 10 days to complete), so we listed a couple of places we wanted to visit. From the registration centre, we all decided that Isaac Lake should be in the itinerary. It’s the largest and most popular lake in the circuit at 38 km. We were advised to paddle closer to the shores, though, because of the high winds.
After paddling through Isaac Lake just looking at the wildlife and taking that opportunity to talk to each other, my friends and I decided to spend the night at a beach opposite Betty Wendle Creek. We continued paddling through Isaac Lake, McCleary Lake, and then to Cariboo RIver before ending our trip.
While we were already tired just paddling from Thompson Lake, seeing the Wolverine Mountains, spending most hours just dawdling on the water and observing nature; we felt like it wasn’t enough. Living in the city takes so much energy from us, sometimes canoeing trips like this can just energise you.
Who would’ve thought a beaver swimming by, a couple of birds, and the most breathtaking mountain backdrops is the only solution to city stress?