Day 6 #highlights – August 6
The weather today was the best it could possibly be. The skies were generally overcast but the ceiling high. It was warm but not stifling.
We paddled through Lanezi and Sandy Lakes with calm waters. We stopped in at every campsite along the way foraging for firewood but found very little. It was a peaceful paddle with much laying about.
Coming into the Cariboo River the sun punctured it’s veil of thin clouds and prompted the rolling up of sleeves and pant legs. It was glorious. Of course, we’d all been getting more sun during the day than we realized and would later find, sitting around the campsite, that faces and arms and legs were feeling the initial itching of light burns.
We strung up a tarp at the campsite on Rum Lake. It turns out that there was plenty of firewood here. Steven and Jaron occupied themselves with splitting the firewood. Soon Anna and even Lilli were involved. Ted gave a master class in firewood splitting and I was reminded of his seemingly natural ability to teach others.
We did some axe throwing. I think we threw against the same fir tree we used 10 years ago for the same purpose. Ted and I were at it for a while before Jaron and Steven noticed and joined in. Dave too made a few throws. Matt would throw later with Ted when the Chattertons, Andrew, Jaron and I went out to the falls. Not everyone was keen on the hike to the falls. For many this was the hardest day of paddling yet. It was certainly the farthest uninterrupted paddle.
We were greeted at the trailhead by a hand written note on the entrance sign. Visitors earlier that day had encountered a hornets nest at the bottom of the falls and were stung repeatedly. The sign encouraged a visit but cautioned getting too close. We pressed on grateful for the forewarning.
The falls were impressive, of course. It was fun to hear Jaron’s exclamation of surprise when he saw them. That’s a lot of water going over that drop. It makes you consider just how much water we’ve been paddling through. That gasp of surprise is such a motivator to take these trips. I have found over the years that the most stunning views, the hardest won victories, the discovery of the most magical scenes are worth every effort but while experiencing them alone might take your breath away, experiencing these things with others, especially those you love, far outweighs any solitary experience.
We didn’t get right down to the bottom of the falls out of caution for the hornets. But we got fairly close and took several pictures. The hike through the blueberry field was not as fruitful as hoped as the blueberries were not in season. There were huckleberries though. The Chattertons filled a small tupperware for their morning pancakes.
The sun was failing by the time we were headed back. It made for a stunning scene.
We arrived back at camp to discover they had a small scare with a bear. The camp next door scared it off with an air horn but might have sent it toward our camp. They made a mad dash to get everything put away and into a defensive position. The bear never materialized though.
Dark clouds were blowing in as the light failed. Yet it was warm and I went to bed hopeful for blue skies in the morning. It would be very welcome to have multiple swimming opportunities on our last full day. It is a Sunday tomorrow. I think the Lord is pleased with this whole adventure. We’ve grown closer as family and friends. We’ve learned about each other and overcome some small challenges together (rough portages, cold and rainy weather, long paddles). It feels like a spiritual binding together. I’m grateful to have made the effort to bring this trip together. One more full day before the close.