West side of the Bowron

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by eriktheviking, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    Prince George, BC
    As those in BC will know, we had an extended summer that lasted through the weekend of Sept 14-15 this year. The forecast was too good to ignore so I drove down to Wells on Friday evening and then to Bowron Lake on Saturday morning. I had to wait until the 9am orientation, so got onto the water just after 10am. It was a perfect day for paddling and views as I headed down the west side of the Bowron chain.


    Once I crossed Bowron Lake, I entered the Bowron River channel, which winds through an extensive marsh area. I saw several sockeye salmon in the shallows of the channel. I am sure this bald eagle was watching them closely as well.


    Near the end of the channel, some enterprising beavers had decided to dam the Bowron River, in spite of the best efforts of the Parks people and successive paddlers to change their minds. Apparently they have rebuilt it several times already this year. At least for me it was just a bit of a tug to get the boat across.


    Being late in the season after a long dry summer, the lake and river levels were extremely low. I had to get out and pull through several low water sections in the lakes. Apparently at high water, the lakes on the west side (Spectacle Lakes) are pretty well merged, but right now there are clear boundaries between them.


    I camped at the south end of the Spectacle Lakes, next to the portage trail (400m) to Skoi Lake.


    After an early dinner, I carried the yak across the portage and went through Skoi Lake (half of which is a narrow marsh channel). Then one more short portage (400m) got me to Babcock Lake. I turned around at the S end of Babcock. I had hoped to run down the portage to the river, but the sun sets earlier now in mid-September so was running out of time.


    The local moose population in the Central Interior is pretty low right now (lots af arguing about why) but there was one local near the camp.


    On Sunday I had to head back. I stopped in to see the newly finished shelter at Pat's Point. The Park guide said that all of the shelters on the circuit have been replaced in the past couple of years. The older cabins are still there so far. The tradition of carving paddles to leave is acknowledged by the Park now, and they hope to discourage "modifications" of the new shelters.





    Getting back to the dock that afternoon was a fine end to the summer paddling season. the next day the weather broke- it rained and has been notably colder after that last summer weekend.
     

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  2. sludge

    sludge Paddler

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    Thanks for posting. Brings back fond memories from past visits to the Bowrons. I have not previously seen such low water levels.
     
  3. VanIslePaddler

    VanIslePaddler Paddler

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    Nice shots. Thanks for posting.

    I gotta ask, what sort of lens, or filter were you using!? Those colours are vibrant! Or is it in the post processing?
     
  4. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    Thanks for the nice comments. I used an Olympus TG-1 camera, which is pretty simple to use in good light. Getting decent photos in tricky light or on snow is tougher.
     
  5. CalgaryPaddler

    CalgaryPaddler Paddler

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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Fantastic pics, a friend and I did the circuit at the end of August, amazing place, my only disappointment was the lack of wildlife during our trip.
     
  6. mbiraman

    mbiraman Paddler

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    west kootenays
    Great pics. Looks like you hit it just right. Sorry to hear about the lack of wildlife, it certainly wasn't my experience when there but that was 73. I worked for the Park and lived on the chain for 5-6 months. Thanks for posting

    bill
     
  7. sludge

    sludge Paddler

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    I have not visited the Bowrons for a number of years, but the beetle kill in trees doesn't appear (by your few pictures) to be as widespread as I feared it might be. I know you were just on the west side, but what is the current status of the forest?
     
  8. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    Location:
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    I was just looking at Dan's Bowron trip photos (2006) and the red beetle trees he saw then. Those trees have lost their needles and are either standing dead timber, or have started falling over. It was not too noticeable where I was. Partly since close to the water has a lot of mixed forest with many Spruce. There are standing dead pines, but now there has been some fill-in by the other trees.

    The parks people are cutting some of the dead pine for the firewood supplies. Also since this has been a park, it was not the monoculture that some other areas go the central interior had become. I think when you look at the forests further up he slopes, you are now seeing a lot of green due to the undergrowth that has emerged between the standing dead trees.