Day 4. The clouds seen the previous night over Lanezi lake now cover much of the sky. The weather is changing but we are still dry. We complete the length of Lanezi lake under partly sunny conditions. Our objective is to make it to the Pat Point cook shelter on Spectacle lake. The slow and sluggish Cariboo river connects Lanezi lake and Sandy lake and takes us along to Babcock Lake.
Before entering Babcock lake we make a detour to Unna lake – reported to be a kettle lake from the last glaciation – which brings us to the trail head for the Cariboo falls. You can hear the thunder in the distance as you approach the falls. Then you are there in the spray and mist, as the Cariboo river is transformed into a seething, roiling, surging monster as it pours over a 25 meter ledge to become the Cariboo falls. It is difficult to imagine anything surviving passage over these falls; another highlight and “must see” stop on the circuit.
Our side trip to Cariboo fall was not without incident. Steve had a serious
allergic response to some unknown plant/insect which significantly affected his ability to paddle. The weather begins to deteriorate as we paddle Babcock lake; a developing thunderstorm is visible in the distance. The first wave of wind and rain catches us as we come to the end of Babcock lake. Our prospect of reaching Pat Point shelter is diminishing. We complete our final short portage to Spectacle lake and decide to camp for the night. Our tents are up before the next storm strikes.
Final Day. We had two thunderstorms overnight so our gear is soaked but we are headed home – last day of paddling. There is a moose feeding close to the shoreline some distance along the lake away from us – our first
“close-up” of wildlife. Later, we would see a majestic bald eagle sitting high up on its perch, looking down as we paddle by. We say goodbye to Doug and Ethan – they arrived just after the first thunderstorm last night.
Arms are tired but paddling is fairly serene as we traverse Spectacle lake. We make a brief stop for a swim at the Pat Point shelter. The weather is warm [and so is the water], under partly sunny skies. We make one final stop before entering the Bowron river as it wends its way through the Bowron Marsh.
We are finally on Bowron lake. The weather has taken a turn for the worst. We can hear the thunder in the distance and see the thunderstorm coming down the lake. We are about an hour away from the dock when the rain begins. It’s light rain. The wind picks up but the chop is still manageable. The first thunderstorm passes over but there are some ominous-looking clouds coming over the ridge to the north. My “weather eye” tell me that we need to be off the lake before the next storm hits. We increase our paddling pace.
Arriving at the dock, we unload our canoes and head toward the road. The heavens open. We are deluged – soaked within the first minute of a downpour that lasted for 5-10 minutes. We end our trip, it seems, the way we began – in a thunderstorm.
The final frame before heading to Prince George is the deluxe burger special at the Bowron Lake Mercantile Store/Museum – another highlight of the trip. Thus ends this second Bowron Circuit adventure. There is still much to see and explore. A 6-7 day trip is in the offing.
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