Another beautiful sunny day, calling forth songs of praise to the Creator of all this beauty that we have the privilege to enjoy. Good weather makes a big difference to your experience on the circuit. Our objective on this day is the Isaac Lake cook shelter at the south end of the lake.
Isaac lake is bounded on the east, west and south by the beautiful Cariboo mountains. Structurally, the lake follows a fault line. The valley has been further modified by glaciation in more recent times.
No matter how you spin it, the paddle down the long arm of Isaac lake is a slog. Wind can be a problem. On this occasion the wind is behind us or the waters are mostly calm. A major concern under these hot conditions is avoiding sunstroke.
We arrive at the cook shelter – always a welcome spot after a long day – sometime after 6 pm. The cook shelter can be a busy place with multiple groups camping. Except for one other party, we have the place to ourselves. At night the owls ask their questions. During the wee hours of the morning a moose visits, snuffles around, and then decides to bed down a short distance from one of the tents.
Day 3 is another beautiful day on the circuit. Our objective for this day is the Turner Creek cook shelter on Lanezi lake. Isaac lake is the headwaters of the Isaac river. The river begins in a short section of rapids known as the “Chute”, which is in proximity to the Isaac lake cook shelter. The Chute is at lower water so we run it several times with our canoes unloaded. A real adrenaline rush and a definite highlight on this trip.
Our attempts are nothing compared to Tiffany’s run of the Chute… obvious mastery – poetry in motion – solo canoe fully loaded – one with the water – one with the current. Later, we would run the Chute and the “Roller Coaster” with our canoes loaded. A portage around Isaac falls brings us to McCleary lake. A short paddle on McCleary lake brings us to The Cariboo river. There is beauty all around.
The Cariboo river is running high which makes it easier to navigate. Going with the current makes our job of paddling a lot easier! The Cariboo river flows into beautiful Lanezi lake, 2nd largest on the circuit. Lanezi is bounded on the south side by the Cariboo mountains. U-shaped valley sides along some sections provide evidence of recent glaciation. We arrive at the Turner Creek cook shelter around 4 pm. A short, more relaxing day.
The Turner Creek cook shelter is the Ritz-Carlton of the cook shelters that are strategically located along the circuit. We are joined around the campfire by Martin and Jennine, and Doug and Ethan – a father-son duo. Theirs is an inspiring story: Doug for his willingness to handle the extra rigors to share a fantastic wilderness experience with his son who has a significant disability, and Ethan because he refuses to be discouraged by his disability.
Their story reminds me that instead of whining about my circumstances I should spend more time giving thanks – have an attitude of gratitude. Or as my friend Gary observed, “shut up and paddle”!
To this point, we have enjoyed fantastic weather. Cirrus clouds are beginning to fill the late night skies over Lanezi; signs that a change might be coming… to be continued.
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