Bowren Lakes 1996

A week in a canoe

I have no idea what year it is we paddle the Bowren Lakes. Late 80s or early 90s. We dehydrate food, carefully measure the port we will sip every evening, do a couple of smaller trips in Wells Grey Park.

It is June and typically cool, grey, rainy. We put in and start paddling. Six or seven days later we complete the route, back at the parking lot we’d left a week ago. The series of 11 lakes form a square and the water runs downstream the entire way, except for one short portage on a shallow river.

We see moose. Where are the photos, I wonder? A mom and two calves on the last day.

Craig will tell the story over the years of how quiet we tried to be for the first few days, not wanting to scare away the wildlife, particularly the notoriously shy moose. Half way through the trip, as we are putting back in after a portage, I am coughing and Craig loses his footing, splashing and swearing. We no sooner get our footing and look up to see a moose standing 10 feet away. Looking at us as if to say welcome to my lake. I know we got some shots, but where are they?

We see bear droppings but no bear, until we are in the parking lot at the end of the trip.

We talk a lot about the remoteness, the isolation, the vulnerability should something happen. Like a fall. Or a burn. Or a bear attack. I grill Craig on his CPR. He’s not bad, but I’m hoping he never has to practice on me.

We become more careful. More cautious. But not so much as to take away the fun and adventure of a trip like this.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>