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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation June 28, 2016

8/6/2013 12:52:00 PM
Scouts explore Bowron Lakes
The majestic Bowron Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia played host to Sisters Boy Scouts. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
The majestic Bowron Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia played host to Sisters Boy Scouts. photo provided

Boy Scouts from Troop 139 in Sisters recently completed an eight-day canoe trip in Bowron Lake Provincial Park in northern British Columbia, Canada.

The canoe circuit consists of a series of 12 lakes interconnected by numerous waterways and portages for a total distance of 116 kilometers.

The provincial park was established in 1961, and was named for John Bowron, the first gold commissioner of nearby historic Barkerville. The park has been closed to hunting since 1925 and is a wildlife sanctuary.

The trip started with a two-day drive with camping outside of Hope, B.C. Arriving at the lakes early the second day, the scouts had the opportunity to spend the afternoon checking out historic Barkerville. Barkerville was a gold-rush town named after Billy Barker, who struck gold in 1861, and was once the largest town north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. In 1958, the town began a restoration period and is now operated by the park service as a tourist attraction.

The first day of the trip began with canoe rentals, park registration and weigh-in of gear, followed immediately by a 2.4-kilometer portage to Kibbee Lake, 2.4-kilometer paddle, and a 2-kilometer portage to Indianpoint Lake, where the scouts made their first camp. Wheels are provided for the canoe portages, and the gear in the canoes is limited to 60 pounds during portage.

The following day started with a 1.6-kilometer portage to Issac Lake, which at 34 kilometers (21 miles) in length is the longest lake in the circuit. The scouts spent nearly three days on Issac Lake and viewed wildlife such as moose, bald eagles, osprey and pine martens. From Issac Lake, the trip proceeded down the Issac and Cariboo Rivers, where more wildlife was present.

"There are some times in your life when you just know that life is good." said Gene Trahern, assistant scoutmaster and coordinator for the trip. "One of those times is when I was sitting in a canoe on a calm lake with my son, 1,000 miles from home, and we could see three bears, a moose, and a bald eagle by just turning our heads."

The remainder of the trip was just as eventful. The scouts were able to take a side hike to the 24-meter-high Cariboo Falls, swim in the lakes, fish, and view numerous wildlife, mountains and waterfalls. The trip concluded by completing the circuit back to Bowron Lakes, where during the final morning seven moose were spotted in the waterways leading to the lake.

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