We took the canoe out for a paddle on Bow Lake, but since the upper section of the Bow is said to be unnavigable, we traveled by bike a little ways downstream and actually put in at Mosquito Creek.

Paddling on Bow Lake and biking past
photo by Suzanne Wisenburg

That first day of paddling was an adventure. It was the first time Gary and I had paddled together in whitewater. It was also the first time that we'd loaded up the canoe with our 44 lbs bike, 27 lbs trailer and 130 lbs of gear and food. Our canoe proved not to be the perfect vessel for that particular mission. While it was sufficiently voluminous to accommodate our gear, the low gunwales took in a lot of water, the aluminum hull stuck to rocks more than a plastic hull would have, and the presence of a keel on the bottom of the boat reduced our maneuverability. But as the day wore on, we got accustomed to it all. The rapids were exhilarating and kept us focused on every stroke.

Bailing the boat and resting at Hector Lake

Although the river is never too far from the highway, we rarely saw the road from our perspective in the water. We often felt as though we were in the middle of the wilderness. So later that day, as we rounded the bend and saw our friends Ray and Michelle waiting there on the bank, we were duly surprised.