This was the final day of our trip. We left the campsite after breakfast, breaking camp and packing everything into the canoe. We had an inauspicious start to our day when we attempted to cross over the shallows between the two spits projecting out from either side of the lake. The route that we chose was too shallow and we came to a halt when the canoe scraped along on the sand below. We tried pushing our way over the sandbar with the paddles but it was obvious we were stuck. The only remedy was for me to get out of the canoe and pull it across to deeper water. Finally, once we were off the sandbar, we were on our way.
The rest of the day was plain sailing or perhaps I should say "plain paddling." The weather was the best we had had for any of the previous eight days with blue skies, warm sunshine and only gentle breezes. Obviously Mother Nature was thumbing her nose at us by showing us what our trip could have been like if she had cooperated. We paddled to the north end of the Spectacle Lakes and through Swan Lake by taking the channel along the east side of Pavich Island. At the north end of Swan Lake we negotiated the channels through the marsh land where the Bowron River enters Bowron Lake. The main channel twisted and turned but it was easy to follow and it was marked occasionally with posts sticking up over the marsh vegetation. Finally we were in Bowron Lake and on the last leg of our journey. All that was left was a straightforward paddle to the jetty in the Provincial Park where we had started the trip.
When we arrived at the jetty I took one look at the path we were supposed to negotiate with the canoe and all of our equipment and my heart sank. It wasn't a long path but it was steep and we had just paddled all day and this did not seen to be a fitting end to our 116.4km odyssey. I talked to Keith and decided to go up to the park office to sign out and to check to see if there was an alternative to hauling our gear up the path at the jetty. Fortunately I found that there was a public boat launch a little further along the lake at the Becker' Lodge boat rental office. When I got back to the jetty I convinced Keith that if he paddled the canoe over to the boat launch I would drive the van over and it would be much easier to load it with the gear and the canoe. So that was what we did, much to my relief.
Now that we had finished our trip we agreed to spoil ourselves and spend our last night in a comfortable bed in the Wells Hotel. It turned to be better than a good decision - it was a great decision. The room was comfortable and the food for supper and breakfast was really good.
The bonus was a night in the pub, sitting at the bar and enjoying interesting and entertaining conversation with several locals. The bar is in the hotel located in a town which had a population in 2019 of 231 but that doesn't stop it from having the largest private selections of Scotch Whisky in British Columbia. It boasts "We have BC’s largest privately owned Single Malt Scotch Collection with over 200 different bottles to choose from, ranging in age from a young 8 years, to a mature 31, strong and smoky, clean and smooth." A fitting end to our travels.
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