Today was the last day for portages. There were three portages left and we were determined to get past them so that our last day would be just paddling on lakes and along a river. We started early and paddled a short distance on Lanezi Lake before it narrowed down to a short, wide stretch of the Cariboo River. I guess it qualified as river because there was a barely perceptible flow otherwise it could have easily been mistaken as a continuation of the lake. Once it widened out again we entered Sandy Lake and after a 4.8km paddle across the lake we once again entered a stretch of the Cariboo River. We travelled along the river for 3.6km to the mouth of Babcock Creek and the start of the first of the portages. This portage from the Cariboo River to Babcock Lake was 1.2 km along a trail that was in good shape but not without its challenges. There were the usual ups and downs and the occasional roots and rocks to be negotiated. The best part about this portage was knowing that it was the last long portage that we had to endure. There were only two more to negotiate and both were less than half a kilometre. Leaving the portage behind us, we launched into Babcock Lake and paddled 2.8km to reach the start of the short, 0.4km portage to Skoi Lake. Skoi Lake is a small lake with a shallow shoreline that supports an abundance of aquatic vegetation, ideal habitat for moose. The lake did not disappoint. We saw several moose along the shore, all cows and some with their calves, but the most exciting was when a young moose decided that he wanted to avoid us by swimming to the opposite side of the lake. As you can see from the wake behind his head, a moose is a powerful swimmer that has no problem swimming for long distances.
Once we reached the end of the lake we only had a short, 0.4km , final portage to the head of the Spectacle Lake. From there it was easy paddling until we reached our campsite for the night, Campsite 45. The weather had been changeable all day and as we were setting up the campsite it seemed that we were going to get some more rain so I spent some time setting up the tarp to provide shelter for our gear. Then it was time for supper. All of this activity provides me with the excuse for the lack of notes and pictures for this and the next day. I didn't write my journal that evening and the lack of pictures was because of my poor choice of camera for this trip. I decided to use my Nikon D70 and I even bought a Pelikan case so that it would be safe and dry on our canoe journey. A great choice with its 70-300mm telephoto for the shot of the moose but far from ideal when trying to capture quick shots along the way. Digging the Pelikan case out from under the spray deck when you are sitting in the bow of a canoe proved to be difficult and frustrating. For my future trips I will stick with my Olympus Stylus 770SW and my new Samsung Galaxy A50 because they are both easy to carry safely in an accessible pocket and the Olympus is waterproof, shock proof and crush proof.
I'm a grandfather who lost an infant granddaughter and who wants to help Gillian, her mother, provide support for other grieving parents through Hazel's Heroes.