This outing was my first as a trip leader.
We had good weather, just a light wind and some fresh snow on the surrounding mountains for a pretty backdrop. Perfect for paddling.
Five boats were on the trip. Christine and Bruce came on their first BCC trip in a Clipper Escape. Rose and Dave brought their Wenonah Rogue. Bernard brought two solo canoes from his extensive fleet; a Clipper Freestyle for Jen (which she had never paddled before) and an Old Town Penobscot 15 for himself. Mike brought his Old Town Tripper and let me paddle bow seat, having forgiven me for almost over boarding him with a diving board on the Nickomekl.
We left the parking lot launch point on schedule and headed towards the south end of the lake. This is a scenic part of the lake with many old stumps still remaining from the raising of what was then “Trout Lake” by BC Hydro over 100 years ago.
In the south end we passed a large structure on the shore with a floating boom around it. Some, including me, were wondering what it was. It turns out this is a water intake for the Burrard gas fired electricity generation plant in Port Moody.
We then headed for the north end of Buntzen where we stopped at the beach for a snack and rest. A resident raven took off across the lake with Bernard’s bagged gloves, returning moments later without the gloves desirous of a treat. While there we tried out the suspension bridge and got a glimpse into McCombe Lake.
This north beach was home to Tunnel Camp. Starting in 1903 miners tunneled east 3.6 kilometers under Eagle Mountain to Coquitlam Lake. There is still one house left standing in the bush from this time. There was another village a little to the west for the hydro station workers.
After lunch, we had a pleasant but uneventful paddle back to the put in. Thanks to Mike for being so genial in allowing me to swap people in and out of his boat so we could try different boats. Thanks to everyone who came along.
by John Gardiner