Coquitlam River March 10, 2019

It was chilly this morning in the central valley but clearly warning up and as we headed to the take-out location at Maquabeak Park under the Port Mann Bridge. The sun was out, the sky was blue and the temperature really didn’t matter, with 6 boats we had Mike and Rose, Bob and Carole, Bruce and Chris, then Gord, Jen and Leigh in going solo and we were set for a beautiful paddle.  Lower water levels meant our “put in” was a bit further downstream from the usual; today it would be at Kingsway below the bridge with the local fisherman who were also anticipating a relaxing Sunday among friends.

The river current was gentle with friendly riffles along the way, the build-up of washed out trees along some of the banks meant we needed keep close watch for the many sweepers along the way. Most were easily avoidable but a couple required some manoeuvring and everyone made their way through successfully- no dumps! A few of us were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a fleeting otter crossing the river a little downstream of the approaching canoe flotilla.  It was long out of view by the time we passed the shoreline where it disappeared.

Continuing down the river we passed through the calm flat water near the colony farms where the Coquitlam River empties into the Fraser River. From there it’s an easy 10 minutes back down to the takeout at Maquabeak Park. Everyone chipped in to carry loaded boats up to the parking area so no one had to make many gear moving trips. Once the boats were moved those in dry-suits went through the familiar contortions of trying to escape from the only-one-way-out garments. Finally released, the drivers head up to get the shuttle vehicles and return to load the boats and gear. Today we stopped by the local pub “Micky’s” on the way home to put a finishing touch on the day. A terrific day, all made possible because Mike Dickenson makes sure there are regular trips available for club members. Thanks Mike, we look forward to the coming paddling season.

Bob P.

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