Upper-Upper Similkameen – a Rivers Week Story by Tim Blair
My family came out to the first weekend of river’s week to paddle the Similkameen. After a nice paddle from Princeton to Bromley Rock on the Saturday (thanks Trish!) we were trying to find a good option for Sunday. The week organizer suggested I lead the ‘upper upper’ Similkameen. This starts at the Mule Deer campground in Manning Park and ends at the Pasayten road bridge, where we camped. Sounded great. We had three boats: Carol and Liz; Mike and Rose; and Mirella, Thea and myself. The flow was a bit low but Carey said it would be a nice paddle. The put-in is easy and we went though the usual pre-trip meeting, which lasted almost as long as the paddle. The paddling was nice, when we were able to paddle. Within the first kilometer we had to line or carry around 3 sweepers and the boats scraped bottom so many times our toes were getting pruned from having to get out. The river conveniently comes close to the highway after 1 km, so we pulled off and made the decision to pack up and have a picnic at Lightning Lakes. So if you were driving through Manning Park around 11:30am that day you would have seen three paddlers making the long (1 km) walk back to the cars.
The picnic was great. The ground squirrels came out to greet us (I think they remember Thea), we flew the kite, practiced throwing rope bags and enjoyed the beach.
I hope to paddle it next year.
- Tim Blair