Kanaka Creek, Maple Ridge- Evening Paddle June 4th
We have been enjoying a run of really nice evening paddles lately and with the Fraser in flood, this was no exception. Kanaka Creek is a smaller stream running through the edge of rural Maple Ridge with a protected shoreline for most of its length due to the fish habitat. In low water you can only get a short way up before running in to very shallow water, however; in the seasonal floods the water level rises high enough to get 4 to 5 km up the stream. It’s a very pleasant paddle that winds quietly though mostly grass banks and some forested shoreline with minimal exposure to the nearby urban areas.
We were joined by our trip Leader Dave W who solo’d in Shahram A’s boat, Mike D who then tandem’d with Shahram A, Luc M and Simon W both in solo boats, Ian M and Jaylee P, Christine Mc and Anya M, and finally Carole P and I (Bob). We met at the creek side park and prepared for our trip, the usual safety briefing and social distancing precautions were reviewed. With the high water levels, the water was almost at the edge of the parking lot so what was a short distance to the water for launch, became a very short move indeed.
When all 7 boats were in it was about 6 pm, we headed down stream under a pleasant evening sky toward the mouth of the waterway. There is a popular walk along this portion so we became the subject of a number of photographers there to bird watch in the small wetlands. The Fraser River was very full and moving swiftly so we stayed in Kanaka Creek to avoid a strenuous paddle back up if swept down river at all. We returned back up the waterway past our launch point and headed north into the very quiet grassy wet lands of the upper creek. In past trips we have seen several bears, beavers and a host of bird life in this area. Continuing up stream in the slow current, we passed 240th street where it normally begins to get shallow quickly, not today, plenty of water to keep going. We did encounter a few obstacles and logs that took a bit of persistence to get by but everyone did and we ventured on. Eventually we reached the top where the water became a shallow running creek; the good part about that is it provided a good stopping area for everyone to get out of their boats for a stretch and maintain appropriate distancing during the break.
After about 30 mins we headed back down the creek, by then it was about 8 pm. The return journey was a similar easy , pleasant paddle though I must confess, I was in the mood for a bit of a sprint so Carole and I put some muscle into it and sped off down through the smooth glassy water. We arrived at the launch point ahead of the group and reloaded our gear while the others began to arrive. Once everyone was out and loaded we all said our good-byes and headed home for the night. It was a very pleasant trip and one of our favorites for an evening trip; as usual, the group was fun and I’m sure everyone enjoyed it. Thanks Dave W, for organizing and leading it!