Serpentine River to the Nicomeckle River

Serpentine River to the Nicomeckle River
Dec 19, 2015
By Dave WesteII

South Surrey Solstice
This was Mike’s answer to the Christmas Lights paddle at Hollyburn, or the Solstice paddle at False Creek. We were the Valley dwellers who weren’t about to relish the hectic drive to and from West Vancouver. There were six of us: Mike & Pam, Leigh & Joy, and Rose & me. The plan was to put in at the dam on the Serpentine River, paddle to Crescent Beach, and take out at the dam on the Nicomeckle. A 12 km dam to dam paddle.

The predicted high winds were realized, and we turned back after 4 km. Not sure why we turned back—something about being on the open ocean in breaking waves in the dark, in near freezing temperatures. The paddle had gone from dam to dam to just dam.

photo by Mike

Photo by Mike

While all three boats were outfitted with lights, Mike’s was the best. Unlike the secular display I’d been used to during previous solstices, Mike had built a giant star and giant-er cross—a holy grail on a stormy night.

On the return voyage we pushed against a strong current. Although the tide was now rising, the river had yet to empty itself of all its extra water. We took out where we put in and stayed a while for tea, coffee ‘n chocolate, and a conic version of s’mores warmed over a space heater.

It was a great paddle following a familiar pattern. Some trepidation before, a little hardship during, and after, we were glad we went. Thanks to Mike for organizing this, and I can’t wait to try to do this novel route again.

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  • Roger Vermeulen (from the mill in Dutch, not vermillion) on Broken and Deer Group IslandsHi Jeff, KJ. Absolutely beautiful trip. Very informative description and many thanks for that. I am amazed at the distances you paddled on some days….
  • Greta on Columbia River Wetlandsand thanks so much for sharing your story! it is surprisingly hard to find information on overnight paddle trips on the Columbia River :)
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