The River of Golden Dreams
June 15, 2017
This report is being submitted to protect the participants (Bernard, Diana, John, Suzanne Tricia, Guy Leah and Leigh) from embarrassment! No-one dumped!
The meeting time/place was determined by the trip leader. Once assembled, we were to drive to Lakeside Park where we would leave the boats. Due to weather concerns, we decided to take out at Meadow Park Sports Centre rather than to carry on down Green Lake. This proved to be the one bright spot of the trip logistics.
The leader had forgotten a map, and because north is where the nose points and left and right are abstract concepts, rather than turning left, led the group to the right. Of course we all eventually realized this was not correct. Another member of the group thought they knew where we were to go, and yet a third had a GPS.
After a couple of attempts, we finally arrived at the put in. Then the trip became truly chaotic.
One of the participants had changed vehicles, and in an attempt to be organized, had secured the boat to the new vehicle the night before. Good news, both the boat and the vehicle were together where they were supposed to be – at the put-in. The bad news was that the keys to the lock holding the boat to the vehicle were not at there. Not only was there one lock and chain (which we could probably have broken off) but there was a really heavy duty second lock and chain. The boat was very safe indeed. At this point, we decided to complete the shuttle, and a canoe would be rented for this trip. Who knew the cost would be in the neighbourhood of about $40/hour! We did, however, secure a deal (sympathy play on behalf of the trip leader).
When everyone returned from the shuttle, we loaded up the boats, had a pre-trip talk and continued our adventure.
By now, everyone was eager to get onto the water. The boats raced down Alta Lake (now verging on white caps due to the wind which, fortunately, was behind us) to the inlet to the River of Golden Dreams. It truly was lovely – no wind and peace and quiet. At the “weir”, two of the boats were promptly hauled out of the water and taken over the little “portage”. One was already back on the water, and ready to continue. Little did the participants know this was the lunch spot. We collected everyone together, took a time out and enjoyed our lunch. One person decided to maintain dryness for the entire trip, so their paddling partner selflessly waded thigh deep to haul boats over the little drop. Dryness was achieved! We collected ourselves again, and carried on. There were several spots where folks had to haul, shove, or push boats over and around obstacles, but we all made it. We ferried across the river coming in from the left, and the fun began. We had sharp turns, what appeared to be broken beaver dams, gravel bars and all the usual fun, river stuff. We all had a great time and were sorry to see the take-out appear. There is now a lovely little floating wharf so dryness was again achieved by a certain paddler
After loading boats and retrieving the last vehicle (which still had a canoe firmly anchored to its roof racks), we all headed off. The rain started about 10 minutes later!
Thanks to all for their patience and good humour! It was a lovely trip (and cameras were mercifully absent)!
By the way, we can call Lakeside Park Watersports Centre, 3375 Lakeside Rd, Whistler, BC at 604 932-3111 to ensure the water level isn’t dangerous (in the trees or without sufficient clearance under bridges). They paddle it daily so afternoons would be best.