Trip Report: Thanksgiving Weekend Part 1: Fraser River Agassiz to Deroche: Oct 11, 2020 Leigh B

Well!   What a week-end!

Dave W had organized a trip for both Sunday and Monday on the Fraser River. From Agassiz to Deroche and from Yale to Hope.  The water levels were fine (4.9 m deep and 2,740 m3/s) at Hope.  The weather was predicted as rain (anywhere from 3 mm to 3 cm) so we knew we would get wet.

There were four boats in total, Dave W & Mike D, Jaylene and Ian, Leigh B & Owen L, and Scott with his son, Eric.

We set off not knowing what challenges the river would bring (just like any other trip!), and we had adventures.  The Fraser was flying along, and as we paddled, the scenery zipped past us.  We saw seals, (one was huge!) and birds, and fish jumping.  We think one of the fish might have been a sturgeon as it was massive and grey.  Pretty exciting.  Since we were making such good speed, we decided to paddle upstream into the Harrison River to the boat launch at Kilby.

After stretching our legs, we went back downstream to the Fraser again.  Where the Harrison River flows into the Fraser, there are huge hydraulics.  The boils seemed to follow us and get bigger the closer we came to the edge.  Whirlpools opened up beside us or in front of us.  It was quite something to try to navigate, but we all made it through with no incident.

The rest of the trip was wet.  Although we had had intermittent rain as we went along, the heavens opened up on us.  The wind was starting to show its presence as we got closer and closer to the takeout.  According to the GPS, we managed 39 km, which included our side trip!

Scott and Eric had to get home, so they left as soon as they could as did Mike. Owen’s truck with camper was the only vehicle left upstream, so we had to drive up to the meeting place (not the put in) which took a while.

Once everyone was loaded up, we decided to try to go to a pub in Harrison for dinner.  Little did we know, there is a movie being filmed in Harrison close to the hotel.  Big rigs and vans were everywhere, so we couldn’t even get close to where we had planned to go, so we backtracked to the Settler Pub and enjoyed our dinners.

Ian and Jaylene decided they didn’t want to camp in a tent in the deluge and wind, so they decided to go home.  That left David, Owen and Leigh to figure out what to do and where to sleep. 

We decided to go to a rest stop on the Lougheed highway for the night. Perhaps not the wisest decision, but we were all tired and there was a restroom there. David had a van, Owen, a camper, and Leigh, a Honda Fit.  It might have been a more restful sleep except for the trains on the other side of the Lougheed, the semis racing past us and the rain and wind pounding away at us all night, however, we all survived the ordeal and were ready for the next adventure.

Leigh B

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