Widgeon Creek – June 6, 2021

Widgeon Creek June 6th, 2021                   Dave W


Why another report for this trip?  Well, our trip leader thought that there have been no trip reports for a very long time, so she suggested that each of us on the trip write one.   

I should preface this report by stating that we were in compliance with all provincial health laws, emergency orders, regulations, and guidance posted on our government websites, as we shall be throughout our current and subsequent paddling seasons.

We all had masks to wear when we had to, hand sanitizer to put on ourselves, and we stood far apart.  You could say that we avoided each other like the plague. 

I asked our trip leader if we could do a health check.  A health check?  Whose sick idea was this?  What did he want to make us do?  Mike looked down, embarrassed, shaking his head.  Bob stepped in front of Carole, protectively.  Others looked around, uncomfortable, pulled their clothing tighter, or just walked backwards 

Well, it’s in the regulations.  Been out of the country? – you kidding?  Anyone told you to stay home?  – nope.  Any covid symptoms?  – well, just a little stir-crazy from being cooped up for a year.  Sounds like you’re a little stir crazy too.

We ferried Grant Narrows.  There was very high water and an outgoing  current.  We found some new channels to explore, and explored them.  No shallow water today.

We lunched at the Widgeon campsite.  It has changed.  New tenting pads, new bathrooms and bear lockers, and recent grading on the trail to the falls.

It rained off and on.   We decided not to hike to the falls today.  With high water, we thought our time better spent going places that are usually inaccessible.

Between the falls and the campsite, Widgeon Creek braids into two branches.  The smaller branch leads right, to the campsite where we usually land.  The lager branch leads left, through forest and onto the marsh between the campsite and Grant Narrows.  Usually shallow and fast moving, the left branch was deep and slow today. 

We went a long, sinuous way, going slower and slower and stopped at a log jam, the flow pushing assertively against us.  Owen ran up an animal trail to check upstream.  Another log jam, and nowhere to walk but a wet bog.

It would be nice one day to portage our canoes from the campsite about one kilometer upstream to the fork in the river, and then paddle down the left branch.  After lifting our canoes over a few logs, we would be in the slough again, on our way back to the Pitt.

We returned to Grant Narrows.  The Regional Park has changed too.  The caretakers are gone.  The canoe rental is gone.  The bathrooms are locked, and the sheds abandoned.   The newspaper says a new park operator will be announced soon. 

Thanks Leigh for leading this trip, and thanks everyone else for coming and helping to celebrate beginning our trips again.

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