320 miles in 35 days. Endless driftwood campfires and hours of "neaking" up on unique rocks. Sunrises, sunsets, monster trout and white capped waves. Stars so bright they lit the tent as I lay restlessly listened for grizzly bears in the night. Days, weeks, marked our time frame which we extended until the snowflakes convinced us of a reluctant end.
The first week of endless channelized marshes mixed with a few long shallow lakes made for a bird watching bonanza as hundreds of ducks and geese filled the sky every day. This high valley drops through a surprisingly tight canyon as it falls into what is now Kinbasket reservoir. Inside the pinch were a few tense moments of class 2 in our heavy boat, keeping us on our toes. Melting glaciers turned the river milky grey, but here a few rivers came in mixing emerald blue water into the silty abis. The river slows backed up by Kinbasket reservoir and a couple hundred yard long log jam that went bank to bank blocked our path . Simultaneously the silt in the water sank leaving us with tropical colored chrystal clear water. Before Kinbasket lake the mountains were immense in the background. But here wedged between the Selkerks and the east slope of the Rocky Mountain trench, the mountains stood steep and tall right from the waters edge. Making you crane your neck to see there snow capped peaks. It was on Kinbasket that we wandered, checking out this cove or that. Finding perfect camp sites hidden among the steep rocky banks. Catching the biggest bull trout and dolly varden I've ever laid eyes on. Where we ate fish and baking powder biscuits topped with wild blueberries, until we were sick. Where we discovered a secret arm of the reservoir where the terms elk, moose, bears and wolves are used in the present tense. Where bald eagles were as common as the crow and there feathers littered the moraine basin. It was the place we came looking for, truly wild.
all good things must come to an end, so mica dam we headed to. A dark and cold place filled with friendly people, but i was glad to put it behind me. Failing weather pushed us a little harder through lake Revelstoke, prodded along by the poor fishing, but slowed by the views as the fog would lift leaving clear reflections making you feel like your paddling in the clouds. The sight of Revelstoke dam was bittersweet to say the least. I missed my girlfriend and a hot shower, but I knew it would not be long before I longed to be back in the mountains. Where a day is a day, something that is not partitioned but left alone as a singular experience.
Fletcher and Keel Brightman, 3 weeks without a shower makes great hair gel.