The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has returned to Vancouver and I’m going to both programs—Program A tonight and Program B on Saturday. I don’t know how many times I’ve been to this festival, but I started back in the early 90′s when I lived in Calgary. It’s not quite like being at the actual festival in Banff, but it’s damn good anyway. I get goosebumps every time I hear the music in the intro.
This past weekend I took the family for a short walk along the Seymour River in North Vancouver. I still find it amazing that a massive, dark forest is basically on our doorstep. Combine that with the mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes… the minds spins.
This past weekend the kids and I did a bit more exploring, but rather than a simple day trip, we (meaning I) decided to go a littler further and do an overnighter. Fall on the West Coast usually means a ton of rain and this in turn means a potentially soggy tent, particularly when kids are involved. With my wife away on business, I figured the three of could have a nice dry night in the truck.
On Sunday we slowly made our way North through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton before turning down the In-Shuck-Ch Forest Service Road that winds its way down Lillooet Lake and beyond to Port Douglas near the northern end of Harrison Lake. My wife and I have been down part of this road many years ago, but this time I planned on going a bit further.
The valley that this road goes through is the traditional territory of the First Nations bands that make up the In-Shuck-Ch Nation and there are a few Indian Reserves along the route. The In-Shuck-Ch Nation appears to be working very hard to re-establish themselves permanently in the valley after economic conditions forced most to leave after the 1950s.
We arrived with a bit of light left in the day and decided to look at our camping options before heading back into Pemberton for dinner and hot chocolate. I had a quick look at three different recreation sites and only saw a handful of campers at two of them. In the end, I settled on Lizzie Bay—only 16km down the road and with a nice spot near the edge of the lake. With cooler temperatures, rain wasn’t much of a worry, but we would probably see a bit of snow overnight.
After dinner we made our way back to camp in the dark, converted the truck and watched a movie on the iPad while snuggled under a down duvet. After the movie we moved into our down sleeping bags and quickly fell asleep, nice and warm, at 8:30PM.
In the cool morning, the kids weren’t too excited to leave the truck, so they stayed inside and played while I started a fire and enjoyed the peace and quiet. It was a fantastic morning. Eventually, we packed up and made our way further down the road while snacking on a bit of trail mix. In the back of my mind, I was hoping we would make it to the Tsek Hot Springs, but in reality I didn’t expect the kids to last that long. Sure enough, just past the Baptiste Smith Indian Reserve we turned around and headed back to Pemberton for breakfast.
For the rest of the day, we slowly made our way back to Vancouver. There was no rush and I didn’t want to leave the mountains.
This past weekend, the kids and I headed to Deas Island south of Vancouver for a little exploring. No major plans, just a walk in the park and some playing by the river. It was cool, cloudy and a little breezy, but the rain held off. I love getting the kids out of the city and into the bush, even if it is just a small regional park.
On this trip, my son asked why we always go to the Fraser River. We don’t always go to the river, but I will admit we’ve been there a lot lately. This coming weekend, I think we’ll head North instead.
I’ve been listening to the new album by The Deep Dark Woods a lot lately and every time I do it reminds me that I missed their show in Vancouver a few days ago.
West Side Street, The Deep Dark Woods
Wrenched is an upcoming documentary about Edward Abbey’s influence on the American environmental movement and the more radical groups like Earth First! The producers have started a funding drive on Indiegogo to cover the costs of production, but they have a long way to go and only 13 days to reach their goal. I hope they make it.