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Published: August 8th 2015
Today I got to try out the kayak as we headed for McDougall Falls. It was a short paddle of about 5 km with a 10 km hike. This was the main outlet of the lake and there was a torrent of water flowing out. We found a rocky landing spot to start our walk. The path was even lusher than our last hike, plants along with blueberries and raspberry bushes galore lined the pathway. Matthew was in his glory sampling just about every bush we went by. We had been warned that the first km had vegetation that concealed the pathway and numerous rock and stump outcrops. It was slow but the pathway eventually opened up and travel became quite fast, at least for Mark and Matthew speeding ahead. My mind took the opportunity to daydream and I went into another world as I plodded along. Occasionally, my peaceful stroll was interrupted with a “Yo Bear” callout from Mark, his time-tested method of ensuring we didn’t unexpectedly see a bear as we rounded a corner or crested a hill. Matthew was also trying out his version of the call with numerous unique calls. Eventually, we came upon the falls, a
wide, multi-path set of falls dropping seven meters. We viewed them from a convenient rock outcrop that offered a refreshing views both up and downstream. On the trip out we flew down the path until we hit the dense overgrown path and had to navigate the tricky decent.
As we were loading up the canoe and kayak on the rocky shore, Mark went for an unexpected dip. We were alerted to his situation by a loud yell (not "Yo Bear" this time.) It was more of a surprise to him than anything, but as we sorted through the event, Mark found his camera was a wee bit wet in his pocket ... more comments occurred. I had to plug Matthew’s ears.
We went to a group camp close by called Diamond Lagoon and enjoyed a large lunch.
Each evening Mark would bring out his travel guitar and sing a few songs. We would join in on occasion or just sit back and drift with the music enjoying the moment. It was wonderful. This evening, we had a couple families camping close by and the music drew in a couple kids. They kept their distance at first, then
another young one joined and another, and as the group grew the distance to Mark and the music diminished. Mark had a captive audience. The adults came by on occasion to make sure the kids were not bothering us; they also enjoying the music.
Camping arrangements. The four-man tent we stayed in was cozy even for three of us. But it kept us warm (sometimes too warm) and dry. The too warm part was a bit of a problem particularly at Tropicana as it backed onto a swampy area which meant a few more mosquitoes, which ultimately made their way into the tent and waited for the opportune time to draw blood as we pulled the sleeping bag covers back to stay cool. Exposed skin!
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