Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trip to Fostall Falls

The Nakusp Paddling Club's plan to paddle from Edgewood to Castlegar was put off indefinitely, but five paddling members and one support member made it to Fostall Falls for an overnight camping trip August 29th.

We met at the Nakusp Marina and loaded our camping gear into the boat of a patient husband: "I'm telling you right now, if you all have this much crap, it's not going to fit." and "You're only going overnight!" and "Can't you all share a tent?" are some of the printable comments. The answers: "Oh, it will so fit. It'll just be a little bow heavy," and "but we need all this stuff. Most of it is for dinner," and "No we can't share a tent. Some of us snore!"

So off we set. One of us (me) in the boat, the others paddling the canoe. The plan was for the husband to troll for fish along the way, while doing the same speed as the canoe. The five paddlers got into zen mode and were soon speeding along at between five and seven km/h, which is apparently too fast to troll, so what really happened is that we would troll for a while and then catch up, while they paddled for a while, and then took breaks. It all worked, and we discovered an important safety concern. A beige canoe blends into the scenery really well. Trying to spot it after we'd let it get out of sight was like playing "Where's Waldo." If it weren't for the red jacket one paddler wore and the yellow lifejacket of another, we'd still be looking. We're going to get some reflective tape to put under the gunnels.

It was a very pleasant four hours, and husband caught a rainbow trout, so he was happy. It wasn't the only rainbow we'd see. When we started out, it looked like it would be a sunny day, but as the day progressed the clouds gathered behind us. The paddlers got sprinkled on but the real rain was always just down the lake aways - in sight but not right there.

Our luck with the weather continued after we got to Fostall. We unloaded the boat (all of the stuff fit out of the hatch in the bow, so we didn't even get wet doing it.) and set up camp - four tents for six people, and started a fire, grateful that there was no campfire ban. Husband went back to Nakusp to stay warm and dry and watch racing on TV.

We watched the rain up the lake and down the lake, but except for a brief cloudburst there was no rain on us. After a short break for hors doerves and beverages, we went in the canoe up the creek (with paddles) to the lower falls. We backed out (no room in the canyon to turn around) and parked the canoe, then hiked up to the upper falls.

A picture being worth a thousand words, I shall post some.

Upon our return to the campsite, we ate a delicious gourmet dinner, mostly prepared ahead of time and heated over a camp stove. We sat around the roaring fire (hot enough to crack the rocks around it) and chatted about bears and rainbows (saw rainbows, thought we heard bears.) By then it was getting dark, so we got into our nice dry tents and went to sleep, ready to do it all in reverse the following morning.

- Susan Desandoli

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