Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My trip to D'Arcy

On Friday I drove to the little tiny village of D'Arcy, which is about 50 km north of Pemberton, north of Whistler on Highway 99. Went there to visit my son Sam (Number Three Son) and to put the kayak into the water again. It has not been in the water since my first paddle in Kingsport, Nova Scotia.

September 12: Getting there

I left New Westminster around 2:00pm thinking it would take me three hours to drive to D'Arcy, but the road construction between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler is worse than it was the last time I drove this road in June 2007, so it took more like four hours. They are preparing the road for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as some of the events will be held in Whistler.

The views from the Sea to Sky Highway (Vancouver to Whistler) are fabulous but you have to really pay attention to the driving, so no attempts at taking pictures while driving! However they have cut an awful lot of rocks and trees to widen this highway, the environmental damage is rather painful.

Sam and I met in Pemberton for a bit of supper and some grocery shopping, then headed to his place in D'Arcy. Well, just outside of D'Arcy actually. He lives in a cabin on 90 acres of land just south of the village. His place of work, Island Expeditions, is in the basement of the cabin.

I love it there, it was so nice to be back. I was only staying for the weekend, I had scheduled to be at my brother Peter's place on Monday the 15th, but the weather was perfect in D'Arcy, sunny and warm.

September 13: On the water

We took my kayak down to the boat launch in D'Arcy and I went for a 90 minute paddle on Anderson Lake. Sam wanted me to stick to the side of the lake with the railway tracks, in case I got into trouble and he had to come get me. I dutifully did that, but was sorry since the more scenic route would have been along the other side. Next time.

The lake was rather busy with motor boats and even water skiers, but it was nice to be out on the water. We had agreed to meet back at the wharf in D'Arcy at 4:00pm, so I really only had an hour and a half to paddle about, not a huge amount of time.

It was a good thing Sam was there to help me unload and load, although I did most of the work. It just wasn't that easy. I still need to work on the technique. My parking spot wasn't the best either, but it was what was available.

September 14: In the water

I thought it would be a good idea to practice putting the kayak on and off the roof rack, and Sam's place was ideal for that: lots of space and grass all around. Sam had some ideas how to make it easier, such as loading the kayak from the rear rather than the side. This was the original way I tried it but at the time I thought I could not slide the kayak over the rack rails, which I now know is not true. It did work easier to do it that way, but getting the kayak down is still tricky.

I spent so much time loading and unloading, and it was so hot, that we thought it might be better to go swimming rather than kayaking. So we took Sam's truck to Gates Lake and found a nice spot to get into the water from a small dock. The water was cold! Swimmable once your skin was numb and you couldn't feel how cold it was though. We just went for a very brief swim.

I enjoyed the time I spent with Sam very much, we had some good chats and relaxed a lot.

Sam is not keeping deer mice any more, he still traps them but he releases them a ways down the road so they can't get back.

I brought my bike along in hopes of getting out on the trails there but we never actually did that. Sam said he had seen a mother bear and her cub by the road on one of his walks and she had actually reared up in a threatening manner when she saw him so he was warning me to be careful if I decided to go for a walk in the woods. That kind of made me feel less inclined to go walking, or biking for that matter.

I hope I can get back here again before I leave, I was very reluctant to leave this time but had already committed to visiting my brother Peter and his partner Pat on Vancouver Island just outside of Victoria.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne!

Love your adventure narrative and that you've gotten your kayak into the water again at last! Applause!!!! What Sam properly impressed at his mother's accomplishment?!

Sounds like Sam lives in a really lovely location and wisely understands the wild things that share the land.

Be safe!