Day two started with waking up in a wet tent. It had rained most of the night and there was a bum seam near the door that had let some water in. Unfortunately it had pooled under Logan and Ben’s sleeping mats. Fortunately I was on the high ground. Breakfasts usually start with bacon hash browns and eggs around our site, this morning was no different except we had more bacon and it was thick and maple style. Logan picked this up from Costco and they were packaged in 2 pound packs. This was the ultimate camping bacon and will be a main stay for eternity. Given that it was Mike’s bachelor party he was also enjoying some barley sandwiches.
The main thing we had planned for today was white water rafting. Logan had organized the whole thing with a company called Wild Blue Yonder in town and we had planned to run down the Sheep creek. Sheep creek has class 4 rapids and it is recommended you have done a class 3 before doing this raft trip. You also must be 18 to do this trip. Rafting rates are roughly $85-$100 CND depending on what river, the length and difficulty of trip and how many people you’re bringing with you. Larger groups naturally get a discount as we did with our group of 13. June is the best time to go and being mid July water levels had dropped on Sheep creek so we were forced to run the Sulphur River to the Smokey River rafting trip. This trip took a little under 2 hours. We were on the Sulphur River for about 12 kms before being spit out onto the Smokey for the remaining 4 kms of the trip.
The most shocking thing was the scenery. We literally drove 5 minutes into the bush from a residential neighborhood and were at the starting point. After getting off the bus we walked down half a dozen switchbacks to the canyon floor where the boats were already in the water and after a short safety briefing we were off and running. White water was fairly constant throughout and super fun. On the lower part of the river things got more wild, rocky and narrow and we were treated to the sight of 400 foot sheer canyon walls. I was sweating from being at the front of the boat and my glasses kept getting fogged up so I only caught a glimpse of this but it was awesome none the less.
Where the Sulphur meets the Smokey was equally cool. This rock formation is called the Sulphur gates. This is the part of the river that gets very wide and flat. Your speed slows down but it goes by fairly quick on account that the guides pass out water cannons for each boat and a massive water fight goes down. When we beached our rafts just down stream from the highway 40 bridge they provide hot chocolate, iced tea and cookies! Unfortunately there are no pictures of us rafting. There was an opportunity to purchase waterproof disposable cameras but no one did.
When we got back to camp we made Burgers played Beersbee and starting getting into the libations. Dave and Josh had not come rafting and had elected to make a game for around the campfire and drink their faces off. Beersbee matches were sloppy and somehow we had 3 man teams. Brad and I continued our winning ways and “Diamonds are Forever” with the addition of Dave Waddell, finished Ben, Brant and Dan off with two can hits and no points against.
Fresh off the win I headed down to the lake with a few others and soon our whole crew was down on the shore enjoying multiple beers and the evening sun. They water was boiling as they say like it had the night before and the trout were feeding off the top all over the lake. I waded out about 30 feet and ended up in about four feet of water. I was using a Mosquito fly which didn’t really seem to appeal but I had one solid hit when I casted near some deadfall. I wasn’t able to bring the fish in though. Chris and Kalen were having more luck and each managed to pull a few small trout in on their spinning gear. Shaun who had also waded out went back to shore and Ben took over and managed to get a few good casts before snagging high in a tree. Mike was having about the same luck and was snagged in a tree about fifteen feet away but roughly the same distance up. After losing our flies we headed up and learned we had received a noise complaint from someone across the lake. Go figure, you pay a ton of money to rent and entire campsite and you get a complaint from the other side of the lake. We must have been doing something right.
The sun went down, we ate more, drank a lot more and if you’ve been following any of the other camping related articles I’ve written you know what happened next. Except there was a few pukers, including me.