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Friday, March 16, 2007

"Port In The Rockies"

This was a fund raiser trip I did for the Fort St. John Hospital foundation. I raised $5600.00 and paddled 160 miles in 4 and a half days. It was on Williston Lake and right in the rocky mountains. It was created out of the mighty Peace River which was backed up to build the WAC Bennett hydroelectric dam in Northeastern , BC. There is very unpredictable weather all over the lake's length as the wind funnels through the valleys of the mountain ranges down to the waters below. I was paddling close to 30 miles a day and some days more, by myself, and believe I was the first to do so in a seakayak. There were a few canoe fatalities only meters from where they put in on other trips. I had good weather and was lucky in that respect. The waves can swell to ocean size quickly. The tree stumps in this picture are a result of harvesting that was done before the flooding for the dam to minimize floatsam and rotting trees floating to the top, which is a huge problem for boating of any kind. I put in at a town called Mac Kenzie after Alexander Mac Kenzie the early explorer looking for a trading route to the north. I actually put in at the site he did when he first set out when the body of water was back then all river. I paddled to my take out point of the Bennett Dam some 160 miles away. There are fossils of ferns and prehistoric shellfish all along the way and I collected several as mementos but there are many it seems everywhere you land. The mountains go right down to the water here and is very deep but very beautiful. This picture was taken before i had a digital camera, actually this was a waterproof disposable. The site where I am docked is into the Peace Reach of the huge lake. I just paddled from where all three reachs connected, the Parsely Reach, The Finlay Reach and the Peace Reach. There are three mountain ranges which also connect here. The Muskawa Mountain Range, Miskinchinka Mountain Range and the Hart Mountain range all very majestic and domineering as you paddle thru.

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