2009-09-12 49 -122
About 50m off the east shore of Alouette Lake, near a day use area in Golden Ears Park.
Going to try to get on the road up the east shore, then swim (or walk depending on depth) to the hash point.
We left Vancouver later than intended, but had no problems finding the correct route to the east shore of the lake... until we encountered a closed gate with a "no trespassing" sign. On the paved side of the gate were several pickup trucks unloading dirt bikes.
With a sigh and a look at the <4km distance remaining on the GPS, we retraced our route back to Dewdney Trunk Road and then turned up the main Golden Ears Park access road which led to the west shore of the lake.
We parked in the first day use area, with the GPS pointing directly into the lake and less than 1km remaining. On the beach, looking out over the water with small waves splashing our toes, we had 715m to go. There were tents on the beach on the east shore; probably a boat accessible beach. We could hear dirt bike engines echoing across the lake valley, and knew that if we had ignored the no trespassing sign we could have walked up that road to the east shore beaches.
There were numerous motor boats farther north in the lake, but we were standing at the southern tip near the BC Hydro dam.
We hid behind a bush and got changed into our bathing suits. It was time for a swim.
Rhonda was excessively slow getting into the chilly lake, and apologized as she inched deeper, while Xore teased her from outside the shadow cast by the mountain behind them. Eventually they were both swimming, and Rhonda led the way along the side of the marked off "no boats allowed" swimming area. Rhonda's GPS complained of poor reception every time it spent more than a few seconds underwater, but regained its fix as soon as it was lifted out.
At the corner buoy, we paused to check our progress. 650m to go (wow, that was over 50m?!), and what lay ahead was... four seadoos, roaring around, their bows high in the air so they wouldn't be able to see two small heads bobbing along at water level, assuming their drivers were looking.
We treaded water and floated beside the buoy, waiting to see if they would move farther north and leave the area clear for us to swim out. They did clear the area, however they were back within a few minutes. When you're on a seadoo, the lake is your playground. Xore chickened out, not wanting to risk his head to the underside of a seadoo with a crazy on board who wasn't watching where they were going, and Rhonda agreed with the assessment. (After a few minutes of observation, it was clear that they weren't.)
We swam back to shore and considered taking the kayaks out, however Xore pointed out that if kayaks came out, we wouldn't be getting back to Vancouver until well past 10pm (another 4-5 hours away) and we were already getting hungry for dinner. Instead we decided to splash around in the lake for a little while longer (since we were already here). But once we were back knee-deep in the lake, Rhonda realized again that it was cold, chilly, etc, and decided this was a bad idea after all.
We packed it back to the car and headed back to Vancouver, failing to reach the hash point, although nevertheless having a pleasant day by the lake.
| Rhonda & Xore earned the Prize poultry Consolation Prize