We just recently came back from a camping trip.
Quite unique from any other we’ve attempted.
Our group consisted of 7 humans plus 3 dogs (yes including Buluxi).
Located on the most northern tip of Christina Lake, the camp site is boat access only, so we decided to take 2 canoes and a small aluminum boat (A.K.A ‘the tin tin’).
The two canoes we outfitted with a 1.5hp solar engine plus man powered by those sitting inside rowing with oars, and ‘the tin tin’ (loaded with the majority of supplies) was outfitted with a 3.5hp gasoline powered engine.
Along with Buluxi, Dion and I, decided to take a canoe with another guy and another couple of guys took the other canoe, with the remaining in, ‘the tin tin.’
Oh I should add that ‘the tin tin’ also had an open seam somewhere causing water to come in, without a pump.
Whoever went along in it had to bucket out water from the boat throughout the ride, regardless, the ‘tin tin’ made it over to the site before the canoes did.
After 2hrs of canoeing through calm, open lake water we reached our destination. The site was secluded, and we had a beach front all to ourselves.
The camp sites are set up, each with a 20×20 cleared out space encircled by deciduous trees for privacy and rock assembled fire-pit.
Thank goodness there was already a huge supply of fresh chopped cedar wood, which came in handy to keep us warm during the night, while also being the fuel to assist with cooking too.
Within 20minutes of our arrival it started to rain, so we all had to scramble to put our tents up and get our gear and supplies out of the wet.
After a successful set-up, we decided to reconstruct a massive fire-pit that looked much like a pile of rocks at first, but ended up being the nicest beach fire pit that’s ever warmed me.
With cedar burning bright flames into the star lit night sky, we all took in the sights and silence of complete wilderness, while feeling thankful, watching all the boats go back towards the marina at the other end of the lake.
Dinner was cooked and enjoyed at the fire.
Boomer, one of the other dogs who came along for the trip is mixed with wolf and husky, helped set the evening mood by bringing in the night with a howl (literally).
We all howled with him to let him know we were all in support :o) and even got howls back from somewhere on the lake.
Dion and I woke up early the next morning to the sun shining and a calm glassy lake.
Within 30minutes we began to see fishing boats come from the south end of the lake, ready for a day of fishing.
After a dip in the lake, and a big breakfast, we decided as a group to hike the more elusive Xenia Lake Trail.
We packed day-hiking supplies in our back packs, got the dogs ready and off we went.
Xenia Lake is nestled in higher elevation in the neighboring mountain scape, and we climbed and climbed along a single track trail.
For every 100m or so we ascended, the lake views and scenery below got wider providing amazing panoramic views.
We never did reach Xenia Lake due to time and the fact that we wanted to be back at camp before dark, but the trail certainly proved to be a cardio challenge and kept us huffing and sweating the whole way.
The dogs had a blast sniffing and running around together as a pack and for the first time in her life, Buluxi was actually hanging out with other dogs.
The day ended with a big feast of roasted chicken, ribs, Caesar salade, and bread.
Might I add, ribs from the open fire were the best ribs anyone had in a long time, char’d at the tips and along the edges, juicy on the inside with just a hint of seasoning, mmmmmmm.
That night Dion and I decided to stay up with our friend and my colleague from work Pierce, to manage the fire.
At around 11:30pm while everyone else had gone to their tents for the night, we three observed some very interesting aircraft activity in the sky hovering above the lake.
Two flying round orbs; one coming from over the eastern mountain scape of the lake made its way to the middle of the lake when another orb appeared out of nowhere.
They flew with each other for a couple minutes and then quickly separated, one continuing to the west mountain scape of the lake and the other heading quickly towards the south end of the lake.
As our fire slowly died out, the three of us watched from the beach warmed with excitement in awe of these fast flying, hovering aircraft dancing in the night sky, no motors to be heard.
None of us could figure out what we saw but we are certain that they were not airplanes or helicopters and remains a mystery.
From previous conversations with those that have lived in the Kootenay-Boundary Region their entire lives; there’s been a history of UFO sittings and it is a common phenomenon.
There have also been sighting of Sasquatch (a big fury creature that stands like a human but much, much bigger and fully furred).
We did not have any engagements with a Sasquatch but it sure would have been interesting.
The following day we all decided to take a trip across the way to another beach and where inland salmon can supposedly be found along with old growth western cedars.
I took Buluxi in one of the Canoes with Pierce and another guy while Dion sat comfortably on the ‘tin tin.’
We get halfway across to our destination, its within view the whole time, when all of a sudden the canoe that I am in tips over, leaving Pierce, Mark, Buluxi and I treading water in the middle of the lake.
Anxiousness quickly decends on me as I am not sure how well Buluxi can swim.
We all do not have life jackets on and Pierce is trying to keep the canoe from sinking to the bottom while keeping himself afloat while I manage the dog and myself.
Mark selfishly stands in the sinking boat trying to hold his knap sack up so that his phone doesn’t get wet.
The ‘tin tin’ comes to us and Dion couldn’t wait, he jumps into the water to swim over to Buluxi who through some miracle is swimming.
She eyes the shoreline and automatically swims towards it, Dion hardly able to catch up to her.
Another couple with a big boat came along and helped me out of the water as there’s no space for me on the tin tin.
Pierce attaches the canoe to this boat and the canoe is dragged to shore where it is emptied of water.
Buluxi and Dion make it to shore without any scrapes, but Buluxi is suffering from PTS from the whole event and won’t come near the water.
Once I get my composure together I decide to go out again on the Canoe but this time we leave Buluxi with one of the others behind. We all make it to the other beach this time and it is so worth it.
The first things we see are the old growth western cedar trees. We make a five-person human chain around the biggest one, successfully closing the loop :o).
Up a little ways we begin to see fish in the river alongside the trail. All of a sudden a few fish end up being hundreds of fish.
The fish are a species of landlocked salmon, known as Kokanee Salmon and closely related to the bigger sea-bound, sockeye salmon.
This inland species is much smaller, from what we observed no bigger than 7 inches and boy were they spawning.
The river flow is no more than seven inches high and the boys including Dion end up going into the freezing cold river water hoping to catch a salmon.
They all do for giggles and bragging rights, and then let them go.
After a couple hours of frolicking along the trail and in the river we decide to head back to camp to ready ourselves for the trip home.
We fill ourselves with food, then janga pack our supplies back onto the ‘tin tin,’ and canoe.
Taking no chances, we hook up the canoe to the tin tin and tow it back.
After an evening hour-tow on the lake, we arrive back safely to the marina wishing that we didn’t have to go home.
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA
Recreational Trail – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!
For a detailed map:
Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2