Monday, August 21, 2023

More Lake Camping in British Columbia, and Otters!

 Getting a little behind on the blog these days - just too much camping and having fun, I guess!

Since the last post, there's been at least two trips to BC, and a few more tours around in Alberta. On the first trip, Trout Lake, south of Revelstoke BC was on the agenda for the first time this year.  Water levels in the lake are too high early in the season, which greatly limits where you can camp, keeping you back in the bush.  Plus, with all the snow and glacial run-off, it is too cold early in the season for enjoyable swimming.  Later on, there are far more beaches exposed, and the water becomes quite pleasant.

The route there takes you over Rogers Pass, within Revelstoke-Glacier National Park, and the numerous snow sheds to protect traffic from the worst of the avalanche hazard in winter.

South of Revelstoke, you have to take the ferry across the north end of Arrow Lake.

There aren't many available camp spots on Trout Lake, but most of them are too rough for any larger rigs, and it was nice to find my favourite spot vacant!  The water level was down 5-6' from it's maximum, so there was lots of exposed beach, and the water was relatively warm.


 I went out one night, and took some more photos in moonlight only, handheld, with the iPhone 14.

I noticed a few trails leading into the bush from the water's edge, so placed a strategic camera out one night!  Check out the video!


A large Merganzer family was heading out for some evening fishing!

I spotted a BC Wildfire crew setting up a pump further down the lake.  Later on, a helicopter showed up and made several trips hauling full bags of water from the lake up to a fire a few miles down the lake, as well as a sling load of gear.

A day or two later, as temperatures rose, large columns of smoke began billowing up from across the lake.

Starlink was a bit challenged to get online in this location because of the tall trees along the shore, but I was still able to get online regularly.   The long weekend was rapidly approaching, and I wanted to get back up to Revelstoke lake again to hide out for the weekend.  Back across the ferry and through Revelstoke, and then north up the lake.  There are a lot of great camp spots along the 140km long lake, with some Rec site$, but many free boondocking spots as well.  All of my favourite spots near the south end were occupied, so we ended up heading north, almost to the end of the lake - which is actually a reservoir along the Columbia River.  Other than the long drive, the spot was not that much of a hardship!

I have camped here before a few times, but it was the first time this summer.

It's a tough shift - but somebody has to do it, and it might as well be me!  Excellent for solar and Starlink loves it here.  A couple vehicles drove through, but other than that, I didn't see or talk to anyone for the entire long weekend.  Doesn't get much better than that!  Bald Eagles, Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Common Loons, and Merganzers were frequent visitors.
And, it's a freshly paved, lightly traveled highway, to within a couple hundred yards of the spot.  Starlink on the roof of the camper.

But, it did get better :-)  I saw a few ripples on the water one day, and assumed it was some loons or merganzers swimming by.  Then, I thought perhaps it was another beaver?  But, then I realized that it was a small family of River Otters.  I tried to get some video of them, but all you can see is a couple of heads barely above the water. But that would soon change.  I realized soon that the mother otter had just caught a fish, and given it to her kits.  Much to my surprise, they swam right towards me on shore so they could enjoy their meal.  They were no more than 10 feet away, in the grass.  I waded into the water, and spent at least a 1/2 hour watching them with the feast.  At first they were a little wary, but soon seemed to accept my presence, and just about ignored me.  Below is the best video I've done in a long time.  It's 19 minutes long, but I think you'll enjoy it all!  

Enjoy it full screen, with sound turned up!