Parking Lots, Trains & Windy Paddles

Updated: Oct 14

After a few lovely days at Marble Lake Provincial Park we packed up our wet tent on Sunday May 8th, 2022 and headed for Kamloops. The first order of business was to find a shopping mall, not for shopping, but for a large space to dry out our tent and gear before we went to the hotel. We had decided to stay at a hotel for a couple of nights in Kamloops as we had some errands and tasks we wanted to do there. Drying out the tent in the hotel room was not a really a fun option, so we dried out before hand.

This would be my first stay at a hotel and I was a bit nervous about it. It just seemed strange to me, but I managed to relax once we were there and had a hot bath and a meal. On Tuesday May 7th we were happy to hit the road again and get out of the hotel, even though we smelt all fresh and clean.

The next stop would be Paul Lake Provincial Park, which we thought was just opening for the camping season. A lovely park nestled in a mixed forest of Douglas-fir, pine and aspen.

Paul Lake Provincial Park

But when we arrived the park gate was still closed and so we drove around the day area to see if anyone was around. We found a park caretaker and asked them if we could camp anywhere for a night. They said, sure, the main park was not open until Friday but we were welcome to sleep in the upper grassy parking lot that looked very unused.

So we set up camp and made ourselves comfortable. The day was sunny and the lake looked calm, so we decided it take the canoe out for a paddle.

Paul Lake Provincial Park

We weren't in the water long before a big grey cloud appeared ahead of us. Then the wind picked up and the next thing we knew it was raining hard, blowing sideways and we were splashing up against small waves. We knew the weather was not likely to last, so we took shelter off to the side of the lake in the reeds. We were not the only ones looking for a break from the weather, as there were also a few Canadian Geese sheltered in the tall reeds. We all waited out the storm and about 10 minutes later we carried on down the lake, the geese did follow us for a bit and then lost interest.

We wanted to get a closer look at Gibraltar Rock, which stands above the water about 900m. It was a stunning rock covered an interesting red lichen. It seemed even bigger as we were in the water looking up at it. On our way we also passed by our first loon. We had both been around them as kids in southern Ontario, but this was our first one as we were canoeing. It didn't mind us at all as be passed quietly by. After that I saw a bunch of loons, this one was making an interesting sound as it passed by......they are very strange birds, in a good way!

The next day we packed up, a nice dry pack up, which was nice for a change . We had a spot of coffee and got on the road. We continued north on Highway 5 as it meandered along the North Thompson River.

Beautiful scenery was unfolding in front of us every mile we went. We decided to stay at the North Thompson River Provincial Park for a few nights. Our campsite looked out above the river as tonnes of water went by us in a quiet but powerful manner. There was also some train tracks on the ridge on the opposite side of the river. We watched lots of trains go by, from super long cargo trains to some fancy passenger trains with dome cars.

It was fun at first, to hear the low thunder as the train approached and the romance of the train whistle in the distance, but it soon wore off by the second day and woke me up a few times during the night.

On our second day we packed up just the needed gear and left camp to go exploring. We wanted to see what the area up ahead looked like as we had been told by the locals that there still might be snow where we were wanting to go next, and we were not really wanting to be in the snow, yet!

North Thompson River Provincial Park

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