BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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Page 39 of 83

(TO P) TO M A S J IR K U; N E A L M CL EN N A N I 'd like to say that I came to the Powell River Canoe Route because it had long been on my outdoor-pursuit bucket list, but the truth is that I hadn't been in a canoe since I was 12 and my connection to Powell River began and ended with ordering their truly excellent craft beers while in the very urban watering holes of Vancouver. And while the even more famous West Coast Trail likewise wasn't on my bucket list, it was on my buddy Kevin's, and he had cajoled a bunch of us into hopping aboard his pandemic adventure—including me, despite a fair amount of trepidation around the related worries of my inability to physically carry the necessary amount of Lagavulin for the trip. So when B.C. announced its pandemic ban on regional travel just days before our scheduled departure, the news was received with a mix of deep sorrow (Kevin) and private elation (me). But we had already embarked on our half-assed preparatory fitness regimen and I had also already bought a bunch of brand-new gear that I couldn't return (because I had purposefully scuffed it up so I wouldn't look like a newbie from the city). So we gathered to determine where within our health region we might still wrest some outdoor immersion—and it was Paul who came up with Powell River. Paul is a canoer. He takes a yearly trip to Algonquin and he uses words like portage and J-stroke freely—so we put him in charge of figuring out a route. Because Paul also took on the work of building an itinerary, we let certain things slide—like his last-minute decision to take an unburdened plane ride from Vancouver (travel time: 35 minutes) while the rest of us hauled up all the necessary gear by road (travel time: a very scenic five hours). And while I had infinite faith in Paul's pack planning, his suggestion to compact the standard five-day time frame for the route into three "hard" days had me concerned. To ease my fears, I reached out to Hugh Prichard, director of the Powell Four weekend warriors seek a slice of classic Canadiana in Powell River. by Neal McLennan Lake Outdoor Learning Centre and an avid canoeist, to see if he could give Paul's plan a local's once-over. His exceedingly diplomatic response included phrases like, "Well, you could do that, but why?" and "Are you guys not interested in taking in any natural beauty?" Ultimately, we reached a hybrid plan that combined Prichard's vast experience and Paul's original idea (at least the part that was about going canoeing, somewhere). We would arrange to be dropped off a quarter of the way through the traditional five-day route and picked up at the end, four days later. We'd be undertaking at least one portage every day, and we would camp along the way—since it was mid-June, we wouldn't have to worry about reservations. If we were lucky, added Prichard, we might Coureur de Boys VANCOUVER COAST MOUNTAINS J Crew The paddling is mostly easy on the Powell River Canoe Route, the portaging a little less so, but it's all worthwhile for the solitary views. 40 BCBUSINESS MAY/JUNE 2022

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