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 67 of 83

58 V A N M A G . C O M M AY/J U N E 2 0 2 2 CARIBOO/ CHILCOTIN The engine sputters to life, and I put on the headset to dampen the telltale roar of the de Havilland Beaver's radial piston engine. Soon we're taxiing along the rippled surface of Nimpo Lake. The pilot throttles up. At first, the floatplane seems to plow water sluggishly, then it quickly gathers speed. The pontoons skip, suggesting flight, and before long we're airborne, temporarily leaving behind our wives and kids waving on the dock. The vast Chilcotin Plateau unfolds beneath us, a tapestry of lakes, marshy wetlands and dense young pine forests in a constant cycle of recovery and renewal from forest fires and beetle attack. To the southeast, the crown of Monarch Mountain is secluded in cloud. Whenever I strap into a Beaver, it usually means good times lie ahead. We are bound for a two-family, six-day paddling adventure on the remote Turner Lake Chain, a string of seven lakes located in southern Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. It's our back-to-school gift to the kids: the gift of being immersed in the wilderness of B.C.'s largest provincial parkā€”at 9,800 square kilometres, it's an area almost the size of Hawaii's Big Island. It takes two flights from Nimpo Lake to shuttle eight people and a week's worth of gear to Turner Lake, the largest of the seven. If the sound of a Beaver evokes the enchantment of frontier B.C., then the silence that follows after the plane leaves you behind is equally as evocative. A trio of grey jays circles curiously as we begin shuttling our waterproof bags and packs to the three rustic cabins that make up Tweedsmuir Wilderness Camp. The camp sits at nearly 1,100 metres of elevation. It's single-digit temperatures that night, so we enjoy the luxury of woodstoves and cabin accommodations. The next day we're underway, skirting the shoreline toward a lush estuary at Turner Lake's southern end. After 20 minutes of easy paddling, we pause to speak with a Montana couple enjoying their morning coffee next to a crackling fire. "We're flying out today. We haven't seen any other people up here," the man tells us. They are the last other humans we The Bowron Lakes are great, but if you want serious solitude it's time to look west. by Andrew Findlay will see for six days. Someone had told me Turner Lakes is one of B.C.'s best- kept paddling secrets. Now I get it. Late in the afternoon, after our third mini-portage of the day, we paddle down Junker Lake, propelled by an exciting tail wind. Small whitecaps splash over the canoe's bow. The acrid smell of a distant forest fire e Greatest Canoe Trip You've Never Heard Of For canoe rentals, flights and campsite and cabin bookings, contact Tweedsmuir Air Services. tweedsmuirair.com IF YOU GO D E S T IN AT I O N B C/ K A R I M ED I G 68 BCBUSINESS MAY/JUNE 2022

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