We had another great paddle last Sunday. It was a cold day, but we bravely set out into Portage Inlet. As we rounded the first point, Paula was ahead of us. Suddenly, she started whooping and shouting. "Ice!" she cried. Ahead of us, the Inlet had a thin sheen of ice on top. Paula had barrelled into it and soon the rest of us were into the icefield. Six little ice breakers.
The ice was very thin, maybe 5mm if that, although there seemed to be the occasional section that was a little thicker. What an odd sensation to paddle through ice. We often joke about the water getting thicker when we paddle, but this water was solid! One expects to hear a splash when one's paddle hits the water, but all we heard was a crunch.
Stroke. Crunch. Stroke. Crunch.
We were also scaring all the birds away. Our six kayaks plowing through ice were making quite a racket as we cracked the ice around us, sending flocks of birds hundreds of metres away into frenzied flight. No doubt they thought the demons of hell were almost upon them.
We knew it was cold, but we never thought we'd be out breaking the ice. Karl figured that there must be a small layer of fresh water on top of the saltier Inlet water.
We went up Craigflower Creek and found this tunnel which runs under the Trans Canada nera the Helmcken overpass.
Ooooh, it's pretty scary, eh kids?
The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. As we left the tunnel, we discovered that there were a lot of rocks in the water here, so we had to be careful. We made it through, but it took a little maneuvering.
The navigable portion of the creek ended just beyond the tunnel and the rocks.
So there was nothing to do but turn around and head back through the tunnel. There was a bit of a bottle-neck as we entered....
...but it was a perfect time to practice some doo-wop.
We ended up singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." The Tokens have nothing to worry about.
Back in the light of day, Karl and I were lagging behind the others when he pointed to his right. "Hey, is that a hawk in the tree?"
And there he was, a small hawk that didn't seem the least bit worried about or interested in us.