Posted on August 24, 2011
The Great Outdoors: Birkenhead Lake
14. That’s the number of bug bites I sustained over the weekend. During any given summer evening, bugs tend to avoid me. That was not the case at Birkenhead Lake.
Located a short drive north of Mt. Currie, Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park can be found at the end of a forest service road, starting about 10km south of the town of D’Arcy. Boasting close to 100 campsites and awe-inspiring mountain views, Birkenhead Lake was the perfect escape for me and my two favourite J’s last weekend.
After very hurriedly pitching our tent, ditching our cell phones for the weekend and grilling some chicken for dinner, we made the three-minute trek from our campsite to the shores of Birkenhead Lake.
As we made our way around the beachfront area, we were startled by what we thought was a bear in the bushes. It turned out that it was mysteriously a bottom-feeding fish thrashing in the ditch with (probably) only a few minutes left to live.
Always the hero, J granted my humble request to retrieve the fish and return him to the lake to happily swim out the rest of his days.
As spectacular as Birkenhead Lake itself is, the same can also be said for the campsites. With a few first come, first served sites left, we found a magnificent spot on the outer perimeter of the campground. You might say a river runs through it…
While I relished in the sounds of rushing water while falling blissfully asleep each night, Jordy was excited by the area to explore and the cozy rays of warm sunshine that washed its banks.
With only one full day to zen out, early on we made a pact that we wouldn’t look at a clock all day. We’d sleep in, eat when we were hungry, swim when we were hot and nap when we felt dozy. In doing so we spent the entire Saturday on the beach of Birkenhead Lake.
As you might expect with glacier-fed lakes, Birkenhead Lake is no Mexican beach. It took quite some time to work up the nerve to finally dive under, but the refreshment was well worth it!
A few dips in the lake and some sunshine later and Jordy was well on his way to a relaxing stretch and sleep on the sand…
As the sun set and the temperatures started to dip, we made our way back to the campsite for roasted hot dogs and my personal camping favourite, UNO.
Being that our decision to go camping was a bit last-minute, we threw everything into the truck on Friday afternoon. In our rush, I forgot dog food dishes so I improvised. Jordy ended up eating his kibble from a pot and drank his water from a plastic beer cup. Whatever works, right?
Another casualty of the rush? Shoes. I brought only flip flops and since warm socks are de rigueur on cold nights, the combination didn’t bode well for my sense of camping style.
Half of the fun of camping is making last-minute decisions and finding yourself wherever the wheels take you. Our trip to Birkenhead Lake certainly goes down as one of my most epic recent camping trips.
And at the end of the day, the warm crackle of a campfire makes all the pesky bugs and long drives well worth it.
To find out more about Birkenhead Lake and other BC Parks, visit BC Parks online. If you plan on visiting the area, remember that Birkenhead Lake is in bear country so obey all posted signs and take necessary precautions. Cell service disappears entirely before the forest service road, so make sure you leave a detailed itinerary before heading out.