cabackroads--Helena Lake BC Forest Service, 100 Mile House, British Columbia
dates of stay: July 15-19th, 2016
The plan after leaving Kamloops was to find "free" or nearly free campsites that would provide Snowpatch and Bugaboo the room to roam without restriction. Since British Columbia is full of lakes, the search was focused on lake frontage campsites.
The kayaks needed to be dowloaded from the roof of the canopy and tested in a lake environment. I was definitely curious as to the fishing possibilities of a kayak versus a float tube or pontoon boat. That only took a few minutes! Kayaks are quick and cut through the wind quickly and efficiently. As for being a fishing platform, they rate right up there with canoes. I never fished from a canoe after my first time in a float tube.
Looking a maps and lakes of British Columbia Helena Lake looked like an interesting possibility. It was about ten kilometers from the highway on a dirt road. Short enough to access easily, yet enough of a distance from the highway to provide some isolation. It had two access routes one from the south and another from the north. Fortunately, at a fly shop in 100 Mile House I asked about the access routes. It turned out that the southern route was blocked and pretty much washed out. The only feasible route was from the north.
We took the turn off from Lac La Hache Lake and slowly towed the Casita to the lake. It was a wet dirt road, that definitely got "snotty" when wet, but fortunately the rain only damped down the dust.
The surprise was when we pulled into a camping area. A perfect lake with a campsite perched above the lake giving a sweeping view of the lake and countryside. It also offered a partially shaded campsite that allowed us to use our solar panels for charging the house batteries. A slight constant breeze kept the mosquitoes and other insects at bay.
It pretty much was the perfect campsite. Not much in the area of services, but the price at $6.00 Canadian was an incredible value.
It also provided the opportunity to test and use several new products for backroads camping.
The first was the new Go-Power 80 watt solar panel to see how they would work for keeping the house battery charged. The second was the Platypus water filter for providing safe drinking water without the effort of pumping. The new eboost amplifier for connecting to world for phone calls and maybe more important the internet.
And finally those kayaks and all the tears and suffering trying to find the appropriate Yakima carriers on top of the canopy.
With all those "work" requirements, coupled with the campsite we signed up for a four night stand.
No point in spending only one night when you have the perfect campsite.