Mica Creek was temptingly close but falling temperatures late in the afternoon had cold air pouring out of the creek canyons. I had just enough left in the tank to make for an abandoned log dump that would have to serve as a campsite.
Ice in the tent had me up and paddling early and I hoped to make quick work of the few remaining kilometers. I knew something of the climb to the top of Mica Dam and into Kinibasket Lake but with near ideal paddling conditions and hoped to have energy to make the portage.
I arrived at Mica Creek mid-afternoon tired and impatient, thinking only of the top of the dam. Even broken clocks are right twice a day and so it was with me.
Counting the hours needed for the climb, take down and stow Karta, search for a make a camp, and eat, I would be working in the dark. Moreover, conditions at the top of dam were an unknown. Impatience aside, Mica Dam would have to wait for tomorrow morning early.
The engineer who laid out the road to the top of Mica Dam must have had goat DNA in his genes. It took 2 and a 1/2 hours to crawl the 8km to the top. In the image above, the river, or what is left of the river at this time of the year, is barely visible.
Creating the climb and looking into Kinibasket Lake, my heart sank. Water levels in the lake were more than 100 feet below their summertime levels
and the shore as far as I could see was a steep, rock strewn 200km scar covered in lake-bottom mud and slime.
Not finding the boat launch, I stumbled down the incline. Within minutes I was covered in a thick, pervasive goo that clung to everything it came in comtact with. All I could think of were campsites. Where on the lake-bottom/cliff-side was I flgoing to be able to get off the water?
I started counting possible campsites as soon as I started paddling. After four hours I had not raised the sum to one. At 5pm, anything resembling flat would have to do. At 5:30, I was thinking of sleeping if a makeshift shelter in the open.
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