May 2, 2022
Flushed with success on the upper Kinbasket, I figured to make Kinbasket Lake Lodge late in the afternoon or early the next morning.
Sadly, it was not in the cards. More bluntly, I had my ass handed to me in a basket.
The water in the lake went from crystal clear to muck in three boat lengths. The real issue , however, was that the Columbia River proper showed up. Translated, the current I expected to paddle against for the last 10-12km up to Kinbasket Lake Lodge was 30km north of where I first expected to meet it.
Clearing the narrows at the southern end of the upper lake, the lake I had been paddling in utterly disappeared. In its place was a braided, meandering mess where even the main channel was a mystery.
Within hours, I was reduced to tracking the canoe up sections to fast or not deep enough to paddle. It was brutally slow progress, often disappearing up to my calves in lake bottom ooze, as the mud sucked Kai Nani to a standstill.
Any thoughts of making my planned for exit at a Beavermouth evaporated. I could make out the ridge that fronted the creek from the north but after 10 hours of effort, I was halted by a section of fast water that I could easily have paddled early in the day. I tried twice, but I simply could not muster the energy to get over it.
5km short of Kinbasket Lake Lodge, I called a halt. Welcome to Moonbase Charlie, AssInABasket Lake.