McLeese Lake

That was a Vacation?

Every summer we take a week off to go camping with my parents, aunt, and uncle.  Each year we pick somewhere different to go and explore.

This year we decided to head out to McLeese Lake in BC.  I haven’t been there in twenty years or more.  This is the lake I was taught to canoe on, where I caught my first fish, where I first learned to drive a motor boat.  I have lots of good memories of being out there.

MikeAndV That was a Vacation?We left last weekend and started the 11 hour drive out to the lake.  Because we’re not sadists, we decided not to do the whole drive in one day.  Maybe we should have though.  Within an hour of being on the road, both Vista, and Bil’s son, Mike were sound asleep in the back of the car.  We stopped over night at the Best Western in Sicamous.  A very nice, clean hotel and, much to the delight of of the kids, it had a pool and hot tub.  Unfortuantely the resturaunts in Sicamous left something to be desired (meaning there’s not a decent one in the whole town).

We got up bright and early on Day 2 (thanks to Vista and her urge to wake up at 5am).  Just as we started bringing the suitcases back down to the truck when I looked at Bil.  “Did you unplug the cooler from the truck last night?”  “Shit.  No did you?”  Yeah…we drained the truck battery.  *headslap*   Thanks to roadside, they had our truck boosted before we even finished bring all the stuff down to the truck (why is it, once you have kids, you luggage quadruples?  More bags, toys, clothes, teddy bears, play pens and the list goes on and on and on)

VinLake That was a Vacation?We pulled into the campsite just before dinner.  We decided to stay in a cabin, rather than tenting it again this year, just for ease in dealing with a two year old.  Next year, we’ll be back to the tent, though.  Vista immediately made a beeline for the “big water”.  She spent most of the vacation there, throwing rocks in or wading and splashing.  She was in heaven.  She got quite the kick out of all the little minnows that would swim up nibble on her toes too.  I was surprised how good she was.  She was careful not to wade past a certain point unless one of us was holding her hand.  And she never wandered down to the lake without an adult.  She wasn’t however crazy about wearing her life jacket.  We’ll have to work on that. (BTW, if anyone’s looking for a very nice, barely used pink and purple life jacket, sized 20 – 30lbs let me know)

My cousin had brought her kids out for the week, so her son Richard and Mike buddied up and spent the whole week paling around which worked out great.  They decided to sleep out in a tent, which meant we weren’t tripping over a 16yr old in our tiny cabin (win!).  They spent most of the week charming the local kids and hanging out on the dock which kept them busy and out of trouble.  I may have laughed at him, though, for falling asleep on the dock one day and getting a nice sun burn.

Our first ‘crisis’ of the trip came when we discovered Vista’s DVD collection was missing.  While this might not be a big deal to other kids, when you have a child who is a creature of habit it was a major hitch.  Bil searched the truck.  I searched the truck.  My mom even came over and searched the truck.  No sign of them.  I finally resorted to downloading some episodes from Vista’s favorite shows onto my iTouch.  We did end up finding the DVD case eventually on the way home (somehow the had become wedged down bewteen the seats where we couldn’t see it).  We will now be backing up ALL the DVD’s, just in case.

Our real thrill though was getting capsized in the middle of the lake.  Yeah… as in falling out of a boat.  Vista had been asking to go for a boat ride, so my Dad grabbed a canoe and decided we would take her out for a ride.  I insisted Bil come with us, though and hold onto her in the boat.  I’m glad I did.  We had paddled around the lake, visited the loons (the birds, not the locals), and were headed back in when we encountered an asswipe driving a motorboat, who looked like he should be in an episode of Magnum P.I.  The Tom Selleck wannabe sped by us way too close going way too fast.  It was like slow motion as we realized there was no way we had time to swing the canoe around to face the wake.  The first wave rocked us as we continued to try in vain to get the canoe turned.  The second wave hit and then all you heard was a chorus of “Oh shit” as the canoe tipped and sent us all flying into the water.  Luckily Bil didn’t lose his grip on Vista (despite banging his arm on the canoe hard enough to leave a pretty good bruise).  And luckily we were all wearing life jackets.  The canoe was completely swamped, so we had to swim in.  Bil handed Vista to me and helped Dad drag the canoe back to shore.  The jerk in the boat?  Never even stopped to help.  People from shore saw what happened and ran for help.  I have to give huge props to my mom.  She hates lakes.  I mean hates as in refuses to even wade or get her feet wet.  And this lake starts getting weedy  about 10 feet out.  Another thing she can’t stand.  But when she saw I was starting to get hung up on the weeds while trying to tow Vista in she and another bystander ran into the water fully clothed and helped us in.

Luckily everyone was OK.  Vista was a little tramitized by the event.  She spent the next few days saying “I fall in water” and getting upset.  She refused to go down and play in the lake.  We decided we had to get her back in a boat and show her it was OK.  We didn’t want to use the canoe and risk it going over again, so my dad’s cousin brought thier pontoon boat over.  Vista was most unhappy about this at first, but once she realized it was OK and we weren’t going ‘swimming’ again, she settled into it.  By the time we got back she was feeling up to playing in the water again, so yay.

It wasn’t nearly as relaxing as I was hoping it would be.  Vista was fairly clingy (especailly after the dip in the lake), and so our plans of leaving her with my parents for the day and taking off on our own for a few hours went out the window.

All and all, though, we did have a good time.  It was nice to have Mike join us this year.  He was wonderful with Vista and very helpful in keeping an eye on her.  Now to start planning next years trip.

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