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06 December 2009

Horse Lake and Cariboo Bonanza Resort

We arrived at Cariboo Bonanza Resort late afternoon on the 24th of September 2009. We were greeted by Bruno and Dora Sprecher the owners of Cariboo Bonanza Resort (from Switzerland so everything is perfect).  We got a great site #45


right on the lake next to one of the docks. We had supper (Swiss Fondue)



and made it an early night catching up on some blogs, pictures etc. Bunch of pictures at our Picasa Album

25th of September 2009
It is a beautiful morning, the ducks are busy on the shoreline sticking their tails in the air looking for food as the morning fog lifts over Horse Lake. 


Liz starts out with a few loads of laundry in the spot-less facilities. I have some computer download problems, windows movie maker again :( . Life is too short, I decide to rent a boat and go fishing :)  Life is good. 



This lake is full of Kokanee. Kokanee is a land locked Sockeye Salmon. The Kokanee is very similar to the Sockeye except for size and weight. The Kokanee is usually 8-20 inches long, most are in the 9-14 inch range compared to 24-33 inches for a mature Sockeye. They both turn bright red when spawning and have an approximate 4 year life cycle.



I got lots of fishing advice from Bruno who even lent me his rod and reel, Thanks Bruno! He has to be the most knowledgeable person regarding fishing in the Cariboo.

Liz's notes:
Anders rented a boat. I went along in the morning for a tour of the lake and an hour of trolling. Well Anders caught a fish, but I took the camera instead of the net and the critter got away.


I was not popular at that time!



We went in for lunch, and I was not invited back out for afternoon fishing. The weather was absolutely beautiful and warm, t-shirt weather.  I stayed in contact with Anders with our two-way radios, they come in so handy. He caught two Kokanee, around 2 lbs each, give or take. We cooked them for supper the next day.


We enjoyed another beautiful sunset. The ducks visited again, but turned around in disgust, when we did not feed them.

26th of September 2009
Another beautiful morning, however the forecast is for a change in weather. 


We talked to the owners of the resort, Bruno and Dora and they suggested we go and hike to Mahood and Canim Falls. We packed some sandwiches and coffee and we were off.

We drive along Horse Lake to the East on Horse Lake Road, then Mahood Lake Road. We pass Deka, Sulphurous Lake, and Hathaway Lake and continue on gravel roads for about an hour. 


As usual, the locals underestimate the time it takes, or we drive way slower than they do.

We almost miss the sign for Mahood and Canim Falls. It is just before Wells Gray Provincial Park.

We shoulder our back packs, knives, bear bells, and pepper spray. 




After an easy walk of 500-750 meters the Mahood Falls thunder into a deep crevice. 


After about one km the Canim Falls are even more spectacular.


Back at the truck we continue to Mahood Lake campground


Only two parties are camped here. We walk down to the beach and lake and take some pictures.


Anders is in the process of shooting a movie when he gets excited; there is a mother black bear and two cubs on the other side of the beach. 


They take one look at us and run into the forest.

We decide to enjoy the incredible beauty this area has to offer, 


with high hills all around the lake. It looks a bit like a large "Lake Cowichan" on Vancouver Island. 


There are a few cottages, on the south side of the lake. Wells Gray Park comes down on the north side and encompasses the eastern part of Mahood Lake and the western part of Canim Lake. Wells Gray Park and surrounding area was, for some 10,000 years, home primarily to the Simpcw First Nations of the Secwepemc (or Shuswap) Nation. Their semi-nomadic ways of hunting, fishing and gathering had evolved to match the annual rhythms of nature by moving with the seasons and the timing of caribou and salmon migration. 


There are over 50 archaeological sites that have been found in the area, including pictographs on the shores of Mahood Lake, we did not see any of them, but it calls for another trip there. If you have never been to Wells Gray Provincial Park, it is a must. I'm sure you could spend a whole year there and still not see everything. Don't believe me....the park is 540,000 hectares, that's 1,334,369 acres. There are several volcanoes, waterfalls, mineral springs and glaciers within the park boundary. For ease of locating things in the park, it has been divided up into eight areas. Check out Wells Gray Park Info 

We are heading back again and Liz writes: We drive back looking for the turn off for the Canim South Road (one has to understand that road or directional signs are almost non existent in all of the Chilcotin or the Cariboo) The gravel road along Canim lake is very wash-board like, and I have to drive carefully because it is also very curvy. Anders is complaining that he is getting sick!

About half way along Canim Lake we hit pavement :) and the driving improves. Canim Lake is large and very populated. At the east end, close to Wells Gray Park are some very nice farms and farm land. The Canim-Hendrix Road is great, and in no time we reach Hwy 97.  After a quick trip into Williams Lake to exchange an electric heater that did not perform. I drive up and Anders drives back.

Back at the Cariboo Bonanza Resort, Anders start BBQing the Kokanee, and I prepare fresh beans and baked potatoes. Another wonderful day. Check out the video of Anders preparing the Kokanee and yours truly as the camera woman.

Next blog - Kokanee on the BBQ.

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