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Sunday 10 April 2016

A picnic on Alouette Lake

The phone rang on Saturday and it was our friend Stuart inviting us to a day on Alouette Lake. Being the spontaneous people that we are we immediately accepted and were asked to bring a salad, Stuart and Cindy would handle the rest. Gotta love that. We decided to make a potato salad and got to work on that right away. Later in the evening I set the alarm for 07:15 to be sure that we would arrive at our planned 09:30 meeting at the Pitt Meadows airport where Stuart has a hangar for all his toys. We were there fifteen minutes early and had a little walk about the airport. Nice place with some interesting businesses in operation including a restaurant that serves over 35 different sandwiches. Soon enough Stuart and Cindy drove into view with their boat in tow. We transferred our stuff into their car and got on the road. It was a chilly morning and overcast, but that does not deter us fun seekers.

Getting the boat ready for launch
Cindy all bundled up

Just a 20 minute drive away we entered Golden Ears Park. It has three campgrounds, a day use area for picnics and a boat launch. This park is very popular with the population of the lower mainland and is booked way in advance, however a lot of campsites cannot be reserved so you can get a spot for the weekend if you are lucky.

The boat safe in deep water
Gatherers finding firewood
Getting warmed up
Toasty now

We got the boat into the water after waiting our turn and headed down the lake for the 20 minute ride to our picnic destination. It's always a bit colder when going at speed across the water, but we were all properly bundled up. In addition to the campgrounds there are also primitive sites up the lake where the camping is free. All you need is a boat to take you there. Stuart and Cindy have extensive experience with this sort of camping and took us to one of their favourite spots along the water's edge halfway up the lake. When we arrived at our beach, Stuart and I saw to the safe mooring of the boat while Cindy and Shelagh wasted no time finding firewood. By the time we were ready to join them collecting wood, they had already started the fire with small sticks and twigs and soon we were toasting our butts around the blaze. As the day grew older the clouds burned off and the sun started warming the air, it was becoming a beautiful day! Time for lunch and some vino.

Stuart set up his camping barbecue and got it hot for the chicken burgers. We added our potato salad and lunch was ready. By now the sun was shining and it was considerably warmer on our private beach. Astounding really, we are only just in April, enjoying a picnic on the beach! Global warming is not a good thing but it seems to benefit us here in the lower mainland...

Chicken burgers on the Barbie
That's a good lookin' burger Stuart!
A young couple building their nest
Sunshine and the sweaters come off
We sure live among some real beauty

Some comfy lazy hours followed and then it was time to pack everything up and head back to reality. All of us are quite organized by nature and it did not take long to get the boat loaded up for the return trip to the launch site. The return trip was warmer in the sunshine and it was nice to see that many other people were also out there enjoying themselves. I think that spring and summer will be full of good times this year. Back at the launch, Stuart went to get the car while we held on to the boat and watched other people haul out their toys and made small talk. Then back to the hangar to park the boat and say goodbye to our friends. What a wonderful day and hopefully the first of many this season. Thank you Stuart and Cindy!