August 4 Vancouver arrival - end of Simon Fraser's journey

The last day of this voyageur was from Burnaby's Fraser Foreshore park, down the North arm of the Fraser River, around Point Grey, past Spanish banks, to end at Maritime Museum.

This is a busy part of the river with lots of industry and log booms. A few seals watched the canoes go by.

The paddlers stopped for a break on the beach of Sea Island where the Vancouver International Airport is.

After a 32km total the canoes arrived to end this long journey with a last reenactment arrival at Jericho beach at 4pm.

Though not all the same paddlers started and ended this journey of the reenactment of Simon Fraser's trip from Fort St James to Vancouver, each one added their own individual touches and each took away with them their own memories.

August 3 to Fort Langley Brigade Days reenactment then to Burnaby's Fraser Foreshore Park

This morning the four canoes from Hope paddled the 5km to Mission and joined the rest of the boats in a flotilla for the Brigade Days voyageur reenactment making a total of 9 boats.

Together they paddled to Crescent Island for a stretch break, then, in costume, to Fort Langley for the reenactment arrival to a large crowd and blackpowder salute.

The paddle from Mission to Fort Langley is 26km.

We left the boats on shore, paraded to the fort for welcoming ceremonies then enjoyed a truly voyageur meal of bannock and beans.

Two of the Fort Langley canoes then continued on Simon Fraser's journey down the river, paddling a total today of 64km, to camp at the Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby.

August 2 to Hatzic Rock

Paddled 52km today, stopping at Kilby general store and museum on the way. Arrangements had been made to stay at the Hatzic Rock long house, tenting in their yard. They told stories and drummed

August 1 Hope to Sea Bird Island

Drive 110 km from Fort Langley to Hope and launch the voyageur canoes. There were three Fort Langley Canoe Club boats and the Quesnel paddlers brought their voyaguer canoe for a total of four starting at this point.

On the water about 2pm. This stretch everything is carried in the boats as there are no escort vehicles like on the northern leg of the trip, Fort St James to Alexandria.

Today paddled 34km from Hope to the Stolo band Village on Sea Bird Island, where arrangements had been made to camp for the evening.

July 27 to Alexandria - end of northern leg

We loaded all the gear in the trucks and boats and drove the boats back to Quesnel to launch.

Today we would end this leg of our journey paddling 45km and pulling out at Alexandria as Simon Fraser's crew had done so many years before.

After loading the boats on the trailers we drove the 580km back to Fort Langley. We travelled much faster than Simon Fraser would have done so we got a few days at home before we continue our journey at Hope.

July 26 to Quesnel reenactment

The Quesnel club paddlers had paddled this stretch of river often and told us history and information about the area as we paddled through.

We stopped at the Blackwater River for a break. A few went for a swim while most explored and stretched their legs.

After paddling 81km we arrived at Quesnel, at the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers. There was another large crowd to meet the three voyageur canoes for the reenactment arrival.

After the ceremonies, we loaded the boats on trailers and headed to Lazy Daze campground. The local canoe club prepared us a great BBQ that night and did a historical skit about Simon Fraser. Very entertaining.

July 25 to White's landing

We drove 35km from Prince George to Stoner, bypassing some of the worst of the rapids. This decision was made as we are inexperienced with white water and did not have any locals to help us through this section. The Quesnel paddlers met us in Stoner with their canoe.

After unloading and getting everyone organized, and meeting our new paddling companions, we were on the river again.

We had some fast moving water and did face some rapids again today - Chinamen Rapids, but with the help of the local paddlers who had done this section of the river many times, we had no troubles.

Where we stopped for lunch we saw bear and wolf tracks in the sand.

We paddled a total of 35 km today to camp at White's landing with the permission of the owner. We set up camp and some braved the fast and cold water for a swim.

July 24 Prince George reenactment

Today we had only a short 25 km paddle to the old fort site at Prince George. We had a leisurely morning, get into our voyageur outfits and prepare the flags for the reenactment arrival in Prince George.

We stop for a break along the river and can envision being true voyageurs on the same route 100 years ago as the wilderness surrounds us.

There are large unstable cliffs as we approach Prince George and evidence of the ice jam last winter was easily seen.

A large crowd was at the landing spot below the old Fort in Prince George. We had to haul the boats out here and it was a very tall, steep, bank.

Spectators helped haul the big boats up the bank. The media was there taking shots of us paddling and hauling the boat. We got the boats on level ground and headed to the museum for the ceremonies. After the talks and the food we were on our own.

We had permission to set up camp in the park which we did. Then some headed to the local YMCA to have showers, others went to the museum (which was very good), while others relaxed around the camp, unfortunately no fire allowed tonight.

Peter and his canoe left us here to head back to Vanderhoof. We were down to only our two canoes which we loaded on the trailer to meet paddlers from Quesnel joining us with their canoe tomorrow at Stoner.

July 22 Wilkins Park, Prince George

This morning we awoke to heavy frost. It was cold but when we got on the water the mist rising from the water was amazing. The sun was out so we would soon warm up to enjoy another beautiful, sunny, hot day on the river.

We packed up the two truck that thankfully we had along as support vehicles, as well as two drivers. They were essential to the trip.

We started the day paddling on the calm waters in the mist but today we had several rapids to get through. We had arranged to have a few local paddlers stern our two Fort Langley canoes. They assured us with the high water we would have no difficulty with the Isle Peirre Rapids. Everyone made it through safely with no upsets but some big wide grins and shouts of laughter.

We ended our 72km on the water today at Wilkins Park in Prince George . Permission had been given to stay in the day park area with a great shelter which we put to use as a kitchen and laundry.

Several paddlers enjoyed a swim in the fast, cold river playing with the inflatable raft.

The canoes waited on shore for our adventure to continue tomorrow with the reenactment arrival at the old fort site in Prince George.

July 22 Mandolay, Chinlac, then to Finmore

Up early and down the Stuart River.

We paddled 60 km

to Mandolay ranch where we stopped to look around. Peter gave us some history about the old farm, destroyed by fire many years ago and long since deserted.

We had some excitement at the Chinlac Rapids where one voyageur canoe overturned. Everything turned out fine and it was a great learning experience for all, those in the water and those doing the rescue.

We stopped at Chinlac where we were met and shown the area. The First Nations did a drumming ceremony for us and a naturalist explained what had happened, giving us a tour. It is an important historical site.

After Chinlac we continued down the Stuart to the Nechako River. We turned west, paddling upstream to Finmore ending our 103 km paddle that day.

Some paddlers braved a swim in the very cold Netchako River before a chilly dinner around the campfire.

July 21 down Stuart River to Scott's farm

We were up early on the water. The Stuart River helped us along the way.

We swam at the cliffs where the waterbabies are formed

and rafted the canoes and did some sailing with a large rain poncho.

After 40 km on the river we arrived at Jack Scott's vacant farm, where he allowed us to camp for the evening, even offered the strawberries growing in the garden. We enjoyed another campfire before we went to bed, some in tents and some in the big empty house.

July 20 Paddle from Fort St James to Cromarty's

Packed up the trucks and had our morning meeting for our first reenactment and start of our Simon Fraser journey.

We trailered the boats to Cottonwood Park in Fort St James for the Music Festival Pancake Breakfast, then launched and loaded the three voyageurs, Fort Langley Canoes Club's two plus Peter's.

We were all dressed in our voyageur outfits and were given a blackpowder salute to send us on our way. Finally paddling!

We headed down Stuart Lake into Stuart River, stopping at the ancient, sacred grave site of a Carrier chief.

We paddled only 14 km to Dave Cromarty's farm, on the Stuart River, an easy start to our journey. Dave allowed us to setup our tents in the clearing beside his large log house. He saddled his horses for us to ride up into the meadows and showed up his "water babies" which are unusual shaped pieces clay found along the sides of the river a bit further south. We will look for them tomorrow.

After dinner and a large campfire we went to our tents.

July 19 Drive to Fort St James

We pack up and drive
the last 280km to Fort St James.

We checked out the river and campsites along the way and met Peter Rodseth from Vanderhoof who has done route many times and is joining us for the first part of our journey. He was essential with his knowledge of the river and his many friends who assisted us along the way.

We slept in the old fort buildings but not until after enjoying a wonderful dinner and film of the 1989 Simon Fraser reenactment.