The morning of October 12, Saturday brought us perfect weather conditions for a hike at Paul Lake. Everyone seemed pretty excited about the trip with the weather gods being on our side. The crew met a half hour early before the trip so that we could load all the equipment’s in the trailer and double check everything for the convenience of the students going on the trip.
All the students who were supposed to go on the trip arrived around 9:40 A.M at the gear bay and there was a small meet and greet session where us tour organisers introduced ourselves to the students and we all got to know each other a little bit by sharing our names and knowing about what programmes we were taking in the university. The bus arrived on time at around 9:55 A.M. at parking lot XT after which, we did a quick attendance from the roster and doubled checked everything and left for Paul Lake around 10:05 A.M. The drive to Paul Lake was gorgeous with breathtaking views of the nature and scenery. It took us about 35 minutes to reach our destination i.e. we arrived at Paul lake around 10:40 A.M. When we arrived at Paul Lake it looked so peaceful and empty that it made us feel like that, we booked the provincial park for a private event just for us. All you could hear were the sounds of the nature(Lake, wildlife). Our guide Ameen briefly described us about the wildlife season ( Bears coming down the hill for food before they go into hibernating) for our safety and told us to be always on the lookout for anything dangerous before we went hiking.
It took us about 40 minutes to reach the top of the Gibraltar rock i.e. we made it to the top at 11:40A.M. starting at 11. During the hike we all shared our hiking experiences and stories and our other travel stories and experiences and also were trying to get to know each other by knowing where did they come from , how long have they been in Kamloops and whether are they liking it or not as it was not only an adventure trip but also a socializing event to make new friends. It was wonderful knowing each others background and culture. The hike was totally worth it! After reaching the top of Gibraltar Rock there was a sweet surprise waiting for all of us which was the view! We honestly did not expect it to be this amazing on so many levels! Just the view of the Paul Lake, some beautiful houses and the scenic beach demanded our attention and time so much that we all decided to sit, relax and chill on the top for at least half an hour. Drinking water, eating Granola Bars and just sitting, talking, taking group photos and individual photos for our profile pictures, taking in the amazing views from the top was quality time well spent on a nice weekend.
We decided to hike down to Paul Lake at around 12:15 P.M. for lunch as we figured everyone must be hungry at this point after a glorious hike. We had an assortment of sandwiches and wraps for our student guests which were offered to them according to their preferences and health requirements. We rested for almost an hour on the picnic tables close to the beach recharging and relaxing ourselves, eating our meals and talking. After we had a sufficient break, our guide Ameen introduced all of us to a fun little game which we all could play with the help of paddles of the canoes for about 15 minutes which resulted in being a good warm up exercise and a team building exercise after the rest we had.
After we have had our share of fun it was time to get serious! Ameen taught us the basics of Canoeing by telling us about the movements of our hands in relation to the paddles, all the basic parts of the Canoe boat (Yolk, Gunnel, etc.) and also taught us a little something about(Personal Floatation Devices)PFDs (life jackets).
It was a well planned, clear and briefly detailed lesson for amateurs. He had a lot of useful tips and tricks to add, which made Canoeing so easy for us as first timers, while educating us on balers, whistles and ropes. As soon he was done teaching, we took our Canoes into the water ( Lake).
We were canoeing for about two and half hours straight, practicing basic strokes like forward stroke, backward stroke, The ‘J’ stroke, etc. The most fun part of Canoeing was that we got to canoe under the Gibraltar rock where we just hiked to the top of, earlier during the day! Canoeing was a peaceful experience, hearing the loonies while stroking, encountering a large group of beautiful ducks brought all of us so close to nature. We landed our Canoes to the beach at around 4:00P.M. after a long and tiring but worth-it Canoe session.
We shared our experiences on how we felt after our first ever Canoeing trip! And loaded the gear back to the trailer at around 4:30P.M. Hard working Canoe enthusiasts after two hours of canoeing, obviously calls for a break and some refreshments. We had an assortment of muffins and juices to offer to the guests, while sitting on the picnic table and taking some rest. Fortunately! We had some time to kill! As there was some time left for our bus driver to come. We all spontaneously decided to take a brisk walk along the beach for 10-15 minutes after our refreshments. Believe me when we say this, plans made on the spot our best ones indeed! This was not a part of our itinerary and everyone enjoyed the beautiful walk. The bus arrived at 5:00P.M., we attached the trailer to the bus and left for the gear bay at around 5:15P.M. Meanwhile the guests participated in feedback/suggestions inside the bus during the ride, shared their experience and again enjoyed the views of the drive till we reached the gear bay at 5:50P.M. The crew unloaded all the equipment’s and safely locked it for the gear bay.
Thanks for your Participation!