Kayaking Beneath the Kootenay Rockies in Revelstoke, BC

As my Moose Network group made our way through interior British Columbia, we stopped in a tiny town called Revelstoke. I can’t help but let my imagination run wild with that name. “Stoke” is a popular word used in our Matador Network daily email threads when we receive positive feedback on something, and when something is deserving of praise (check out senior editor David Miller’s Stoke Land). Revelstoke is apparently filled with stoke.

Situated around the Kootenay Rockies, Revelstoke is also home to the powerful Columbia River where the group and I spent a few hours kayaking with a family business named Natural Escapes. A mom-and-daughter duo greeted us along the river’s edge where the water reflected the sky with barely a ripple.

Natural Escapes’ fleet of kayaks are all handcrafted with wood. It took 120 hours of dedicated work to create each vessel, and each one is adorned with a personalized Nordic theme. Mine was named the Alfheim, “Elf house.” I wanted to paddle in the Viking Princess but the guides merely smiled at me. I felt like I was being subjected to Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat.

I hadn’t kayaked in a single-person canoe before, and I was ill at ease for the first few minutes. After a quick lesson, we all paddled happily around the river beneath the backdrop of the mountains obscured by clouds. The day was perfect, with hardly a breath of wind, and lazy turtles sunned themselves on logs around the river’s edge. Not a sign of movement came from the beaver’s den hidden under the branches of trees hanging into the river. I paused to watch a Great Blue Heron strutting around the marshland when suddenly a deer crossed the expanse of river with a few quick bounds. My video camera, tucked into my lifejacket in hopes of recording something spectacular, only captured my screams of glee.

Look how cool Corby and I are!

Really, I prefer destroying a perfectly idyllic moment as often as possible, especially with harsh cries of “DID YOU SEE THAT DEER?!” Try it when you’re in a car sometime.

By the time I got the hang of paddling to and fro, it was time to head back for our lunches. Instead, I kept darting back and forth between the dock and the opposite side of the river, manoeuvring Alfheim with all the arrogance of someone with two hours of kayaking experience, and avoiding land until eventually my Moose guide shook her fist and mouthed “stop being an asshole” at me. Alas, I could have spent much longer on that water.

Time to start whittling my own kayak.

  • August 08 2011

    Your pictures are amazing! Looks like a fun time ;)

  • August 08 2011

    that sounds amazing. and i totally get ridiculously squeely over wild life as well. and now that i live in St John’s, when I’m back in ottawa I get excited when I see squirrels!

    ..and now i really want to go kayaking again :(

    • August 10 2011

      Especially TURTLES! Ahhhh, turtles!

  • August 09 2011

    We had a two month housesit right near there last fall. Lovvveeedddd it!! If we live back in Canada (ever) it will be in that area, I am sure. Kayaking on the Columbia is awesome.

    • August 10 2011

      Hey, what happened to Newfoundland?! ;)

  • August 09 2011

    If I was a construct-o-kayak master I’d spend years making the biggest, most elaborate looking vessel the world had ever seen. Under the guise of trying to impress with my kayak making skills. Real secret motivation… a boat that’s to heavy to get into water = one happy ill-floating / land loving lumber jack!
    :)

    • August 10 2011

      Hey, I think that’s a noble dream!

  • August 09 2011

    Wow looks like a great time! :)

  • August 11 2011

    With a kayak like Elf house, you were merely doing it justice by being an asshole.

    I mean, what kind of Elf house do you know that conforms to lunch hour norms!?

    A lousy Elfhouse, that’s who.

    • August 12 2011

      Agreed! Aren’t Elfhouses supposed to be magical and unconventional?! *shakes fist*

  • August 11 2011

    Beautiful scenery. I could just kick back a take a little nap floating along. I just need to find someone to paddle for me…

    • August 12 2011

      I think you’d be quite safe on that river! :) Unless you ran into a grizzly…it happens.

  • August 15 2011

    And I need to have a house there too!

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