With 4 kids and a handful of pets – it’s easy to confuse which is which – spending time with one’s spouse is easily (and often) relegated to the back burner. Gfor that reason that we decided to make an impromptu escape for some misadventures with Mrs. Adventure.
I think this is the first time we’ve ever actually gone hiking with just the two of us. Our first backpacking trip involved our 1-year-old, and while it was an awesome memory, it involved diapers and baby food and a lot of extra gear. This time we only brought the minimal gear and just relaxed… after a gruelling hike.
Well gruelling for some. I find backpacking to be incredibly therapeutic. The steady progress of one foot after another up hill or down in a wild environment offers many distractions and in this case opportunities to talk, think and just relax.
The lower elevation area of the Monashee mountain range is very similar to the coast – humid and green with wild ginger lining the many streams and creeks.
The abundance of moss and presence of rocks and raised boardwalks (no photo sorry) makes the first 5 km (from the trailhead to Spectrum Lake) slippery in places. In late June we were entertained with plenty of birdsong and chattering squirrels.
Water levels are still high, offering many places to refill your water bottles – and great photo opportunities!
Once you pass Spectrum the trail changes from “Easy” to “Difficult”. This is due to a combination of the 2000+ foot elevation gain and narrow, overgrown trail. At one place we found a rope to help navigate a steep slope down to a creek crossing.
One of the nice things about the crossing is that the trail opens up and offers some great views.
At Little Peter’s lake the trail levels out. There’s still a lot of snow pack that makes the river exiting the lake quite the site. There’s a good bridge crossing as you move on towards Big Peter’s lake – our destination for the day.
This was the new bridge. Check out the video above to see what remained of the wooden crossing.
The trail to Big Peters was buried under snow – 3-4 feet in some places. With GPS and only 1 or 2 distractions we managed to find all the trail markers and get to Big Peters in about an hour.
We navigated the 10 miles (16 km) in about 5 1/2 hours and had the lake to ourselves. Although there was evidence of a few day trippers from Little Peters, no one else spent the night there.
The solitude, sunsets, and views were ours to enjoy.
It was hard to believe at times that we could just relax and that it was just the two of us.
The next day we headed back to the trailhead, happy for the time away, in wonder at the beauty of these remaining wild places and thankful for all the blessing we have.
If you’re ever in the Okanagan, check out the gem that is the Monashees.