I started the day with a wonderful swim in beautiful Purden Lake.
This is one of those sections of the province untouched by logging
and so it felt cooler and less dusty. Huge fir and cedar trees
towered over my campsite the night before and so I slept well.
Maybe too well! Apparently this is the worst forest fire season
in BC recorded history, and the weather continued. A locomotive
engineer later informed me that it got to 94 degrees today, and
the sun was intense. I felt tired from the start.
I had to stop at almost every river to swim
or look for salmon. Amazingly I pedaled 95 miles today through
a hilly but beautiful mountain country; a quarter of this distance
occurred in a 90 minute span really late in the day when the sun had
left the road, when I realized that a wonderful campground I had visited
a decade ago was closed, and I was in need of a flat place to sleep
and a lot of water to re-hydrate.
It amazing, now 2000 miles into the trip, that I am still in salmon
country. This beautiful valley between Prince George and McBride
is headwaters of the Fraser River, one of the major salmon producing
rivers of the world.
Roadside signs in this area ask the public to ‘please protect salmon habitat.’
It always confuses me what natural resource agencies expect
the public to do with such a message…is there some specific
directive here?? Maybe the agencies don’t know the answer themselves.
The irony here…below one of these signs was a perched culvert
seemingly blocking salmon passage to their spawning habitat. About
50 beautiful sockeye salmon swam about in the large culvert scour
pool below the culvert. Wonder if the money for road signs could
instead be put to improving fish passage.