Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Exploring Marble Canyon

There aren't too many things I enjoy more than camping with friends. Every year we have our annual camping trip with the Klassens and the Veers and every year we choose somewhere new to explore. This year we chose Marble Canyon.

Marble Canyon has always intrigued me...from the incredible limestone cliffs to the ancient rock paintings to the three beautiful lakes in the canyon...we just had to take some time to check it out. We were not disappointed.

(click on the balloon for captions)

Our first evening there we were just in awe of the cliffs all around us. The turquoise lakes were incredible and we knew there were caches in the area just waiting for us to find.

The next morning we hit the ground running. The boys decided to go fishing (big surprise) while the girls and I decided to go pictographing and geocaching. Imagine our excitement when we realized that the first cache we decided to find was called "Ancient Art." We anticipated a find near some rock paintings and we were right. Wow... they never cease to amaze me....oh, and we found the cache too! My two favourite things together in one place! What could be better? We continued caching all the way to Lillooet and Seton Lake. The caches in the town of Lillooet are so well done, most of them teaching a history lesson or some geography. We learned about the Hanging Tree, Judge Begbie, the Bridge of 23 Camels and Chinese Rock Pilings. It was a great day for caching. Meanwhile our guys had a great day too, catching some awesome fish and anxious for more "lake time" the next day!

On our 2nd day we decided to hike around the two smaller lakes by our campsite: Crown and Turquoise. Turquoise Lake was an easy walk but when we started around Crown Lake we got a little more than we bargained for. High above the lake on a little goat trail was somewhat disconcerting to say the least but we perservered. We knew that we were heading towards a waterfall, where they do 'ice-climbing' in the winter, but we weren't sure if we were on the right trail. Little by little we heard the unmistakable sounds of rushing water. As we went up a little side trail and through the forest we were shocked to see the forest floor strewn with massive ice boulders! Broken off as the waterfall melts, they reminded us of the power of nature and that just maybe we shouldn't linger too long! We took our photos and marvelled at how cold it was there under the half frozen falls...even though everywhere else it was 20 degrees and sunny. It was awesome and well worth the hike.

Late that afternoon we decided to take some photos of the marmots that lived in the cliffs across from our campsite. The sun was setting and the lighting was perfect. While we were watching them perform unbelievable feats of climbing Joan said to me, "Am I crazy or does that look like a pictograph." Sure enough, just below the crevasse where a marmot had hidden was a painting! Not recorded in any documents that I've read, we were pretty excited about our unexpected discovery!

All too soon it was time to go home. Tony & I decided to take the scenic route and went home on Highway 12. It sure was scenic too...we saw an amazing herd of Bighorn Sheep and one more set of paintings that we hadn't yet seen.

And that was our trip to Marble Canyon. We're definitely going back!