Wilderness cruise on Pitt Lake

Last week I was invited on a boat cruise, literally in my own neighbourhood from the nice folks at Pitt Lake Cruises. Living in Port Coquitlam, just minutes from the Pitt River, I’ve spent a fair bit of time along it’s banks with it’s kilometers of walking/biking trails but have never been on the river itself.

Wilderness cruise on Pitt Lake

Boarding the catamaran Beta Star at the Pitt Meadows Airport float plane dock on a completely miserable, rainy day didn’t deter the group thanks to the covered canopy on the boat. We were all optimistic that the forecast of the rain letting up in the afternoon would happen (it did, for a little bit at least).

Wilderness cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

We then proceeded to loop back around the Fraser River and go along the Pitt River, which is an active waterway with plenty of logging and boating happening all over the place.

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

I’ve never actually seen someone running on logs on the river before, just in those demonstrations on Grouse Mountain:

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

There is no shortage of wildlife to see on the cruise…a good zoom lens with image stablization is highly recommended (I was using a 55-300mm VR lens for most of my photos).

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

I’m kind of glad it wasn’t a pristine sunny day when we went out on the cruise as it wouldn’t have been possible to capture some of the stunning beauty along the shore:

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

The large poles are called ‘dolphins’ and are used to tie down log booms along the river.

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

This quarry was painted red/orange years ago for the episodes of the X-Files that were set in Arizona:

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

Our guide, Ulrich, was always ready to tell us a story about what were were seeing or passing by:

Wilderness cruise on Pitt Lake

like these pictographs on the far side of Pitt Lake:
Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

On our way back to Pitt Meadows, we managed to get the West Coast Express to pose for a photo while we waited for it to pass by so that the bridge could swing open to allow us through:

Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

No word on if this is how the tug boat operators cook their burritos:
Wilderness Cruise on Pitt Lake

It was a lot of fun, despite the rain, to cruise along the river for the day. With full food, bar and washroom facilities onboard, I could get used to being on a boat. I’ve been invited to come back on a more cooperative weather day which I plan to do this summer. They also offer paddlewheel cruises to Fort Langley which sound pretty cool too.

You can see all the photos from the cruise on Flickr. My thanks to the folks at Tourism Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows for the invite!

UPDATE: I forgot to upload the timelapse of part of the trip I shot from the front of the boat…it’s mostly in and around the Pitt River Bridge leg of the trip but it’s kinda fun.

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