Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Campervan: Day 7 - Johnston Lake - Invermere

Johnstone Lake

In the morning we finally got to see what Johnston Lake looked like in the sunshine. It was a great little spot - especially since it was a free campsite- but we looked all around the lake and didn't see any turtles!

The Lassier hot springs were a fifteen minute drive away along the highway and then up a spiralling dirt track. These hot springs are the only non-commercial springs in the area but I already knew they were going to be nothing like Tofino! We started by just washing a bunch of our clothes in the river next to the springs and getting some strange looks from the few visitors. Reports were coming back that the pools were uncomfortably hot - they were not wrong. I could barely dip my foot in while Gabby could completely immerse herself - completely opposite situation from the plunge pool and proof heat tolerance is real! I attempted to make toad in the hole for lunch but just ended up with a bunch of raw sausages and scrambled pancakes. I know a poor craftsman blames his tools but that metal frying pan was never going to cooperate!

Apparently I took no photos of Lassier or Twin Lakes...?
After 'lunch' we headed to the Twin Lakes to do some cliff jumping. The directions this time were rather vague and we found ourselves heading on a road up to a mine dodging several logging trucks. We got the feeling we were in the wrong place and would get in trouble as trespassing is a big deal here so we hurried back down again and resorted to our ever faithful gas stations. It turned out we were indeed on the right road but the mine doesn't like people going there while the mine is open. Luckily we were 15 minutes away from closing time.

We drove back up and saw a pick-up truck parked next to a trail littered with beer cans and assumed we must be at the right stop. We met two women with their dog, they wished us good luck for even being able to attempt getting in the water as it was so cold. Twin lakes are made of one shallow lake next to an essentially bottomless lake surrounded by cliffs that conveniently increased in height by 10m - natural diving boards. There was also a rope swing but that was pretty out of bounds for anyone under 6ft.

The hardest thing about cliff jumping is actually jumping off - it is the most unnatural thing ever. The free-falling is also part-shitting yourself and part-adrenaline rush. Then there is hitting the water - you have to makes sure you are like a nail with toes sharp otherwise it's going to hurt. Or like me you will start with a headache and then lose your hearing as you'd got a substantial amount of water in your ears. Gabby's dive was absolutely hilarious- okay she isn't good with heights- as she was hyperventilating from the cold and laughing at the same time creating one of the strangest noises I have ever heard.

The cold was much worse out of the water and so we headed back to the campervan and the pressure in my ear was building up so much I spent the rest of the evening horizontal with my ear against a pillow in a desperate attempt to get any water out. I just moved from bed to bed with a weird tension headache like I had been clenching my jaw for hours. I missed out on dinner and fell asleep in my clothes to save myself from the pain of water trickling back into my ear. I have no idea what the campsite looked like that evening, all I know is that is was the site of a Kayak Rental company in Invermere...

Mountains added for scale. 

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