Totally Golden: Getting out to the lakes

This past weekend many people enjoyed an extra day off from work to celebrate our province.

And, what could be a better way to celebrate than camping out at a lake, surrounded by beautiful mountains and trails?

Taking the drive down to Brisco is an adventure in itself. There are so many places to stop along the way. Did you know that the Twig and Berry General Store in Parson sells the best burgers? Or have you tried the lattes and pie at the Spilli Station Cafe? You won’t want to forget to take a wander across the street to Beeland Market, where you can watch bees making honey right in front of your eyes.

Crossing onto the dirt road across the tracks and river, you best have checked your GPS maps before heading too far. Part of the excitement of this adventure is hoping you score a sweet spot, and telling your friends, “OK, if we’re not here, then we’re here, or there.”

We took off this weekend with our tent and my trusty four-legged pal Jake to Cartwright Lake. In the spring, we set up in a nearly-empty campground, but that was not the case this weekend.

Although it wasn’t as full as we expected for a Friday evening on a long weekend, most of the spots filled up after our arrival. First, we checked one side of the lake, and decided to take a peek at the other, before deciding to set up camp.

We got an amazing spot. It wasn’t directly on the shoreline, but just across the road, with a little beachy area and a tiny dock to set sail from with our floaties. Swimmers beware, we did spot a leach along the shoreline. They gross me out, so I decided to hop on the floatie and push off from the dock as far as possible before taking a plunge.

The lake is very shallow, so no jumping from the docks, and make sure you get out far enough before hopping in. Since it is so shallow, the water was glorious and warm. It might just be the warmest lake I’ve been to in the entire area.

Even when I was swimming far from the dock, I touched the bottom. It’s mucky and unpleasant, so I swam out a little further.

Many of the campsites are big and open along the shoreline. On the other side of the road, smaller sites scatter their way into the back woods. A few outhouses are available, but pack your own toilet paper.

There are tons of little lakes in the area to explore. Cartwright might be my favourite, because it seems to have the most space for camping.

We detoured on the way home to Dunbar and Botts on Sunday, but they were both crowded with people and other dogs.

They would make for great camping areas on a quieter weekend. I’ve heard there is really good fishing in the area as well.

This area is the perfect “Totally Golden” getaway for anyone who wants a relaxing weekend camping, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, or dirt biking. There were plenty of people out with their toys, and everyone was having a respectful and quiet family-friendly camping weekend.

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