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Revelstoke’s (Natural) Sweet Escape

Picture the perfect summer morning: the hot sun is already peeking over the mountain peaks, not a cloud in the sky, the smell of coffee is wafting up to your bedroom, and an adventure awaits you. That is how my morning started this Tuesday, at precisely 7:00am. I had just enough time to put shorts and a T-shirt on, eat a bowl of yogurt, pull on some running shoes, and grab my backpack, before my co-worker Courtney, drove her car up in front of my house. In minutes we were on our way to our kayaking adventure (with the tunes bumping and all the windows rolled down, of course).


When we arrived at the 6 Mile boat launch and our group had gathered, our guide Terry, greeted us with a pleasant smile and a few well-timed classic jokes. He proudly presented four beautiful custom-made wooden kayaks that he had crafted himself. Terry has been sharing Revelstoke’s beautiful, pristine natural environment with visitors and locals alike for over 14 years. He is an expert kayaker and as he explains the tour route with us, you can tell how passionate he is about what he does. Terry proceeds to give us a detailed run-down on kayak safety and the tips and tricks of kayaking. Being a retired teacher, Terry is great at giving simple and easy to understand instructions. Whether you are a beginner kayaker or a seasoned expert, you can learn something from him.

After all of us had put on our life jackets, we were ready to head down to the water. The Columbia River was completely calm. It reflected the sky perfectly on its mirror-like surface. One by one, we got in our kayaks and glided out onto the glassy waters. We took a few minutes to practice the different kayaking paddling techniques we had just learned and Terry gave us pointers on how we could improve. Once each of us felt comfortable paddling, we headed off. Terry is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the local mountain ranges and shoreline. As we paddled along we were awed by the spectacular glacier and mountain views. Terry took the time to snap a few pictures of us in action. On each trip he makes sure to bring his camera along to save the memory of the trip for participants.


Before long we turned around a bend in the river and ‘rafted up’. This means that we clustered our kayaks close together so we could receive instructions more easily and such. Terry explained that at this spot in the river we would be able to hear surround sound echoes! He queued us to all shout “hello!” at once. There was a pause and then we heard our voices reverberated 4 times around us. Terry told us that the sound actually bounces off the trees on the shoreline! Being interested in echoes, Terry knows yodels from several different countries like Switzerland and Australia.


Kayaking takes up a surprising amount of energy. But Terry had it covered. Not only does Terry make his own kayaks, he also makes his own granola bars! While we are rafted up, he gave us some of his own homemade granola bars to help restore our energy. The granola was packed with delicious and healthy ingredients. They were truly the perfect snack for our journey.

On the way back we ran into quite the surprise! On the shoreline we heard the angry calls of a duck as a bald eagle swooped down in search of breakfast. The duck was having none of it though, protecting her babies. Eventually the eagle gave up and went in search of another animal to pester. Soon after, we heard another bird call. However this one was far more haunting. The beautiful lament of a pair of loons echoed over the water. The valley of the Columbia River is probably one of the best amphitheatres around.


When we arrived back to shore we carried the kayaks back up to Terry’s vehicle and loaded them onto the kayak-specific trailer. It was an incredible experience and left me wanting to kayak more, or at least try out another of the Natural Escapes tours! Terry’s tours go all over the Columbia River and up Lake Revelstoke. You can see everything from mountain rain-forests, to glacier views, to spectacular waterfalls! He also offers kayaking lessons, kayak rentals, and over-night kayaking excursions. It is safe to say that Terry’s kayaking tours are truly a natural escape.

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