Last week, my family and I headed out to the true wild for an adventure.  True wild = no cell reception.  Okay okay, it was more than that!  We went to Murtle Lake for the first time with our children.

Thrifter in the Wild

The last time I went to Murtle Lake was before social media, it’s been that long.  Murtle Lake is a stunning special place accessible only to those willing to tackle the grueling 2.5km portage then paddle for hours to designated camping spots along this majestic lake.  There are no motors; there is no electricity or plumbing.  You filter your water from the lake, pack out your garbage and carry flares for real, in case of emergency, not to mention bear spray.  People are guests to Murtle’s wilderness and everyone who ventures there understands the respect Murtle deserves…  It. Was. Awesome.

Thrifter in the Wild

I’m already suffering from mountain-lake-withdrawal.  Sigh.  I am happy to share some of the sights of this amazing place – though I left my phone behind, I had my camera and couldn’t resist a few selfies – also not a “thing” last time I went.  In fact, I didn’t have a digital camera last time I went!  Times may have changed but Murtle has not.

Murtle Lake is in Well's Gray Provincial Park in BC.
Murtle Lake is in Wells Gray Provincial Park in BC.  There was a fire ban which didn’t seem to bother anyone there, especially after we witnessed the start and swift end of a wildfire over the mountain ridge on the horizon.
This "road" is not for the faint at heart or rental vehicle! (you wouldn't be covered in case of avalanche and what not). This road was shut down one day due to the fire nearby.
This “road” is not for the faint at heart or rental vehicle! (you wouldn’t be covered in case of avalanche and whatnot). We later learned this road was shut down one day due to the fire nearby.
Only at Murtle do you meet a geologist in the parking lot who can captivate your children while you pack the canoe. He snapped our family shot just before we hit the portage.
Only at Murtle do you meet a geologist in the parking lot who can captivate your children while you pack the canoes. He snapped our family shot just before we hit the portage.  And YES my portage OOTD is thrifted, except my hiking boots which are almost 20 years old!  In fact, the kids are decked out in thrifted gear too!
The start of the portage... looks innocent enough. The canoe is on a cart but that sucker is HEAVY and there are hills. And, Mr. Style and I are not exactly the picture of fitness. BUT we survived!
The start of the portage… looks innocent enough. The canoe is on a cart but that sucker is HEAVY and there are hills.  And let’s face it, Mr. Style and I are not exactly the picture of fitness. BUT we survived!
Murtle Lake lagoon, just before we set off for a couple hours of paddling to get to a camping site.
Murtle Lake lagoon, just before we set off for a couple of hours of paddling to get to a camping site.
And we're off! First time in the back of the boat for me which makes me a CAPTAIN thank you very much.
And we’re off! First time in the back of the boat for me which makes me a CAPTAIN thank you very much.
Lagoon views... I was so proud of my excellent 9yo paddling partner!
Lagoon views… I was so proud of my excellent 9yo paddling partner!
See that black thing in the middle. That's a bear CUB. Extra motivation to get the heck out of the lagoon.
See that black thing in the middle?  That’s a bear CUB. Extra motivation to get the heck out of the lagoon.
We spent our first night on Arthur Beach. Pleasing little set up...
We spent our first night on Arthur Beach. Pleasing little set up…
Apres diner Sortilege. Cheers to me not dying so far.
Apres diner Sortilege. Cheers to me not dying so far.
The water was warm and shallow.
Morning swim…
Morning selfie. And here's the thing about wilderness camping - you wear the same clothes as long as possible. When you're neighbours see you the next day, you have that same feeling as when you run into someone you know in McDonald's, then realize you're both doing the same thing.
Morning selfie. And here’s the thing about wilderness camping – you wear the same clothes as long as possible. When your neighbours see you the next day, you have that same feeling as when you run into someone you know at McDonald’s, then realize you’re both doing the same thing.
We packed up and headed further down the West arm of Murtle, stopping at Leo Island for a break.
We packed up and headed further down the West arm of Murtle, stopping at Leo Island for a break.
This kid had a swim break as well and picked me a flower. I'll keep him.
This kid had a swim break as well and picked me a flower.
Next stop, Tropicana Beach!
Next stop, Tropicana Beach!
Seen in the wild, a thrifter and a flask.
Seen in the wild, a thrifter and a flask.
Tropicana had nice sand…  BTW that’s my grey Icebreaker tee – not thrifted but it was PERFECT for this trip, so much so that I browsed their site on the drive home and dreamed of packing all Icebreaker on my next trip.
And good fishing! Say your goodbyes Rainbow Trout.
Tropicana had good fishing!  (for them; I read books)
Trout caviar anyone?
Trout caviar anyone?
Nice to fry you, Rainbow.
Nice to fry you, Rainbow  Trout.
When you get a good catch, you have to eat a fish course with dinner. Them's the rules.
When you get a good catch, you have to eat a fish course with dinner. Them’s the rules.
To pack for this trip, we got free buckets from DQ - perfect canoe size! We packed different bins for different meals and used them as tables.
To pack for this trip, we got free buckets from DQ – perfect canoe size! #reuse We packed different bins for different meals and also used them as tables.
Due to sharpie misfire, this became known as the Snach Box. Insert straight faced smiley.
Due to a sharpie misfire, this became known as the “Snach Box.” Insert straight faced smiley.
August is blueberry season! We were in blueberry heaven!
August is blueberry season! We were in blueberry heaven!
Wild blueberry pancakes with a dollop of sour cream. I can't even.
Wild blueberry pancakes with a dollop of sour cream… I can’t even.
Doing dishes on the beach... #domesticgoddess
Doing dishes on the beach… #domesticgoddess
We went for a 10k round-trip hike to McDougall Falls. Let me tell you the last time I walked that far: probably the last time I went to Murtle Lake in 2003.
We went for a 10k round-trip hike to McDougall Falls. Let me tell you the last time I walked that far: probably the last time I went to Murtle Lake in 2003.  I wore a red scarf in case I expired and needed to signal for rescue.  Not even joking.
Along with blueberries along the trail, I found a lot of mushrooms. Should I eat this, CMC Critic?
Along with blueberries along the trail, I found a lot of mushrooms. Should I eat this, CMS Critic?

Thrifter in the Wild

McDougall Falls was worth every step.

This makes my heart happy.
This makes my heart happy.
While lunching at the Falls, Mr. Style surprised me with a photo from our first trip to Murtle in 1998 taken at the Falls! How every romantic!
While lunching at the Falls, Mr. Style surprised me with a photo from our first trip to Murtle in 1998 taken at that very spot! How romantic!  (I’m glad it’s blurry because then the contrast to now won’t be so shocking.)
Re-creating the shot! Practically exactly the same +/- 17 years.
Re-creating the shot! Practically exactly the same +/- 17 years.
We also found a geocache there – DANG!  To see what we took and what we left, you’ll have to make the trek!
Here's my McDougall Falls OOTD, thrifted of course.
Here’s my McDougall Falls OOTD, thrifted of course.  Floral tee, denim shorts, chambray, red scarf, sunnies.
Glorious sunset after a glorious day.
Glorious sunset after a glorious day.
The next day was our 16th Anniversary. To surprise my hubby, I changed my shirt. #sexy
The next day was our 16th Anniversary. To surprise my hubby, I changed my shirt. #sexy
Unfortunately, right around dinner, it started to cloud over. It ended up raining all night long... We later learned the roads were all closed near Jasper due to rain.
Unfortunately, right around dinner, it started to cloud over. It ended up raining all night long… We later learned the roads were all closed near Jasper due to rain.
So we hit the tent for games and reading. At this point, I'm singing "The Gambler" to my kids who are just looking at my quizically.
So we hit the tent for games and reading. At this point, I’m singing “The Gambler” to my kids who are just looking at me quizzically.
Morning clouds... I will miss you, Tropicana.
Morning clouds…
The rain stopped just long enough for us to pack up our gear and start heading off the lake. My chambray was the champion of this trip and my CK jeggings.
The rain stopped just long enough for us to pack up our gear and start heading off the lake. My chambray was the champion of this trip, and my $3 CK jeggings kept me cozy on the paddle out.  FYI my hat is not thrifted but Sunday Afternoons.
A quick stop on fairy slipper island... the fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the rocks.
A quick stop on Fairyslipper Island where the fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the rocks.
Pulling into the lagoon again, just barely staying ahead of the thundering clouds.
Pulling into the lagoon again, just barely staying ahead of the thundering clouds.
This is the selfie of victory! We left at 9:30, pulled out of the water around 2pm, made the portage back during a torrential downpour and loaded everything back onto the truck, then smiled!
This is the selfie of victory! We left Tropicana at 9:30am, pulled the canoes out of the lagoon around 2pm thanks to a strong tailwind, made the portage back to the parking lot during a torrential downpour and loaded everything back onto the truck… then smiled! #creatingmemorablescenes

My underlying motive for The Spirited Thrifter is tell a story.  Most of the time, the story I share is about thrift shopping, thrifted outfits, style tips for the everyday woman and so on but frankly that’s only a small part of my story (as fashion ought to be).  Hope you enjoyed reading a little about the rest of the story!

 

7 Comments

  1. Suzanne Dennis Reply

    wow! looks like an awesome time – kids will remember this one for ever! cheers for making it out alive!! not kidding

  2. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Nope. However, I am already planning our Alaskan cruise!

  3. The Spirited Thrifter Reply

    The Kitchen Magpie well that does sound pretty good, in a less-bear-more-shower kind of way.

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