Harrison Lake (East): First Live Cougar

On a sunny weekend in early May we left Vancouver with the bikes in the car, going east towards Harrison Lake. We had never been to the Harrison Lake area before, so we were excited to explore a new region. We left our car at the beginning of a logging road and hopped on our bikes. It was a scenic ride almost all the way, and the views of the lakes and mountains behind were amazing.

Views of Harrison Lake

After about six kilometers we passed an impressive waterfall on the side of the road. We rode down to a small campground right on the beach. The campground host was friendly, but when he heard about our plan to continue riding till the end of the road and to camp somewhere there, he warned us about rowdy people who might bother us at night. We kept the warning at the back of our minds, but were still set to go ahead with the plan. We stopped for lunch on the beach at a very picturesque spot. The lake, the snowy mountains behind and a tilted tree made it into a small paradise. The sun of early spring was soft, and a short nap was in place. Luckily, there was a log on the beach, perfect for an afternoon nap. Then we continued riding.

Taking nap in the sun

Every now and then an ATV or a Delica would pass us by, but we saw no other cyclists. Most of the vehicles were on the way to “Clear Creek Hot Spring”, so after that turnoff we didn’t see many people. We rode through a logging camp where huge logs were everywhere and continued riding till the end of the road, at another disused logging camp. It didn’t seem like an attractive place to spend the night so we rode back a few kilometers and camped right by “Big Silver Creek”. It was an ideal place for camping and we had our dinner by the river. Just as we finished eating we noticed some suspicious movement on the bridge. When we looked closer we noticed a tail and then a cougar crossing the bridge leisurely. Luckily, I was not yet aware of the dangers of cougars and was quite relaxed about it. Gili was a bit more concerned and warned me to be careful when I went to pee, but nonetheless he was very happy for the rare opportunity to see a cougar.

It took us a while to hang our food from a tree, since it was the first trip that season that we had to worry about bears again. No rowdy people disturbed us during the night and we woke up to another clear morning. We rode back on the same way we came, ups and downs all the way. We picked up a few interesting things along the way like a Frisbee and a large tarp. Unfortunately, we contributed our share to the pile of junk on the side of the road, when Gili’s hat flew away into the unknown.

Into the mountains

More photos

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