Camping at Pilot Bay

Category: 
Camping

A few weeks back, Kamala and a few of our friends went for a weekend camping trip out at Pilot Bay. Pilot Bay is a small provincial park that is on the main part of Kootenay Lake near the town of Crawford Bay. Kamala and I decided to ride our road bikes out to the park and walk them in the roughly 2km trail to the campsite. Apparently that wasn't quite as easy as planned but ended up being worth the effort.

The ride out to the park was uneventful other than missing our ferry at Balfour. No big deal though, it just gave Kamala more time to rest for the remainder of our mini adventure. That turned out to be a good thing since the trail from the parking lot to the camp site was a little more challenging than the review I had read. From what I had gathered before heading out there I figured that the trail would be an easy fairly flat hike that I thought I should be able to cruise down most of on my cyclocross bike with the trailer. It turns out that was a bad assumption and the trail was a lot of dragging the bike and trailer up and down over small piles of rocks while wearing road shoes. Not much fun. Without the bike and trailer I would agree that the trail is pretty easy though.


Kamala on the Balfour Ferry

 

The camping area is a cool little secluded area. There was one other pair of campers out there with us but they were the only people we saw. After a small amount of confusion how to set up my pile of new camping gear we got our site set up and were ready to start hanging out around the fire and making dinner. We had dinner done and most of the dishes cleaned before the last bit of daylight left us.



Camp all set up for the night

 


The crew around the fire while I was making dinner for Kamala and I and taking photos at the same time.

 


My trusty MSR Dragonfly still cooking at dusk. 

 


Kamala's fire photo while I was doing dishes

 


With dinner all finished up and the campsite cleaned up I was free to enjoy the sun going down and try to do some experimenting with my sweet little Lumix compact camera. I'm stoked to have a small camera that is on par or better than my old SLR in most cases. It also helps when you're in a pretty rad spot to take photos as well though


1/1600sec exposure as the sun started to leave

 

 
25 second exposure with the last minutes of light

 


Creamy water with 25sec exposure and flash fired

 


13sec shot while Shane was telling a story. 

 

After hanging around the campfire for a while we packed it in for the night. It seems that whenever I'm in a tent I get up far earlier than usual and was up by about 4:30 the next morning. Kamala and I decided to wander around and explore a little before the others crawled out of their tents.



Nice sheltered place to anchor a boat for the night

 


Once everybody was awake and breakfast was made it didn't take too long to get packed up and start the trek back along the trail to the parking lot. The walk back seemed like much less pain in the butt than the way in seemed. That probably was mostly because I didn't wear my road shoes that time. All that was left was a quick ride to the ferry, then about an hour on the bikes to get from Balfour back home. It was a quick weekend but very much worth going. I'll definitely be going back to camp at Pilot Bay some time in the future, but most likely won't be riding out there. 


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