My partner Rita and I have just come off an amazing rafting float trip down the Swift River; an historical journey that took us all the way to Cottonwood House Heritage Site, a 30 km drift through a beautiful landscape.
Josh Mackenzie of Cariboo Rivers Fishing had invited us to join him, so with camera in hand, off we all went. Below are a few images that Rita and Iwould like to share with you, to give you an idea for an adventure you too could enjoy. It’s an ideal trip for friends, family or student groups, plus there is the opportunity to visit Cottonwood House and Barkerville.
Before we boarded our raft, we hiked to the Swift River Falls. What a wild sight during spring run-off.
Off we go! The river was easy going; relaxing, enjoyable, and non threatening for those not used to such trips.
The pace of the trip was relaxing, so we had plenty of time to stop, snack, and enjoy the wilderness setting.
Rita enjoys the sunshine!
The unexpected! High water had created a huge log jam. This is what’s wonderful about traveling with an experienced guide. Being totally aware of all possible river hazards, Josh pulled off the river to examine the situation.
As you can see, this was major! No way we were getting through this!
No problem; Josh had come totally prepared with a chainsaw. As the log jam was too big to get through, we opened up an old game trail through the alders. We were now enjoying an adventure!
We all chipped in to help with the short portage. I was busy taking pictures, of course!
Just about there. A piece of cake!
Back on the river, we had a half hour of torrential rain!
Through the rain we see a moose along the shore. Wildlife sightings are common and bird songs can be heard throughout the journey.
Rita enjoying the rain!
Continuing on we arrive at Josh’s family property; our luxury resort for the evening. Wow, what a place to enjoy nature.
But first of all, lets enjoy an exquisitely prepared home cooked meal alongside the beautiful Swift River. Life is good!
After supper I took off to explore the historical surroundings with my camera. This is gold rush country as we are traveling along the famous route to Barkerville where gold was found in the 1880’s.
Next I found an old truck which I always love to photograph. Josh told us his dad learned to drive in this.
Do you think it still runs??
An REO Speed Wagon! What a beauty!
Then I found an old hay rake. Sorry, I know I’m supposed to be photographing a river trip, but I can’t resist making photographs of old farm relics!!
Back at our private resort, Rita and I are escorted to our cabin for the night.
WOW. We certainly never expected anything like this!
Back on the river. Another wonderful day.
This is Josh, our river guide. I’ve heard him called Brad Pitt of the north!
Josh has been running this river all his life and knows it like the back of his hand.
Another break along the river. Time for more stories and laughs. Actually, with Josh along, there is never a time without laughter.
Back on the river. The second day offers a little faster water, but nothing to worry about in these modern inflatables and an experienced river guide.
Enjoying the scenery while keeping an eye out for wildlife.
Also enjoying the shoreline geology. Wonderful patterns.
Eventually we meet Lightening Creek where it joins the Swift River. From here on down to Cottonwood House Heritage Site, we will be traveling on the Cottonwood River.
Just as we approach Cottonwood House, Josh celebrates another safe and exhilarating float trip down the Swift River.
The trip ends here at historical Cottonwood House. Experiencing Cottonwood House gives context to all the gold rush stories Josh has shared along the river. This is the perfect ending to such a trip.
Cottonwood House is just east of Quesnel, B.C. on the Gold Rush Trail to Barkerville Historic Town.
Cottonwood House offers heritage interpretation, accommodation, and food to all those wanting to explore and experience the Cariboo and its rich history.
Cottonwood House is one of the last remaining roadhouses in British Columbia. It was built in the 1860’s to offer accommodation, meals and provisions to miners and travelers on their way to Barkerville.
For more information about visiting Cottonwood House, visit their website.
Cottonwood House also has accommodation for groups. This Swift River float trip is a wonderful way to learn and experience B.C. history. One or two days of adventure on the river followed by a day or two at Cottonwood and Barkerville. It’s hard to beat that.
I wish every student in the province could experience this very historical ‘gold rush’ adventure. Thank you Josh for sharing your local knowledge and trip expertise.
For information about organizing an historical Swift River Float Trip, contact Josh at Cariboo Rivers Fishing.
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