I look out the window from my bed to be greeted with dew coating the panes of glass and dark foggy skies. It’s mid-July, but I swear it could be October. In the dark I pull on my wool socks and rain jacket and head out the door all the while trying to wake myself up. I’m using a tremendous amount of effort to avoid spilling my tea.

Late last night when we spoke about canoeing at Buntzen Lake it seemed like a fantastic idea. I’ve been looking forward to a day spent at the lake in the sunshine with some good friends for quite some time. Now, driving down the highway at 7 a.m. with heavy rain sprinkling on the windshield, I realize that my desired day at the lake won’t be fulfilled today and can’t help but feel a little disappointed as we drive.

Fortunately, my negative thoughts disperse when we take a quick detour to White Pine beach at Sasamat Lake, just 15 minutes from Buntzen. Apart from a few dogs and their owners going for their morning walks, the beach is quiet and the water is calm. There’s a trail through the trees to the left of the beach that we follow around the lake, stopping every so often to snap photos of the heavy branches and green water. About 20 minutes in we arrive at a bridge which carries us to the other side of the lake.

Connected to the bridge are small docks jutting out into the water, sat upon by dedicated fishermen with their bait buckets and flannel jackets. The quiet scene seems to be disturbed by our presence so we keep walking, attempting to hush our voices and muffle our footsteps as much as possible.Once we make our way back to the beach, the three of us head to the truck and are soon on our way again.

We arrive at Buntzen lake and begin the arduous process of taking the canoe off the truck; not an easy task for one person who’s five-foot-two, one person with a hurt shoulder and the last getting annoyed at the incompetency of the other two. When we finally have the canoe down and in the water we grab our life jackets, a couple of snacks and are ready for smooth sailing.

As we slowly paddle through the placid water, a certain tranquility washes over us. The surrounding mountains loom overhead with mist rising from the treetops and the clouds suspended in the air are starting to burn away from the sun. As we drift I feel my skin becoming damp from the morning fog and the cool water droplets being splashed in by the paddles, but my body feels warm.

I’m not sure if the warmth is radiating from my burning muscles as I paddle, or simply from how content I feel to be surrounded by my friends in this captivating setting. Either or, my mind is at ease and my heart feels full. We continue to paddle farther and farther away from the beach and when I turn around the dock appears to have been swallowed by the fog. We’re floating in the middle of the lake, surrounded solely by water, flora and the sound of our voices.

Looking through the lens of my camera I feel as though it’s impossible to take a bad photograph here. The colours are subdued yet crisp, and the backdrop of the water and mountains act as the perfect canvas. The camera shutter seems to carry over the water, echoing back to us as if a reminder to take photos, but to leave everything as is. Something we should all keep in mind when venturing out into the natural world.

We finally decide to head back when we hear the splashing of people jumping off the dock. Although it’s an overcast day that feels like it could be the middle of fall, I can’t deny the sounds of summer when I hear screams of delight and the splashing of water. With my feet back on solid ground, I slowly walk away from the dock with paddles in hand and a smile on my face.

Although the weather may not be what I initially had hoped for, there’s nothing I would change. From the fishermen on the dock in the morning, to the icy water splashing in the canoe, everything felt right. It’s not everyday that one gets to spend a quiet morning drifting in a canoe in the middle of Buntzen Lake.