The transformation begins when we hop into the vehicle and begin our drive out to one of our favourite places in the world. Following the long windy road, we get closer and my excitement builds as the snowy mountain peaks go in and out of view. I find myself sitting up in my seat and searching for my first glimpse of the lake. I can feel all cares in the world disappear when I finally see it. Buttle Lake it is called. It was named after John Buttle, geologist and botanist from Kew Gardens, London, who discovered the lake and mapped the area in 1865. It is 23 miles long and surrounded by mountain peaks on all sides. It just makes you feel like you are being hugged as you sit from your campsite overlooking the lake.
You would think after making this drive over 50 times in the past 15 years it would feel just like any other drive, but this spot has given so much to our family and friends. We brought our girls camping here when we first moved to the island. We were big boating enthusiasts before our move and once here we turned to the hills for the next stage of adventure in our lives and traded our power boat in for hiking boots and backpacks. We have hiked and explored its shores and found lots of wonderful little gems along the way. Waterfalls and beautiful trails. Wild flowers, Elk, Deer, Bear and Cougar sightings. We have swum in its crystal clear water and kayaked at the bottom of Myra Falls. Our day hikes turned into overnight backpacking to get further and deeper into the wilderness this area offers.
As we grow older and our life has changed, we are empty nesters now and our hikes have turned into multi day backpacking adventures many of which begin at this lake. It is the heart of Strathcona Park and has also captured my heart.