2017 is over. What a wild ride it's been for us at Overland Outfitters! With our first month as a fully operational store coming to a close, we decided to end the year off doing what we love most; Camping!
We didn't really know what the situation was like with snow, and we didn't have a tonne of time, so we cruised through our Backroad Mapbook and found Foley lake, where neither of us had been before. It's relatively close, just off a fork going up to Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and the area is known for some good wheeling in the snow!
I loaded up a tote full of cedar board cut offs from building our store for some nice dry firewood, and we took off midday of New Years eve. Even the drive down highway 1 was beautiful and extraordinary with all of the trees bending over with the weight of a couple inches of ice completely coating everything. It was tempting to just pull over right there to get some pictures with the sun shining through the ice, but we decided to just enjoy it live, and keep it in the memory bank.
Finally we hit the snow when we reached the FSR. We aired down for a bit more float and comfort and headed into the woods! I usually run my tires between 10-15psi when I'm off road, if anybody cares. It turns out that camping out in this area for new years was a decently popular idea with lots of atv's and snowmobiles ripping around and camps set up down the main road. We wanted to try and get a bit further away though, so we made the turn up towards Foley.
On our way up we crossed paths with a Land Rover club coming down from Foley. It was pretty awesome to pull over and watch about 10 or 15 Rovers of all different years and build styles cruising past in the snow. As they passed by, we continued on in their tracks.
About 5 minutes up the road, we came to a fallen tree. Having just received a Silky Pocketboy saw for Christmas, I was amped to try it out for the first time. Man that thing is wicked sharp! It wasn't a big tree, but I was able to cut through it in a few seconds instead of pulling out the chainsaw. Stoked on that one!
From there on we were the first ones up the road in a while, with only some faint, buried tracks in the snow ahead of us. 4lo and onward! We pushed on as far as we could, then doubled back to a little trail heading down to the frozen lake. We were able to get down the steep slick trail and park the truck right by the edge of the water for the night! We set up our Tepui roof top tent, and got a fire going as quick as we could before our fingers became icecubes in the -2C temps.
Tobi, our little puppy was absolutely loving his first camping trip! He loved blasting through the snow, and it was so funny watching him discover so many new things for the first time! We spent the rest of that evening by the fire reminiscing over what a crazy year it's been for us, and looking forward to a new year of adventures.
The night got down to around -5C but we were decently "warm" in our doubled up sleeping bags in the RTT. In the morning we woke up to a sheet of ice coating our tent, and completely frozen boots outside the door. I got up, and thawed everything out in the cab with the heat on full blast for a few minutes before being able to jam my feet into my boots and get the fire started again. We spent a lazy morning eating scrambled eggs and toast by the fire before packing up to go up Mt. Cheam for some snow shoeing.
We drove up the road as far as we could, which was pretty fun in the snow with all of the deep cross ditches and amazing views. We got up to a fork in the road a few Km short of the trail head and started hiking from there. We didn't even make it to the trail head before we realized that we needed to head back, so we found a cool spot to look out from and played with Tobi in the snow for a bit before turning around and hiking back down.
We drove back down, having a lot of fun in the snow before reaching the end of the FSR, airing back up with our compressor, and heading home in 2018! It was great to cross off the last camping trip of 2017 and the first of 2018 in one go, and feel this might become the new tradition for us. We are really excited for the new year and to see what it brings! We hope to see you as you're each travelling on your own adventures and wish everybody a great 2018!!!