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BC Witchcamp Features
Thoughts on Evans Lake
A look at BCWC's new home
Photos and text by Eleika
Evans Lake camp is set on a mountain, by a lake, in the heart of a wildwood. This was the setting for the 18th BC Witchcamp, and what I am unreservedly overjoyed to say is BCWC's new home.
There is much to be grateful for in this magickal place. The layout of the camp is such that there are but two levels. In the upper section, nine cabins, two bathrooms, and a gathering-hall cluster round a dusty gravel courtyard. This in turn is ringed with trees, for the forest reaches nearly to the cabins themselves. Behind one stretch of cabins is a bright green lawn, where our ever-loved Trailer Park now resides.
Stairs are few, wide, and easy to navigate. The cabins to the west sit on a low ridge, slightly above the courtyard, while the rest are at ground-level. To the east, the stairs descend easily to the Cauldron mess hall, the marketplace and the gathering lawn. From here, the grounds slope gently to the lakeside, so that it is virtually flat between the mess hall and the docks.
The caretaker, Murray, is a grinning, grizzled, beautiful soul. By the end of the week, he felt like he was a part of our community.
This land is one steeped in magick. To the southeast, the vast lawn becomes a beach, where a giant willow tree grows, and log-benches encircle a campfire pit. Then there is the lake itself. The wildwood hugs its waters, holding them close: to reach the canoe and swimming docks, you must pass through the trees. They form such a barrier that, though disco music drifts from the Web gathering hall down to the swim dock, midnight drumming at the latter penetrates neither upwards nor out.
Compared to our old home, the lake is small. You can amble its circumference in the space of half an hour, twenty minutes at a determined clip. Yet this, too, gives the place its own charm. Like a mass of tangled vines, a network of trails weaves in and around the woods and the water. If not careful, you can get lost: the trails mesh with outside ones, leading over mountains and to other lakes in the region. Cliffs overlook the lake on two sides.
Nature awaits at your doorstep, and the creatures are not afraid to make themselves known. Bears roam this land, as I happened to discover personally one solitary evening on the dock. There are owls and sparrows, eagles and nighthawks. Dragonflies are almost as plentiful as mosquitos (and of mosquitos, there were many). The lake and the streams that feed it are full of fish.
If you venture into the woods in the daytime, you can see the magick. Moss covers everything. There are great boulders, fanned ferns, and babbling brooks. This forest is an ancient one, to which at least one eon-old tree testifies. Maples and cedar intermingle: if you look up, chances are you won't see sky. You'll see greenlight, the sunlight filtered through a chlorophyll canopy.
At night, upon the dock, the stars are out in full force. You can fall asleep there, watching the earth turn beneath the Milky Way. Shooting stars are frequent; as each one hits the atmosphere, it flashes across with a streak. In the darkness, the calm lake becomes a mirror, reflecting the night sky back upon itself. Night-time swimming is a pleasure, for the water is much warmer than that of Loon Lake, and gazing into the water is like gazing into a mystical void.
One cannot deny that the place is certainly a summer camp, for the menu and the beds were certainly "camp" style. Nor is the lake a private one, located as it is on Squamish Nation land (though the visitors to the public dock, when they did visit, were always few). Yet these issues were, I felt, overshadowed by what the land offered us. Only a day had gone by during our stay before the atmosphere felt exactly as it had at Loon Lake, as if we'd held camp at Evans Lake every year. The magick was still there. The Green God is everywhere.
Some say that if you lay on the lawn or the dock at night, the woods speak to you. The land has an energy about it of the untamed, a wilder magick than I have ever before encountered. Yet Evans lake, its woods, its spirits seemed willing to accept us there, and, I hope, welcome us back.
You can also telephone Pat at 604-253-7189.
Photos by Eleika
Evans Lake camp, set on a mountain, by a lake, in the heart of a wildwood, was the setting for the 18th BC Witchcamp
A forest path where the Fae often frolic.
Trees gracefully line the way to the lake.
Green light is everywhere in the forest.
The lake and its swimming dock, towards sunset.
A giant willow overlooks the lake's edge.
The sun tries its hardest to creep into the woods.
Photos ©2005 by Eleika/RQ. Please do not copy, reproduce, fold, spindle, mutilate, or otherwise use them without written permission. Thanks!
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