Friday night is a very special time for me, is the night when I plan which place I am going to visit during the weekend. This time my eyes pointed to Vancouver Island, a place that I like a lot but thanks to rising BC Ferries' fares I cannot visit as often as I want.
This time I decided to visit Tofino, on my way up I did a quick stop on Sproat Lake, located 15 minutes west of Port Alberni.
Sproat Lake is a favoured location for swimming, fishing, waterskiing and, when the wind is up, windsurfing
The park sits beside a sheltered bay overlooking an expansive body of freshwater, with Mount Anderson rising to the south. Many of those who camp here come to take advantage of the triple boat launch and large public marina. In fact, there are twice as many boat slips as campsites.
During the forest fire season, the gigantic Martin Mars water bombers use the lake for their runway as they thunder off to extinguish forest fires. The largest water bombers in the world, these aircraft can scoop up to 27 tons of water off the lake surface.
I walked the short trail leading to the prehistoric petroglyph, K'ak'awin, on the eastern end of the park. Little is known about the age of the petroglyph, who carved it, or why, but you can easily imagine this rock carving depicting mystical marine creatures, perhaps ancient monsters of Sproat Lake.
Unfortunately parth of the peroglyps were underwater. The one on the left may depict a killer whale with a large dorsal fin. The one on the right may depict a mythical creature, part whale-part wolf.
There are nine designs on the petroglyphm mostly sea creatures, the centre one below, may represent Haietlik or Hahektoak, mythical sea serpent like creature with a huge mouth and teeth. This sea monster appears frequently in Pacific Coast art and mythology
Little can be done about the natural erosion caused by fluctuating lake levels, water runoff, plant growth, freezing and thawing. Human interference is speeding up the deterioration of this valuable artifact.
Sproat Lake is named for Gilbert Malcom Sproat, scholar, author, anthropologist, businessman, and avid British Columbian from his arrival in 1860. He co-founded Port Alberni's first sawmill in 1861, was British Columbia's first agent-general in London from 1872 to 1876, served on the Indian Land Commission until 1880, and held several offices in the Kootenays until his retirement in 1889.
Driving distance: 122 km (76.3 miles)