With the pandemic in its second year, I’ve adjusted my travel focus to more local destinations this year. Tofino, Victoria, Sunshine Coast, and the Okanagan were all on the agenda. However, with the crazy heat and fires sweeping across British Columbia, we had to pivot our Okanagan plans to avoid forest fires and smoke.
Reo Rafting wilderness retreat to the rescue. About a three hour drive from Vancouver, I spent the weekend at a beautifully remote wilderness retreat, glamping, rafting, and getting my downward dogs on.
As soon as we pulled into the guest services lodge, we noticed the sound of cascading water that was the Nahatlatch river running down below. That constant sound became the soothing backdrop to our entire weekend.
We showed up with only our weekend duffles and a sense of adventure; the rest was taken care of by Reo. I’m not a camper, but this style of glamping suits me well. The resort has all the conveniences: permanent tents set-up with beds and mattresses for guests who don’t want to pitch their own traditional tent, a dining hall serving delicious meals (steak anyone?), a yoga stage overlooking the river, a hot tub, campfires, hammocks, and even a volleyball court. So cool!
As the name of the resort suggests, rafting is the main event here. We lucked out with the weather, Saturday morning was sunny and the rains the day before meant the water levels were good for rafting. After a hearty breakfast, we headed over to the gear station to get suited up and pepped talked by one of the rafting guides. Our morning session was split into three groups. We had five in our raft and Amy as our rafting guide.
Once everyone was kitted up, we piled onto a retired school bus, driven by a retired school bus driver, and headed up the river where we’d start our rafting session. B and I were placed at the front of the raft, which was excellent for maximum thrills and impact. Amy, reading our group correctly, made sure we took the extra “spicy” route down the river so we got to experience all the drops, swirls, and bumps. At one point the 5th passenger dropped her paddle into the river, throwing an extra challenge into the journey for Amy to retrieve. I also managed to fall in (slide off) the raft, but luckily it was a calm little stretch and A was able to test her rescue skills and pull me back into the raft. SO MUCH FUN!
Aside from rafting, there’s a busy schedule of other activities you can choose to participate in. Yoga, archery, kayaking, paddle-boarding, hiking were the other options. The owner of the resort, Bryan, apparently hosts an annual song-writing retreat. We were even treated to unexpected performances by local singers/song-writers as well as the staff.
What a great weekend getaway into nature.