Our course lies to the right down the Lower Lake. The day is passed amid such scenes on either shore as those which woke our enthusiasm on the Arrow Lakes. We anchor at the Midge Creek-not very far from Kootenay Landing-and here we stay for some days. Behind us are rugged hills of huge rocks hung upon each other in apparent confusion, with spruce and pine trees shooting out from their very crevices. Not far off a mountain torrent rushes down a deep ravine, bringing us the 'treasures of the snow' upon the uplands in crystal waters for our cups. On the other side of the garden. The old man was a prospector. He had come years ago from the state of Wisconsin. Here he lived with only 'his faithful dog to bear him company.' His appearance was picturesque. his hair and beard were so long as to suggest that he might have belonged to the order of Nazarites to whom the shears and razor were instruments foresworn, or else that he had rashly taken a vow in bye-gone years never to cut his hair or shave until Henry Clay was elected president. In any event his presence made it seem that we were not altogether in the wilderness and the bark of his ragged-looking dog was not an unwelcome sound. On the opposite side of the lake rose a tremendous mountain dark with pines, around whose summit we sometimes saw the clouds gather thick and black; then the fierce lightening would leap down and smite the trees or rocks, while the thunders would roll their hoarse shouts of triumph across the lake. But most of the time the mountain was clothed with sunlight.
Our occupations were diverse. The inveterate fishermen would climb the ravine and cast for trout in the stream. Those who preferred less strenuous diversions took to the boats and to trolling. The kodak had its enthusiasts and luckily so, or else these pictures would not be here to 'point a moral or adorn a tale.' down the lake some one had discovered a place where there was a wonderful echo that repeated any word you might shout, three times at lease, and this place proved the object of many a curious visit with the oars. Then there were those among us to whom the climb along the trout stream appeared only as a 'vexation and a weariness of the flesh,' and who did not care to rowl a mile or more down the lake to hear a saucy echo fling back unimportant remarks, but who sat and meditated upon the roof of the houseboat and only moved with the sun. If any of the houseboat party should read this last paragraph they might be tempted to say that the writer had unconsciously lapsed into autobiography.
The days passed all too swiftly, and we had to say farewell at last to the Kootenay and to each other. But if there is a lovelier region anywhere than that fair country, it has yet to be discovered; and if there are nobler spirits, warmer hearts and more royal companions than those with whom we took the journey and lived upon the houseboat, they have yet to be found. To them we dedicate, with kindest remembrance, this fragmentary record of the days we spend together.