Cariboo Recollections
October 04,2006
More Camping and home again

Fall colours are resplendant here as always, with gold birch leaves against the cerulean blue lake backdrop.The camping trips are just a fond memory except for some of the inevitable bumps and bruises acquired in cramped spaces or teetering over rocks to launch the kayaks. The highlight trip this year was staying at the White Saddle Ranch Country Inn at Bluff Lake in the Chilcotin area of central British Columbia. We had five adventure packed days. No we didn't shoot white water rapids, but we did hike the precipitious Pioneer trail which overlooks brooding Bluff lake that is nestled amongst the Coastal Mountains. The day before we arrived in mid September, a first snowfall frosted peakes like White Saddle Mountain. Thankfully most of the snow melted on the lower levels. We had a lovely day at the public campsite at Chilko Lake though the last bit of road to the site is unbelievably bad. This is not the most clever way for the Deparment of Tourism to encourage visitors to this captivating place. There wasn't time to paint but we launched the kayaks in short order. It doesn't take long to inflate them even with a foot pump. For once the lake was glassy calm, I felt as though I was floating in mid-air as I glided over the deep turquoise blue water when you could still see to the bottom. Each time the paddle dipped into the water it seemed that the droplets returning to the lake were azure gems. The colours of the leaves however were just beginning to turn not like the previous year when they were a blatant copper. Also, unlike the previous year, when we watched the antics of a young grizzly splashing about in the shallows between a couple of islands, we saw lots of tracks but just missed a seeing grizzly bear. It's their territory so we pack bear spray and bear bangers just for a precaution. The dog is a good early warning system. She'll chase off black bears but is very quiet with the grizzlies, just stops us from moving. Back at Bluff Lake, we had taken a full load of supplies but did manage to have a couple of sumptuous meals with the Kings and company in their spacious and charming log lodge. The dinner conversations were lively. I always wanted to get to know more about the local ranchers and the rugged existence many still have. We'll be back. Would love to teach a weekend seminar there. We'll see.

Posted by Sybille Muschik at 12:23 0 Comments
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