In the previous post I mentioned being away for a couple of days during the yurt’s construction. It was because the first housewarming party guests arrived – 5 days earlier than the main date – but they could not stay very long. We wanted to hire a drift boat to take us down the Atnarko river to watch for bears.
It was sunny when we left home, but the forecast was not good and we could see clouds draped around the mountains.
Cloud shadows over the burnt forests below the rainbows were dramatic.Snow lay beside the road at Heckman Pass but was melted on the road.
Then down the Bella Coola Hill we went. Our first stop was at the Belarko bear viewing platform.All we saw was a sow named Cocoa and her 2-year cub. Both were at a good distance so I got only a fuzzy picture.Next we drove further down the valley and visited the petroglyphs.A sheen of dampness added a patina to the carvings.These carvings were almost hidden under a big spruce root. The rock probably had more underneath the tree.
It started to rain while we walked around the big trees.The following morning, we presented ourselves at the Belarko boat launch just upriver from the viewing station. It was pouring rain. Bent Ear, whom I’d seen on my last trip, was slurping up salmon roe.We got zipped into our life jackets,And wriggled ourselves into the raft. (Bent Ear had been feeding just where the river turns to the right – naturally, he wasn’t there when I took this picture.)My three friends all lived in the lower mainland at the coast and were used to the wet. I dressed as best I could, but my two coats and rain pants leaked. The trip was to last 4 hours and I viewed the ordeal with some apprehension. However, the experience was absolutely beautiful.
I’d walked along the shore of much of the route we took over the years. It was wonderful to view it from the river.
A large number of the salmon were now dead (they die when they spawn) so the smell of rotting fish was pretty strong.
Bear tracks decorated the sand bars.We saw no bears, however. Soon our lenses started to fog up.Right at the end of our trip, we finally saw two more bears – Once more Cocoa and her cub.
This would have been a nice shot if….That afternoon, we climbed back up the Bella Coola Hill. It was a sea of sloppy mud! (The fog is in the air this time, not in my camera.)
And at the top we drove back into sunshine.
At home, my road was dry!