Tatlayoko and Bella Coola

While Daniel and Anja were still with me, we made the usual trips to Tatlayoko and Bella Coola. The trip to Tatlayoko was on a hot, windless day. The lake looked gorgeous.

tatlayoko lake

But what a shock when we got there. The camp ground was overflowing with people! I have rarely seen another person there, but due to the covid, the out-of-works who could not travel outside the province were flocking to any campground they could find. (These were the only tenters, by the way. The rest were in mega camper vans.). I am so used to having nature to myself that it was almost an front. But no doubt the campers considered themselves fortunate to be there.

Tatlayoko0 rec site

Daniel and Anja were not all that experienced in a canoe, so the calm water was a boon for them.

launching canoe in tatlayoko lake

And off up the lake they went.

paddling up tatlayoko lake
on Tatlayoko Lake

Dodging all the other people, I still found lots to see along the shore. The water is so clear.

clear waters of tatlayoko lake

In the pond near the boat launch, a solitary sandpiper checked around for food. (The white bits floating around are willow fluff).

solitary sandpiper, tatlayoko

A few days later, we visited the Bella Coola Valley.

Bella coola valley

At Heckman Pass at the top of the Bella Coola Hill was a barrage of signs.

The top of Bella Coola Hill

At the bottom was a barrier.

covid barrier bella coola hill

I explained that I came from Kleena Kleena and my companions had been with me more than two weeks, and we had no trouble getting through. There have in fact been 4 covid cases in the Bella Coola valley, and two in Nimpo Lake. But all were isolated at once and had no repercussions. We had a special reason to go down into the valley – picking blueberries.

blueberries in the Bella coola valley

We visited the usual places – the rainy summer and recent hot weather ensured that the waterfall was particularly splendid.

waterfall bella coola

After five weeks with me, Daniel and Anja left for the next part of their adventure. They would be driving back to Montreal, where they had started their journey in November 2019.

The Tatla Lake Farmers’ Markets were deemed essential services. They are the only social events we’ve had this year. Hand sanitizer was everywhere and social distancing was encouraged (tell that to the kids!) but we really feel very safe here.

tatla Lake market

August was winding down. The hummingbirds usually leave by the middle of the month, but they hung around a bit later this year. However, there were very few.

rufous hummingbird

In winter the birds always drop a few sunflower seeds from their feeders, and they grow. I had three beautiful plants this rear. But the packrats started to run around the buildings looking for a winter home and one morning I got up to find that two our of the plants had been totally stripped.

packrat damage

Some cyclists came to stay.

cyclists from Bella Coola

I have known Paul and Jan, on the right, for many years. They are very experienced round-the-world long-distant cyclists. Like so many people, they and friends had far away plans but had to be content with BC. They started in Vancouver, spent time on Vancouver Island, then caught the two ferries to Bella Coola. (A very limited service this year.) To get to me they rode up the famous Bella Coola Hill. They had shipped boxes of food to me. They planned to head south to Nemiah and then over a tough mountain trail to Goldbridge. Paul blogs about their trips – I was hoping he would have this one posted by now but I guess like me he didn’t quite get round to it!

They stayed a couple of days and of course I put them to work. I have been clearing branches from trees that obstruct the pond, partly for fire-smarting, but also to give me a better view of what the birds are doing. This picture taken by Paul. (That’s me up the ladder.)

clearing branches

Now the pond is twice as big! Previously, my view was only to the right of the little aspen in the middle.

pond

Now I can see the light on that pretty tree in new ways.

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