Tag Archives: Atnarko River

Bella Coola In August

19-big-tree-lichenWhat a contrast Bella Coola is from Perkins Peak. And both are within such easy reach of my house. I live in a truly wonderful area.

We did not go straight to Bella Coola, however. On the way we tried to climb a small range visible from Highway 20 near the top of the Bella Coola Hill. A few years back I noticed a new logging road pointing in that direction, and so we followed it to see if we could get onto the range.1-little-rainbowsWe were encouraged by copious ribbons hanging on the trees that took us into the uncut forest.2-following-ribbons
2a-following-ribbons-2We went up steep little ridges, and dropped down to marshy sloughs.3-sloughsWe crossed one of these on an old beaver dam.4-beaver-damIt was soon obvious that the markers were not for hikers, but for future loggers. We decided the bush beyond the ribbons was too difficult for us to fight through, and we turned back. The little seeps were always beautiful.5-little-poolsSo sad to think that they will soon look like this, choked with rotting cut wood and brown oily water.6-clearcutWe had a fine morning, but already the clouds were piling up when we arrived at the old burn at the top of the Bella Coola Hill.7a-top-of-hill-bestTom and Alexa galloped off up the Rainbows trail and I puttered along to see if anything was still in flower. Most blooms had finished, but the stark burned forest is always fascinating.7b-tree-carcassesThe sign at the trail head, put up after the fire, needs a bit of work ….8-signI found a few asters,9-astersThe red leaves of the diverse-leaved stonecrop,10-stonecropLots of tasty tiny mountain blueberries,11-mt-bluberryParry’s arnica (this species has no ray flowers,)12-parrys-arnicaand two straggling Paintbrushes.13-straggly-paintbrushWe stayed the night at Stuie in the upper part of the Bella Coola Valley, and were entertained by a vivid sunrise on the mountains.14-stuieAbove is Mount Stupendous, and next to it is Melican.15-melican

16-melican-abstractThe sun was still low when we arrived at the Big Cedar Trail further down the Bella Coola Valley.Because the sun was still fairly low, the spotlight effect was fascinating.17-big-tree-spotlight


18a-big-trees-4Some of the trees were “culturally modified.” Which means that the first nations people had harvested strips of bark to make twine among other things. Done properly, the tree is not killed but continues to grow.20-culturally-modified-treesThe real bonus, however, was seen upon our return to our vehicle. Spiders’ webs!21-spiderweb-121a-spiderweb-1aThis one looked like a compact disc.22-spiderweb-2Then I realized it was because the spider was still working on it.23a-spiderweb-3-best23b-doneWaiting for breakfast.24-spider-readyWe were still quite early at the Bella Coola petroglyphs, and the light made the carvings mysterious.25-petroglyphs26-petroglyph-2The forests were surprisingly dry.  Usually Bella Coola has a much wetter climate than Ginty Creek, but this August the climate is reversed.

We visited the totem poles at the school on the reserve.29-totem-pole-2And lunched at the Hydro picnic spot along the inlet.29-picnicNearby was a new sign – very confusing unless you knew it referred to the possibility of a tsunami. Who invents these incomprehensible graphics?31-signOn the way home, the volunteers swam in the Atnarko River.32-alexa-swimmingOur main reason to visit Bella Coola at this time was not to see the sights, however, but to pick up a mysterious package. I had it delivered through Sears – even Williams Lake no longer has a Sears outlet. The only one is now in Bella Coola. As for the contents of the package? I will tell you all about in the next post!