What 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.We were encouraged by copious ribbons hanging on the trees that took us into the uncut forest.
We went up steep little ridges, and dropped down to marshy sloughs.We crossed one of these on an old beaver dam.It 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.So sad to think that they will soon look like this, choked with rotting cut wood and brown oily water.We 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.Tom 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.The sign at the trail head, put up after the fire, needs a bit of work ….I found a few asters,The red leaves of the diverse-leaved stonecrop,Lots of tasty tiny mountain blueberries,Parry’s arnica (this species has no ray flowers,)and two straggling Paintbrushes.We stayed the night at Stuie in the upper part of the Bella Coola Valley, and were entertained by a vivid sunrise on the mountains.Above is Mount Stupendous, and next to it is Melican.
The 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.
Some 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.The real bonus, however, was seen upon our return to our vehicle. Spiders’ webs!This one looked like a compact disc.Then I realized it was because the spider was still working on it.Waiting for breakfast.We were still quite early at the Bella Coola petroglyphs, and the light made the carvings mysterious.The 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.And lunched at the Hydro picnic spot along the inlet.Nearby was a new sign – very confusing unless you knew it referred to the possibility of a tsunami. Who invents these incomprehensible graphics?On the way home, the volunteers swam in the Atnarko River.Our 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!