Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Cariboo

Now that the holiday portion of my summer is over and it’s time to finish jobs around the house and start getting ready for school, blogging about where I’ve been since my trip to Seattle seems like a great way to avoid work.

Last week, I spent a few days in the Cariboo area of BC. The Cariboo (the green rectangle on the map) is in the lower central part of British Columbia.

One of the guys I went with has a cabin - really a house - in a place called Sheridan Lake. We decided to go up there for a couple days of cycling, hiking and relaxing.

The first day was the cycling day. We packed the bikes on the back of a truck and drove off to a place called Little Fort. We chose this destination because Little Fort is at the bottom of a huge hill. We had a nice breakfast to fuel ourselves and then headed up the hill.

It’s not a terrible long ride - 17 km of which about 13 km is a steep hill - but because it is so steep, it took a good long while - over three hours - to make it up the hill. We’d cycle for a km or so, stop, have a drink of water, and carry on. Sometimes, we’d chat about life in general during these breaks.

It was slow going but we were rewarded with the sight of a moose on the road as we reached the crest of the hill. It was a cow, so no antlers, but it was the first time I had seen a moose in the wild. Very nice!

After all of the sweat and exertion of going up the hill, it was exhilaration to fly down the very same hill back into Little Fort. One interesting byproduct of scooter riding is that I’m not as scared by fast speeds when I’m on my bike. I’m not sure if this is the safest thing in the world, but when I hit 62 kmh, I was not bothered at all.

Back in Little Fort, we packed up the bikes and headed back to the cabin.

The second day was a rest day - we were on holiday, after all. We seemed to spend the day eating, reading and talking, and later, drinking beer. The highlight of my day was operating the little excavator at the cabin to help grade a ramp for a dock. In the evening, one of the guys brought steaks so big that each one could have fed my family. And yes, I ate it all up.

The last full day we decided to go on a hike. Now, I like taking the dog on nice long walks but I’m not crazy about hikes in the mountains.

This hike was in Wells Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater. It was the Trophy Mountain hike we went on which ended up being about 6 km each way.

I borrowed a pair of hiking sticks which are sort of like ski poles. These were great for going up hill, especially for the steep parts.

About halfway up, we arrived at these mountain meadows that were bursting with flowers. The photos does not do justice to the beauty and variety of flowers that were there. It was simply amazing.

In the hiking book that was at the cabin, the trail was rated as easy. I know that when I reached the end of the first 5 km (where many people turn around) I was ready to turn around. But thanks to that wonderful mix of testosterone and peer pressure, I went another km or so before I listened to my body.

This picture was taken at my turning point. I was very comfortable lying on the rock and warm, I did not want to get up but after some encouragement, I hauled myself up and headed down the mountain.

The trip down was without rests as it was much easier and the wind had died down, bringing swarms of mosquitoes whenever we tried to stop for a rest.

At the end of the hike, I finished the last of my water, slumped in the seat of the car and wearily smiled as I had successfully made it without being airlifted off of the mountain. That night, I enjoyed a couple glasses of wine and slept surprisingly well, leaving for home the next morning.

The photos in this blog posting are courtesy of my very good friend, Keith Rajala of the Red Lobster Journal.


stock trading pick said...

i think you add more info about it.

Steve Williams said...

Beautiful landscape for a hike. I love seeing open, sweeping vistas like that. Just not something we have here in many places. All the trees in Penn's Woods...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Anonymous said...

Great blog entry. Reading it in my tiny Hong Kong apartment with sauna like conditions outside makes me even more excited about my return to Vancouver on Monday. My family follows in a month.

Now I have to find a teaching job, preferably in Langley or Surrey. Any suggestions?


Dave Dixon said...

stock trading pick
Not sure what kind of info you're looking for - can you elaborate?

As much as I don't really enjoy the hiking part, the scenery makes me wonder why I don't go more often...

I stayed for a week in Hong Kong many years ago - hotter and more humid than Tokyo, if I remember correctly.
I guess for teaching, it's a matter of get on the sub-list, work on getting a temp position and keep your fingers crossed. Of course, if you've got a specialty, that improves your chances. Did you learn Cantonese while you live there?

Keith Rajala said...

It was a great hike. Next time we should camp at the lake and then hike up to the top of Trophy Mountain!