From Sea to Chilko BC…..

Mt Tullin

& a few highlights in between…..

Beautiful Lake Shasta

For months now we had been looking forward to attending a family wedding in Portland, Oregon. Thankful to escape the heat for yet another month, we decided to make a road trip out of it. One thing we knew for certain, since Echo had been out of the water for so long, we wanted to buy a little sailing dinghy so we could feel the wind in our sails once again. Before we left Mexico we started looking on the internet for used dinghies and found the perfect one at an unbeatable price that we were thrilled to pick up. From southern California we slow poked our way to Portland, in search of lakes. We camped out each night and sailed as much as we could. We stopped in Lake Shasta, Crane Prairie Reservoir and Detroit Lake, thoroughly enjoying being back in the mountains and thick pacific northwest forests yet still able to enjoy our new love for sailing. 

Sailing Dulcinea

We arrived in Portland with a short but sweet amount of time to catch up with close friends. The wedding was just perfect. Held in the most beautiful outdoor venue, it was magical to see everyone’s happy faces and be a part of their special day. The next morning we woke up with sore faces from smiling so much. We slowly packed up and headed north toward Kamloops, BC, to spend over-due quality time with Lauren’s cousins, Kalin and Jerica, and finally get to meet Kalin’s little baby girl, Emersyn. It was a pleasure to spend time with both ladies and their families and to see the joy that Emersyn has brought them all. 

Kalin & Russ’s Beautiful Home- Thanks Guys!

We left Kamloops and continued north to Williams Lake to provision before heading into the remote Lodge for what was originally going to be one week and quickly turned into three weeks. The McLean’s live off the grid, with a generator and lots of solar to replenish the batteries. Listening to them talk about their way of life in the mountains reminded us a lot of our life on the sea.  We stayed with Lauren’s Grammy, Corine and her partner Ron. They live in the most beautiful log cabin which Grammy calls the tree house, appropriately named, since when floating down the river, all you can see of their house is the A frame roof, floating beautifully in the tree tops. We shared delicious meals together and enjoyed Grammy’s homemade desserts in the evenings. We loved being able to spend this time with them both. 

Grammy & Ron’s Home “The Tree House”

While in Chilko we were completely spoiled with great company and fun things to do. Brian got on a horse for the first time. Being skilled and confident, we knew it would go well, but by day two when he was rounding up horses and got behind the group of them, all while leading another horse, he was off, galloping the pack of horses through a mountain meadow and into the corral. It was AMAZING! With his new found riding skills, we gave our bodies one day’s rest before leaving on another big ride, a day trip up Mt. Tullin, which stands at 6,900ft. Climbing 3,100ft elevation, it’s a big climb and long day. Thankful for our strong and sure-footed mountain horses, we were able to fully enjoy the stunning view.  We soaked it all in and at night slept well in the cool mountain air. 

We were also thrilled to spend time with Grandpa Bud, an amazing man who has spent years in the mountains and was a Marlboro Man (but quit smoking long ago 🙂 ). He has the gift of storytelling and has endless adventures to recount, you can sit and listen to him forever. He has an unbeatable perseverance for life, adventure and the Chilcotins, and still at age 92 he continues guiding and thriving. We enjoyed our catch-up’s in his beautiful log cabin, decorated with beautiful western art, so pristine it shines like a western museum collection formed over years and today is just right. Perched with the longest view of the river, in the fall, it’s the best place to scout for grizzly bears feasting on salmon. 

Indian Paintbrush

It seems the most active view we have is simply from Grammy’s deck. We enjoy watching a little philly born just this spring, her one and a half year old sister, and their mother walk the single track dirt trails around the property.  A wetter season than normal has allowed for the most beautiful display of wildflowers. From fireweed, Indian paintbrush, yarrow, purple daisies, columbine, rose hip bushes, white and purple clover, lupin and so many more we cannot identify. It’s been incredible to see the yard and green hills full of bloom and seasonal color. A few chubby hummingbirds hang around the back deck and rest in the big pine tree right outside the kitchen window. A family of foxes that act like dogs hang around and play with Grammy’s little dog, Muffy. A little chipmunk that Grammy completely spoils with piles of feed, constantly teases Muffy through the front window. There has been an incredible mule deer buck hanging around with a proud rack to display. A few days ago the horseback riders even reported seeing a small cougar. And of course, the grizzly bears are starting to appear. Currently, they cruise the yard feasting on grass and the ripening Saskatoon and Supalolly berries (little red currants), wild strawberries and wild raspberries, searching under every rock for ants, and tearing into downed trees for termites. Later in the year they will move to the salmon once they start to arrive and spawn, a critical part of their diet before hibernation. From the beautiful windows of the lodge, through the telescope you can even see that a new baby mountain goat was born this year, and joined the family of three. 

What does the fox say? 😉

Over the years the large population of lodge dogs has decreased to two older ones and just one young pup in the process of learning the ropes of being a bear dog. One thing is for certain though, you can distinctively tell in their bark if it’s a bear. One night, while sitting downstairs on the deck, we heard the dogs take off, running and barking like a bear was around. We then heard what we thought was the bear jumping the wooden fence and heading to the upper gravel road. We ran through Grammy’s house in excitement, and planned on going out the back door and up to the main road to watch the bear, a 3 year old grizzly cub, his first year away from mom. As you go out Grammy’s back door, to the left is a generator shed that blocks the view. As Brian rounded this shed, he stopped and turned in one move, saying “He’s right there!” Lauren poked her head around the corner of the shed and saw the big grizzly about ten feet away in the grass. Her heart dropped. We both quickly ran inside and shut the door. As we watched him wander about the back yard through the glass door, we laughed and talked about how quickly it all happened. This being just the first encounter of many similar situations to come, each encounter, less frightening. 

One spectacular day, Brian was lucky enough to assist on a Lake trip. The beautiful lake is surrounded by stunning snowcapped peaks, which are some of the largest and most remote mountains in British Columbia. In fact, they saw wolf tracks, which Bud said could die of old age before seeing a human out there. This particular trip had just the right weather and they were able to jet the whole 52 miles up the lake, stopping at small, milky glacial creeks and fishing for large bull trout that stack up in these particular locations. It was an unforgettable trip, epic scenery and tenacious native fish, caught on big flies, all released back into the cold turquoise water.

Frequently, we got the opportunity to fish the river via jet boat, which allows for maximum coverage of the river and is the ideal way to fish. One of the days, Ron shuttled us up the bumpy road with a canoe and we fished our way back to the lodge. Another day, Brian, Gary, and Larry(a dynamic trio) even got to float 18 miles of the river in pontoons. The water clarity is unbelievable and makes the fishing that much more special since you can watch the fish attack or refuse the fly. The water runs from cold, pure glacial creeks, down the massive lake, feeding the river and filling our water bottles and bodies with a refreshment like no other. This combined with the fresh mountain air full of sweet scents of the ripening berries and wildflowers in full display makes it a very difficult place to leave.

We still haven’t left Chilko and are enjoying our last few days here, soaking up some cozy sun. At the same time, we’re looking forward to our road trip home with plans to camp and sail along the way. When we return to Mexico, it won’t take long to get Echo ready to splash and we will be on our way! 

Next adventure coming soon! 

Raw Hide! 

One thought on “From Sea to Chilko BC…..

  1. I tead the entire post. Friggin amazing. So much fun. Such great scenery. Can’t edit to wander up that way myself. Great to hear from you guys.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s