in awe

by Anne

[august 29th – 31st]

Today it is off to the Michel River, where nutrients in the river, due to coal mining, result in super-sized fish. It is not a super successful day though but Chipmunks have come out to entertain us back at the campsite, which definitely makes my day!

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Next day G and B have booked a float down the Elk River. We drop them off at the Fly Shop and set out to explore. First off we have some difficulty finding the round trip we want to do into the mountains via the Hartley Pass, and then, after driving some time through beautiful forest, climbing ever higher and higher on the narrow dust road, my nerve is about to break when Hugo convinces me that downhill is around the corner, and boy, am I glad he did!
I can hardly believe my eyes when a breath-taking river, none other than the Bull River, appears out of the dust (yes, it does get dusty in BC!).

0006fOn the road down – having come from way up there….

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Yes, it really is that colour!

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When we find ourselves back on the main road, there is still time to explore the Ancient Cottonwood Forest (where we begin to educate ourselves on the matter of trees) before B and G call to say they are back.

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“The park protects some of the biggest, oldest black Cottonwoods in the world, interspersed in an old-growth western red cedar forest. Close to town, see 400-year-old Cottonwood trees along a short walking trail. Veloured in dense green moss, the Cottonwood trees congregate on the side of the Elk River at Morrissey Bridge. Towering as high as a 10-storey building, these trees provide homes for many species, including dens for black bears, nests for the endangered Western Screech-Owl, and habitat for many other songbirds and insects.”
from http://tourismfernie.com/activities/hiking-trails/Cottonwood-trail

My photos simply do not do the trees justice; your wildest imaginations will do better!

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cedar wood is stringy

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spruce is scaly and cottonwoods are groovy – groovy on the right of the photo

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cedar leaves

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snowberries

Mouth-watering supper in the making!

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Next day is back to the Michel River armed with tips on where to fish. They are going to walk the river upstream today. We will take ourselves to the Red Cedar Forest.

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Ancient Western Red Cedar trees along the Old Growth Trail are up to 800 years old.
Once again, my photos do not do the trees justice. One simply has to be there to feel the awe; so very small, that’s us, amongst so much magnificence!

0006sIf you want to know about tying flies, Galen is the person to ask.

We are just into exploring some of the old buildings in town when B and G send their GPS location for pick-up time.
Galen has spotted a potential bite as we arrive and I am happy to spend some time with them fishing.
That rod under tension is surely one of the most exciting moments out on the river, both for fisherman and spectator! He has scored a Cutthroat!

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Satisfied, it is back to camp for another delicious meal and an early night.

We head out on the morrow for the border…

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