Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bellacoolablog -- One Year Later

North Bentinck Arm looking east to the Bella Coola Valley
Today is the end of the first year of the  One year ago, inspired by other bloggers, I decided that I would try for a year to write a blog.  My goals were simple.

  • To improve my writing skills;
  • To commit to trying to say something worthwhile everyday;
  • To give people an idea about the weather and the trends in the Bella Coola Valley;
  • Most of all I felt I had something to say about the Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and the Western Chilcotin that some people might find interesting.
Did I succeed?

Not sure if my writing skills got any better, but I spent a lot of time and some late nights doing research to put some of the posts together.  I asked my wife a lot of times how to spell some words.  I know I've got more work on this front - especially when I read a blog that someone writes really well.

Initially I set a goal of making one post per day.  For the first month it was really easy, then from about month 3-5 it was a struggle.  I wasn't sure there was a point in it or how many different ways I could say "Grey and Dull", or whether anyone was actually reading it and getting much out of it.   I persevered and after about month 6, I started to enjoy it more and it became a daily task that just got done.  I watched less TV and wrote more.  I think I technically missed writing a post 3 days out of 365, but I ended up making more than 365 posts in total.  I'm giving myself a pass on this goal.

This last year has more than ever shown how important the weather is to life in the Bella Coola Valley.  Perhaps more so than many other places, we are really a weather dependent community - I find that part of our existence quite fascinating because it's so elemental to how humans have had to pay attention to weather to survive in our history on the planet.  When it was hot people were on edge due to the fire potential and the potential to lose our access through road closures.  The Great Flood of 2010 has reinforced that we all need to pay attention to weather warnings, wet trends, freezing levels, snow pack and wind storms; they can really mess up our valley.  When I was short on time or short on ideas, writing a post was easy, but probably pretty boring to some readers to just summarize the weather for the day.  My family would say, "Where's the picture?" I like watching weather and whenever I'm away from Bella Coola I was always asking my wife or looking on the internet to find out what the weather was doing at home, so one goal of my blog was to give people a sense of the weather and the trends in the Bella Coola Valley.  I'm giving myself a pass on this goal as well. I've found myself already looking back at a particular day or period to see what the weather was like, so it forms a good record if nothing else.

Did I say anything interesting or useful about the Bella Coola area?  Well it helped that we had one near natural disaster (the dry season with fires and road closures) and one real natural disaster - The Great Flood of 2010.  I could do without both though next year.  I covered a few tidbits about natural history and plants and some things and features about the valley.  I always go back to plants when I run out of weather and other ideas - it's in my background.  The comments I get are a pretty good indicator if I've said something interesting.  If I get no comments, then I know it was basically just a piece of information.

Is there anymore to say about this area?   I think so.  There is always the weather, but there are still interesting things to talk about.  It's a really interesting area with one foot in the coast and one foot in the interior and the change between those two climates and regions is short and dramatic -- it  provides for some interesting situations here.  Will I continue the bellacoolablog?   I think so.  I've got more work to do on the writing skills, and the weather will always be there to talk about.

What do the blog readers want to read?  Please give me your comments if you are reader and want to see more or less of something.  I don't intend to take the role of the local newspaper in reporting general valley news unless it's weather news, but I am sure there are areas and topics of interest out there.  I may not be as diligent in getting a post out every night, but I'll try. 

Thank you to the nearly 17,000 people who looked at nearly 25,000 page views of my blog and posted comments.  Grizzly - one year later.  


  1. hi Grizzly,
    I have read your posts this past year off and on ...lately more on. Well, that is possibly because of the great flood and since I own a house in Bella Coola (which I will retire to in a couple of years) I want to get to know what the weather and what the people are like. I grew up in Namu and before that in a tiny little fishing village on the north coast of Denmark. I love the west coast of BC, and I have missed the kind of people who inhabit these wonderful places, some of which hardly even exist anymore. When I go to sleep at night I am happiest when I can hear the wind blowing and the rain on the roof. Reading your blog brings a little bit of home to my heart. I may not always comment but I do always enjoy reading about the weather or the ecology of the region or even your thoughts on what is happening. So thank you for this blog.


  2. I am sure there are alot of people who read your blog daily, but never bother to leave a comment like myself. Hope you continue.

  3. Hey Grizz, I'm in the desert of Utah and I love your blog. I would like to read some people history occasionally, also, a bit about how the settlements there came to be and who inhabits them, that sort of thing. But I really enjoy how you're doing it now, and also the natural history.

    And if nobody comments, it may not be indicative of anything except everyone's busy. Not necessarily a boring post at all, I find them all good. Thanks for this blog, I hope to visit there some day.

  4. Love the blog just as it is and that's an awesome photo!

  5. Is there a newspaper in the Bella Coola Valley?

  6. Great stuff Grizzly !
    I appreciate that your blog is focussed on the natural history of the area and not a soap box. That allows me to just read/enjoy and feel like I still have a couple of my toes dangling in the river there , albeit not having gone through "The Great Flood of 2010" my Bella Coola pedigree is somewhat diminshed.
    Keep it coming !


  7. Hi Grizzly
    I am happy to think you will continue your blog. I have found all your posts very interesting. We visit Bella Coola at least once a year, more often if we can. I would love to see more posts about places to visit around the Bella Coola valley. I have heard of the petroglyphs near there and would love to see a map on how to get to them and some pictures as well. I would also like to see some posts about the history of Bella Coola, it's older buildings and it's wonderful people. Thank you for sharing your veiw on the valley!! Please keep on writing, you do a wonderful job of informing and entertaining!!

  8. Grizzly,
    I appreciate the Bella Coola blog. It's interesting that you began this blog in what has now proved to be the most eventful valley year in many many moons.

    Maybe this next year post fewer words, if that helps you, but post more photos---just average, common Valley stuff like people downtown or at the dock or walking or fishing or visiting or just living in Bella Coola or whatever...
    Photos, photos photos!!! With few butselect words as caption.

    Maybe this could be your experiment for this next year?

    Thanks for your excellent Bella Coola blog, any way you want to do it.
    Randy, in SoCal US, for now.

  9. we have a 5th wheel we keep at Gnomes year round and we were present for the flood this year. We were lucky as the water just touched our place, but we saw the devastation first hand that happened to many. We were so impressed how the wonderful people in the valley without a moments hesitation just pitched in to help their neighbors.We have been coming down for years and love the scenery, the people, the peace etc. If one hasn't visited there it is well worth the trip. I discovered your blog while on the computer during the flood and after our arrival home have spent the time to read every post. Have enjoyed all the photo's and all the posts you have made. I look forward to more postings and many more trips to the valley

  10. Love the blog, glad I tripped over it.

    The writing so far has been good, not brilliant, rather pedestrian actually. I would like to see more human interest stories. Like the little kid picking his nose at the Christmas concert and what he said to his............afterwards type thing. I recognize and am very cognizant that with the www there is no such thing as privacy as we once knew and cherished it. The Great Flood of 2010 and the newscasts that ensued certainly brought that home with force. Maybe there is some way you can take photos (with permission) and do followup stories (with permission and no names). Like the galvanized round bucket type item. What is it, whose was it, do they still want/need it..............

    When the flood was happening I liked the photos of all the raging water, dismantled bridges, and soggy fields but what I really wanted to see was people, their homes, how everyone was coping and what they were doing, i.e. Rowing across a field, a first look inside your home, a water soaked piano, a horse swimming by a porch, etc.

    Conga rats on your first year as a blogger.

    My two cents worth since you asked

  11. I enjoy reading blogs about the salmon run in the Bella Coola river and to see pictures of Grizzly bears. Thanks.

  12. Hi Grizzly, was sent a link to your blog this morning from a friend in Seattle. I've been writing a blog for 1.5 years now, about the changing landscape around my home in New Jersey.

    I'm interested to read your chronicle of weather - especially the extreme weather - and trees. I would be even more interested to see more comparisons to years past.

    Where I live, the seasons are definitely very different than they used to be. It is much warmer, with less frequent snow in the winter. The leaves turn early in the fall, or, instead of turning color, just turn brown and fall off.

    I attribute this to climate change and pollution, which is traveling across oceans and continents, damaging even rural, remote forests. I wonder if you see evidence of this in Bella Coola?

  13. Re: Comment from Gail. I'm a big believer in looking at trends over longer terms to see what is happening to weather. That said, I can certainly agree the last few years in Bella Coola have been pretty special in extremes and it's easy to conclude the climate is changing which it may well be, only time will tell. If you look back in history you can always seem to find times reporting hotter and colder and weird extremes. Can you post a comment with an url to your blog? Would love to read it. Grizzly