A blog about life in the Bella Coola Valley and the Central Coast area of British Columbia for anyone interested in an incredible and rich part of BC's coast. I hope to provide my thoughts about things as simple as weather observations and seasonal issues, to comments about life and the natural history in the Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and the west Chilcotin area.
Note: All photos on this blog were taken by the author unless otherwise noted. While the photos and written material are all the property of the author and protected by Copyright, I'm not a professional photographer and you can use the photos if a link or attribution is provided back to my blog. If you have a need to use a particular photo and you want the high resolution file, leave a comment with your email (I won't publish it) and we can discuss what use you intend the photo for. Grizzly
A resident of the Bella Coola Valley and observer of the natural history, geography, resources, regional climate and cultural history of the Bella Coola Valley, Central Coast and the West Chilcotin area of BC.
Burnt Bridge Creek is near the western edge of Tweedsmuir Park in the Bella Coola Valley. It has a nice trail maintained by BC Parks called the Burnt Bridge Creek Loop trail (it also ties into the famous MacKenzie Grease Trail, a few hundred metres up the west side) which is a couple kms long and takes you up the east side into the valley through stands of Douglas Fir and back down the west side.
Unfortunately in the Great Flood of 2010 a large portion of the trail which was along the creek and the suspension bridge was totally obliterated. It's a favourite trail for a nice 1.5 hour hike for locals and tourists because it also has a fantastic viewpoint of the western valley.
It took 3 years for BC Parks to get funds and a design to reroute the trail out of the flood plain, find a new bridge crossing site and get everything installed. This past summer the whole trail was reopened and today because the warm weather and rain has melted most of the valley bottom snow, you could hike it with vitrually no snow.
It's a great hike and BC Parks and the bridge and trail construction contractors did a fantastic job of rerouting and making an interesting hike. Another Bella Coola asset has been restored. Grizzly
Merry Christmas to all who drop around the Bella Coola Blog. I hope you are able to enjoy a peaceful few days with your friends and families.
1000 is a significant number. This post represents the 1000th post of www.bellacoolablog.com since it's inception four years ago on October 30, 2009 which was right in the middle of what at the time seemed like a pretty good flood (boy were we proven wrong in September 2010 during the Great Flood of 2010!).
I started the blog because I had been thinking for awhile about trying some writing and didn't know where to channel that, but I wanted something that was mine, not edited by anyone (thankfully Mrs. Grizzly my greatest fan, corrects my spelling and grammar when she can) , good or bad, live or die by it. Blogging was reaching it's peak and it seemed like a good platform. It just so happened that about the time I registered and purchased the domain the 2009 flood happened so I didn't really get to introduce the idea. I just started with the 2009 flood. I was determined to see what it was like to write one post a day for a year--I did that but it was a challenge to try to find something relevant to say and find time to do it -- but I did in 2010. I haven't been able to maintain it since. I also had a goal to try and get on the front of page of Google when searching "Bella Coola" without the help of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) business which is a big business to try and get your attention and direct traffic to your site. I learned the only way you get there without a lot of help, money and advertising is just lots of people clicking on your site, links from other places to your site and longevity on the web (paying for a site for more than a year). I am happy because I made that goal because I am regularly and consistently on the first page of search results on google.ca and google.com and occasionally especially around an event (floods helped) the top hit in a google search for "Bella Coola".
I've struggled with what to write about because early on I decided to stay away from gossip and lot of heavy opinion - I gravitated to natural history, the weather, the climate and a bit about the beauty and uniqueness of the Bella Coola. I firmly decided to stay away from bears, politics and religion -- all three can lose you friends fast in Bella Coola - especially the first one! After almost 30 years in the Bella Coola Valley I've come to accept that bears here as in many places are an emotional topic and whether you are a biologist, landowner or tourist, there is not a lot to be gained in trying to convince you of my views. I'm a believer in a balance. If you haven't already you should come to Bella Coola in late August and early September and hire someone to help you see a grizzly bear - it's worth it.
My website traffic is not huge - it ranges between 50-150 hits per day, sometimes spiking if there is a newsy event that Bella Coola is in the the news for. I like to think I have regular readers that drop by like I do at my regular blogs for a little piece of news about a place or topic--I'm good with that.
What is the future of the Bella Coola Blog? I will continue. I will try and post reasonably often, but only if I can offer something useful. I know folks would like more water level reports, fish updates and other current information, but unless I can collect it or be sure of it I won't write about it. The local newspaper is online and has lots of the news and stories on social issues affecting Bella Coola Valley residents. There is a local Facebook page which is good for local information as well.
Thank you to everyone who drops by and the occasional person who kicks me in the butt in the Hagensborg Store and asks where their morning or evening read is at -- that's the best motivator knowing someone actually reads your work - it's all most authors want.
Last weekend in the Bella Coola Valley we were suffering through a dry, cold and windy Arctic Outflow. It dropped down to -10C and was dry and windy. The ground was frozen hard and the crazy waterfall ice climbing people though that it was wonderful. It felt more like a cauldron - a lot like the ice in this pool on the upper Nusatsum River. But fortunately Arctic outflows only last a week or two and we are back to coastal conditions. Today we hit a balmy 7 C at the Bella Coola Airport - perfect for shortening the winter up a bit.
Unfortunately our winter recreation area at East Branch in Tweedsmuir Park hasn't been getting snow either. The cross country skiers are wishing for more. Is this going to be the second Christmas in a row without enough snow to open the little ski hill? Grizzly
The month of November this year was an unexpected bonus. While it is normally our wettest month, this year it was relatively dry. We only had a few rainy periods and one week with some snow that all dissppeared. We haven't had an Arctic outflow yet, bet one may be on the way soon according to the forecast.
Eagles are spread out along the Bella Coola River looking for those last coho and today spread out along Highway 20 in various places were parked vehicles with the occupants off looking for pine mushrooms which is quite late. Meanwhile other cars going by had cross country skis on because the hard working trail groomers have 7 kms of trail already groomed at the East Branch skiing/snowmobiling area in Tweedsmuir Park. That's what life is like in the Bella Coola Valley - lots of weather variety to chose from. Grizzly