Summer Quading

THE TOP ~ by Linda English

Well, my flight is delayed so I thought I would just ponder a bit about our great outing on the weekend.

We got one of our infamous “early starts”. It was just a little after ten in the morning by the time we crossed the bridge in Coalmont. The Tulameen River is a little low right now. The high water being over about a month ago. Still some of the purest untreated water in North America. And so clear this time of year. The little pools look so inviting and seem to be calling us as we go by.

Up the hill we venture. The more experienced ones somehow always seem to get out front early so as not to get dusted too badly. We take a bit of a short cut, and then back onto the main road. A quick stop to make sure everybody made it this far and all is well, so we agree to meet at the usual stop, being 6km. Not so dusty right now as the chemical mixture has been sprayed on the surface for this season. It sure helps control the dust on the road and makes it so much safer for users.

We pass the old Holmes place. It sure does look lonely without the big old house.

We cross the cattle guard just past four km. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of the cattle being turned out yet. Every day they aren’t here gives the feed another day to grow and flourish even more. The odd squirrel runs across the road and the robins are hopping around picking up their little morsels.

The area opens up a bit just passed five km. and we get some good views of the valley up Arrastra and Newton Creeks and on up toward Granite. On a clear day like today it is easy to pick out some of the drainage’s and different logging blocks.

The stop at six km. is welcomed, and we find enough shade for our quick break. It is going to be a warm one today. Onward we go. Dodging potholes and the odd rock on the road we climb up in elevation. As we pass the Coal mine just above 9km. there is a sense of sadness that it is not in operation anymore.

We cross the cattle guard just past four km. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of the cattle being turned out yet. Every day they aren’t here gives the feed another day to grow and flourish even more. The odd squirrel runs across the road and the robins are hopping around picking up their little morsels.

The area opens up a bit just passed five km. and we get some good views of the valley up Arrastra and Newton Creeks and on up toward Granite. On a clear day like today it is easy to pick out some of the drainage’s and different logging blocks.

The stop at six km. is welcomed, and we find enough shade for our quick break. It is going to be a warm one today. Onward we go. Dodging potholes and the odd rock on the road we climb up in elevation. As we pass the Coal mine just above 9km. there is a sense of sadness that it is not in operation anymore.

There is the odd pile of bear scat on the road, but with the full moon this week and the clear nights, we are not likely to see any of the bruins today in this heat.

Up the hill, around and down into a little valley we near a cabin belonging to one of the Coalmont’s residents. There is a sign of activity around the place and until we get close enough to recognize the inhabitants, we get a little possessive of our friend’s belongings. But not to worry, it is the prospector himself and his granddaughter up for while to do some work on the claims.

We are invited in for some conversation and get a glimpse of surveying as it is done in the twenty-first century. This far into the wilderness there is the miner, working on his laptop computer!! Power generator outside!

Everything is fine with the miner and his granddaughter, and no messages to relay to his family. We say good-byes and off we go up the steep climb onto Olivine mountain and the Champion Creek logging road. Along this road the bear scat is a little more frequent. What a beautiful country this is.

Well, boarding has begun on the jet so I must pack up and go. So, until next issue, “See you at the top!”

~ Linda English