Exploring Bella Coola (1)
When we weren’t bear watching we explored Bella Coola and its surrounds. These endeavours were a little weather-impacted (the rainforest habitat shouldn’t make that a complete surprise) though the resulting cloud gave the place additional atmosphere and our trusty Jeep got us everywhere we wanted to go. I’ve divided this into two posts covering roughly west and east of where we stayed.
Starting west: The remote Bella Coola valley lies at the end of one of the watery fingers extending inland from the Pacific Ocean. In a straight line, open sea is about 100km away.
There is a strong First Nations presence here with the local people called Nuxalk (from what I could tell this is like Noohalk, rhymes with chalk). The name Bella Coola is derived from a term used to differentiate the people living in the valley from those in Bella Bella right out on the coast. The town is pretty small at a population lurking under 2,000 but it has all the essentials and a number of totem poles.
Though it’s not something I make a habit of, I like to poke around in cemeteries. There was one near where we stayed, which will pop up in the next post, but of much greater visual interest was the First Nations cemetery I chanced upon behind a tall row of shrubs after stopping to have a closer look at a roadside memorial.
Our strike rate with trail walks during the week wasn’t flash. Two on our first day were aborted after an impromptu meeting with a bear and this dented my confidence. This was another attempted stroll to see some cedar trees but relaxed I was not.