Enter the Chilcotin

This weekend I am visited by my Dad who's come through to Williams Lake after a long tour out west to Vancouver Island, down south into Idaho, a quick stop in Shaunavon and Medicine Hat, then finally to the Cariboo.

'In Idaho' Photo by Craig Bernadet

'In Idaho' Photo by Craig Bernadet

Our mission today was to get up early and deliver three ladies a few hours deep into the Chilcotin to meet up with a group of riders from Williams Lake and Elsewhere as they wrap up the final few days of the Epic (a 7 day x-country ride across the Chilcotin). It was nice to see a new part of the area I hadn't been before as well as witness different sorts of people doing some pretty amazing things along the way.

As usual I'll just let the photos tell most of the story. Enjoy.

Here's the first part of the trip as we drop the ladies off with Shreddi and crew in the wind and rain.

After we dropped the girls off, my Dad and I made a few stops along the way at an old hunting camp. 

After that we stopped at the bottom of Farwell Canyon.We were lucky enough to get a lesson in the tradition of dip netting by a group of folks from the nearby Toosey First Nation reserve. 

This fellow below is Leslie of the Toosey First Nation. He's been coming to this spot on the Chilcotin River for the last 24 summers. He shares the workload with his cousin Sheila (lady in photo below) and a few other family members during the time he's there. 

Leslie mentioned it was unfortunate he doesn't see many younger people in his band getting involved in this tradition. He emphasized how important traditions like this are to the culture.

It was pretty generous that he invited my Dad and I in to show us how they prep and smoke the steelhead  salmon meat which will end up lasting them through the winter. He even offered us a sample!

These girls watch and wait for the men down below at the river side to fill up burlap sacks with salmon. Once the bags are full they use a pully system rigged up to the bridge above to hoist the meat roadside to be packed away into coolers.

Below you see a young fella throwing down as he's tied off a few feet above some extremely deadly rapids. The photo does not do this scene justice. Just awesome.