Leaving Clearwater we headed for 108 Mile House.....I know, funny name for a place. Our next stop over was the Hill House ranch. It's a working ranch of about 20,000 acres which doubles up as a health farm. In the winter it caters to nordic skiers and in the summer to hiker and horse riders.
As with everywhere in Canada everyone was very friendly and helpful. A bottle of beer and we soon knew Richard the chefs history and he gave us lots of tips for our future stops.
On the first evening we went to the gym to try and blow the cob webs out. After that a dip in the pool and a long jacuzzi. Just us and one other guest. We booked a table for dinner at 7.30pm. Need not have bothered as we think we are the only guests !!!
7pm we had a beer then sat down for dinner. It was delicious. I had a stuffed chicken breast. Jill had salmon. It was cooked on a burning slice of log and had a clay funnel over it to infuse it with wood smoke.
After dinner, a glass of wine in our room and an early night ready for our hike the next day.
We got up and went down to the local village and picked up some sarnies. Back to the ranch to load the ruckies and we headed off into the wilderness. We had a basic map and the trails are pretty big so navigation was not too bad. Jill did a fab job reading the map.
Now hiking in this terrain is not like at home. You've already been warned there are bears in area. In fact a guy was on tele this morning talking about what to do if you find a bear in your house. So every noise in the woods frankly you s*** yourself. Anyway we marched like a couple of Gurkhas on amphetamine.
First stop was Succour Lake. Like all the lakes it is huge and very beautiful. We marched on through the woods to Soda lake where we stopped for lunch. As we were sat eating lunch we could see 3 brown shapes at the far end of the lake....about three quaters of a mile away. We watched for a while and they started to move. 1 big one and 2 smaller ones.
I looked through my telefoto lens. I couldnt make out what they were but they werent horses as they were too close to the ground. So they were either cows or bears.We had two ways round the lake......guess which one we took !!!
Anyway after 4 hours hiking we arrived back at the ranch knackered. So another swim and a jacuzzi. This time just us.
I've just uploaded the photos and zoomed in on the pictures at Soda Lake.....yep thems was bears. They say if you encounter one, lay down and play dead. Do dead things smell of s*** 'cos I'm sure i would.
Tomorrow we head for Whistler.