After our six day marathon of cache finding we took a slow day today. I have actually slept all night the last two nights without coughing fits so I feel much better. We lingered in the cabin after a breakfast of coffee and peanut butter toast so it was after noon, almost 1 o’clock, before we ventured out.
The town of Bella Coola encompasses about three blocks. There is the Bella Coola Valley Inn and the Bella Coola Motel, plus some B & Bs for lodging. There is a good restaurant at the Valley Inn and a small cafe for your dining pleasure. Ace Hardware, Co-Op grocery, an art gallery, a gas station and a few other shops. Reminds me a lot of Salmon Arm when I was a child.
Bella Coola Valley stretches 80 km inland and includes the communities of Bella Coola and Hagensborg. The valley is 100 km inland at the end of a very long inlet so the area is not plagued by the constant rain of the coast. July through September is often dry and sunny and we certainly enjoyed both today. The temperature hit about 30; nice and warm and comfortable for walking about.We drove out of town toward the coast, stopping at the old canary, and the harbour to take some photos. The mountains just rise up in all directions. They are spectacular. And the water was a very unique grey-green colour. We found the cache near the ferry terminal dock and continued down the road to find the cache at the breakwater. We clambered around some large rocks, checking our compass headings, looked up and realized there was a man sitting in a camp chair on a boulder; either gazing out to sea or sleeping. We tried to discreetly and quietly search behind him for the cache but he heard us and turned to say hello. He was a Calgary stock broker that sold out his practice and moved to Bella Coola three years ago. He loves to sit at this spot and watch the water, the birds and the seals. He asked if we were in the area to go fishing but we said no and explained about geo-caching. He became very intrigued and got up and started to help us search for the cache. As a matter of fact he was the one who found it tucked back under a huge boulder. He was quite tickled and plans to keep an eye out for other cachers who may come looking for it in the future.
After we signed the log we walked back past our truck which we had parked at the harbour and went to a roadside kiosk for some lunch since it was past 2:30. Met a really nice lady and her friendly little dog and had a good visit while she cooked our burgers.With lunch over we continued down the road. The pavement ended about 100 meters past the harbour and the gravel road was full of boulder-sized pot holes. There were four caches down the road and near Clayton Falls so we found them as we took in the sights. The Falls is dammed higher up and provides hydro for the area. It was a beautiful spot. We left the falls and drove across the road into the Clayton Falls Recreation Site for some more photo opportunities. Some groceries were needed for our breakfasts over the next few days so we headed back to town, stopping to try find a cache with no luck and successfully finding another two. Once the shopping was done we sorted photos and watched some Olympics until it was time to walk over the Bella Coola Valley Inn for dinner. It was a lovely, scenic, slow day.