British Columbia: Heaven on Earth

by EdventureGirl / Feb 09, 2013 /
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Have you ever been somewhere that filled you with so much excitement and wonder that you simply had to tell someone about it as soon as possible? Somewhere so new, so undiscovered, or so vibrant and full of life, that just being there filled you with a sense of adventure and discovery? Maybe it was a big city in a foreign country, or a little town far from anything well-known. Perhaps it was just an enchanting little stream in the mountains that you found during a hike, or maybe even just a cute donut shop down a side street you can’t remember ever noticing before.

 

For me, it wasn’t a donut shop, or a trickling stream, that made me want to show my closest friends the wonderful place I’d found. What was it? Two words: British Columbia.

 

It was heaven. A rainy, dripping and bone chillingly cold heaven, for sure, but heaven nonetheless. Slick beaches of multicolored pebbles, shining grey and black and silver in the morning light. Long tubes of kelp strewn across them, and little blue-green crabs skittering here and there, peering out at each other with eyes balanced on delicate stalks. The waves sometimes ripple, sometimes roar, ever changing. I’m always entranced by the way they shift in color and shade, from deep green, to navy blue, to grey, and ever with crowns of white here and there. Islands rise up out of the sea close to each other. Always shrouded in mist, these islands are covered with dense forest, nursed to life by the constant drizzling rain. Did you know this part of the world is considered a rainforest, even though the flora is much different from that of rainforests in warmer climates?

 

British Columbia - starfish

 

I made my way to a remote island in British Colombia, Morel by name, one fall a year or so back. As it turns out, my uncle lives there with his girlfriend and little son. His house is a one room building that happens to be smaller than most living rooms, and he made it himself. The electricity is run off a homemade electric mill that works off of a small stream in the back, there is no hot water, and they bake their food in a homemade clay oven my aunt made. May I just say, my uncle is an extraordinary man. He spent the first five years of his life after graduating from college circumnavigating the world. Then he proceeded to go to work making boats, and he’s currently in the process of construction a beautiful catamaran for his family to make a few shorter trips in.

 

fishing, British Columbia

 

The area he lives in is spectacular, but extremely remote. Perhaps it’s the very loneliness of the place that makes it so incredible. Here, orcas come right up between the islands, and gigantic cod can be easily caught only a few meters from shore. Here, cougars roar in the forest, and bears come down to the water to fish. Seals playfully nudge at floating logs, and gaze at me curiously, and the passages between the islands teem with fish. Largely untouched by civilization, British Colombia remains a lonely, wild, heaven.

 

 

 

 

Hannah Miller is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Hannah Miller