Our next meeting was with Scott Rehmus the CEO of Coast Opportunity Funds. Scott's organization manages $60 million that is to be used to help with conservation on First Nations land in coastal British Columbia. Scott gave us an incredible overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with land belonging to First Nations. The money is already allocated to the First Nations based on a formula that takes into account quality, continuity and size of the ecosystem as well as their commitment to ecosystem based management.
After spending the morning with Scott, the driving tour began. We left Vancouver and headed to 105 Mile House, which is not 105 miles from where the road began but referred to the wagon trail. We had exquisite views of mountains as we headed east then north. It got harder and harder not to stop and take in the scenery. We did convince Mark to stop at Yale Tunnel. We had been admiring the river views from the car and were ready to get some pictures. What an incredible day --- bright blue skies and a very comfortable temperature. The views were just spectacular. My pictures don't do it justice!
Max, Emma and Mark (my family) would have loved watching all the trains! I just enjoyed the snow-capped mountains and lots of trees!
Lest you think it has been all work and no play, we found a sign we couldn't resis photographing. Since my daughter's class may read this, I won't post it here (you can remind me to post to facebook). Let's just say we liked it so much we risked our lives for a photo!
We passed the sign, found a place to turn around a ways down the road, couldn't stop on the road so passed the sign going the other way and parked. We walked along the winding mountain two-lane very close to the cliff edge to get to the sign. If we are this goofy at this point, imagine what we may be like at the end of the journey!
After a major change in ecosystem type, we started seeing the problem -- dead trees. Mountain pine beetle has been killing lodgepole pine. I've seen areas killed by southern pine beetle but seeing so many dead trees on the mountain side is startling. I expect we will see more of this on this trip.
For my non-forester friends, the red and grey trees are dying or dead. These are lodgepole pine which is all over the place up here.
After about six hours of driving we arrived at 105 Mile House and met our hosts for the evening, Mary Jane and Peter Castonguay. Peter takes amazing photos (http://www.cowboy-pics.com/) and runs a ranch. Mary Jane is an economic development consultant. Their house was situated on a beautiful lake. The four girls were to stay at the Castonguay's while Mark was to stay next door. We had a wonderful steak dinner and great company. Mark's hosts, Peter and Ursula joined us for dinner. We'd had a long day of driving and called it a night. Busy days ahead!