Back home in Austria from our family’s trip to British Columbia my head and heart are full with so many impressions. I’ve sorted the countless taken photos and published them in a photo book, as well as I have told the „main“ stories to our family and friends. So far so good. “A common procedure following a trip to another part of the world“, one would say, „let’s get back to every-day life and keep our trip memories alive as long as possible!“ Somehow, I feel that this journey has generated more than just memories of adventure, due to that very special experience – the “Chilcotin experience“ that our family of four gained during a 4-day horse trekking tour to Eldorado camp and beyond. Let me try to explain what this experience is about!
Stunning landscapes: As you proceed and ascend, nature gradually transforms, from leafy forests occasionally crossed by dust paths, to meadows and alpine terrain. For an alpine European accustomed to high mountains it’s the vastness of this land and the untouched nature that are so overwhelming!
Horses with character: There were Taylor, an intelligent and experienced mare; Duke, wise and cautious, a true leader; Scouty, reliable, a perfect team-mate; and Mowson, self-confident, and a strong character. All of them reliable creatures that carried you at an appropriate pace, uphill and downhill, across flowery meadows, and with every step let you penetrate more deeply into their universe.
Passionate guides: Kristin – what a wilderness guide! Calm and canny, experienced and sensitive. Celina – cheerful and open-minded, self-reliant. Both were so practical and generous sharing their knowledge of horsemanship and wilderness skills. What impressed me as a European leisure rider most: hobbling the horses!). They lead you and the horses through the wilderness with so much passion and joy! Watching the numerous mountain goats together created precious moments.
Ranch with team spirit: From the first moment one sensed that this was where the heart and brain of this enterprise lay. The staff: open-minded and reflective personalities, creating a natural hospitable atmosphere. Meals taken together, conversations of the ranch workaday life – physically hard work with a lot of team spirit behind.
Chilcotin definitely did something to me. This poem of D.H. Lawrence comes closest to what I have experienced and for which I am so grateful.
When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like