CCQL 7 Campaign Day 1: PEACE
We had been driving for 14 hours through mountains and hot desert like landscapes to finally reach the gravel road that would take us to Quesnel Lake. As we drove, I was expecting to see the trees clear to provide a spectacular view of the lake. Little did I know that I was driving deeper into the world’s only Inland Temperate Rainforest, it was as if the forest was protecting the Lake from view. As the road got narrower the trees became thicker, hemlock and firs packed in on both sides. The road was covered with Monarch butterflies migrating from Mexico. We felt we had entered another world where time had stood still and the forest dominates.
Quesnel Lake is surrounded by an Inland Temperate Rainforest that cover 40 million acres and stretches approximately 700 miles from Idaho to Prince George BC. Each morning I would sit drinking my earl grey tea and marvel at the sheer size of the trees, not clear piece of land existed here. From the massive trees to the minute moss and fungus. The smells would change with the breeze from rotting vegetation to the aroma of growing plants, I loved it all.
I was lucky enough to spend my days on a boat fishing and although Quesnel Lake is wonderful to watch as the sun light moves across the water, it was the forest that that held my attention. At times I was sure I saw a deer or a bear peeping out from behind a tree. Landing on Cariboo Island provided an opportunity to walk into this tiny piece of forest without getting lost, the familiar smell of vegetation and damp heat hit me again.
Quesnel Lake is incredibly special, but the forest dominates my senses and memories. This Inland Rainforest provides protection for this lake, it is home for many and feels like home for me.