Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Natalie's Story - A Kiwis personal Improvement..

Coming to Chilcotin as a young 22 year old from New Zealand I don't believe I really knew what I was getting myself into. A Chef at a Ski Resort is one thing, but coming to the ranch not knowing how to ride a horse was quite another, talk about leaping from the pan to the fire but hey it wouldn't be the first time.

I always wanted to work with horses and and loved the concept of being outdoors on a ranch, however as a child my mother would not allow me to ride horses citing look at Christopher Reeve, do you want to end up like him. So when I came to Canada two years ago I looked into working on a ranch, only the timing was wrong. Before I came to Canada in December I had a look over the net and Chilcotin Holidays and contacted them.

As someone who doesn't like to do things by halves, I sat my PAL (Gun License) and an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Course. So the 26th April came round and I started a two week Guide School, with Russ and Steph as the guides who were fantastic. The Guide School for someone who barely new which way to sit on a horse was a great means of personal improvement and to be introduced to these creatures and to this area. The Guide School was a challenge as it was for the most part completely new.

Working in an environment such as this it is imperative that you get along with everybody as much as possible, as living and breathing each other can get very tedious at times. However the staff at Chilcotin Holidays are amazing and it has been great living with these people, living and working in such close quarters you form bonds and friendships that in a normal existence can take a lifetime to become what they do here in such a short time. To be able to rely on each other is very important as you are dealing with life and death on a daily basis.

Perhaps my closest brush with nature was walking out of the outhouse at Spruce Lake one morning to almost stumble over a Grizzly Bear cub. I'm not going to lie it was probably the single most nerve racking minute in my life! While shaking somewhat I loaded up a bear banger, all while looking to see where the mother Grizzly was and becoming increasingly more perturbed as I could now see three cubs. Eventually I spotted the mother in the clearing in front of me with a fourth cub, she paid very little attention so I endeavored to get some photos, a little hard when ones hands are shaking so much.

But surviving these experiences is what makes the experience so great, these are things you can look back on and tell your children, be it the crossing of raging rivers to chasing bears out of camp to the Bobcat falling out of the tree, leaving the kittens there watching you.

I always new that I had a strong nature, I knew that from the first time I came to Canada by myself. Being out in the wilderness I found myself doing things that were totally new to me and we didn't always know how things would turn out. So it was situations like these that you found yourself in where you literally just had to suck it up and do it, after wards it gave you a new level of confidence.

The question one must ask themselves is do they wish to be safe and take the well traveled path or do you want to live a little and take the less traveled path? For me coming to Chilcotin Holidays was certainly taking the less traveled!


About Unknown

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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