Monday, November 28, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Ranch Life- A Townie Passing by

Back home I live in the city, well, a city by Belgian standards. Anyway, you know the deal: coffee shop at every corner, restaurants and bars, public transport and the newspaper delivered at my doorstep each morning at 8 am. On a given Saturday last October I had an epiphany. I still remember the day like it was yesterday: woken up around 9-ish, sitting in my living room, listening to the radio, reading my newspaper and of course, enjoying my cup of Joe. Suddenly, I realized that it is time for something new: it's getting too damn comfortable and it's about time I do something about that. After browsing the internet, I decided to go working as a volunteer on some ranch in Canada.

Fast forward to today. It has been two weeks since I arrived at The Ranch, located in the South Chilcotin Mountains, close to Gold Bridge, BC, Canada. High five! I made it! Above, I described a typical day back home. For weekdays, simply add the commute to the office and that is that. But how does a typical day at The Ranch look like? Well, there is no typical day at The Ranch, nor a boring one. Each second you are awake, there is something you can be doing. You are probably thinking “Sounds pretty cool and I wanna be doing that, but I have no experience working on a ranch. Won't I get totally lost?” Same here, when I arrived I had no ranch experience whatsoever. How did I survive my first two weeks you wonder? Two key words: flexibility and adaptability. No need to clarify, right? Very good!

So what's keeping me busy? Like I already told you guys, there's always something you can be doing. If you don't find something to do, you're probably sleeping. Time for some specifics. The first thing I noticed is that everyone is going to bed, well tent, pretty early because we get up at 6am. Me? I have a flexible sleeping pattern. Let's keep it at that. But honestly, getting up early is a good thing because you have so much more time for doing stuff. Let's take gardening and taking care of the animals as an example. Each morning we run up the horses from the meadow to the coral so we can saddle 'em up when going for a ride and we feed the chickens. “You've gotta take care of those chickens if you want eggs around here!” In the afternoon, we can do some gardening, which has been very instructive for me. At least now I know the difference between a potato plant and weeds. You see, this is a townie talking to you guys. You should've seen the peoples faces when I didn't know how to check the truck's oil. Yet, I am currently in the process of learning how to use a chainsaw. Flexibility and adaptability you know.

Next to working at The Ranch, there are plenty of opportunities for taking a break. We play volleyball, do some archery or we simply hang out with the other people in our Saloon. OK, it's not a real saloon because there's no drinking at The Ranch (Safety First!), but who needs drinks when the beautiful forests around you provide you with excellent herbs for tea. Exactly. You and me, we understand each other. I would love to tell you more, but you gotta give me a beak: I've only been here for two weeks. By the way, I promised Jessie that I would help prepare dinner today and the last person you wanna tick of is the kitchen manager (obviously). Again you see, no dull day at The Ranch.

You might not believe me, but I am writing this story on a rainy Saturday morning, drinking a cup of coffee and listening to Bob Dylan's Shelter From The Storm. So we are back at the beginning of this story. Yet, this is not a typical day in Belgium: when I look outside I see horses running around and through the bushes I can see the top of the South Chilcotin Mountains. Funny how things go sometimes. Now it's really time to get in the kitchen. Next time I will tell you more about the volunteers work I am doing up here, or maybe about how I got here. I haven't really made up my mind yet. I guess you should just be flexible and adaptable, like all of us here at The Ranch.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

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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