Monday, July 17, 2017

Chilcotin Holidays

The Posh girl and the Tool shed

Before joining the ranch I would not describe myself as the most handy person. As a keen player to my strengths, I stick to the Maths and English watching my dad fix doors and chop wood from the side-lines. I may be able to state the quadratic formula but tell me to even operate a lawnmower I will give you a blank look. My avoidance of tools comes mostly from fear, fearing I will bring an axe down on my fingers and end up in A&E. Always the worry of a clumsy person like me, who can never quite remembers the length of her own legs. What I lack in tool experience, I have tried to make up for in manual labour, becoming an expert at the early morning forking up of horse poo and lifting of hale bales. Before arriving in Canada my use of a hammer was limited to breaking the ice covering the ponies water and the other notable tool experience is my yearly tradition of using shears to cut holly branches for a Christmas wreath. Precariously balanced on the ladder it feels good to breathe the fresh winter air and feel the power from this sharp equipment. 

So arriving at the ranch, I decided grab the opportunity to make my way through the tool shed. Here I could not be lazy like back in England, where if I broke something my Dad was always around the corner waiting to fix it. That will certainly not be the case all my life, I hope to live somewhere other than the suburbs of Surrey. Coming to Canada I was setting myself a challenge, to make the academics take a back seat and force myself to become street smart in time for university. After a week in the office, I had the opportunity to start facing my challenge, joining Carl in his carpentry efforts. I enjoyed having to think less as I pulled nails out of plywood and I practiced hammering nails to fix the roof slats in place. Even though I found hammering the nails really tiring, it felt good to contribute to the creation of a building!

After 2 weeks I moved up to the axe, sharper than the blunt ended hammer, at first I was reluctant to pick it up, the thing was really heavy. Although It felt amazing to the swing it down on the piece of wood and all my frustration could be knocked out in one go. So after 2 weeks I started to enjoy the self sufficient fix it yourself ranch lifestyle. As I made my way to the large sprinklers, wrench in my boot trying to turn them on. Still my biggest fear was operating a chainsaw. Even watching the videos I kept saying I am not going near this thing or I will cut my foot off. So on my 17th day came my chainsaw orientation. Not being able to pull the power cord fast enough, I felt I had already failed as the lifeless machine splattered. After it was turned on for me, I managed to balance he chain saw on my knee and cut off three rounds of wood from a log. So after growing up in a society in which you pay for someone to do the manual work, I am enjoying the sense of achievement of making something yourself and learning while doing so.

Rebecca, UK

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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