Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Chilcotin Holidays

Unforgettable first time experience

„I'm not here for the horses, I'm here to learn about management“. I still have to smile about my naive approach when I hear me saying that sentence. I came to the ranch for my office related internship, not for the guiding job. After 7 weeks here, I had the opportunity to be an assistant guide on a pack trip for the first time. I didn't want to do it at first because I was afraid the job was too tough for me, so I tried to find somebody else to take my position. After a while I accepted the challenge with a very nervous feeling in my belly. Nervous in a good way, because deep inside me I came here to connect with nature and experience the beauty of British Columbia.

In my first weeks I didn't have the confidence to do anything that was required for guiding a pack trip. I was afraid to ride, even though I've been with horses since I was a little kid. Everything was just so different and overwhelming for me that I couldn't deal with it. On my first day ride in the mountains I even cried and promised myself: „I will never do this again!“ And there I was, welcoming a German family arriving at the ranch, ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

From the beginning on I felt that this family was a good match for a trip of this kind. The 4 kids where curious, excited and ready to go from day one. I connected with them very quick, which is important when you are together 24 hours a day and experience extreme situations together. Remembering their happy faces on the horses still gives me a warm feeling in my heart. Riding up into the mountains seemed to be so much easier than the last time, because I my thoughts were only wandering between taking care of the kids and enjoying the wonderful views the trail had to offer. Though it was a rough ride sometimes, the kids kept a great attitude, each of them in their own personal way. Arriving at Eldorado camp, they were still not tired and neither was I. I never felt I had so much energy, so we staked and hobbled the horses without struggling. In the evening we all sat together in the cozy cabin next to the warm stove, enjoying dinner and sharing the experiences of the day. It was the best evening I had in a long time, incomparable with anything else the busy city life has to offer.

The next day started at 5:00 AM with unstaking and looking for horses. It was a gift to me, as I got to ride through the lonely meadows, enjoying the silence of the morning. After having a classical camp breakfast, we rode off to the ridge trail. After climbing up around the ridges, we reached the mountain tops, which presented us a view I will never forget. After every minute of riding, we had a different view on the endless landscape of mountains. It for sure is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my entire life. Having lunch on top of the world made me feel unconditional love for the nature. Besides, I could see the families’ appreciation for the experiences they made together on this trip, which is worth more than any money someone could pay me.

I'm sure nobody wanted to go back home the next day, but riding the beautiful trail from Eldorado back to the ranch made it a little easier for everybody. Though we had to walk downhill a while on the way back, we managed to make it an enjoyable adventure for everyone. After taking care of the horses, we had a last dinner together at the ranch and certified each family member with individual speeches. Reviewing the stories and our experiences was quiet emotional for everyone, but also the perfect end of an amazing adventure.

I could write a book about my experiences on this trip, but you still couldn't imagine which impact it had on my life. The best decision I've ever made was overcoming my fears and joining this pack trip as an assistant guide, because now I feel more empowered, strong and confident than I ever did in my life. If you can be a guide in the wilderness of the Chilcotin Mountains, I'm sure you can handle any other challenge in life!

Fenja, Germany

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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