It would be rare to meet someone at Painted Bluffs. It is a remote and quiet spot on the north side of Kamloops Lake. For those who do visit the site, most stay on the lower slopes, but some of the upper gullies and ridges have some surprises for explorers. On this last paddle and hike, I was able to find a gully that took me all the way to the top and then used two more gullies to come down into a different area. New views and some finds awaited me.
The descent came down a gully into another world, a primeval and strange landscape, a place to quietly focus one’s sense of wonder.
High on the ridges in a barren, infertile soil infused with iron, copper, and cinnabar, a few scrubby plants survive and some blazing stars can be found in unlikely spots.
As winter approaches, we reflect on the seasons now past and a few special places blaze in our memories. Canyonlands, Zion, Azure Lake, and Painted Bluffs burn bright in our connections to the outdoors.