little palliser

by underswansea


Spent part of the weekend at the Palliser. It is getting chilly. The rain held steady, but not hard. The tops of the mountains have snow that won’t be leaving until spring. I cut a load of wood. It was dry pine; perfect to mix with the slower burning birch and fir stored in the woodpile.

The river could be heard from where I was cutting, even though it was a couple miles away. The dogs wandered here and there staying clear of the saw. Once the truck was full we packed up and headed to the river.

We crossed the Palliser and decided to follow the river down to a tributary I call The Little Palliser. Many of the names of creeks, lakes and mountains have been changed on maps as years have passed. I still call many by the names given by the old-timers who trapped and hunted the area in the early 1900’s.


I hadn’t been to the smaller river in many years. The water is low, even with the rain and the creeks flow green and blue. I kept the dogs in the truck so I wouldn’t have to worry about them on the shear cliffs. When they were younger they handled themselves fine on the rocks. Slinky would often walk right to the edge of banks and watch the creek below. I often wondered if she was planning a route down for a drink of water.

The cliffs in this area are straight up and down. The rain makes them slippery and you must be careful on two feet or four. I stayed on the top ledge and following the moss covered rocks until I found a spot to scramble down to the water’s edge. The canyon is a wonderful place to be with only the sound of the creek, while ribbons of light cascade through spruce and granite, falling like spotlights on the rushing water.


It is always tough to leave, but the rain was picking up and I had a camera weighing me down. I scrambled back up the banks and made my way to the truck. The dogs were asleep, tired from their exploring during the wood gathering, but awoke as I opened the door. Time to go home, I said.

Very fine day.