In the mid 1800’s Donald McIntyre mired in fog and underbrush for days, trying to bushwhack from the Kootenay to the Okanagan saw the clouds lift, exposing a high snow-covered peak, “Oh – monashied” he said in his Gaelic tongue – “this is the mountain of peace”. Explore the drive into this undiscovered country.
A landscape of lakes and forest from where we chop wood and carry water. Here a blanket of forest provides cover for a rich aquifer that lends water to the parched desert landscape in the valley below.
One of the most extraordinary bushwhackers was George M. Dawson one of the first surveyors to navigate throughout British Columbia, today Dawson Creek and Dawson City in the Yukon both bare his name. Undisputed in his talents – but in the Monashee he lost a lake.
As far as residents of the Monashee go, there is only one that can lay claim to influencing global culture that might number into the billions of people, and to think many locals here thought he was off his noodle. Rene Dahinden was known to locals for having a belief that Bigfoot habitat was a real possibility in the mountainous terrain of the Monashee, however few would know that the source of this comment was considered one of the worlds foremost authorities on the subject even in Mainland China and that Hollywood would make his character an icon that lives to this day.
A ribbon of homesteads turned retreats border this country road. The population is mixed with loggers, ranchers and those who would be hippies many of them, folks retreating from a busier outside world. They share a playground that is being discovered by the greater Okanagan, and they also share another precious resource that remains locked in this rugged landscape; the locals would interrupt anyone with a thirsty notion - and they would be quick to say, “We own this water here, and we will protect it forever”.
Don Elzer tells a story of what the ancient landscape of the Okanagan and the Monashee may have been like as the last great ice age began to retreat. This is a speculative account however there is new scientific evidence surfacing that sheds new light on the fantastic changes that occurred here 15,000 years ago.
In a UBC Report by Bud Mortenson published in April 2007 he explained a theory by Robert Young an Assoc. Prof. of Geography and Earth and Environmental Sciences at UBC Okanagan that indicates that a great body of water formed over the Okanagan Valley as a result of melting ice sheets.
It is here that the Okanagan grasslands, forests and mountains are bound together by the sustenance of life – water. Exploring this eastern edge of the North Okanagan provides adventurers a chance to find worlds hidden within the remote valleys of this place.
We welcome you to explore with us the Undiscovered Country a documentary featuring stories and experiences as we journey into the Coldstream and Monashee.
This two part Bearfoot Canada series has been produced by the Watershed Intelligence Network in partnership with the Cascadia Conservancy.
Features - Part 1
This online documentary is available for viewing from September 23rd
to November 30th 2009
Map Links and route downloads. Explore roads and trails
Find our latest productions in our program guide called Cafe.
The Cascadia Conservancy promotes a healthy and sustainable environment for rural British Columbia. We link the protection and enhancement of natural eco-systems with human settlement that includes a vibrant local economy.
We are a proud partner of this production The Undiscovered Country
Stewardship & Community
Mistical Sacred Places
Top of the Kettle
Gold Fever & Ghosts
Airheads in Flight
Landscape at Risk
Kids Travel Pack
7 Days of Adventure
The Cascadia Conservancy
Elzer Family Community
Westcoast CED Consulting Ltd.
Deuling & Company Lawyers
Hodge & Associates
Reality Based Accounting
Cozy Cabins Nature Resort
Bloom Wellness Centre
Keefer Lake Resort
Miracles & Hair Design
Dott’s Chocolate Shop
M-T Ranch WoodCraft
The Wildcraft Forest
The Undiscovered Country is a production of the Watershed Intelligence Network.
The Watershed Intelligence Network creates and manages information power tools for a changing planet. Watershed produces online documentaries for broadcast within its own online network as well as other independent and publically owned media outlets.