This October I spent a delightful week in the Cariboo in and around 100 Mile House; specifically at 108 Mile House, where I taught a 4 day watercolour playshop at an exceptionally unique place called The Hills Health Ranch. A long dissertation about The Hills would be easy because I enjoyed the surroundings so much. Needless to say, I ended up in the right place at the right time with long days of glorious autumn colour.
Getting there was an adventure in itself, since we decided to go the Whistler Pemberton Lilooet route. The road from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler was a construction nightmare because of the 2010 Winter games, but the rest was totally entertaining. From Lilooet to 100 Mile the Cariboo Gold Rush history appears everywhere, especially in towns like Lilooet and Clinton. Although a number of historical presentations for tourists are provided, it hardly seems necessary, since many of the old hotels and store/trading posts are still operating.
We had deliberately arrived early for the playshop so I could paint some of the fall scenery. We lucked out with a whole week of warm, sunny days and clear, frosty nights - a painters dream. Although I had painted in the area six years ago, I had concentrated on the Williams Lake area and the east Chilcotin and its spectacular canyons, whereas the 100 Mile area is filled with grasslands interspersed with forest and hundreds of lakes.
At the playshop the following week I did a demo using a sketch I had done in the Chilcotin. I was happy the way it turned out so I present it here for your critique. The yellow, green, silt-laden Chilcotin River is shown framed by golden aspen and the ever-present rail fence. This scene was at a campsite along the Chilcotin highway; a great place to spend a sunny, autumn afternoon.