Packhorses to the Pacific: A Wilderness Honeymoon

Packhorses to the Pacific: A Wilderness Honeymoon

by Cliff Kopas


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Babes in the woods. That’s how Ruth and Cliff Kopas were described by one of many colourful characters the pair encountered on their amazing journey across the Rockies through to British Columbia’s west coast in 1933.

Married on the day they left on their dangerous trek, Ruth and Cliff were eager for adventure, and their courageous spirits and resourceful minds made up for any experience they lacked. Their motive was to fulfill Cliff’s childhood dream of following in Alexander Mackenzie’s footsteps to the Pacific.

For four months, the two slogged, scrambled and sloshed their way through some of the roughest terrain in North America. Their horses were their loyal companions, and the towering peaks, azure lakes and shimmering skies that greeted them were their reward. Their story, full of excitement and suspense, is peppered with humorous observations, historical anecdotes and a deep love for the Canadian wilderness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781894898133
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Edition description: New
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

Cliff Kopas (1911–1978) was born and raised in southern Alberta. As a teenager, he undertook packhorse trips into the nearby Rocky Mountains. Then, in 1933, he and his first wife, Ruth, travelled by horseback along Alexander Mackenzie’s route to the Pacific Ocean. At Bella Coola, Cliff worked as a writer and photographer while supplementing his income as a fish guardian and bookkeeper.

In 1937, with his second wife, Mae, he opened a general store, which is still in business today. Cliff and Mae were active in the community and prominent in the completion of the “Freedom Road” portion of the famous Chilcotin Highway. In addition to Bella Coola (originally published in 1970), he wrote No Path But My Own (completed by his son Leslie in 1996).

Table of Contents

Adventure Beckons1
Lake Louise to Jasper35
The Tonquin Adventure71
Yellowhead to Goat River87
Over the Goat River Trail to Quesnel105
Quesnel to Bella Coola127

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