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).