Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kamloops Lake ~ Cherry Creek ~ Savona, BC ~

We love RVing that takes us to every corner of this beautiful country but sometimes we may see something right outside our own door (or perhaps a friends’ door) that can take our breath away.  I enjoy every season looking at Kamloops Lake from our favorite viewpoint in Cherry Creek.

Kamloops Lake, Kamloops, BC

The North Thompson River meets the South Thompson River in Kamloops then flow into Kamloops Lake, west of downtown Kamloops.  Due to the fact that the lake is river fed, the level can vary quite a bit over the year.  There can be up to 30 feet difference between high and low season, which exposes rocky edges and wide beaches late summer and fall.

Reflections on Kamloops Lake, BC

Kamloops Lake is 1.6 km (1mi) wide and 29 km (18 mi) long, and averages 71m (233 ft) deep.   The water passes thru the lake at varying speeds, depending on the time of year and volume of water in the lake but averages about 60 days for all water to pass through Kamloops Lake.  This water qualifies to meet or exceed the Canadian Drinking Water Standards. 

Snowy rockface on Kamloops Lake, BC

Frederick is a small community on the north side of the lake, and Tobiano Golf Course and Cherry Creek are situated on the south side.  Savona was originally set on the north side and called Savona Ferry.  It was at Savona that “the Martin” was launched, reported to be the first steamboat built in the interior of B.C.

Everchanging shadows and reflections on Kamloops Lake
Savona Ferry was the last stop of the Cariboo Wagon Road from Cache Creek and where travelers then boarded the steamship to journey up Kamloops Lake to Kamloops during the years 1865-1885 before the CPR was built.  It was then at that time that Savona Ferry was moved across the frozen lake, building by building as the railway became the main transportation.

Grandpa and Grandson enjoy the view of Kamloops Lake
Winter can bring cold enough temperatures that ice is formed on the lake but rarely would it ever be considered thick enough to skate or ice fish on.  I believe there could be shallow bays that might be more likely to freeze enough for skating, which did happen in recent years in Savona.  Usually there are just very thin ice patches, as seen from this viewpoint.

Viewpoint of Kamloops Lake at Savona, BC
The highway we now use on the south side of Kamloops Lake was built in the early 1900’s.  Just east of Savona there is a Viewpoint Lookout and Rest stop that offers a 180 degree view.  From here you will enjoy an incredible view of Kamloops Lake as well as see where both CNR and CPR tracks meander along both sides of the lake.  It would not be long before you would be watching a train as it makes its way past the viewpoint and rest area.

Balancing Rock on Kamloops Lake, BC
The Savona Balancing Rock, called the ‘Coyote Rock’ by local First Nations can be viewed from the highway if you go a short distance down the highway from the Viewpoint Lookout towards Savona.  It does blend in well with its’ surroundings and can be a bit difficult to see.  There is a trail through private property that apparently owners allow hikers to use, still further down the road, that would give you a closer view.  This picture was taken from lakeside.

                                                         Savona on Kamloops Lake, BC
The major lakeside community is Savona as you enter the Gold Country from the east.  This would suggest it was so named due to the history of the gold rush of years gone by but I think I may have found the ‘pot of gold’ right in downtown Savona if I follow this rainbow.  Kamloops Lake and surrounding areas including Savona, are truly treasures to enjoy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow ~ Kamloops ~ British Columbia

When we think of winter, we think of cold and snow but that isn’t always the way it is!
Kamloops also has a lot of sunshine, even in winter. I am no weatherman and I don’t keep a weather journal but for those winter days that we think will go on forever, we need to remember that it won’t be this way for long and then find a way to enjoy it.

View to the west, Kamloops, BC, Canada
Sometimes we have lots of snow over the winter and other winters not as much. There is no real sure way of knowing what our winter will be like as some of these photos will show. There is El Nino, La Nina and cold fronts then warm fronts; wind or fog; we have a lot of weather variations that make for an interesting weather pattern in our part of the world.

Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter at Kamloops, BC
No matter where we might be to see a view of our city of Kamloops, we can see Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter as it stands tall and proud at the conflux of the North and South Thompson Rivers.

North Thompson River in Kamloops, BC
The North Thompson River appears to be frozen over at this point but never can it be trusted to be safe for crossing or skating on.  The river will be flowing beneath the ice, although slowly, but it could take very little weight to break through.

Thompson River at McArthur Park, Kamloops, BC
The South Thompson River has been frozen at times, but at this time it is open with snowcovered sandbars, as seen on the other side of the river.  Very often you will see a variety of birds and geese visiting this area but snow now covers any food they may forage so none were seen this day.

Scenic sunset on hills over Kamloops, BC
The range of hills and mountains behind Batchelor Hills seen in the distance, offer a beautiful setting with a dusting of snow as the winter setting sun shines onto some of those hills.  From this vantage point we can see some of the Lac du Bois area and then in the far distance is the Porcupine Ridge; both areas are favorites with the snowmobilers in winter.  

Trumpeter swans on the South Thompson River
The Trumpeter swans usually spend time here over the winter.  Those residents that live near the river are likely very familiar with the loud nasal honking call of the trumpeter, which is how they got their name.  They are the largest swan species and one of the largest flying birds.  The trumpeters are the only swans that live exclusively in North America and they may fly 2500 km (1600 mi) on migration.

Swans on their winter visit
Both sexes of the adult trumpeter swan look alike with their white plumage but the immature birds have grayish plumage with gray-pink legs and their bills are gray-pink toward the tip.  The swans can weigh up to 13 kg. (30lbs) and may live to be 24 years old. There have been incidents on the S. Thompson River in past years that swans have frozen to the surface, then were rescued by some very caring and careful people.

Cloud formations cover a winter sunset
Late afternoon cloud formations make the sky look very luminous and eerie.  We can have winds come through the valley which can create interesting cloud formations at times.  The big advantage of the wind is that if we have threatening clouds overhead, they may be gone within minutes due to the wind.  Our weather can change in a moments time.

Fog sits in the valley
The vantage point for this photo was taken from the Dufferin area and shows a beautiful fresh new snowfall and a bank of fog hanging over the city.  It can be socked right in when down in the valley but a short drive up the hill and we’re ‘above the clouds’ enjoying sunshine and blue skies.

Hoar frost on a sunny day
I believe this to be a great example of hoar frost.  It is a white frost, tiny solid deposits of water vapor from saturated air.  This happens when the temperature of the surface is below freezing, usually with clear skies.

Peterson Creek Nature Park
Peterson Creek is a great spot to see some incredible views from. This particular spot is near the parking lot just off Summit Drive in the Sahali area and from there you can hike on several paths to enjoy more of the view.

There is more for you to see on Kamloops if you click here and even more if you click here, too.
Enjoy the Kamloops winters and the beauty of the snow covered hills, there is just no place like home.