Monday, November 14, 2016

Kamloops, BC to Hope, BC in Autumn

Beautiful British Columbia!  There are so many amazing sights for us to see without going far from home.  Here are some photos taken during recent trips down from home in Kamloops to Hope, BC which is a three hour drive.

Kamloops early morning
An early morning departure from Kamloops sees the sun warming up Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter as it shines down the South Thompson River.  Sun Rivers development enjoys the early morning sun while downtown homes patiently awaits.

Nicola Lake
 An autumn day following the old Highway 5A along Nicola Lake offers some colorful trees to brighten up the shoreline.  Most of the indigenous deciduous trees of the area offer the yellow leaves throughout the Nicola Valley during the Autumn months.

Spences Bridge, BC
As we cross the bridge over the Thompson River at Spences Bridge we see these interesting mountain formations.  The original 82 year old Spences Bridge was dismantled last year after being deemed a safety hazard.

Hoodoos in the Thompson Canyon
We follow the Thompson River and see a lot of work being done on the railway across the river from the highway.  We also saw some work being done on this side of the river on the railway, this must be the time of year to clean up any fallen rocks and debri before winter weather causes havoc.

Thompson River rapids
The river is low at this time of year but the rapids seen at this rocky corner offer lots of excitement for the white water rafting that takes place through many rapids like these during the summer months.  This is just one example of a reported 25 rapids between Spences Bridge and Lytton, BC, no proof necessary for me, I will just take their word on that!

Lilloet Mountain Range
The Lillooet Range is part of the Pacific Range of BC’s Coastal Mountains and offer some great sights with snow covered peaks and a beautiful blue sky as a backdrop today.  We’ve travelled this road during winter months, as well, and will say that these road conditions and views are much nicer on this day.

Yale, BC
After passing through the last tunnel of the Fraser Canyon we approach Yale, BC.  Yale was once the head of navigation on the Fraser River as it was considered unnavigable past this point.  In the 1860’s, Yale was a booming town due to the gold rush and the sternwheelers made regular visits to Yale.
Othello Tunnels, Hope, BC
The Othello Tunnels are a nice walk off the parking lot through pretty mossy trees while the river rushes by.  It is part of the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park near Hope, BC and closes when the summer season ends so no Autumn visits.  The Coquihalla River rushes through the rocky crevices and the tunnels were built for the decommissioned railways of long ago, both great sights to see.  

Bridal Falls, BC
A return trip on Hwy 1 brings us past Bridal Falls where we see the changing of the leaves.  We drive to Hope then onto the Coquihalla Highway 5 for a different scenic trip home.  I will share that trip another time.

To see what most of this road looks like during a winter trip, click here and you will see quite a difference. Just remember that whenever or wherever you travel, be safe!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Autumn Colors ~ Deer ~ McArthur Park ~ Kamloops, BC

Another sunny autumn day suggests another walk through the park.  I cannot go without my camera, even though we did this a week ago, there may be something different in McArthur Park.

Mt.Paul and Mt.Peter
It is amazing what a difference one week can make during this season of changing colors.  We have visited this park several times during other autumn seasons but I have never seen the colors quite like this.  The McArthur Park Slough with Mt. Paul and Peter in the background is a beautiful sight today.

McArthur Park greeters
We met some park greeters!  These ducks headed straight towards us as we crossed the footbridge over the slough, fully expecting us to have some treats for them.  We did not so they soon went on their way.  The little tree hugger was pretty curious but soon knew we had nothing for him, either.

Autumn colors
We followed the footpath that loops around the McArthur Island Golf Course and enjoyed the colors of the leaves of the trees on the golf course.  There were several different colors which aren’t part of the indigenous tree colors.

Grazing deer
Lush green grass, beautiful colors and no golfers.  What we do see are several deer, including a deer family enjoying that lush green grass!  This is exactly why I could never leave my camera behind.  One just never knows what they may see.

Deer playtime
Two deer were playing up under the big tree.  It is difficult to see the antlers through the tree branches but we were able to see them on one of the deer when they separated.  This wrestle only lasted a moment, time for three quick photos and they were back to grazing.

Beautiful deer buck
This buck was oblivious to the playing going on and stayed closer to the doe and the young one.  We moved to another opening through the fence and using my other lens, I was able to take photos that looked like we were right up close, but we were far enough away, they didn’t even notice.

Deer family
We saw six deer altogether on the course, two of them are just over the crest of the hill taking a rest and their heads are barely seen from here.  There may have been others, this seems to be a permanent home to them as we’ve seen some on golfing visits, too.

Colors of McArthur Park Golf Course
More trees, more autumn colors to enjoy but no deer in sight as we near the end of the path that encircles the golf course.  We do see some golfers that will soon be surprised to see what is ahead of them.

Kamloops across the Thompson River
The golf course is a great example of a local park for all to enjoy, even if you are not a golfer, but more so if you are.  The quiet walk in the park includes a pretty view of the Thompson River and the city of Kamloops in the distance.

Other than the deer, ducks and squirrels we saw here today, there are other residents to enjoy. Canada Geese find the park a perfect winter home and are often seen and heard flying overhead.  These large geese appear to avoid the golf course but spend most of their time in other parts of the park and add quite a lot of high quality phosphate to the grounds!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Walk in the Parks~McArthur~Riverside~Kamloops, BC

We are enjoying a few lovely sunny days following some big October rain.  The cool crisp weather makes for a beautiful blue sky with fall leaves starting to make their changes.  

MacArthur Island Slough
Our first stop today is at McArthur Island Park on the north shore where the Slough offers some nice reflections of color.  The Thompson River level is low at this time of year and offers some quiet waters for the ducks and geese to enjoy.

Deer Family
While taking photos of the geese on the river, I happened to look down and what a surprise!  A beautiful doe was munching on the leaves and then hidden behind the bush there was a baby with her.

Well hidden 
We watched quietly for a while then walked away for a bit so not to disturb them anymore.  When we came back, the doe was still out but we saw two babies nestled under the bushes nearby, almost impossible to see.  Click here and here to see more of the park on other visits.

Railway bridge over South Thompson
We then moved on to visit Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops.  It is still early for all leaves to be turning but with the ones that are, offer a pretty contrast against the blue sky.

Bicycle Repair Station
Not being bike riders, it may have been here awhile but we hadn’t noticed this bike repair station before.  It is about the size of a golf bag but has air and fix-it helpers for bike repairs.  What a great idea for those bikes that may need help while on the Rivers Trail.

Welcome to Riverside Park
We have had some great rain this year which gives us lots of green to enjoy at our parks.   Riverside Park was developed in 1902 and has evolved into a beautiful park in Kamloops.  Click here to see more of the park on another visit.

A quiet walk in the Park
There have been some recent additions made at Riverside Park which includes new pickle ball courts by the tennis courts, which are also still there.  Pickle ball has become a very popular sport in Kamloops.

Oblix at Riverside
Standing strong by one of the entrances to the park is this great ¾ life size bronze bull, Oblix.  He was first put in the park in 2007 representing the ranching heritage of the area.  Donated to Kamloops by the artist Joe Fafard who sculpted him, he was recently moved to this new location in the Park.

North Thompson River
There is a plaque in this tiny park on Schubert Drive along the North Thompson River that commemorates the Schubert Family who were a part of the Overlanders who came to the area in 1862.  Shortly after their arrival, baby Rose was born on Oct. 14, one hundred and fifty four years ago this week.

There are several parks in the city, many of them with beautiful fall colors at this time of year.  Hopefully we can all enjoy more sunny days to watch the changes of the season.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wildflowers ~ Herefords ~ Ross Moore Lake ~ Kamloops, BC

The quest continues to find the lake we were looking for last week.  We tried to find a map, but Visitor’s info said the one we wanted are no longer available.  We talk with a fisherman at a local sports shop and although he doesn’t have specifics, he explains a new road was built so now we have a better idea of how to find it.

Barn from the Kamloops past
We hadn’t planned ahead but during a quiet afternoon chat, Keith suggests we head up that road to find the lake we did not find last week.  I’m fine with that, new territory on a sunny day and new photos make for a great reason to go and Keith knew where we were going this time.... sorta.

Rolling hills of Kamloops, BC
We see more green rolling hills as we head in another direction although in the same general area.  Ranching has always been an important part of Kamloops history and there are signs that show some of those family names from many years ago are still in the ranching business.

Calves afternoon naptime
We did see a few herds of cattle on the different country roads.  It had been calving season and there were several calves in this small herd enjoying their afternoon siesta in the sun.

Fields of wildflowers
The wildflowers are in bloom and we see fields of purple lupine which is the most common wild flower of BC.  They can be blue, purple or pink.  They are found at all elevations and are a marmot’s favourite delicacy.  We also saw fields of oxeye daisies and roadside patches of wild rose.

Indian Paintbrush
The Indian Paintbrush, as this is commonly called, is a native wildflower.  The flower is edible and was consumed by Native American tribes as a condiment with other greens.  The roots and green parts can be toxic but if eaten in moderation was used to treat some health problems due to the high selenium content.

Curious calves
If my very limited cattle breed information is correct, Hereford are the brown and more common cattle seen in the area but we did see some black ones in another field.  The moms, some had the white faces, were nearby but their calves were curious enough to stay alongside the road to watch us go by.  Perhaps there were some Aberdeen Angus in there.

Potholes and puddles 
Now back to our quest for ‘that’ lake.  The first several kilometers was not a bad road but that changed.  For some reason, I understood that the road to this lake was a forestry road which led me to believe it would be wide, flat and no pot holes.  In my dreams!  ‘Forestry’ obviously also means logging road and even calling it a ‘road’ is being generous at times. This is not the worst part of the road here but it has plenty of potholes to bounce through.

Are we there yet?
So we are back to bouncing and jostling another 16 kilometres (10 mi) along logging ‘roads’.  The good thing is we see there are other tire marks on this road, so it has been used today.   I am holding onto Maggie, our little dog with one hand, the camera in the other hand, and the seatbelt stops me from bouncing off the seat!  Are we having fun now!  10 kph (6 mph) is our fast speed.

Ross Moore Lake
We both let a sigh of relief out when this beautiful sight comes into view!  The quest has been conquered and we have arrived.  There really is a Ross Moore Lake!

Calm afternoon lake
This lake is a good size and has a good reputation for fishing.  There were 3 boats just getting off the lake as we got there.  We spoke to the fishermen in the last boat and they had “caught dinner, but the big ones didn’t like the boat” and got away.

Driver Keith deserves a cold drink
Our quest completed, we felt a cold drink was a just reward for surviving yet another gruelling (my description) trip on a local fishing road.  I am told this road was like most other fishing lake roads!  It had taken us 90 minutes to get here and now we had to return on the same 16 km of rough road that we had come up to Ross Moore lake on….but we survived another adventure on our Kamloops country roads.

The earlier adventuresome day as we tried to find Ross Moore Lake can be seen by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Country roads ~ fishing lakes ~ Kamloops, BC

Kamloops is known as a fishing mecca for fishermen and home to the world renowned Kamloops trout, for those who may be interested in fishing!  That does not happen to be my interest but any invitation to go for a drive in this beautiful country is a photo opportunity so is good enough for me.

Edith Lake, Kamloops, BC
There are over two hundred lakes within a 60 mile radius of Kamloops and therefore is considered a fisherman’s idea of paradise.  We are heading out to find one of these two hundred lakes….. and no maps to be found.

Country roads
We have a vague idea of where we are going, although the last visit into this lake was likely forty years ago and was from a different direction, but that’s OK.  Keith knows where that lake is.

Rolling hills in Kamloops, BC
Five minutes out of town and we are on a country road that takes us through some beautiful rolling hills and pastures.  It is still June and although Kamloops is semi-arrid, it seems we’ve had enough rain to keep the hills green.

Which way to go?
We follow the road, which has lots of potholes and puddles but we are in no hurry and so little traffic, we are travelling very slowly and enjoying the view when we come upon a ‘y’ in the road.

Pipeline trail
We chose to follow the pipe line, it may be an easier route, those bumps and potholes were getting difficult after awhile and it sure was not easy taking photos with all those bumps. I needed both hands to keep Maggie and me on the seat!

End of the road
That didn’t work too well!  We had plenty of bumps, potholes and steep hills then we came upon the end of the road.  We had to turn around to follow the pipeline back and decide to follow that other road as we are sure it will take us to where we want to go.

Country road obstacle
We’d seen fallen trees along the way but none had been across the road until we got to this one.  There really is not much sign of traffic on this road so it may have been here for awhile.  Keith lifts it enough so I can drive the truck under and to the other side.

Kamloops country scenes
Our plan to take the other road takes us right back to the ‘end of the road’ we had just come from!  We follow the pipeline back again to the ‘y’ in the road and with no other roads to follow in this area, we make our way back to familiar territory!

Beautiful Kamloops buck
We had not seen any wildlife out in the country during this drive but then what do we see just as we get back to town!  This beautiful buck was enjoying a drink of water and stayed for some photos.

Jacko Lake, Kamloops, BC
We did enjoy some beautiful scenery on our afternoon of travelling the country roads but we did not find that lake we were looking for.  It turns out that they hadn’t moved the lake but sometime during the past 40 years, they had built a new road into that lake and this wasn’t the one.  We will look for that lake on another day.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

National Aboriginal Day ~ Tk'emlups ~ Kamloops, BC

National Aboriginal Day is celebrated on June 21, the Summer Solstice and was held in the Tk’emlups PowWow Grounds this year.  2016 is the 20th anniversary of the Aboriginal Day since the federal government announced the first one in 1996.

Tk'emlups PowWow Grounds
The crowd was small considering the size of the grounds but the event began at noon and would finish with fireworks at 10pm.  We were not going to be there for the total time but had a good look around at it all during our mid afternoon visit.

Ed Jensen, artist
Ed Jensen is a talented artist with weapons being his specialty.  He uses natural products for his weapons, as shown here, as well as making jewellery.  Tk’emlups Traditions is the name of his company, very nice work. Click here to see more on his FB page.

Sage Hills dancers
Our timing to visit this event could not have been better. We saw some wonderful hand drumming and dancing by Sage Hills.  They demonstrated many of their traditional dances of their early history that are performed to this day.  What I did miss was an opportunity to take a photo and speak with Opie Oppenheim, a very talented artist who was also at this event.

MC Gord Cutler
The MC was Gord Cutler, if I heard that right, and he did a great job of introducing each dance and giving some history to the meaning of them.  His story telling was enjoyable to hear, I only wish I had been able to write his stories down to pass on but I was too busy taking photos.

Young dancer
The dance group consisted of five adults and three kids.  Their regalia is beautiful and gives a great display of color, especially when they dance.  This little guy was putting it all into his solo dance, and so fun to watch.

"Grass Dance"
This dancer did the ‘Grass Dance’.  This apparently happened when they gathered in their fields of very high grass.  They would dance to stomp the grass down so they would be able to see each other when they sat down.

"Healing Dance"
This beautiful gal was wearing the ‘jiggle dress’ doing the ‘Healing Dance’.  Looking for information on this dress, I came across this:  "It is a gift to be able to dance. The jingle dress was a gift from the Creator. It is important to carry that healing vision to the people."

"Chicken Dance"
This gentleman was dancing the ‘Chicken Dance’ which was used as the mating dance.  It was mimicking the Prairie Chicken’s performance when he is trying to impress a mate and is part of their Aboriginal historical culture.

"Fancy Dance"
These pretty sisters were doing the ‘Fancy Dance’.  It mimics butterflies and hummingbirds as they display their colourful wings in flight.  

"Graceful Walk"
This was the women’s traditional ‘Graceful Walk’ and this lovely lady did the most graceful dance as she circled the arena to the drums of the drummers on stage.

"Warrior Dance"
This was the ‘Warrior Dance’ and was wonderful to watch.  The regalia is gorgeous with lots of feathers and fur.  I did not get the names of the dancers, but they were all very talented and it was a fun way to learn about their history of dance.

"Friendship Dance"
The dancing was finished with a ‘Round Dance’ or ‘Friendship Dance’, which included any and all who wished to join the circle to show their friendship intentions.  As I understood the MC say, it is being done for 24 hours at some of their gatherings!  Now that is a lot of friendship!

Warrior costume
Once the Friendship Dance was completed, the dancers left the stadium with a final number to the beat of the drums by the talented drummers to end their dancing ceremony.
National Aboriginal Day at the Tk’emlups PowWow grounds was a wonderful way to enjoy the afternoon and learn more about the history of our First Nations friends and neighbours.               

Their mission is:
                             “To promote and ensure the physical, mental, emotional and
spiritual well-being of our people and community.”