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.”