Saturday, October 12, 2019

Signs of Autumn ~ North Thompson ~ Kamloops, BC

An afternoon drive to enjoy the sunshine and the last colors of Fall.  The weather has taken a quick cold turn and many of the leaves have fallen but on such a lovely day, there are still so many sights to enjoy.

Autumn colors
We began on the west side of the North Thompson River and followed the Westsyde Road.  As we travel north, we see homes, ranches, animal and tree farms and also vineyards which now includes a craft beer business.  There are horses, cattle, goats and sheep and the occasional deer family enjoying the serene countryside.

Jamieson Creek
We stopped at Jamieson Creek to have a look.  There is something about a creek that I find special.  I’m not sure if it is not just the running water bubbling over the rocks that create the special aspect or if it somehow brings back some childhood memories for me, either way, it is enjoyable.

Picnic scene
There are signs that the picnic table has had visitors but those days are likely over until next Spring time.  There were also signs of salmon that were coming back up the creek to spawn and didn’t make it all the way. 

The North Thompson was calm and quiet today.  Due to the recent rain we’ve had higher waters than what might be normal for this time of year.  As we approached the McLure Ferry, the river was reflecting the colors in the trees that lined the shores on the east side.

McClure Ferry
We’ve taken this ferry ride before and will again on our return home.  It is a reaction ferry which means it is propelled by the current of the river.  It is held by cables as it crosses and takes five minutes to get to the other side of the river.  It is free and carries 12 passengers and two vehicles.  It is available on demand so will come over to pick you up if it is sitting across the river but it does not operate during high waters or winter freeze.

 North Thompson River
We follow the road on the west side of the river and once we come to the top of the hill across from McLure, we are offered this great view of the river and valley.  The sandbars that are scattered all down the river will not be seen during spring high water and summer months.  They do create hazards for summer boating on this river as they’re not flagged.  As much as we'd love to boat up this river, it just won't happen due to the sandbars.

Country Roads
Country roads…… we are now on dirt and gravel roads and that isn’t the best idea after a car wash but we will take the ‘high’ road, which this is.  A much higher altitude than the valley road we just left.  Not many views for this part of the drive other than lots of trees and the occasional small herds of cattle until we get into the old remains of the fire that swept through this area a few years ago.

Forest fire remains
It has been a few years so new growth is gradually happening but the charred trees left are a reminder of the devastation that fires can create.

North Thompson River
We’ve now crossed the river at Barriere and are on the east side of the North Thompson River.  There is a stop of interest just south of there and offers a nice view of the river. This view is looking north which is the route many Eastern Canadians used during the Gold Rush days.

Southern view

This view is looking south from the same viewpoint as the North Thompson River flows down with the Yellowhead highway in sight.  Once the Overlanders of 1862 got across the Rockies, they managed to get through the rapids and make their way to Kamloops.  They are part of the history that helped create Kamloops to be the wonderful city it is today.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Thompson Rivers University ~ Kamloops,BC

A nice sunny fall day and a drive around the campus of Thompson Rivers University makes for a great reason to share some photos.  We’ve cruised around here at times, just to see the changes but this visit shows some major growth happening.

OLd Main Building
This university began with small steps in September 1970 when it opened in the Kamloops Indian Band facilities until it could move into their new facility at the present location on McGill in 1971.  The campus was small and held 367 full time students and 200 part time.  In the 20 years following, it grew tenfold and now has an enrollment of 7500 students. 

A welcoming street to TRU
The City of Kamloops declared a November week in 1986 as “College Week”.  They recognized the role of Cariboo College in “shaping Kamloops culturally, economically, socially, recreationally and educationally” and these great contributions still continues. 

Living Facilities
The growth continued with Cariboo College becoming a university college in 1989 with the name change to University of the Cariboo College. UCC was granted their first Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998 and in 2003 they were able to offer Master’s degrees.

Building with a view
In March 2005 UCC became the newest university in BC and a name change to Thompson Rivers University or TRU.  Nancy Greene, the Canadian Olympian skiier was installed as the first Chancellor at TRU.  On a personal note, Nancy was a student at Nelson’s Notre Dame University when I was a young worker there and would cover my desk job when I was out to lunch, literally! lol

New construction
It really has been an amazing addition to Kamloops and continues to grow with several new buildings presently being built.  We are not sure what the new buildings are all for but some of them are to the stage where it is obviously living spaces for students.  

Landscaping pleasures
The 250 acre campus has been beautifully landscaped as it grows and offers plenty of sights to enjoy with grass, flowerbeds and trees that now offer autumn colors.

A great view of Thompson Rivers

The view of the Thompson Rivers cannot be beat and offers the perfect name for the university.
There is an Open House at TRU on Saturday, October 19th, 2019 from 9am to 3pm at the Old Main Building and the invitation is for all to come and see what TRU has to offer.  More details here.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Summer Becomes Fall ~ Kamloops, BC

There is no place like home.  Our summer is drawing to an end with shorter cooler days but not without the same beautiful surroundings we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy no matter the season.  Perhaps my opinion is slightly biased but I don’t think I am alone.  

Mt. Paul and the Dome Hills
Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter (behind Mt. Paul) sit at this meeting of the waters on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.  The Dome Hills and Strawberry Hills sit north (left) of them.  Unfortunately, the KIB no longer give permits to hike the trails of these mountains but The Kamloops Trails blog has lots of information on all the hiking trails in our area. Not speaking from personal experience, a hiker I am not, but I’ve seen photos of how grand it looks from some of the hikes.   Click here to learn more about the trails.  

Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter from Schubert Dr.
Another view of Mt. Paul and Peter is from the North Shore across the North Thompson.  The river is high but calm at this time from the spring runoff of snow in the mountains up north of Kamloops.  We’ve passed the potential flood time without a problem and the level will get much lower as summer progresses. 

MacPark marmot
Summertime brings out the busy yellow-bellied marmot families down in MacArthur Park.  The babies come out of their hiding places at about one month old and are now running around finding their own lunch.  Hibernation takes place over the winter months, so Spring visits to the Park do not offer too many marmots to see until their doors open for the babies. 

Marmot curiosity 
I love these little fellas and enjoy getting up close and personal, although sure not this close.  Great to have the lens that allows me to take these close-ups.  Marmots are timid but curious and will come if they think you might have some food.  I’ve never fed them, it’s not a good idea and there are signs that say that, too.  

The Power of Hope
The City of Kamloops partnered up with the Kamloops Food Bank to create a fundraiser called “Locking in Hope” that we can see and enjoy. “The Power of Hope” is seen at Riverside Park where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet.  We can purchase a Hope lock, decorate it and hang it on this public art.  Learn more here.  All proceeds will go to the Kamloops Food Bank.

"Rivers" on Lorne Street 
This view is from the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the railway tracks on 3rd Avenue.  The sculpture is called ‘Rivers’ and was installed here in 2014.  This sculpture by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas for Kamloops “recreates the moment before the North and South Thompson join and become the single Thompson River”,  Although my viewpoint is quite high, I cannot see the top of this sculpture that points to the sky.  To see and read more of this, click here.

Deer visitors
A drive through a quiet Westsyde neighborhood and what do we see?  This deer Mom and two babies.  One of the young ones quietly snuck away when we stopped to take some photos but these two thought nothing of us.  They posed for a moment then went on with their business of keeping the grass short.

Hoodoo valley
A drive along Shuswap Road on the north side of the South Thompson River, gives some great views of the hoodoos there.  Kamloops is located in the valleys created by the rivers and in a semi-arid area so hoodoos are quite common here in several locations.  Although our hills may not qualify to be called mountains, no matter what they are called, we are surrounded by great views.

View of North Shore
The name Kamloops is derived from Tk’emlups, which means the meeting of the waters.  The North Thompson meets the South Thompson here, creating Kamloops Lake a short distance west then continues on as the Thompson River from the end of Kamloops Lake in Savona until it meets the Fraser River in Lytton.

Autumn morning

The colors will soon change and the leaves will fall but in that short space of time we will be surrounded by some colorful scenes.  This photo was taken last Fall as we drove up Summit Extension and with the morning fog of a sunny day just lifting, it was such a pretty sight.

There really is no place like home!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Kamloopa Powwow ~ Tk'emlups te Secwepemc ~ Kamloops, BC

The 40th annual Kamloopa PowWow was held at the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc In Kamloops in August.  This annual event draws large crowds to enjoy and learn about the years of stories and events that are told in the many performances here.

Grand Entry
Kamloopa PowWow is one of the largest celebrations of the First Nations in Western Canada.  It begins with the Grand Entry daily with tribal flags representing them as they are being led onto the grounds of the arena. Tk’emlups Chief Rosanne Casimir will lead the groups of performers who are introduced as they enter the arena. 

Leading the Grand Entry
The details in their regalia, their special dress, is incredible.  They all have stories as historical categories and as individual creations. The making of powwow dance outfits is an art form all its own. 

Tribal dancing
Many elements included in the regalia are often associated with the ceremonial function.  Examples are eagle feathers, animal hides, bear claws and items handed down through generations. Some designs were given in dreams and visions. 

Hundreds of dancers
It can take years to build up a wardrobe for performing their dances.  These are rarely made by the dancers anymore, although some are.  They may have been passed down the generations or even part of them such as moccasins or beadwork.  The skills required to make these are varied and special.

Dancers fill the arena
Over 1000 dancers are participating with their beautiful and colorful traditional regalia and are all gathered and dancing and singing as they fill the circle arena. In years gone by, often songs were using ‘vocables’ so that the other tribes who may not know the same language could also sing along.  This may explain why I wasn’t hearing distinct words.  I believe we were hearing the same.

Princess Pageant
These beautiful ladies were competing in the Princess Pageant for 2019.  They each had their individual performance sharing expressions of their heritage using their talent or dance.  Song and dance is a great display of storytelling and their spirituality.  

Drumming contest

The drum contest is another one of many contests held throughout the Powwow.  Different dance categories are Golden Age, Men’s Buckskin, traditional, Chicken, Jingle, Grass, Fancy Feathers and Fancy Shawl.  Young and old are here to share their heritage and perform to celebrate that.

Colorful regaia

Many of the regalia seen in these photos can be identified once we know the names of the different dance categories.  When enjoying the day, the Jingle regalia can be heard coming, and the Fancy Feathers can be seen from afar.  It would be difficult to choose a favorite as each one has its beauty and special markings to be admired.

The Powwow also includes several booths with Native Arts and Crafts which can be purchase when you are there. There is absolutely no alcohol or drugs allowed on the grounds which makes for a very clean and safe atmosphere during the powwow. 

Lots of hard work was done by many creating the greatest results with the Kamloopa Powwow.  Well done to all who made this happen.

You can view other photos from another Kamloopa Powwow here.

Monday, July 15, 2019

North Thompson River ~ Chinook Cove ~ Barriere, BC

Kamloops, BC and the surrounding area have much to offer.  We decided we would like to enjoy our hometown area more and so we planned a two day RV stay with friends up the North Thompson Valley in Barriere, BC.  Our RV trips are usually much longer but with so much here to see, why not spend time in the comfort of our RV.  Our mini holiday begins.

Chinook Cove, Barriere, BC
We stayed at Chinook Cove Golf and RV.  The golf course is absolutely beautiful.  The course is so well kept and the weather, although we had nighttime showers, was perfect with sunshine during the days.  Perfect RV’ing and golfing weather.  I enjoyed the scenery and the ride around the golf course more than I did the golfing, lol.  This is a view of the flat half, wait till you see the next half!  The hills and valleys aren’t easy to see in these photos but they were there!

Chinook Cove Golf and RV Park
I am not a very accomplished golfer, although I have swung those clubs a zillion times at many golf balls, but this was the most intimidating golf course I have ever been on.  I likely only golfed about three of the nine holes, rather than lose the pretty golf balls I have!  I would suggest that anyone going might want to carry extra golf balls with them.  The fellas lost a few of them on our round.

RV Park at Chinook Cove
The RV Park is not large with 18 great spots and nice facilities, as well.  It is only a 45 minute drive from our home in Kamloops and makes for a good place to spend a few days, especially for those who enjoy a challenging round of golf. 

Green hills on the Yellowhead Hwy
These lush green hills are slightly different than the sage hills we have closer to Kamloops but we have still not reached our dry days of summer yet, so the green will not stay so lush, I’m sure.  No drought but we’ve had them in the past.  This area is part of the McLure Fire in 2003 that destroyed over 65 thousand acres.  The spikey outline at the top of these hills are what is left of the trees that burned.

North Thompson River
Droughts can be a danger with fire season as well as lightening, arson and human carelessness, which was the cause of this 2003 fire.  Thankfully, much of the terrain has new growth since that time and creates a much nicer sight than it did back then, it was a sad sight to see.  The North Thompson River weaves its way through the valley and creates some beautiful scenery.

Ranch land at McLure, BC
Being a passenger in the truck definitely allows me to see more and usually with my camera ready.  I had hoped I would get the rainbow showing under the irrigation sprinkler and there it is. Takes little to excite me for photos. lol Much of Kamloops and area is ranching country and we see many horses on this part of the North Thompson Valley. 

Young buck
Timing was good for me with my camera as well as for this young buck as he ran across the busy highway.  Not all wildlife are this lucky.  This wouldn’t be an unusual sight so hopefully most drivers would be watchful for them. 

Ranching on Westsyde Road
We had been following the Yellowhead Highway north from Kamloops on the east side of the North Thompson River to Barriere and today we are on the Westsyde Road on the west side of the River.  The valley width is not large and as on the Yellowhead, this road rarely loses sight of the river.  Peaceful days of summer with horses grazing in the field are such a calming sight to see.

Whispering Pines 

Our drive took us as far as Whispering Pines when Mother Nature decided to rain on this off road racing fun.  These facilities host numerous events throughout the summer but hopefully most of them would happen on a warm summer day.

There are many things going on during our summer months but we hope to get out and enjoy some more of our local areas before the summer ends.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Canada Day ~ 2019 ~ Kamloops, BC

Canada Day is always a special day for us Canadians and has become a bigger celebration in Kamloops at Riverside Park over the years.  It attracts thousands of us that come to see the artists of the area and the food vendors as well as plenty of entertainment.

Group Drum Roll
We arrived just as the drumming began.  It was a Guinness World Record attempt with multicultural drummers performing.  They attempted at “Most Nationalities in a Simultaneous Drum Circle” last year but didn’t make it so the hope was to be successful to break the record for “Largest Group Drum Roll” this year.  I’ve heard no news on that yet.  They passed out small drums for the spectators to join in, grandson using one in corner of photo. 

Crowds and more crowds
This well shaded park was packed with vendors and those who came to enjoy the day.  Riverside Park has been the centre of summer activities for so many years but not many the size of this one.  It does lead to parking difficulties but if one is willing to walk, spots can be found.  The City of Kamloops offers free bus service for the day so that sure simplifies things for those who wish to use them.  

Kids bouncy castle fun

There is a nice playground for the youngsters in the park but for this special day, they offer plenty of extras like this bouncy castle shown here.  No shortage of lineups of kids waiting to get into it and have their turn at fun.  Patience applies in several areas of the Park today, lineups are long. 

Kamloops Lawn Bowling
Lawn bowling has had this area in Riverside here for many years.  As a matter of fact, these greens were ready for play in 1923!  The Kamloops Lawn Bowling Club was formed the year before and has been active ever since, but with some changes in rules, as women were only allowed to use the green when men were not back then.  There are tournaments for those who enjoy the competition of lawn bowling but social bowling is happening with no set teams, just to have fun with those who show up on any day. 

A Special Gift
There were dozens of very talented artists with booths displaying their talents in the Park.  They sell their jewelry, knitted goods, pottery, paintings, woodworks, face painting….. the list could go on.  There was one booth that especially caught my attention and that was “A Special Gift”.  These ladies plus one other work all year round producing these amazing quilts and a never ending list of other items.  

Dressed for the occasion
So many visitors wore red clothes of some sort and accessories of red, whether flags or other things, but these ones definitely caught my attention.

Thompson River beach at Riverside Park
Riverside Park is right on the Thompson River and has always been a popular swimming area, too.  The day was still early but with the forecast to reach 30c (86f), the beach would soon be full of more swimmers, to be sure.  Then they can move onto the food vendors, which offers Multicultural Society foods from many different cultural groups that represent Kamloops residents, as well. 

Kamloops Mounted Patrol
Rick Wanless (c) has been attending these events and so many others with his horses and team mates since 1992 as the Kamloops Mounted Patrol and they still draw plenty of attention wherever they go.  Great to see Mr. Wanless still a part of this great Patrol team.  To learn more of the Patrol, click here.

Riverside Park on Canada Day
FolkFest lineups of local and regional cultural performers promotes diversity in dance, music, style and language on the stage of the Rotary Bandshell and were being enjoyed by this large audience.  Sights of food vendors, all vendors and more around Riverside Park.  Music in the Park kicked off July 1 evening with classic rock band Shattered Blue and wow, were they good!  Lead singer had an AMAZING voice, scheduled to play again July 19th.  One of the best free concerts you may see but the whole lineup looks great. 

View from the top of overpass walk

The cap off for the whole evening was the fantastic fireworks, but no photos for it, never been good at night shots, lol.  We’d been down to the festivities twice and just weren’t going for a third visit, too late for us old folks.  Sorry we missed it but we heard from several that it was incredible.
There are more photos of Riverside Park on my blog showing quieter times.  Click here to see that.