Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pritchard ~ Chase, BC ~ Country Roads

As always, it is nice to go for a drive to see some of this great area.  When weather permits it is even better so it is all about timing and sometimes our timing isn’t quite right!  We start out with a bit of sunshine and hope it will get better.

Pritchard, BC
Pritchard is a small community on Hwy 1 heading east from Kamloops.  Walter Percy Pritchard bought 160 acres in 1907 then built Hotel Pritchard and a post office.  The location needed a name so he gave his own and it has been known as Pritchard ever since. The one lane bridge was built shortly after and is still in use.

Siesta time
We crossed the Pritchard Bridge over the South Thompson River and followed the Kamloops-Shuswap Road east.  There are several ranches along this road and cattle can be seen scattered about the fields.  This turned out to be rest time for the herd.

Kamloops area has always been a good location for vineyards.  Several have begun over the past few years and have developed a lot of attention due to the quality. At one time the valley was full of orchards and beer hops but wine is now the main crop.

Scenic views
The South Thompson is getting quite high at this time of year after the Spring thaw and rainy season so we are seeing a very wide river and hoping for no floods.  The railway is a big part of Kamloops history so rarely will we be out for a drive without seeing a train or two.
 Fields of Lupine
A friend had said there were lots of flowers to be seen on this drive so we wanted to make sure we got out there before they died.  Sure enough, we came upon fields of lupine just off the road.  Here grows plenty of edible lupine, edible part is news to me, pretty but not too appetizing looking.  I see no cattle eating it, either.

Rainclouds ahead
There is one big rain cloud ahead.  Not being sure we will be driving into that or not, we carry on.  Taking photos out a rainy window isn’t easy.  If only the sun was shining, we’d be seeing beautiful sights out here but at least everything does look so green and clean today.

Balsamroot galore
The Balsamroot flower of the sunflower family covers many hills in our area in the springtime.  It also is edible but apparently rather bitter so I’m not going to try this one, either.  Wildlife and cattle can eat it but haven’t seen that yet, either.  

Chase, BC
We drove through the rain shower in short time and passed through the green hills of what was originally known as Neskonlith Douglas Reserve as we approached Chase, BC.  This was named for Chief Neskonlith after the Indian Reserve System was established in the 1860’s.  Now known as home to the Neskonlith Band.

Chase Creek meets South Thompson River
The South Thompson River begins its’ travels from this point at the west end of Little Shuswap Lake.  The Lake does not show the same signs as the Chase Creek, which picks up dirt as it rises along the way during this season and brings it into the South Thompson where it joins up.  The season hasn’t peaked yet but once it does, the water will return to a nicer color that we can once again enjoy for swimming and fishing.

Pine Street Bridge

We will cross the Pine Street Bridge and enter Chase, a small tourist attraction town on the Shuswap Lake.  Chase was named after an American Whitfield Chase who originally moved here for the gold rush in 1855.  He married and settled here in 1865 and farmed the area.  The town was named in his honor in 1902 long after he’d passed away.

So that’s our drive for today.  Hopefully the next drive we take you on will be without rain but no matter the weather, we shall appreciate all that surrounds Kamloops, there is just no place like home.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

RCAF Snowbirds - Tributes - Kamloops, BC

Captain Jennifer Casey is being laid to rest in her hometown of Halifax, NB as I write this.  My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends as well as her Snowbird family.  

Fulton Field Airport
The City of Kamloops officially adopted the 419 Squadron of the RCAF in 1943 due to John “Moose” Fulton, a resident of Kamloops.  This long lasting connection eventually brought the CF-5 Freedom Fighter to become a monument at Fulton Field, the Kamloops Airport in 1995.

Legion tribute 
The Legion held a ceremony at the base of the CF-5 to honor Captain Jenn Casey and Captain Richard McDougall, both of whom were in the Snowbird accident May 17, 2020.  Captain Richard McDougall remains in hospital recovering from non life-threatening injuries.

Fence at Kamloops Airport
The love and support given by the people of Kamloops has been overwhelming.  The local First Nations held a Drumming Circle for Capt. Casey in this location and one for Capt. McDougall at the hospital. Although the crowds were small at ceremonies held due to the Covid 19 pandemic we are now dealing with, our hearts were there and the Snowbirds have shared their appreciation. 

So much support shown
The people of Kamloops have hung flags all over their neighborhoods in recognition of the loss we felt last week, and will feel for a very long time. This fence at the airport shows flags, personal notes and dedications sharing their support that is felt by all. 

Snowbirds at rest
The fleet of Snowbirds sit at the Fulton Field Airport awaiting the time they can be taken home.  Best wishes to Captain Richard McDougall so that he will return home soon, as well.

Forever remembered

The CF-5 was relocated to this location in 2018 and is the sight we see as we enter and exit the Kamloops airport.  Never again will we pass this that we will not think of Captain Jenn Casey. The road presently called Airport Way is being petitioned to be renamed after Captain Casey.

Her legacy will continue and carry the special thoughts that brought her idea, “Operation Inspiration” for all.  A true indication of the special woman that she was.

May Captain Jenn Casey forever Rest In Peace and continue to fly high above.

More Snowbirds and Operation Inspiration can be seen here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Canadian Snowbirds ~ Operation Inspriation ~ Kamloops

Saturday, May 16, 2020 was a day of anticipation for many as the Canadian Snowbirds were giving us a flyover.  Their original plans were cancelled this year due to the CoVid virus and this was later planned as “Operation Inspiration” to honor Canadians who are victims of the virus as well as those fighting on the front lines.  Due to weather conditions there was not an official schedule given and no celebrations planned.

Canadian Snowbirds
We’d heard the Snowbirds would appear today.  They flew right overhead so I was able to run outside when I heard them to take a few quick photos.  With cloud covered skies, their colors aren’t showing but their expertise and placement to each other is amazing to watch and always a thrill.

Kamloops Airport
We are near the airport so a trip out to see the planes after their landing was a necessity for me and my camera.  The traffic was heavy but no crowds were there as nothing had been planned with the Snowbirds at this time, they’d encouraged everyone to not gather and to remain distant.  Their mission was being accomplished only with their flyovers.

Big and small
The size of this plane that accompanied the Snowbirds is an amazing size compared to them.  This photo shows the comparison.  There are two extra Snowbirds that accompany the show should they need a replacement so this covered one may be one of those two.

Overnight stop
This year celebrates their 50th year.  They have evolved over the years to be what they are today with the name Snowbirds being given them in 1971.  In 1975 they were officially authorized to be designated the “Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team”.

The day is done
We drove in closer to the landing strip and I took some photos thru the fencing that surrounds the airfield.  I was not very close to the planes but with a good lens and peeking between the chain links, I was able to get a better photo of the planes.

Snowbird Pilots
The pilots were starting to come into the nearby building and I noticed they were all wearing face masks for protection against the Covid, this was impressive to me.  Although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her, I was very excited to also see a woman standing by the plane as part of the team, learning later it was Capt. Jenn Casey. 

Captain Jennifer Casey
Little did anyone know their Kamloops visit would end as it did on May 17, 2020.  It is with heavy heart that I write this.  Captain Jennifer Casey was the PR for the Snowbirds and aspired to become a pilot herself one day.  The morning following these photos being taken, there was a crash near our home that has shaken the whole country.

May Captain Jennifer Casey RIP as her family, friends, coworkers and all of Canada mourn her death.