Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kamloops Highland Games ~ Kamloops, B.C., Canada

The Kamloops Highland Games celebrate Celtic traditions in the Albert McGowan Park: becoming a new Kamloops tradition.

The Kamloops Highland Games are still in infancy but with the attendance of the locals and the participation of the entrants from all over, it looks like it will be able to carry on for many years to come. The Games include piping, drumming, dancing and heavy events, for details, click here.

Vendor's Market ~ Kamloops Highland Games

There were several tents set up for vendors to display and sell their Scottish wares including clan accessories and highland supplies. The Kamloops St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Society were set up to help trace family roots if you’re interested in your geneology.

Highland competition

Highland dancing is quite beautiful to watch. The dancers put a lot of time and effort into their competitions, which requires a lot of travelling to the different shows and Games. This years Games included a show by the World Champion Highland dancer, David Wilton, which would be a great thrill for the young competitors as well as a great show for us all.

Bagpipe competion

I love to listen to the bagpipes but I will admit that the warm-up isn’t quite as enjoyable. There were individuals competing as well as the Pipe Bands, one of which was the SFU Pipe Band, who is a six-time world champion.

Waterpark at Albert McGowan Park

The day started out with overcast skies but that didn’t stop the fun in the waterpark as a great break from the heat of the day. The waterpark is a summer spot for many of the local kids to enjoy during the summer months.
This event is something for everyone to enjoy, not just those with Scottish history.
It makes for another great experience in Kamloops, and reminds us why “there is no place like home”.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

South Thompson River ~ Bald-headed eagles ~ Fur traders

The South Thompson River, Bald-headed eagles, and Fur traders: These are all part of the history of the place we call home: Kamloops B.C.

Mt. Paul ~ Mt. Peter ~ South Thompson River

Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter overlook the junction of the South Thompson River where it meets the North Thompson to become the Thompson River (at the far left of picture). Mt. Paul & Mt. Peter have an elevation of 1097 m (3600’) and can be hiked following the Sagebrush Trail once you get a permit from the Kamloops Indian Band office.

South Thompson River ~ the Wanda Sue Paddlewheeler

The old Wanda Sue Paddlewheeler can be seen in this photo, although it is no longer available for riding the South Thompson River. The first of many paddlewheel steamer was built in 1865 from local lumber, and used for transportation of passengers and goods.

Eagle and eaglets nesting above South Thompson River

This bald-headed eagle stands proudly as she (or he) watches over their eaglets in the nest. Their nest is added to yearly and the largest measured was 6 m (20’) deep and 3 m (10’) across. Although it is difficult to see the size of this adult eagle, the wingspan can be over 2 m (7’) and the height about 1 m (3’-3.5’). Bald-headed eagles, who may live 30-50 years, lay 2 eggs with both parents to incubate them over a 35 day period. In 10-12 weeks, the eaglets are fully feathered and ready to fly from the nest.
South Thompson River in Kamloops, B.C.

The Thompson River was named by Simon Fraser in 1808 after his friend, David Thompson, who never saw the river, named it after him. Up to this point, the river had been commonly called the She-Whap River after the local Indian tribe.

South Thompson River ~ interior of B.C.

Millions of Sockeye Salmon travel up the South Thompson River on their way to the famous Adams River spawning grounds. Fishermen will also find Dolly Varden, Mountain Whitefish and Rainbow trout in this river, which flows westward from the Little Shuswap Lake. The fishhope to feast on the salmon eggs they find.

Hoodoos line the South Thompson River
One can only imagine the sights and adventure for those that once used the South Thompson River to arrive to this part of the country. There were fur traders who came in 1811 and found friendly Indians who would trade beaver pelts, the pit-house villages on both sides of the river during winter months and the gold seekers who came to explore the Shuswap area. One can only imagine ...

Quiet moments on the South Thompson River are times when we know we love Kamloops: "there is no place like home".