Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Paul Lake ~ Pinantan Lake ~ Scheidam Flats ~ Kamloops, BC

The low lying clouds covered the hilltops but we were hoping to rise above that to enjoy some sunshine above the clouds.  We are heading up to Paul Lake and Pinantan to see what colorful treats the fall season has for us and hope to see some sights on our way up there, as well.

A foggy day makes the sights ominous
Rock sculpture on Scheidam Flats, Kamloops, BC
We see that someone has been busy creating this rock pile that resembled an inukshuk, a stone landmark and by definition is “something which acts for or performs the function of a person”. It may be watching over the horses grazing nearby as we pass through Scheidam Flats.
The mare and her cold graze on sagebrush on a foggy day.
Paint mare and her colt on Scheidam Flats, Kamloops, BC
This beautiful paint and her colt, which I believe to be Tobiano, were grazing in a roadside pasture and a photo was definitely a must!  The mare came over for the apple offered but the colt was timid and kept his distance so no friendships were established there.  I hid behind the sagebrush to get this photo, but he was watching to make sure I didn’t come any closer. All paints can be called a pinto but not all pinto are paints, unless registered as one, so I may be incorrect in calling them a paint.  Whatever they’re called,  they’re gorgeous. 
old buildings sit in the fields of a ranch near Pinantan Lake
Old homestead near Pinantan Lake, Kamloops, BC
We followed the road up to Pinantan and passed by this great looking old homestead. The fields of autumn offer no bright colors but the calm quiet scene with a dusting of snow appears to be a painting.  The sun is trying to break through the clouds to offer some sunshine.
We look across the Jandana corrals and see Martin Mountain
Snow covered Martin Mountain near Pritchard, BC
We’ve stopped for a brief visit at Jandana Ranch and were given a mini tour on this chilly November day.  We are seeing Martin Mountain far off in the distance in Pritchard. The ranch overlooks some wonderful views, including Pinantan Lake, which means shoe or moccasin in traditional Aboriginal language.  The lake is shaped like a moccasin.

Albert the horse looks over the gate from his corral into the barn.
Albert of Jandana Ranch, Kamloops, BC
Our Jandana visit includes meeting Albert, the oldest horse on the ranch.  He seems quite happy meeting us and enjoys getting a nuzzle over the gate. Friends have spent time at the ranch and have highly recommended it for a visit to stay a few days. Click here to learn more.
Aspen trees without leaves on the driveway from Jandana Ranch
Aspen trees line the roadway
We may have left it too late in the season to get many autumn leaves on the trees, especially in higher elevations but the trees without leaves are still a great sight on this brisk sunny afternoon and offer interesting landscapes. 
The snow geese can be seen as they take flight
Snow geese on Pinantan Lake, BC
As we drive around Pinantan Lake, I get a quick glimpse through the trees and see some snow geese on the lake.  By the time I get the car stopped and run across the road for a photo, I hear their big wings flapping against the water in their noisy effort to get airborne.  Snow geese typically head south for the winter so perhaps they have stopped here for a rest on the calm waters of Pinantan Lake
looking down the length of Paul Lake to the west
Paul Lake views, Kamloops, BC
The ice has begun to form on Paul Lake and typically will freeze over for the winter months but looks like this would be a great spot for birdwatching in the springtime. Paul Lake Provincial Park is now closed for the winter season but offers great summer fun on the lake.  Paul Lake, about 4 km long, sits at an elevation of 796 metres (2611 ft.) and has an average depth of 30 metres (98 ft.). The sun is hidden behind the clouds as we head back down the hill and summer time on the lake seems a long ways away now. 

cattle of many colors graze roadside on Paul Lake Road
Cattle on Scheidam Flats, Kamloops, BC
Some of the cattle on this range were curious about the camera on the other side of the fence but not curious enough to wander over my way.  I tried to learn what kind of cattle they are, without much luck; they were not too forthcoming but they’re much more colorful than those we are used to seeing in our hills.

Paul Lake and Pinantan are located about a half hour drive from Kamloops, BC.  Follow Highway 5 north to Paul Lake Road and follow the signs.  These are just some of the treasures of the Kamloops area and another reason why there is just no place like home.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remembrance Day ~ Kamloops, BC ~ Canada

November 11th , called Armistice Day until 1931 when it became Remembrance Day, is the day set aside every year when we remember all those who fought in battles for our country and did not come home.  We also honor those who did come home after fighting their valiant battles and are part of our country’s history, many have passed on since that time and need to be remembered as well. There are very few remaining who fought during WW2, and they will also be remembered on Nov. 11th.

This was taken with group in England
Jim Hughes during WW 2 in England, 1942
There were thousands of Canadian soldiers who did not come home from war. Those who did return had all left friends behind who had fought for their country but lost their battle to return home.  Many of us “baby boomers” had mothers or fathers who had been involved in World War 2 and we have the personal stories they shared to remember.  My dad, Jim Hughes was one of those fortunate soldiers who came home.
Taken when they were in East Grinstead, England
The Canadian Armed Division Support Group Coy R.C.A.S.C. in England, 1942
There were thousands of Canadian soldiers who did not come home from the wars.  66,665 were killed during the World War 1 when there was only a population of 7 million people in Canada. During World War 2, Canada lost 46,998 young soldiers from a population of 11 million, a high percentage for any loss.
The cenotaph was constructed following WW 1 to honor those killed in war.
Kamloops Cenotaph and Memorial Park
The Women’s Auxiliary to the Canadian Legion raised the funds that were needed to build and erect the Kamloops Cenotaph following World War 1 and the unveiling happened on May 24, 1925.  Names of soldiers lost in World War 1 were put on at that time and names have been added for World War 2 since.

Sad remains and a tribute to those who died here
  Hellfire Pass in Thailand
Several years ago during a visit to Thailand, we spent some time at Hellfire Pass which was built by POW’s during WW2.  The video we watched with footage taken at that camp was something I will never forget and although there were very few Canadian soldiers at this POW camp, there were about 16,000 soldiers who died.  One inscription on the plaque shown in the photo says, “When you go home, tell them of us, say we gave our tomorrow for your today”.  For more info on Hellfire Pass, click here.
Honoring all Canadian soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan.
Portraits of Honor visited Kamloops, BC
A Portrait of Honor (clik here for more info) was created to honor the Canadian soldiers killed in the war of Afghanistan and paid a visit to Kamloops during its tour of Canada.  A Kamloops soldier, MCpl Erin Doyle was honored during this ceremony and his name has since been added to the Kamloops Cenotaph at Memorial Park.
Kamloops soldiers names are embedded in the cenotaph to be remembered forever
Kamloops Cenotaph honors soldiers killed in action 
There are cenotaphs throughout Canada but the Kamloops Cenotaph and Memorial Park has one of few that have a clock within it.  The corner if 2nd and Battle St., which seems an appropriately named location, is the sight of the Cenotaph where Remembrance Day services were held. 
A monument to the soldiers killed in action in Kamloops, BC
Cenotaph in Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC
Due to the larger crowds that are part of this annual Remembrance Day in Kamloops, the ceremonies are now held at Riverside Park and the parade will leave to parade through the city from this location following the ceremony. The public is invited to attend to honor those soldiers we lost in war.
The poppy grows in Flanders Fields and used to remember the soldiers who died in war.
The poppy is the official flower of Remembrance Day
The poppy is the official flower that pays tribute to all the veterans of the wars. When we purchase a poppy, we not only show our support but we also offer some financial support to the endeavors of the Royal Canadian Legion.  The money raised annually in Canada is $16.5 million and funds collected stay local to supply medical equipment, home services and long term care facilities for those needing such help.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row;
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.  Short days ago
We live, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were love, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, thought poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

                                                     Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD

  Lest we forget

Veteran's Day is recognized in the United States on November 11 and we were impressed by the honor they paid their lost soldiers with the American flag while visiting there a few years ago.  To see more, click here.