Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ashcroft ~ Logan Lake ~ Kamloops, BC

We are now enjoying another nice springtime drive that includes a blue sky and sunshine!  The hills which are brown most of the year have their spring colors of so many greens and make them much prettier.

Deadman Creek
 Deadman Creek falls down the crevice between the hills and at this time of year is a racing creek carrying the snow runoffs from higher hills.  It is a 70 km long tributary of the Thompson River as we follow Hwy 1 to Cache Creek.
Roadside waterfall
We’d driven past this many times without noticing there was this waterfall. The next time passing, we stopped for photos.  I’d expected the falls to be overflowing with the runoffs happening so it was disappointing to see a very small amount of water, but the setting was worth a photo.  The rockwork is very interesting.

Ashcroft visit
We passed through Cache Creek following Hwy 1 then turned off the highway for a visit to Ashcroft, which we had not done for a very long time.  Ashcroft sits at the meeting of the waters of Bonapart and Thompson Rivers.  This quaint little village is home to about 1500 people but due to the Covid, I suspect, there were very few of those folks out and about today. 

Heritage Place Park
Ashcroft was a result of the Gold Rush days and was founded in the 1860’s by the Cornwall Brothers who had come from Ashcroft in England. The CP Railroad was built in 1884 so was able to transport people to then catch a stagecoach to travel further north.  The railway also made it possible for Ashcroft to be a center to drop supplies off at for the growing community.

Thompson River
We leave Ashcroft on Hwy 97C and seem to climb the hill forever, but the views as we cross over this pass are great, several scenes of the Cascade Mountains in the distance but too far for good photos. The traffic is very light which makes it an easy drive.

Highland Valley Mine
Highland Valley Copper mine is the largest open pit copper mine in Canada.  By looking at these hills across the way, that doesn’t sound too surprising, the pits are all over these hills.  The mine consists of three former mining operations combined and it has been that since 1986 but originated in the '60s.

HIghland Valley tailing pond
Open pit mining requires tailing ponds which are used to put the refused tailings into to allow them to settle and separate in the water.  This is one of their tailing ponds but at another location is the Trojan Pond.  It was once one of the tailing ponds but they began reclaiming it in 1990 and it is now a “self-sustaining ecosystem” and used as a sport fishing pond. 

Logan Lake
We have now circled around to Logan Lake.  This village was founded in the 60’s and ‘70’s to support the mining operations nearby and you cannot miss this truck when you enter town, a true symbol for a mining community.  Logan Lake, the actual lake sits roadside and offers great summer pleasures with fishing, boating and camping facilities.

Walloper Lake
We arrive in Logan Lake on Hwy 97C, we leave on Hwy 97D then cross over the Coquihalla Hwy #5 to follow Meadow Creek Road, are you still with us? lol This country is known for the many fishing lakes we have and we will pass several on our way home. This is the first one we see called Walloper Lake, known to be a good fishing lake including ice fishing.

McConnell Lake

We pass Shambrook Lake and Stake Lake before we come to McConnell Lake.  This lake also has a provincial park, as does Walloper so a perfect place to camp while you go fishing for some rainbow trout, which McConnell is stocked with.  Our time of visit was too early for camping, there is still ice on the lake seen on the far side, but be sure the lake will have lots of fishing boats on there when the time is right.

Once we passed Walloper Lake and the turnoff for Lac Le Jeune, we were following Lac Le Jeune Road all the way into Kamloops, a scenic drive with several small ponds and lakes to see. Our round trip today was about 212 km and we were doing some stops along the way so it nicely filled a few hours of our day.  There is just no place like home!
Note to self: next time pack a picnic, nothing open (due to Covid) on this day.

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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kamloops Country Roads

There was a time when Sunday drives were the normal family outing.  Times have changed for us, family has grown and we are retired so we have that option every day of the week.  It has changed for all ages for many reasons.  The work week turned into seven days a week with store openings so there just wasn’t the family day like there once had been. 

Today has changed even more with the pandemic that has immersed itself into our world and changed everything once again.  We are now restricted as to our outings but with much caution.  We have taken the opportunity to go for a Sunday drive to find some places that forget what goes on in the world.

Kamloops voodoos
These Hoodoos that line the South Thompson are an interesting way of being reminded that they’ve evolved over thousands of years yet are still standing, big and strong.  They are most common in dry places and being we are semi-arid hoodoos are seen in several places around Kamloops.

Old corral
It has been many years since this fencing was put here and is amazing how it still stands against time.  The construction is rustic but it did what it needed to do.  Cattle would be brought down from the range and closed into the corral then would walk through this narrow walkway to the waiting truck.

Blooming begins
The hills are now green and there are some trees in blossom stages so although we are well into Spring time, we are just now getting some signs that it has arrived.  I’ve been anxious to come out on a nice sunny day to get some encouraging photos that spring really has arrived.  Still not quite there, IMHO.

Low level South Thompson
The South Thompson River comes down from Shuswap Lake and is now waiting for the spring runoff to fill it to the brim.  These sandbars cover a lot of ground when the river is at a winter low but before long this river will be running at a much higher level that we’d want before it settles down to summer levels. 

South Thompson cove
This makes for a nice little cove but that island down there will be under water within days.  With the temperature warming up, the snow in high levels is melting and will be adding to the river levels.  The sunshine didn’t last long today but on a nice sunny day, this looks like it could be a nice place to visit while cruising up the river in a boat.

Curious horses
We’d notice this beautiful buckskin horse up ahead behind a fence.  Once we got there, there was a clearance in the trees at the fence and we saw three of them so I had to get out and get closer for a visit.  The buckskin came first and reached out for a pat and the other two joined him.  I was so happy to get some pets with them that I was a bit distracted for picture taking.  Within a few moments, they were on their way, running towards a whistle, or so it seemed.  Trees in the way for photos then.

Going shopping
We hadn’t driven far from the horse visit when we saw two chickens coming down the road towards us!  This is a country road, not a lot of traffic but still a bit dangerous for them and not something we’d expect to see.  I got out of the truck and once they saw me, they came running towards me!  That’s a first! LOL.  I had to get photos but a video would have been better.  I shuttled them back across the road to let some cars go by and a third chicken joined us.  It appeared that no one was home at the main house but the chicken house was full of chickens who were now following me on their side of the fence.  I was able to calmly send the 3 escaped chickens up the bank towards their home before getting back in the truck.  I think they were out shopping for food, it was lunch time for them.

Deer and llamas
A country road drive would not be right without seeing some deer.  There were seven of them quite a ways off the road in a big field enjoying it all to themselves.  Deer are not looking for pats or food so they weren’t wanting to see me come any closer than the road.  There were no fawns in sight.             The llama were quite a ways off the road, too, and although they showed a bit of curiosity while they watched me taking their picture, they made no effort to come for a visit.  They were maintaining social distancing, as we are having to do during this pandemic.  Clever llamas.

Feedlot buffet
Lunch was served buffet style and the cattle were not practicing social distancing, they had ‘missed the memo’.  All things seem to be normal for these ones, so we aren’t complaining to anyone!  Just enjoying the day and the many sights it offers.

Pritchard Bridge

The country road drive has come to an end and we cross over the Pritchard Bridge to get onto the highway to go back home.  This bridge was built in the early 1900 and spans the South Thompson River.  It is a one lane bridge, although a bit wider and higher in the center to allow boats to go under.

Our Sunday drive offered some sunshine, some great Kamloops hoodoos, farm animals and plenty of calm.  Those chickens strutting down the road was the chuckle of our day!

Times can be made to enjoy and we must make the most of what we have. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Snowy Spring Day ~ Kamloops, BC

We are spending our last day of self-quarantine that follows our travels this year, by watching the snow cover our springtime yard.  Keith has worked hard to get the yard all ready for springtime, I’d been looking forward to those warm sunny days with flowers budding to get some new photos of our springtime but noooooo……… we are getting snow instead!!

Snow covered patio
The snow began as tiny dry floating flakes about 7:30am this morning.  Rain/snow had been forecast for the area but that would normally mean snow on much higher elevations.  I think the weatherman may be surprised by this snow, too.

Whootie and Blowfish are inside all winter and come out once the weather improves.  The look on their faces shows that it may have been too early!  Whootie calls out, “whoo whoooo’s idea was this?”

Lunchtime table
The wind has also been blowing so the snow is also on the covered deck!  Most of the cushions were removed when this all began, some just have to ride it out!  This is a great lunchtime spot when the weather is nice……which is not in the forseeable future…. We are waiting!!

Bunny has been waiting for Easter to arrive to hide some eggs for us.  Not only do we have to delay our egg hunt due to isolation times, but poor Bunny needs to go back into hiding.  “I ‘bun’ waiting for the eggs!”, cries Bunny.

Poor Wren
During nicer weather, Wren normally nests in the wishing well but due to unforseen circumstances, she didn’t get the nest made and now poor thing sits frozen to the ground!  She’s calling out “wren is this going to end?”.  Sigh………. wish I could tell her.

The pond pump is still working so has kept the water without ice for those in need of drinks.  We often get visiting birds but today seems to have no traffic at all.  The bistro set is ready for morning coffee visits, the old bike has pots waiting for spring flowers and the bench is waiting for passersby but on this April day it looks like we may have missed a couple of 2020 seasons, spring and summer may never come.

Ichabod and Shirley
Ichabod and his wife Shirley hang out here all summer.  I sure hope I got her name right, she is very shy as you can see, so she won’t confirm her name.  I find it safe to just call her Mrs. Crane.  I think she prefers that anyway.  Ichabod is looking skyward trying to decide if they should take flight.  I heard him whisper to her “surely, we don’t have to live like this” or was it “Shirley, we don’t have to live like this”?

Penn and Gwen
So then I come back inside and what do I see but Penn and Gwen standing at the door waiting to get out!  They’ve seen Maggie do this a zillion times and it works for her, the door opens.  Penn and Gwen are looking for their friends, the ‘penquins’.  They don’t realize there are no others in the neighborhood, in spite of this weather and I sure don't want to be the one to tell them, it would break their hearts.

Sully on arrival then snowy spring day
Poor Sully was pretty upset that he was forgotten on the first publication of our yard family.  He's been Sull-king for days so I thought best to fix that problem and eliminate family squabbles.


Now Maggie does know how to spend her winter days.  Get your business done before the snow comes and relax and enjoy the rest of your day.  I guess this is the lesson we shall all have to abide by, Maggie’s lesson.  Relax and enjoy the rest of your day!

As you can tell, Keith and I have done well during our self-quarantine time……. normal people……….all alone…… still sane and healthy!  LOL  Do not worry about us, everyone out there is in self-isolation, too, which we begin tomorrow.  So much more freedom…not….. but at least we know we won't go craaaazy if we can go out.  Too late??  LOL   

On a serious note, if we maintain the isolation time, we will all be back to norm soon, we sure hope!

Stay healthy, well and safe everyone!  Keep your distance from the CoVid-19,