Salmon Arm Snail Shells

Last week Zana and I went into town for groceries, parked the truck and went in to shop. When we came back there was a little pile of snail shells on the concrete in front of the truck.

 

Random act, magic spells, or a child unloading her pocket ? Doesn’t matter. But I tell you, the snails in Salmon Arm are spectacular!

Prince George to Vancouver

Ok, it’s catch up time. I want to share the journey from Prince George to Vancouver, which happened over a week ago-

Ok, Prince George, Fort George, named after King George, was a fur trading settlement, now it has three pulp mills. Air quality is an issue, although the two times I’ve been there the air was clear. Its one magnificence may be that it is situated where the Nechako River meets the mighty Fraser River and there are some excellent sites of the rivers in easy access from town. We were only there for two days and I got out for a drive up the hill to the University to get some good sites of the lay out of the city, and managed to get a few good photographs. You can see one of the mills in the distance. But look how clear the air is! Then I spent the afternoon down at Cottonwood Park and the Nechako where gorgeous walking trails follow the banks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving P.G we (husband Bob) decided to take the Duffey Lake Road to Squamish, a far superior scenic drive that follows a small river and past Seton Lake with great camping all along the way. The photographs that follow are taken along the Duffey and into Squamish, then ending in Vancouver. We stopped and stayed a night in Vancouver to see our son and his band play at the yacht club to promote their new EP, then caught the B.C. Ferry home the next morning. Even the ferry home is like a mini cruise, and seeing my little island rise up as we close in on Departure Bay is always a warm welcome. I love where I live!

Foothills near Lilloet B.C.

 

Lilloet B.C. on the Fraser River

 

Seton Lake

 

Last years land slide on the Duffey Road.

 

The old Chief Mountain in Squamish B.C.

 

Kite surfing in Squamish B.C.
Vancouver False Creek, Granville Island (which isn’t really an island) from the Granville Street bridge

 

 

Granville Island Vancouver, from the Granville Street bridge

 

English Bay from the Granville Street Bridge, Vancouver, B.C.

 

Ferry Home

Then there’s Hope

I left with Bob on the 12:30 Ferry from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, and driving through the lower mainland of Vancouver on Hwy 1 we headed for Hope. One of the little but not so insignificant considerations of driving the Hwy 1 or Trans- Canada from Horseshoe Bay through the city and beyond is the absence of any- nil, zero -traffic lights all the way for 170 km. It’s a smooth long flow right on through to Chilliwack, Abbotsford and on to Hope. Actually, to the opposite end of the country if you kept on going, the Trans-Can is one of the longest uninterrupted highways in the world.

Bob has a few days of work in Prince George and I’m taking the opportunity to go along for the mini tour. Again, fun for me, poor Bob has made this trek countless times over thirty-five years of working Pulp Mill Shut-Downs, saying he knows every stump and stone all along the way. I contemplated testing him. Naw, I’ll take his word.

Ok, so back to Hope. This is the first and only stop over on the little leg of our journey on our way  to Prince George, the second largest city in B.C. in the centre of British Columbia and a good 7 1/2 hour drive from Hope. In his robust younger days Bob would do the drive from Vancouver Island to P. G. in one go, but really that’s just madness, which makes me question exactly how many stumps and stones could one actually see driving like a dirt devil for twelve hours? (Total of 15 hours when you include waiting for the ferry and riding the ferry before even starting the drive!)

Ferry travel- another post.

Hope, the location where Rambo: First Blood was filmed. Hope with its massive fir-tree covered mountains RIGHT THERE looming over you, which caused me to wonder if the town came by the name of Hope from pioneer gold miners murmuring a prayer, I HOPE THIS MOUNTAIN DOESN’T FALL ON MY HEAD. Probably not, but that’s what I would (no, I do) say.

Suffice it to say, I don’t enjoy dwelling too long in the crevices and tight canyons of towering rock. Foothills, distant rocky mountain ranges, oceans, meadows, wide valleys, deserts and prairie are more my element. Yes, the looming mountain presence of Hope is pervasive, but in the town its threat feels slightly benign, ok, maybe even spectacular. Impressive also is the Fraser River running through the town, one of the longest rivers in Canada, with humble beginnings in Northern B.C.’s Fraser Pass building and running down into Vancouver’s Delta and New Westminster region and into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific.

We got a room at the Windsor right downtown for $100, on another previous overnight stay in Hope we stayed at the Skagit Motel down the street from the Windsor, which we liked better. But the Windsor is just fine. We went for a walk through the neighbourhood before having dinner at Wallace, good restaurant by the way.

10,000 years ago this region was the home of the Sto:lo first nations until 1782 when, like so many(maybe all) European contact tragedies, small pox wiped out over two-thirds of their populations within six weeks. Below is the Dream Totem. Life had to have been quite glorious and richly abundant here for the Sto:lo along this big waterway before European contact. Way to go white guy.

Hope also holds the oldest church on its original foundation in British Columbia, the Christ Church, consecrated in 1861. The cedar trees that surround the church are magnificently huge, in fact the downtown has kept many of the old growth occupants intact, flanking the pathways to houses or lining a bit of the street and through the small park in the town centre; acknowledging them as part of the residential population, a rightly place in the neighbourhood.

On a bit of ground to the side of the little church is a Labyrinth, which of course I had to walk.

Next morning we grabbed breakfast at the Blue Moose across the street from the Windsor and began the long drive to Prince George.

 

 

Cloud series

Kimberley,BC 2017

I have a fascination with clouds, especially when chem trails are involved. While yes there is the sinister controversy around them, graphically they inspire me artistically. Abstracts in air kind of thing, the soft amorphous forms in juxtaposition with the precise clear linear aspects.

 

Kootenay Time, Spring in the Rockies

Boarding the B.C. Ferry in Departure Bay that takes Bob and me to Horseshoe Bay on mainland Vancouver we begin the drive to Kimberley in the East Kootenays, an area over 27,000 sq. kilometers in south-east British Columbia stretching from Spilimacheen down to the Montana border and lies between Banff and the Kootenay lake; tucked between the Purcell, Monashee and Selkirks of the Columbia Mountain system and the Canadian Rockies.

From Horseshoe Bay we drove on the # 1 hwy to Hope then took the Coquihalla or the #5 as far as Kamloops, then back on the #1 that took us up into the high mountains and through the Glacier National Park to Golden where we spent a night, making it an eleven hour drive. (not including the two-hour ferry ride). From there it would only be a two and a half hour drive following hwy 95 directly south down to Kimberley.

Last year I was here at the end of May and first weeks of June and it was HOT, but May? I’ve been here for four days and although cooler it’s been sunny and windy. Friends back on the coast are still getting lots of rain and single digit temps. Too bad. 🙂

I’ve tagged along with Bob because he is working again in the area our daughter and her partner live, so we can get in some visiting time, me more than he unfortunately as his hours are long without days off for the two weeks we’re here. A visit made even more special because our daughter is in her second trimester with their first baby! They had also booked a week “pre-delivery” vacation to Mexico that coincided with our second week here so we’ll happily look after the four-legged grand babies Dexter and Jackson, their two chihuahuas, for a week. When they return Bob will be finished his work and we’ll have more relaxed time to spend a few extra days with them.

More to follow!

 

B.C. Ferry from Departure Bay Vancouver Island to Horseshoe Bay Vancouver.

 

Glacier National Park, east of Golden, B.C.

 

The Columbia Basin, Windermere area along hwy 95, heading South B.C.

 

 

Kimberly Re-Cap

Thought I’d take this opportunity to share a little more on my recent excursion to Kimberley, B.C. – My daughter, along with her partner Don, were super hosts and kept me happily active with hikes, paddles, bike rides, swimming and great eats! Since I had accompanied Bob out to Kimberley because he was working a shut down at the mill in Skookumchuck for ten days (outside of Kimberley) he didn’t get as much visit and play time as I got.

 

Nearly as soon as we arrived my daughter and Don loaded us up to drive 40 minutes out of Kimberley to climb the Fairmont Hoodoos in the Columbia Valley. The rest of the time was just my daughter and me. We took a 17 Km bike ride on the North Star Rail to Trail. Where once were railroad tracks they have been taken out and paved. You can cycle to cranbrook 30 K away.

It was good to get away, I was certainly restored, and I can understand why my daughter who even though was born on Vancouver Island near the ocean fell in love with the Kootenays. With big fresh water lakes, meadows, foothills, rivers, and of course mountains, I didn’t miss the ocean either. Not to mention great snowy winters and hot summers. Kind of a full package. And only a days drive away- ok a long (long) days drive, but I consider it in my backyard. Lucky me.

 

13434876_10154071064105733_4467708328623548743_n
Hoo-Doos

 

On top of the Hoodoos
On top of the Hoodoos

 

A day at Fort Steele
A day at Fort Steele
13346933_10154046974135733_6051457267433939181_n
Hiking the loop, Kimberley below

13344531_10154048647990733_1863788912611952431_n

North Star Rail to Trail, Kimberley
North Star Rail to Trail, Kimberley

13391672_10154072357610733_8062091918537491551_o

13339466_10154057805750733_3385845835222763470_n
My daughter’s chill chihuahua Dexter. On St Mary’s Lake
13332802_10154060636490733_345891208030668261_n
Haha lake

 

 

Pizza at StoneFire

 

Breakfast

 

Daughter and son in law getting chicken ready for the rotisserie.

 

13321709_10154050881205733_3572584766800064933_n
Kinbari Sushi

13321818_10154050883125733_6619105095364079397_n

 

 

 

Kootenay Time

13339715_10154042450060733_5433177190916572104_n

I’m presently in Kimberly spending time with my daughter, having taken the opportunity to go along with Bob to where he will be working for the next 10 days in Cranbrook, 30 minutes away. We chose to travel from Vancouver taking the more serpentine route of Highway 3, better known as the The Crowsnest Pass instead of the big wide Coquihalla and stay a night in Nelson on the way to Kimberly, well it was a little out of the way but in the general area all the same!

When I was a single mom I almost moved myself and daughter to Nelson in 1986 when hearing of affordable rents for big character houses in an artistically vibrant community, but was then also put off by reports that the town was so surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains that even summer daylight hours were short-lived.

I should have checked it out myself at that time. Yes, the mountains are there but on the town side they slope low and away and while being established on a wide western arm of Kootenay Lake created a charming and rather open valley. Walking its downtown streets I felt an attractive urban pulse akin to my Islands’ capitol Victoria.

Baker Street is the main drag of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, a village of approximately 9,700 nestled in the Selkirk Mountains. The area offers scenic drives, hot springs, mountain bike trails and quirky shops, galleries and restaurants. The 1987 movie "Roxanne" was filmed here. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Baker Street is the main drag of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, a village of approximately 9,700 nestled in the Selkirk Mountains. The area offers scenic drives, hot springs, mountain bike trails and quirky shops, galleries and restaurants. The 1987 movie “Roxanne” was filmed here. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times/MCT) Photo courtesy of internet

I kinda loved it. Of course my daughter does too after visiting herself. ‘We could’ve lived here mom!’

In the evening, we got in to Nelson late around 8:00, we searched for dinner and decided on the Rel- ish Bistro on Baker Street, it was De-lish. Tenderloin for Bob and Butternut Ravioli for me. We left amply stuffed and contented. Next morning we walked around on the search for coffee and asking a passerby directed was directed to Oso Negro. Obviously a hot spot was bristling with patrons. Great coffee by the way. The cafe is surrounded too by a gorgeous garden and imaginative iron works.

I could live here.

After  breakfast we hit the road, crossing the bridge and drove up the coastline to catch the little Balfour Ferry ( the bigger one was being serviced) that would take us 30 minutes to cross over to Kootenay Bay, followed by a 3 hour drive into Kimberley. On a side note, we snidely chuckled when riding across the water saying how we’ve come a little out of our way (which it was) en route to Kimberley just to be able to ride a BC ferry for free, the only one in the fleet. We quietly rejoiced.

Kootenay Lake is massive, felt as though I was back among the gulf islands, and gorgeous. The remainder of the drive once reaching Kootenay Bay and driving down through Creston was bucolic. Stunning country continued all the way to Kimberly.

Kootenay Lake, BC

 

Kootenay Lake BC

 

D.K.Brint
Dinner at Re-LIsh Bistro, Nelson BC

13327404_10154051810095733_7871247103581705287_n

 

Oso Negro, Nelson BC