Kitwanga

Next on our trip was Kitwanga, where Highway 16 turns off onto Highway 37 to Stewart, BC and then onto Alaska. I should also point out that we were just further North of latitude than the southern tip of Alaska itself. We drove a little further down the highway, going North, but we turned around after a few kilometres. But the first place we stopped at was the Anglican Church. This was weird seeing the “bell tower” standing beside the church.

Then a little ways down the road we stopped to the Totem Poles. We did not stay to long, but had one more stop before we continued Eastward.

We headed for the junction of Highway 16 and 37. The place has not changed a bit over the twenty to thirty years.

Next time, I do not know when, we might head up to Stewart, BC, and maybe onto Hyder, Alaska.

Seven Sisters Mountains

On our holiday Monday, we headed over to Cedarvale, BC, about an thirty to forty minute drive on Highway 16 going East, to see the Seven Sisters. You need to be far back to see them all, as they are a large and very high row of mountains, this spot on the highway is the perfect place to see them. Actually, this is the only spot to see them from the highway. Just seeing how much snow is on them gives you an idea of their size and how high they are. They are very pretty to look at, but even better through a telephoto lens.

While we were there taking photos, so were two bus loads of tourists. It was the perfect day for shoot the mountains–not a cloud in the sky, and got awesome shots. I shot about thirty images while we were there–a ten minute stay. 

While you are there, you can buy veggies at the veggie stand. I am not sure what the prices are like, but the carrots looked big and there were lots of them,. There were lots of other veggies as well. I even seen someone with the loaf of bread, walking out of the stand. 

Funny – I always thought that the Seven Sisters Mountains were over at Hazelton, BC, a little further down the highway, about another thirty minutes. I was promptly corrected by Suz. So all these years…

I had to shoot these with my Sony A33 camera because when I cleaned the sensor on my A77, I got more dirt on it than I had on there begin with. I hate the little dot on my photos. So switched to my smaller camera option to shoot with: the A33. They say the best camera to shoot with is the one you have with you. Yeah right. More like, “you shoot with what you got…”

It was about 1:00pm in the afternoon, we moved on,  we have the rest of the day to explore with.

Shames Mountain in September

We were a little for skiing, but nonetheless the views from up on Shames was not short of awesome. Me and Suz. spent the afternoon up on the mountain, hiking around and stopping for photos. The day was nothing short of perfect–plenty of sunshine and warmth for the high altitudes. We met several other people just driving around also enjoying the view. Shames Mountain seems very popular even in the off skiing season.

The great part of coming up this time of the year was, “no crowds.” We had the place to ourselves, even with the three other vehicles that were up on the hill, everyone stayed to themselves. The road is good, although gravel, but no trouble for a small car, so why not take the family for the view.

So just picture this, you are standing on 30cm of perfect snow, waiting to up the hill on the chair-lift, but it is 27C and sunny. OK, that would hard to picture, but I am not much of a skier anyway. But the view…

This is the view looking South, (above) back towards the Skeena River (and Highway 16) from the valley we drove up in. You can see here that we are quite high up in the hills. Let me just say that my ears were popping a lot as we drove up to the ski hill, we were up so high.

In the above photo, this was looking West from the ski hill. Shames is in sort of a box canyon, but looking West, you can see where the canyon started to narrow out. These photos do not do any justice of the awesomeness of the landscape. I wish I had brought my wider lends. We were only half way up the mountain, and I could not tell you how high these peaks are, but the scenery is just awesome.

The skis and snow-boards nailed to the trees can be seen all along the road going up to the ski hill. At first I made crake that these were “grave markers” of all the skiers that did not make it a live from their skiing, but that would not have been a nice thing to say. Then I thought, “these were the in the lost and found,” so why not nail them onto the trees in hopes that their owners will get them. But no, theses are just there, probably to mark the way up to the ski hill. They were worth a few shots.

I want to go back soon, and get the mountains when the Sun is more towards the morning. All the good shots were to the West, so I want the Sun low in the Eastern sky. Maybe in a couple of weeks. Shames Mountain is only a few minutes West of Terrace on Highway 16, going towards Prince Rupert.

The Exstew Falls

Finally me and Suz., both went to the Exstew Falls, although it was more “muddier” than when we first made the attempted, and when I was last up there, we had our workout in the mud. It was muddy. And yes, we both had some spills in the mud when we took the high trail right up to the bottom of the falls. The grassy trail was very slippery, so we had to take our time hiking it, but we both slipped, it did not matter after that, we were down right dirty. I had mud on both knees, and I had muddy water up my arms. The camera was not harmed. LOL

Going in the mud was worth it to get these shots. With the rain from the last month meant there was a lot more water this time of year, and it really made the water fall better. The mist was thick, and the water was pure, but the water fall was a great sight to see.

The Exstew Falls are really not from the Exstew River, but in fact the falls flows into the river. According to Suz., the falls come from glaciers in the above mountain, not just runnoff. The falls are located about nine kilometres from Highway 16 just East of Terrace, British Columbia. The drive from Terrace is about ten minuets, and another twenty minuets from the highway. It is a little tricky to find, there are road markers, but generally it is the third fork on the road (you keep right), but the third fork, turn left. Really check with Google Maps for directions.

I was looking at the bottom of the water fall, and thinking that this would be a great place for a summer dip when it gets really warm out. The pool here is really shallow, and very cool. The mist from the falls would be a great to cool off in. I would love to a photo shoot with some models here. 

Well, it is time go. Covered in mud, and a little soaked from the mist, it was time trek back down the trail. I can feel my legs from the hike up, and I know I will feel this tomorrow. To listen to the thunder of the falls was the high point of the day!

Also, I am caught up with my posts now that I have my main PC back on-line. This is my first posts in nearly a month that I am posting the same say as I time-stamp the post. It feels good–more honest. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos of the falls. Oh, and happy Labour Day Weekend!

The Old Terrace Drive In Theatre – I Found It

For the last few weeks I have been asking various people where the old Drive In Theatre was located. Everyone has a general idea, and could give a location somewhere down Keith Avenue, but most were only guessing. It was not until a truck driver was stopped at my work making a delivery, and out of the blue he said that where I work, “this is site of the Drive In Theatre.” Not only that, but my work building is, was the where the parking and projector building was, and the lot next store was where the giant screen was. I was blown-away!

The same day, I told the building mechanical maintenance guy about this, and of course he knew, and he said that I should go to the front of the lot, right by the road, and there, I will see a couple of poles used to hold the speakers from the Drive In itself. So naturally I grabbed my camera after work, and found these–the two poles–just like he said. I could not believe that I worked on the old site location, and that there are still traces of the Drive In Theatre still there today.

When I moved back to Terrace the second time, this was sometime around 1990-94, I remember that the giant screen was being torn down. I should have taken photos then–wait, I was not into photography like I am today. The theatre then was long abandon, and the land was sold for commercial uses.

However, I do remember being at the theatre when I was very young. I think, though not positive, that somewhere around 1973-74 that my parents took me to the Drive In. Back then, this was way out of town, a huge drive, that I remember my Dad complaining about that. Today, it only takes me seven minuets to drive Thornhill to this location for my commute to work. But anyway, I am guessing that the Theatre closed down in the Mid 70s.

You probably want to know the location–right? Well, it is right across from the BC Hydro building, where I took these shots. This would be where the parking lot was located. The lot further West, would be where the screen was.

Exploring the Terrace Heritage Museum

Back in Terrace, the rain was “sprinkley,” and lever let off until later in the afternoon. But that did not stop us from heading out the Heritage Museum to check out some Terrace’s history, and to see how people lived throughout those years of early settlement. So me and Suz., arrived sometime in the late morning, only to find ourselves the only ones there–how cool we that. So having the place to our selves, along with the staff, who stayed inside, off we went exploring. It was fun.

We did the sweep of the buildings and grounds, starting at the right hand building, and slowly working around, until we came full circle. But first I had to have a look at the wagons in the main yard.

Imagine going shopping in this beauty? Actually, the wagon was fully restored, and almost looked as if it was new. I notice other newer vehicles in one of the open garages, which house more wagons and gas power vehicles. Things were defiantly more simple back then. But some of the buildings we looked at were amazing. Of course Terrace, and the surrounding towns were mostly built on logging. and tree harvesting. during the Second World War, so is goes without saying how much of an influence it had as a growing community over the last century. The “logging” building had a very nice chart showing all of the saw mills and logging outfits over the last one hundred years, up until 1975. As a kid growing up in Terrace, many of the names brought back memories of a distant time.

I was looking for a car within my price range… this was almost affordable. Suz. did not like the idea of having the gas tank under the seat. The model was a hand-crank starter, so running it the winter would be a bit of a pain. LOL

The old cars were neat to look at. The above shot of the Green Truck really surprised me when I saw that it also had “Emergency Brakes.” A good feature to have around here with all the hills.

And of course, I cannot leave with a shot of the famous “Rosswood Express.” I have no idea if this was the actual wagon, but it was in good shape. Anyway, this concluded our weekend get-a-way. The rain kept up, but there was hope that it could indeed be a great going forward.

The Bulkley Valley Fall Fair – Part Two

With the day only half done, we still had the rest of it to enjoy it, and there was lots to do, and not enough time to do it. So onward to the stables, where we saw the upper class events, and then back to the smaller stages to jugglers and dogs shows, then the big rodeo event. But let me pause for a moment to say this: the weather kept better and better. By the time was saw the horse jumping events, we were in the middle of a full blown sunny day–getting sun tanned! It was night and day compared to what we left behind in Terrace.

Watching the horses jump was cool indeed, becuase I could get up close to the fence, actually right up to it, and shoot some really good photos with my camera. I could hear the rider breath I was so close, let alone the horse.

Now to change pace, I have to say I never expected to see a full on livestock auction. And to add, I did not know they sold the animal by the kilogram. What attracted me to this scene was the auctioneer say, “next up, we have Ham Solo!” So here he is.

Let me present to you a photo of, Ham Solo! Yes, he is a pig. I have no idea how much he was auctioned off for, but I am sure it was good price. I heard later on that a cow sold for $2.89 Per Kg, so Ham Solo must have done well. Sadly, he is on someone’s plate, sizzling away as bacon, somewhere in the Bulkley Valley as you read this.

If you notice in this photo of the juggler, he is juggling a knife, and a garden implement, and a apple. He was good, especially with the kids. The kids wanted more, but sadly these shows were about half hour long. This guy was entertaining–I enjoyed him, especially this shot. Ya, I was hoping to get a shot of him screwing up by grabbing the knife the wrong way–but that is just me.

The dog show was a real hit too. Again, like the juggler, these shows were about a half hour, but it was packed with fun during that time as the bleachers were full–standing room only. We seen these dogs jumping as far as thirty feet into a pool of water. It was awesome seeing all the tricks these dogs could do.

For the last part of the day, it was the Rodeo, as some would say, the main event. The day was getting quite hot at this time too, and I wish I had brought some Sun Screen–but hind sight is twenty-twenty. This is where I got the sun tan, from sitting and watching the Rodeo. Remember I dressed for rain and cool temperatures–not full on summer.

Sadly me and Suz. sat at the second level on the bleachers from the bottom, as it filled up really quickly with people, and seating was hard to get no matter how early you got there. There were so many people. We had a safety fence in front of us, so I never bothered to taking out the camera. This was the only set of shots I took becuase we stood during the anthems, and riders were riding around with the national flags. The rodeo lasted about three hours. We saw everything from bull riding to steer wrestling. It was very entertaining, and well worth it on a Saturday. We had a good time!

The Bulkley Valley Fall Fair – Part One

I decided to chop this post into two parts, as just the images alone I want to post add up to nine. So, without further ado, I present the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair in beautiful Smithers British Columbia. So to start off with, we paid fifteen dollars for the whole deal, once we passed through the gates. Almost everything is included in that fee. Obviously, the rides and food, and other events, I am sure you would pay extra for, but all the main events were covered for admittance. So with ever improving weather, and more and more people arriving, the energy in and around the fair grew as the day did. One last thing before I start, I am going to post the photos in order as I shot the different scenes around the fair.

So we start off with the baddest hair cut you could ever give to a llama. OK, to a pair of llamas. Yup, they look they are hurting. Me and Suz. checked some of the animal stalls once we got through the main part of the fair. We passed the midway, and carney rides, before we got to here, where the livestock was kept. These llamas were screaming, “take my photo!”

After some more walking around, we came upon Teamster, Single Horse  Pulling event. First, I was impressed at the weight that these animals were pulling, and second, they say these animals were pulling one thousand pounds OVER their weight, before there was a winner. I think the rule was, you could not use anything but the sound of the owner’s voice to keep the horse pulling. So you could not hit or touch the animal to make it pull harder.

They say there is nothing more impressive than a woman with an axe to grind, and a place to throw it. Well, move over to this woman with the chainsaw. She had no troubles competing with the gents with her chainsaw. She did really well from what I heard from the announcer afterwards. She beat all the guys in her section. She even throws axes around pretty good too. Logging anyone.

OK, this parking lot is where the country folks park. Just kidding…, no, this is part of the tractor exhibition, where just about every make and vintage of North American farm machine is on display. I did not bring my wide lens with me, so I could not fit them all into one shot.

As you can see the weather really improved as the day went on. By mid day, we were getting hot, and somewhat sun tanned. But the day was only half over, and still more to see at the fair. Stay tuned for Part Two.

 

Smithers, BC – First Stop: The Farmer’s Market

We made it into town, about a fifteen minutes after the igloo. The weather was starting to improve, but the threat of rain hung in the air. For the most part, it was just the odd sprinkle here and there, so we were lucky so far. So we went to the Smithers Farmer’s Market to check it out, and walked the stands to see their goods. Although a little smaller than the one in Terrace, we saw some good deals on vegetables, though we never bought. Next time, we thought, when we pass through again.

I think we walked around for about twenty minutes. We just wanted to have a look, I did not want to buy anything, and my girlfriend was looking for something particular, so she did not buy anything either. We wanted to see the town before we headed off to the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair, and time was ticking.

From Terrace, Through Hazelton, Then Smithers, British Columbia: HWY 16 West Going East.

Yay, the road trip! The time has come; the journey to the Bulkley Valley Fair, in Smithers, British Columbia. So, let me back up a bit. First, we have to get there. We left about 8:30am in the morning from Terrace, heading out along Highway Sixteen, going East. Here in Terrace, the weather is rainy. This morning, the weather sucks. We have the steady downpour, or showers, and the cloud are as thick as ever, and this has probably being going on all night here at my place. Hence, why our Forest Fire Rating is somewhere around “Low,” while in Hazelton, it sits at “Moderate.” The further inland you go, the dryer it gets, and you do not have to go far for that to happen. Just looking at the trees in Hazelton tells the story–only a one hour drive down the road, the trees are parched from having so many dry days here.

Although it was raining, what they get in Hazelton, is far less than what Terrace gets. This is the Forestry’s “Forest Fire Danger” sign in Hazelton. 

We did a little pit stop in Hazelton. Enough to buy a coffee and check the road-side tourist stop. Stopping for about fifteen minuets, we went on to our destination–Smithers. The total time on the road will be about two and a half hours. We never really kept track because of the pits stops. Our second pit stop was just before Smithers, and we did this one for my Mother. She wanted me to see if the “Igloo” was still there. Yup, it is–although closed, and looks like it is shut down, but at least it is still their. Here you go Mom:

The last time I was in the Igloo was about 1980. I first went in there about 1974, when we lived in Smithers. There are stuffed animals and other exhibits you could look at. I remember you get polished shinny rocks for a dime. For a kid, this was awesome. Sadly it looks like it is shut down for good, as it looks as no one has been in their for a long while. This pit stop was just long enough for me to get a few shots, and then we were off again. Smithers was very close now–less than ten minutes away.

This is a bill-board near the Igloo, on the side of the road. I think it was printed in USA. LOL

Sadly, even here, almost near Smthers, it was raining. Although we noticed some dry spots along the road. Two hours and a bit, we made it! A couple of more stops, then off to the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair!