Onion Lake, and the Clearwater Lakes Trails

Nestled almost between Terrace and Kitimat British Columbia, are the Onion and the Clearwater Lakes Trails system. Me and my partner decided to take on the Clearwater trails today. None of us have been here before, so this was going to be an adventure. We knew the trails total length was about six kilometres, and that there were side trails to take as well. It was fairly overcast as we started out, but the good news, the rain held off the entire time we were there, even getting better as we moved on. Sure, there were some mosquitoes, but they only bothered us when stopped on the trail. The starting point for the hike starts at Onion Lake, just off of highway 16, near Lakelse Lake.

There are three lakes to see on these trails, starting with Onion Lake, plus you follow Clearwater Creek for the last part of the trek between two smaller lakes, Upper and Lower Clearwater Lakes. Also, I should point out, the trail that takes you over to the “look out” where you can see Lakelse lake, well, you will be disappointed. We could only see a little bit of the lake, as trees obscured our view. Other than that, the trail was awesome!

As shown in the map, the above image, there is a steep part as you are coming from Onion Lake to Lower Clearwater Lake, it only hurts when you are coming back. I can assure you, the hike is well worth the climb. It is not that bad, as we passed kids hiking up it, young as ten years old. I would say me and my girlfriend passed about ten hikers along the way; the trails are quite popular. There are several rest areas along the way too. The creek flows from the Upper Clearwater Lake, to the Lower, and eventually down the valley. I am not sure if it runs into Lakelse lake, or not?

The path along Clearwater Creek is awesome, and we only encountered a couple muddy parts, but nothing to worry about with running shoes on. The trail is well maintained. And yes, the water here is very clear!

Also, you are aided with bridges and wooded walking paths in some areas of the creek portion of the trail, and when you hike around the two lakes. There was one section of the tail were we encountered small sink-holes. So watch your step around the lakes. 

The water in the lakes is very clear, and in the deep areas of the lake, a weird blueish-green colour. For the most part, the water is crystal clear. I guess the water here does live up to its name.

The above image was taken at Upper Clearwater Lake. The water is about a metre deep here. The image below, is a shot of the water flowing along the creek, taken from off the walking bridge just past Upper Clearwater Lake.

It was good hike! My leg feel it, and I am sure I am going to feel it tomorrow. But it was worth it. Yes, I would hike this trail again, though I might bring some bug spray next time around.

A Weekend From Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Park

This weekend was wonderful, although it tried to rain, and cloud over, me and my girl friend seemed to drive around the bad weather and stay in the great stuff. Actually, the holes in the clouds seem to follow use, showering us with some really good sunshine while the rain stayed on the other side of the Skeena Valley. Only when we went inside for dinner, or driving down the highway, it poured like cats and dogs. We travelled from Lakelse Lake to the Exchamsiks River Provincial Park, and stopped off at many places in between. When we went to the lake, we travelled down toward the Beam-Station, on Beam Station Road, to the North end of the lake.

Again, like I said in the previous post, it was many years since I was on this spot on the lake. This place also changed a lot. What really surprised me were the size and scope of the houses that are here. This is a rich persons place to live. Most of the homes are in the $800,000.00 dollar range. A little to rich for my blood and wallet. This was our first stop on our road trip.

Our next stop, after the Lakesle Lake, was the Lakesle River, which took us into Old Remo, my old neighbourhood. My girl friend said that she had never been here before. Then off to the Exchamsiks River!

And like everything else, this place changed a lot to for me. Year ago, the park was laid out differently than it is now. There used to be a large parking lot just off of the highway, and some cleared areas for camping. Now, there is a smaller parking lot, about half the size, and no room for campers that I could see. However, now, there are walking paths, and of course, you can still get to the river.

Even with the cloudy weather, the river and huge cliffs did not disappoint the eyes. It was awesome. The water was a beautiful green colour, and the sand was the usual red colour. But the trees were huge, and numerous. Also, were the mosquitoes. Sadly, once they got a taste of our blood, they called their friends, and the next thing we knew, a swarm of them surrounded us, and the feeding frenzy commenced. They were pure evil. So we left faster than we came.

Terrace, BC – Up On The Bench

When I finally made my stop in town, I stopped at the top of Skeenaview Drive, and Sparks Street, right at the look out rest area. I have taken photo from here before, like my night shots and a couple of times during the early afternoon, but today, I took these around 9:00am, so I had the morning light–far better for shooting with. I used my 14mm lens, which I thought showed a more accurate view when you go up here with.

Below, is a shot of the look out area. They added a flower bed and put in block pad for the seat, since I was here last. It looks nice.

Nothing like a wide lens for scenic view like this. The temperature was about 13C, with a slight breeze–just enough to keep the flies away. When the Sun came out, it warmed up a lot. We are far from a heat-wave here. LOL

There is British Columbia Baking Away, and Then There is the North Coast

As you already may have heard, we are in the heart of forest fire season, and ninety percent of British Columbia is stuck in the grip of a nasty heatwave. But we here in Terrace, and the surrounding area are “blessed” with clouds and rain. The entire North Coast region sits under cool cloudy weather, while the rest of the Provence is “baking away” from the hot dry weather trapped down there. One would say it is awful that we have the clouds and rain, but think about it, I would rather have the clouds than the scorching heat of the Lower Mainland, where I just came from.

I just heard on the news that the little town of 100Mile House has been evacuated, and along with it, a number areas around it. My heart goes out to those people.

I could not live in that heat. I never liked it, and as a twist of luck as I moved up here, I left on the first couple of days after the start of the heatwave back on June 21, 2017 in Langley Township. Here, in Terrace, it has been awesome as far as the weather goes. We are very mild compared to the rest of British Columbia, and for the next week, we have rain on tap to look forward to. No threat of forest fires here. In fact, right now, there are no camp-fire bans. The parks are wide open.

Anyway, we all know that all this could change, as Mother Nature (prise Nature) can change on a dime, and we may face a heatwave. There is plenty of summer left for 2017. So fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The Government of British Columbia just issued a Provence wide campfire ban as of today (July 10, 2017), until October.

Happy Victoria Day! What a Summer Like Day!

When I woke up this morning, I headed into to town to see how full it was of people. Turned out, it was packed by the time got there. So I decided that going back to see the MayDay Parade was out of the question. Sadly, Fort Langley has become a nightmare for parking, so I opted to stay at home instead. Once at home, I focused on cleaning and getting ready for the new week. I did sat on my patio for a while, reading, then taking my camera out to capture these silky ribbon looking clouds, which had moving waves that made them ripple in real time. Then back to more cleaning. 

My road was quiet today. Only a couple of cars travelled up, then back, along the dead street. It was what laid beyond that made me stay at home. When I was going down River Road, or 88 Avenue, there were about fifty cyclists, all done up in racing spandex. And beyond that, was Fort Langley parade. So, for my evening drive, I headed in the opposite direction–Abbotsford. Even that drive was full of people parked at every park and stop along the road. So I only stopped for a few photos, then off I went back home.

I feel rested, but could use some more time off. Tomorrow I go back to work, into the pit. I can only imagine how hot it will be in there tomorrow. Not to mention how grumpy some of my co-workers get when it is too hot inside. Because of security, all doors must be shut, and fresh air is hard to come by while on the floor. Do I look forward to that—not!

Well, at least the good weather will not outnumber the bad days. I hope this year, summer is awesome–but not too hot.

Happy Victori Day!

Bring it!

Oh ya, it’s hot outside. I think Mother nature has set the Sun to “Broil” (praise nature). It feels great…, no, it feels awesome! I think I have completely unthawed from winter now. I have a fan blowing out hot air by my front door, all my windows are opened, and my sky vent it set to “maximum suck,” blowing the hot air out from the roof. It seems to be striking that right balance of cool to warm air inside. I think we are in summer mode now!

I forgot that I left some candles in their holders from the last power outage we had back in mid-April. I noticed something odd when I looked on my counter. Something wast not right. Then it hit me–all of my candles were drooping down to the table. I looked at my “inside thermometer,” and it said, thirty-seven Celsius. It was a bit warm inside when I got back from my short drive out in the country this morning.

So, the long weekend is half done now. So far, each evening, I head of for a short drive, catching the scenery lit by the setting Sun. So beautiful. I headed down to “Two Bit Bar” in Glen Valley, along the Fraser River today. The river was high, and there was no one around–very peaceful for a walk in the park. Below is what I think is the perfect image that captures my general feeling so far this year. Yeah, I know, the chain and the post, so symbolic with so many metaphors. But look at the green, with the setting sunlight, and the shadows cast by the chain–there is my story.

With only a few hours of light left, and still cooling down my home, I think I will spend the rest of the day out on my patio looking at the trees, the sky and maybe finish off my current book I am reading. Happy Victoria Day, from Glen Valley, British Columbia!

The Unofficial Start of Summer – Here at Last!

As far as I am concerned, summer has started! The weather is awesome, it is a long weekend, and I am feeling good. I think with the sunshine outside, that is what is making me feel good. But it is here: the long weekend. I slept like a log last night. I did not get up until noon, although that is when I normally wake up anyway for my day job, but it still feels like I slept in. So many plans, will I have the energy to do them?

I ran outside when the Sun was fall over the horizon, to take this photo. You could say I was going for the golden hour, which creates the best light for photography in. When I saw the sunlight through the tall leaves beside my patio, I went into camera mode. It reminds of the jungle. I like this shot, as it caught my eye when I went outside. These plants shot up in the last week, and eventually they will turn into these awesome red and yellow dragon flowers, which I have shot before and posted on the weblog. They bloom around August and September.

Later on tonight I want to take a drive, and perhaps do some night sky photography, if the clouds are not to bad.

I had more cows last night on my way to work. I call it a Cow-Jam, when the damn animals crowd the road, and refuse to leave, no matter how many times you honk the horn at them. I actually had to get out and push one of them from the middle of the road so I could get by. I know, farm country in all, but sheesh, they do not belong on the road, stopping traffic. I usually give myself lots of time when I go to work. I have two sets of railway tracks, and a hundred intersections with traffic lights to cross, so it can take anywhere from twenty to forty minutes during my commute. I never factored in cows, nor a Cow-Jam, into my commute!

Anyway, it is the long weekend. Tonight, I have a cup coffee going, and a movie to watch in a bit, then off to sleep. Tomorrow, we will see. I have no plans tomorrow, but my end up cleaning. I have lots to clean, and sort out. The never ending battle with clutter.

My Late Bloomers

What keeps me sane from my job? Well, it is sometimes my photography. Getting outside, away from the house, where I can focus on shooting picture rather than on my day job. Like my working life, the flowers around my place are messed up too. These guys, the red flowers that grow by the well house, always seem to bloom a month later than the same ones do in town. I guess it is becuase I live behind a hill that blocks my Western view. I figure I have about six hours less sunlight becuase of it. But anyway, when the flowers do bloom, I jump on the opportunity to grab my camera and do some shooting.

Now, about work. It is crazy. With the spring season ramped up, I hit full speed, and do not stop until I leave. Right now my body is just in a state of numbness. All I can do is sit here, and type away, or stare at my screen. What a life, eh?

I see the good weather coming. The leaves on the trees are hitting their full size now, and most of the flowers in my flowers beds have started budding. It is amazing how fast nature has rebounded since having such a late spring here in the Fraser Valley. Today is much warmer too, which will speed things up too out in the garden. Now I can only hope that the weather does not go the other way, with to much Sun and not enough rain. I like it nice and even, but who know how messed up our climate is now.

Dial it Down a Bit

It is raining out. My thoughts are on next weekend, the long weekend, the May Day weekend, as we call it here in Fort Langley. But that is a week from now, I still have this coming week to deal with. Where I work, they say, this will be the busies week of the year, and next weekend will be the busiest three days as every property owners will want to spruce up their investments for the unofficial start of summer. It is said that we have the dirt, and you want it, in a big way. But right now, my concern is my own health and well being.

I am still sore from last week. The time off from this weekend is still not enough time to recover from the frantic onslaught of the spring season that my poor body has endured. From my head down to my feet, I am sore. I am also tired.

Sleeping has been an issue too. For some reason, I cannot sleep straight through the night. I could say it is the longer days, but I wear night shades, which seem to do a great job. Then there is stress, which I lots of. That could be it. But then there is my tired aching body, from all the pounding I give when I am working during the day. And I cannot forget about the rain. It is cool outside, and I say that has something to do with it.

My goal, to make it through the coming week, and prepare for the long weekend ahead. Rumour has it, we are to have a couple weeks of very nice weather coming, starting just before the weekend. So, something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I am going to attempt to hit the bed early tonight, hoping that I can get at least a few hours of good sleep before I head into work tomorrow.

May the 4th Be With You!

Other than it being May 4th, today also can be a day Mother Nature (praise nature) turned up the heat on us. Aside from the usual complaining about the weather and work today, it was a good day becuase I upgraded my home PC’s CPU, Yay! I am super happy about that. I ordered the chip about three weeks ago, and the wait almost made me go mad with anticipation. Outside, the day was gorgeous, until the thunder storm crept over top, after that is was a “stay inside day” playing with my freshly upgraded machine, running my 3D graphic software.

The nasty side effects of climate change could not be more apparent than what I see outside, right now, all around me. My thermometer is telling me that it is 21C, with the relative humidity at 99 precent. Heck, why not just say, … 100 percent! It is so muggy out, I feel like I am living back in Toronto, in the middle of July. This is crazy. I have a fan turned on, blowing air outside, so I can get the cooler air into my bedroom. My clothes are sticking to my skin, and my scrotum is welded to my thigh–I am also ready to jump in the shower after I type this out. I ask myself, how could anyone say this is not unusual?

Cool, I just saw a flash of lightning right above me in the sky, by my bedroom window. So, the storm is coming up from the South. This should be interesting. Yup, here it is—hail! Lots and lots of hail.

Oh yes, my new fancy-shmancy CPU. Well, I bought a eight core AMD processor for one hundred clams from a wholesaler on Amazon. I was debating whether or not to keep this Motherboard, or just do a complete upgrade. Since I maxed out the RAM on this board, 64G, I figured I might as well save the money, and just do a minor upgrade instead. I have a Asus M5A97 mainboard, and I guess I can still get parts for it. It is doing a great job for me, so why not keep it for a little while longer. Sadly, it did take a while for the shipping and handling. I did not want to buy it from U.S. becuase of the taxes, so I bought from a place in Calgary. The dirty little secret is, no GST. Heh heh heh. And they seem to be hungry for business, so I went with them instead. It was a great deal. The place I normally do business with, I Surrey, BC, is, well, let me just day that the CPU would have cost me over two hundred clams–and leave it at that. Buying local can be a bad thing too.

So, May the 4th be with you! I hope you enjoyed the day as I have. AdiĆ³s amigo!