We Had a Little Fender-Bender, But All is Good!

Imagen driving down a very dark highway, and you are going from 80km/h to 100km/h, and way out in front of you, you see a vehicle, then from behind it, sparks at random places on the road, and they are getting closer and closer. Then an object bouncing towards you that you can hardly see becuase of its dark colour. What would you do? The quick thinking Suzette did what most of us would have done: stop to avoid the object. She safely came to a stop, just metres from the object, and this is what we saw.

The object was a metal picnic bench, painted dark green, that was being transported on the back of someone’s pick-up truck, and they never bothered to properly secured it to the deck. It fell off as they accelerated in the 100km/h speed zone, so when it hit the road, it was already travelling a 80km/h. So what we saw from behind were sparks, as it bounced along the surface of the pavement then came to rest.

An emergency stop was initiated. The vehicle behind us also had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting us, and as we heard it brake–at that moment I was happy. But then a second later, a third vehicle was not so quick, and collided into the back of the car behind us, then the car behind us was pushed into us. So now we have a three vehicle accident, and loose objects on the road. We waited, and after a ten second pause, we assessed ourselves, and looked outside. There seemed to be no other sounds of crashing cars–it was safe to go outside.

I will not go into the specifics of what happened to all three vehicles, but I will say this, no one was physically injured. All three vehicles had to be towed away, and the metal bench was taken off the road, so we were thankful that it was just our vehicles that were damaged, not anyone else. However, a few things need to be addressed here.

Let me quote Suzette’s Face Book post, using her words:

This piece of metal lawn furniture fell out of a vehicle last night on Kitimat highway just Terrace side of Hirsch Creek. It caused a 3 car fender bender, no major injuries thankfully. I stopped in time to miss hitting it. The woman behind managed to stop in time to not hit me, but the third car hit her, pushing her into my driver side back quarter. So, all 3 had to be towed. PEOPLE! tie down your loads! If I had not seen the sparks when this fell out of the vehicle, I would have had less notice of something wrong ahead, could have hit it, into my windshield and could have caused a major accident. Now my car is heading to the shop…

Two points. First, the owner of the park bench was the cause of this accident. You never move items on your vehicle without first properly securing them to the vehicle to prevent them from falling off and causing damage to the road, property, and people. This is the law.

Secondly, As a driver, you must drive in a safe manner. This means driving with enough space between you and the driver ahead to stop safely, in case of an emergency. Driving too close is not only bad driving, but in the case of an emergency, you are not going to stop in time to avoid the driver ahead of you. This is the only time, that you are one hundred per cent at fault if you cause the accident.

Anyway, we are all good.

On a side note, I told Suzette today, “we were partly responsible of closing down the Kitimat to Terrace Highway for an hour, yesterday”!

 

 

Fireworks at Kitimat BC for Canada Day 2018

We drove back to Kitimat, BC to see the Canada Day fireworks that started at 11:00pm. They lasted about twenty minutes, and were pretty impressive. Other than the mosquitoes, it was an awesome night. The sky cleared up, with very little clouds to threaten us with rain, and it fairly warm too. We parked away from the main parking lot and park to get better shots, and I think it paid off as far as the photos go.

Perhaps we will came back next year!

Happy Canada Day 2018!

“Let the good times roll,” as they say, whisking off first thing this morning to Kitimat, BC to see the parade and other events there. We left around 9:30ish but did not get there until well after 10:00am, as we took our time on the roads–safety first you know. We found a very good parking spot and chose our spot to see the parade, mingled around a bit, everything we great, except for the threat of rain. We brought rain gear and jackets, so we were prepared!

Oddly enough, once the parade started, the Sun poked through the clouds and only sprinkled a couple of times, until the parade was finished, then it let go with a good shower that soaked everything. Oh Mother Nature! So we went from jackets, to shirts, then to rain jackets, in twenty minutes. This is North Coast living in June and July. The great things was the wind (or breeze as we call it here) seem to drive the mosquitoes away–not one bite.

The above image is a City West person in a “Bucket” on a truck, about ten metres in the air, waving the flag along the parade. City West, is the local Cable and Phone company for the North Coast area. They usually hit every event in the North Coast, and as always, they are usually the ones with the most flags on their floats. But there were lots of flags around!

This was my very first time in Kitimat, BC at the Canada Day parade, so all of this was awesome to see. For a small town, they put on a nice event. The Mall had lots of vendors and displays to visit, and tonight we are going back, to see the fireworks, which are huge here. Kitimat is only a fifty-eight kilometre drive away, so we can do it in about forty minutes.

So HAPPY CANADA Day!!!!

Night Time Photography In Terrace BC

It is very dark, well, dark enough that you need to wait a long while for your eyes to adjust to the dark to safely walking around with you camera and get set up for any shooting. We picked three location around town, there was a possible fourth, but it started to sprinkle as the clouds rolled in from the West, so I called it–and we headed back home. For about two hours of driving and waiting, I managed to get about fifteen photos, and five or six of them turned out great. Not a bad night’s worth of night time photography, if I say so.

These first two shots were taken from the Arena, looking East from the parking lot on top of the hill. The street going from left to right is Kalum Street, and the road on the right is  Davis Avenue with the Terrace Library to the left. It was about 11:00 when I took these. I was using my 30mm lens with an exposure of 20 seconds.

Just panning to the left from the top image, the Terrace Library is on the left, with Kalum Street going left to right at the bottom. That is Mount Remo in the distance. There were some cars travelling on the roads, so in this shot you see headlights streaks bottom left. The car lights add that extra neat effect.

This shot (above) is just before you leave Terrace, going West on the Prince Rupert Highway (#16), though I am looking East at Terrace in this shot. The lights on the left are from Kitsumkalum Tempo Gas Station along the highway. That is the Skeena River in the foreground, and the lights the middle of the image are from on top of Thornhill mountain, just above the glow of Terrace behind the trees. This shot was a 30 second exposure, ISO 100, F2.8, on a 30mm lens.

Time for bed. Looks like our run of awesome weather will end for the next couple of days. They say (weather station) that the clouds will be with us for the next four days, then we should be back to nice sunny days once again after that. I can say that it was a warm night out, about 18C when I got home. I love it when we have nice weather mixed with a long weekend.  

Friday Evening at the Lake: Sunset Included.

Not that I am complaining about the hot dry weather, but it is warm out, and I am getting a tan. With all this goodness, I do not want to be stuck at work, while all of this awesome weather is going on outside, knowing that soon, very soon, the rainy season will be upon us here in on the North Coast. It has been a great last couple of weeks, even knowing that it is still in the middle of May, and we have summer to reach yet. Oh yes, it is Friday, and we are at the start of a long weekend, Victoria Day, or May Day, depending on where you are. So some extra intensive to wanting to get out of work even faster to start the weekend. Spending time with Suz., was the highlight of the evening’s events. Unexpectedly, we went to the beach out at Lakelse Lake, just South of Terrace.

We went to Furlong Beach, now that the camp grounds and park area are open again after the long winter season. It was loaded with people, mainly young high school kids off on vacation, enjoying the super warm weather too. But for the nice weather, and wide open park, I kind of expected more people. The beach had many who were Sun Worshippers, basking out on the sand, then there were some who just walking around, and there were a few swimmers too, though I think the water is still to cold yet. The Sun was awesome, even Suz., sat quietly under its rays, collecting the energy from it. And of course, I could not resist the photo opportunity, while the Golden Hour of the day passed by, with my cameras.

As the Earth turned away from the Sun, leaving us in the dark once again, the people started moving out of the Beach area and back to the their camping areas for the evening. We stayed around for a short while, as the sky darkened. The air was still warm, and as a bonus, the mosquitoes were not out in full force biting yet. One last walk along the beach was in order.

With all the young adults, there was a police presence. Though we saw nothing out of the ordinary, it was nice to see them patrolling the area, keeping the law and order. I remember, as a younger person, this was the time of year to “let loose and be crazy” after being stuck inside all of the time during the winter months. I can imagine that has not changed for this generation, the Millennials.

The photos were taken at Lakelse Lake just at Sunset. I was using a 30mm MACRO Lens, set at f2.8, ISO100 with my Sony A77.

It Is Official: Spring Has Sprung In Terrace BC

Hold the presses, I have photographic proof that spring has finally sprung here in the Skeena Valley, or at least between Terrace and Thornhill, BC, anyway. We are quite thrilled that the weather has turned for the better, and the trees are showing their green for the first time in 2018. I for one, am quite happy to see this event unfold right before my eyes, as well as many others. Though certain trees and bushes have been showing signs for about a week now, today and yesterday have been, what seems to be, the starting point for the leaves to pop out and create the sea of green in the forest throughout the valley.

A little over a week ago I noticed the “pussy willows” forming on some types of trees, but today, everywhere I looked, green was taking over the landscape as all the tree were budding. For the last week now, the days have been nothing short of awesome, with more sunshine in the weather forecast still to come. I can honestly say that the cold days of winter might be a thing of the past now. Sadly the creek and rivers are showing the muddy waters of the spring run-off. If we get lots of super warm weather in the next few weeks, it could spell local flooding in some parts.

Me and Suz., were walking down the path along Highway 16, just past the Chill Soda ice cream shop, to take these photos. Already the flower beds on the parks are erupting with activity. I missed some of the spring flowers that were out in Terrace from last week, but I can still catch them at the higher level parks on the hills around town. Not sure what these yellow flowers are, but they nice and fresh along the walking path.

Not sure what these green plants are either, but these were only a few centimeters high, and were also in the flower bed. I took all these shots with my 30mm Macro lens at f2.8, on my Sony A77 camera. These green shrubs look like a small forest of big trees. LOL

It felt kind of weired just walking around in a t-shirt, and not taking a jacket with us, but just to give an idea of the day’s weather: plus 17C with clear sunny sky. Yes, nothing but blue from one end of the horizon to the other. Who needs a jacket on a day like today!

So here is the photographic proof that spring has indeed sprung here on the North Coast. Now get out there and enjoy it!

The Mini Vacation to Prince George BC

We made it! Safe and sound, we just got back from the road trip that took us three days and two nights from Terrace, to Prince George (PG) British Columbia, and back. We drove all around the City of PG, we stopped at many restaurants and specialty stores, and took in the sights. It was awesome, especially with the super nice sunny filled weather that followed us from Terrace and back. There were highlights, and destinations that we found along the way too. It was a well deserved trip!

It was not just traveling to PG that we wanted to by itself, but some stops along the way too that we had our eyes on. Stopping at Smithers, Burns Lake and Vanderhoof, British Columbia were places that we did “pit stops” at on the way there, but on the way back we Checked out Huston and Smithers again, just to enjoy the weather and sights. In the above image, I took at around 11:00pm at the park at UNBC just after me and Suz, saw The Avengers – Infinity Wars at the Cineplex – Famous Players 6 Cinemas (7:30pm), down town PG. That was truly awesome in itself (both the film and this night shot – above).

Yes indeed it was a rough winter in all of Canada, especially here in Vanderhoof, BC, one of our stops before we landed in PG. We think this was the first week of super sunny spring like weather they have had this year. The flag says it all. I am happy to report that Terrace is ahead of inland Northern British Columbia in terms of the trees starting their leaves and flowers. It is completely green here in Thornhill and Terrace, while everywhere along the trip we saw was still trapped in winter.

This “Moon through the trees” shot was taken the night we arrived in PG at the park near the Nechako River, in PG. This was just after sunset, and should give you an idea of how nice the weather was in PG. At about 10:00pm, it was still 17C in the city. We walked for another hour before we headed back to the hotel.

Anyway, I will post more. I took over 8G of photos, so there is lots of material I want to tell the world about our trip. Stay tuned.

Day of the Swans

Who knew a trip to the lake today would land me a few dozen shots of the great Swans that call the Kitimat Valley their home. As Suzette suggested a drive out to the lake, her intuition of going out to the lake on a nice day paid off with more than just some landscape shots on my camera, but included a couple of families worth of Trumpeter Swans too. A total surprise, there were the swans, swimming gleefully, very close to shore. Sadly, there were other humans walking along the shore, so it was only a matter of time, as we walked closer, they would fly away. 

No doubt, these are swans. Now I wished I had a 1000mm lens, as these were shot with a 300mm, not quite close enough for this lens. It would have been nice to closer shots, but there were just to many people also walking along the shore. I was the only one with the telephoto lens camera, so the others had to get really close with their phone’s cameras to get the shot, and that was what scared off the birds.

They sure are mighty birds. No idea at how big they are, but I wager their wingspan could be about two metres, or more. It took them less than five seconds to get into the air, and they were just as awesome to look at in the air as they were on the water swimming around.

Stuff On the Skeena River

So after the shock of seeing the snow on the ground, the Sun came out and melted it all back to its liquid state, leaving us with an awesome day to spend as we wished. We went on a hike over at the Old Skeena Bridge, but on this hike, we went under it in stead. The goal was to see if we could find a way to get to the Northern sandbars, but from years of shifting sands from the river, the old routes were washed away. We opted instead to just stick around the base of the river, checking out the rocks, water and anything else we might find. There were even other’s doing the same walks too.

With the river so low this time of year, I saw more “pot holes” carved away from the water than what I normally see. I could walk right up to the main part of the river under the bridge, which is normally not done from the high water. It was quite awesome to see the carved granite at this level; I figure I saw about twenty more carved holes in the newly exposed rock.

The Sun was poking its way through the clouds enough that it balanced out the Northern wind which seemed to cut through you when it gust over 10k/hr. There was a fare breeze, but with the good fleece jacket on, hiking was was great. Could not argue that the day was not a good one for March–spring is on its way. We trek on wards.

We just happened to noticed this Surveyor’s Marker drilled into the rock on the South side of the bridge. It appears to be made of brass, and although beaten by rocks from years of floods, we could make out some of the markings on it. We must have walked over this many times with out noticing it. The Sun was hitting it the right way when I seen it. I took several shot with my macro lens so we could see if we learn more by blowing the image up later on. Here is what we found so far.

We know it is a Survey Marker commissioned by British Columbia with the year “1960” stamped on it. It has an image of a crown, and possibly the cardinal points of a compass showing North. It could also be a coordinate marker too, but the centre of it is badly damaged. The numbers “87,” along with “IEBAL,” and “E(V)ALT(K) and “RES” are also stamped on it. I have sent the larger images to some people that might know who and what this is for. Another mystery to solve–yay!

Anyway, the brass marker is about ten metres South of the bridge on the rock bluff where the pines trees are growing. Like I said, we must have walked over this many times before we actually seen it. Thus year it is exposed on the bare rock, but still hard to find.

As the day wound up, we have yet one more task to do before we called finished–it is movie night. Going to see Tomb Raider (2018) at the cinemas.

What The….. Snow in Late March?

On the calendar it says spring, but up here in the Great White North, winter still has its grip on daily life, and this morning when I awoke to look outside, this is what I saw. Snow, and a bit of it that came down last night. I guess it got cold enough that the snow flakes stuck and stayed on everything. I was hoping that I would see any snow on the ground at this elevation until next fall season.

I keep forgetting that we here in Thornhill, BC only have two seasons: winter and (springish) summer. The springish part is the rainy season which take up about three-quarters of the summer portion of the year. Anyway, after so much of my life down in the Southern parts of Canada, seeing this at the end of March was a little bit of a shock. But then I have to remember, I am only a short drive from the Alaskan, U.S. Border–cold is a fact here.

Hovering at 4C, the day quickly changed over to being nice, with sunshine. Me and Suzette will probably go out hiking later today. We have plans to see the new Tomb Raider movie tonight, as it opens at the Cinema–should be a good night out. I am hoping that this is the last time we will see the snow this far down in the valley–again–this year!