Frozen Onion Lake

Me and Suz., decided to drive out to Kitimat, BC for the afternoon to check out the town. The drive was about 40 minutes each way, and we stayed about two hours in the town, but along the way we passed Onion Lake (twice). We stopped at the lake on our way to Kitimat becuase there was really good light from the Sun. It was high noon when we went through and stopped at the lake. Once we got to Onion Lake, it was obvious that there was a tad bit more snow their than there was back in Terrace and Thornhill, BC. We also stopped at Hospital Beach, right on the Pacific Ocean.

Of course, it has been about three weeks now since our last major snow storm, so what you are seeing here in the photo is left over from that time. The last couple of days have been really awesome with sunshine filled days, hitting above the freezing level, but very cool at night. So the snow will be with us for a while longer, so it is melting slowly–as we want it to. If it melts too fast, then we have massive flooding, so it is good that Nature is taking its time with this. But the rumour is, next week (Seven days from now) we could get into the fast warm-up that we do not want. But then again, it would be nice if we got some super spring weather now, rather than in April or May.

Kitimat was awesome. The small town seems like it is doing great. We saw lots of people driving around like us, and the local shopping market was packed. The snow banks their was still very large, but the roads were in perfect condition. Once we bought our coffees, we drove down to Hospital Beach where sat in the car watching the seagulls catching small fish our the Pacific Ocean.

The time at the beach was even better with the temperatures warmer than in town, but the wind was still the issue as it was coming in from the North, steady at a about 20km/hr. The smell of the saltwater was very nice to breath, and the water was crystal clear. I cannot not get over how clean the air is now–if you were only here back in the ’80s.

It was great to get out of town and explore. I cannot wait for actual spring to get here! LOL

The Skeena Valley Fall Fair 2017

Finally, the time has come, Terrace has its fall fair, located at the Thornhill Community Grounds, nearly right across from my place, but we still drove. Why you ask did we drive the three hundred metres instead of walking? Because the weather sucked. It was raining, albeit on and off, you needed some form of rain gear in order to enjoy the fair. In true terrace fashion, rain was not a problem, in fact it was business as usual. Once on the grounds, we marched over to the tens to seek out the five dollar breakfast to kick off the tour of the fair. Admission was very reasonable, and it gave you access to all the events. Also, on a day like this, there was plenty of parking, so we parked at our old junior high school.

Surprisingly the rain was constant. We did have moments were the rain stopped completely, and then there moments when it let its might, but in a gentle down-pour. We ate, then we toured around looking at as many sites as we could. There were things to do as well as we walked around the fair grounds. At the entrance, there was a sheet of paper that you could take with you, and it asked you to write down any locations you find a business sponsored scarecrow. We only found two – you really had to hunt for them.

One of the first stops was at the Four-H competitions, the best dressed rabbit contest. Above, is the winner, a rabbit featuring a alligator outfit, which the rabbit seem all to eager to get out of. There were about twelve rabbits hopping down the catwalk with their garb and appliances in this event. All to cute to see, and kids looked like they were having a great time of it.

What is a fall fair without the equestrian events. There were plenty of horses, and other livestock events to be had. We missed the show horses, so we walked over to the outside grounds where they were still having the “weaving around the poles” event (no idea what it is really called). So I caught about five riders whisking their horses threw the obstacles, trying to break the fastest time. At this point in the day the rain had stopped. Yay! So off to the inside events, now that it stopped raining, off to the arts and crafts displays.

The above photo is a zucchini that will be entered into the zucchini race later on today. The owner was extremely proud of his high-performance Zucchine! I will post more about the race next becuase that event was something I never seen before, and I have to admit, the word zucchini is not a word I get to type that often. Anyway, it was a total fluke that I got this shot, then seeing it the races. Weird, for some reason my spell-checker does not like the word “Zucchini.” Maybe it is a British/American thing? Anyway, the race was awesome – wet.

I have to quote Suz., on this image, above, when she said, “They never had these Lego sets when I was a kid….” There were some cool Lego displays here. And she was right, they never had these when I was a kid. Wow, custom Lego! Lucky kids. But the building was full of displays, everything from best photos by local photographers, to the best flower arrangements and knitting. There was a lotto take in.

As fast as our journey started, it was over. We want to head over to Lakelse Lake, to see the dragon boat races, Suz., favourite, so we left early to catch that. Sadly, when we got to Lakelse, they cancel it due to weather, not one dragon boat was to be seen when we got there. But the fall fair was not to bad in my book. It was smaller than the Bulkey Valley Fair, but nonetheless it held it own. I am sure if we had better weather, a lot more people would have made the trip out with their families. In all, we had a great time. Hey, the whole, I snapped over thirteen gigabytes of photos on my camera!

Hazelton: Old, New and South

Our last stop on our trip on Highway 16 was all three Hazeltons. Hazelton is divided up into three main areas, the old part, which is the old pioneering area where the riverboats and paddle ship stopped at; then the part of town where it lays near the highway; then what seems to be the newer part, which there are some saw mills and vehicle shops. Any way, we went to all three areas.

This shot was at the main area, right by the Skeena River, where the paddle wheel ships would stop. This is where you can see the old style building and some museums and shops. If I remember correctly, in this shot, to right, use to be the old Inlander Hotel. What a view of the mountain, he?

The above shot is the suspension bridge over the Bulkley River, before it meets the Sheena River. Take note of how high that is in this photograph–a long ways down.

Looking down was a lot more scary than walking across it. It was hard to say, but I think it was nearly a fifty metre drop to the river–I did not take a photo of the sign. But, it was a long ways down, and not a place if you have acrophobia! And to top it all off, you were walking on a metal mesh/screen surface you easily see below to the ground. We just had to walk across it!


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!

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.