More Riverboat Day Stuff – Freestyle Motocross Madness

Later on in the day, around 2:00pm, we went to the Freestyle Motocross Madness show, in front of the Skeena Mall, in the parking lot. At first I did not know what to expect, but when I saw the crowds, I was interested. As people lined up along the side of the building, me and my girlfriend got a good spot to view the show, but still more people arrived. Sadly, the people sitting in front, started to stand, so I just slapped my telephoto lens on and photographed that way. For the most part, I had viewing.

With lots of people, came the motorcycles. It was awesome. I saw the ramps set up, but had no idea what they were going to do. Of course, this was something my girlfriend saw last year, so she knew what to expect. I think over half the crown knew to. So the motorbike use the ramps to do their stunts up in the air. It was quite awesome as they did their jumps.

As the show moved on, the stunts became more challenging. First they did simple jumps, then did little tricks, as they kept running up the ramp. It was not until the end of the show did they start doing flips and more dangerous stunts. I got some really good shots.

And just as fast as it started, it was over. The show lasted about forty minutes, but the stunts were around half hour. Hey, it is free, and it was lots of fun to see. I got some awesome action shots with my camera, and I am sure once I go through them, I will post more. For now, these are but a sampling of them.

Getting Ready for Riverboat Days! A Week Long Celebration.

So, I have been getting ready for this long week for nearly a week now. Me and my girlfriend have got most of it planed out, almost right down to the hour. As it looks right at this moment, I may not have anything uploaded until next week becuase I will be super busy, and plan on taking as many photos as I can. Also, I want to do a an upgrade on my main PC, as that is getting full and almost unbearable to work with. So, here is a run-down of what we are going to be doing.

First we will have a parade first thing in the morning, and that should take up most of the afternoon. This is probably the big event of the town of Terrace, BC. I never went to them as a kid becuase, well, I lived way out of town, and my parents were not cool with socializing outside of the group of friends, so I never went as a kid. So, this is my first one.

Second, there a ton of other events going to. I do not have a list here, but we have lots to do.

Third, are the fireworks scheduled for 11:00pm Saturday night.

Fourth, will be getting out of bed to take part in some tours and watch some volleyball, baseball and other sports going on around town.

And lastly, will be Sunday. There are some more sports scheduled, and other various sports on that day to, but we are looking forward to the Rubber Duck Race. The Rubber Duck Race is when they dump all the rubber duck that people raffled, in hope for prizes if their Duck crosses the finish-line first as it floats down the river.

So It could be a while before I get to uploading all this stuff, and of course, after my sleep. I am sure that with all the stuff going on, I will flat out tired. Also, we are getting the Southern Heat Wave, as temperatures are expected to stay in the mid 30’s, so I the town with be roasting.

Kitselas Canyon – Part 2

As promised, this post is part 2 of my Kitsleas Canyon visit with my girlfriend, who lead the way over the rocks. You can see why I had to cop this up into two parts – there was just so much to see! The very first thing I noticed was the freshly built viewing platform over top of the canyon. The view is awesome, and it is hard to put into scale the size of the place. Your are hit with power of the Skeena River rushing through the narrow gap of near vertical rock cut from the river. I would say we were about twenty metres above the water from the viewing platform. The canyon part of the hike is simply breathtaking. We stood on the platform for about twenty minutes before we decided to ascend down to the river level.

This was the first shot I took of the canyon itself. I want to point out that these are straight-out of the camera: no photo-shopping or editing of the image other than cropping. Also, I only used my 30mm Marco lens for all of these shots.  

In the above shot, I was facing West, or down-stream of the river. It is hard to believe that river boats came through here during the late 1800’s! The railway sort of took over during the 1920’s after that.

Again, I was trying to show the scale of the place. Those are people on that out-cropping of rock.

While we were waiting for the other tourists to leave the river’s edge, I came upon these rock piles, which someone make, probably while they were board. One shot of these rock piles is currently my Desktop. These shots were amazing–I cannot get enough of these. We never tough the rocks; we left them they we found them.

Above is the little bay were we found the rock piles.

Again, I wanted to show the scale of the place. We never went on those rocks, we just stayed were it was a little safer. LOL If I had hiking boot on, I would have gone.

They say that the oldest village was carbon dated to around five thousand years old, this petroglyph could very well be somewhere around a thousand year old? We were showen two of them, and told there are many more e etched into the rocks from the First nation People of the past.

Kitselas Canyon – Part 1

It was an action packed day, and I shot over five gigabytes of photos, so I decided to split this into two parts. The first part dedicated to get to the canyon, and then canyon itself. Of course with so many photos to choose from, this will be a challenge to see what photos I post. So, here we go… Some facts about the site. It is part of the Gitselasu First Nation People, and the oldest site is said to be over five thousand years old based on radio carbon dating. When I was here last, in the 1980s, this was just a trail from the highway to the river. Since then, it has been turned into a park, and very well maintained. I think our trek to the canyon was faster today, then it was back then.

Today, it is a park, with a museum and tours. If you just want to hike to the canyon, your free to do that as well. The first place you go to is the museum; however, that was closed on the day that we went here. We parked our car here, and went on foot the rest of the way. The hike was short from this point, about two kilometres from the parking lot. The trail was in awesome shape as we walked along it.

In the above shot, you can see some of the forested areas that in seen from the hiking trail. The moss floor, and the spaced trees covered about half of the hike.

And of course, I cannot forget to mention the numerous information signs along the way too. Then is a lot of information that you can read along the trail. This on, above, shows a map, and some historical facts, among the five thousand year old carbon dating from the oldest site around the canyon. Also, the introduction of the riverboats (about the 1860s to 1912), and the use of “ringbolts” to aid the riverboats up the Skeena River, then the railway, from the early 1900s until now. There is a lot of history in this location. 

Then once we reached the end of the trail, you are greeted with these guys at the edge of the canyon. I believe there is a Killer Whale, Wolf, Raven and Salmon. I am not sure, I will have to check with more knowledgable friends as to what they actually are. But anyway, we are at the canyon now. Oh one more item to say before I go into part two of this post, also at this location, across from these totem poles, is a shelter that houses a very old dug-out canoe that used on the Skeena River by the First nation’s People. I could not get a good shot because of the low light there. Bring a speed-light nest time!

Howe Creek and Tree Park Trek

We were out for a Sunday walk in the park, heading along the bottom of what they call “the Bench” here in Terrace, British Columbia. We started along Sparks Street, right at the soccer field, and followed the creek to the Howe Creek Tree Park at Lanfear Drive, at the bottom of the hill. The length of trail that we walked was about three kilometres, in one direction; we also walked back on the same trail.

The trail itself is in really good condition, very well maintained, and highly recommended to walk. I would say we passed somewhere around ten to twelve walkers and joggers, plus one mountain biker rider. Some of the passer-bys where also walking their dog, and one lady he three leashes and many more dogs following. But the trail was big enough that all of the traffic was not a problem. I think my camera attracted a few stares and comments, all was good.

There were about eight well maintained bridges that we walked over. Most of them seemed like they were just built. The path was we groomed and has crushed gravel throughout. There was two places where there were tree falls that the roots dug up the trail, but they seemed fix enough to not cause any problem. There was one muddy part, but it was dry enough to walk threw.

One we got to the Western end of the trail, we met the Howe Tree Farm Park, in dedication to Mr. Howe, who grew exotic trees during the turn of the century, and passed away in the 1980s. A park was erected that contains some of those trees, plus many more that were planted since.

These photos, above, were some of the plants that were growing in the park. What was amazing about the park, was how well it was maintained. I saw no signs of vandalism, and it looked as if they just worked on it. 

I would highly recommend an afternoon to walk it!

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 Vacation Part 11: Saying Goodbye and the Ferry Island Trail

Like all good things, they must come to an end, just like they started, but leaving is much much harder to do. So much planning, time and energy went into getting this vacation off the ground, from an idea, to stepping off the plane, it seems like it was just too short of a time in the end. Saying goodbye was as bitter as it was sweet, but this was by no means the end, but the beginning, as I will leave knowing that I will be back again in the near future! Before I left to go back to the Lower Mainland, we spent the morning hiking the Ferry Island Trail on the Skeena River just outside of Terrace. One stand-out feature of the trails are the faces carved into the bark of random trees along the paths. Also, the weather was finally turning, as the Skeena Valley needed the rain badly. So ended my vacation, with a long hug, then boarding the aircraft before I flew off into the Southern sky back home.

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The above image is a flower along the Ferry Island Trail.

It was a great idea to walk the Ferry Island Trial as the big adventure of my stay up in Terrace. The mid morning light was good, and I had my camera with me, as always. Since the last time was walked the trail, a local carver has carved more faces into the bark of some trees along the it. I would even day, as you walk the trail, many eyes now watch you. Kind of creepy when you think of it, but some of the carving look very good. But it is not just faces; some are of little storybook houses, and a few owls too. There are so many that the challenge was to see as many as you could, hoping that you did not miss any. I took well of forty shots of faces alone, so there could be more, but who knows, there was know way of knowing how many there are.

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The above image, I think the carver likes the story “Game of Thrones.” But some of the face carved into the trees were just down right creepy and funny.

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The above image reminds me of an employer I once had many years ago. The image below is your typical back woods Northern Red-Neck, equipped with shotgun and hunting cap.

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Some of the carvings are small, and easy to miss if you are not paying attention.

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Below, a twisted house. I wonder if this carver looks at a tree, and starts carving without knowing what he wants to carve, or does he set out with an image already in his mind of what he wants to carve?

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Well, this is it, the end of the vacation – time to go home. I had a wonderful time here. In all, I captured roughly 900 photographs, and we drove hundreds of kilometres seeing some of the most wonderful sights the Pacific North West has to offer.  I will end this series of Posts saying, “I’ll be back”!

Terrace BC Vacation Part 10: The End of a Perfect Day

The weather has been phenomenal throughout my visit so far. Almost perfect weather, even got the suntan to prove it. When we got back to Terrace from the Lava Beds, we decided to go out, have dinner, then spent the end of the day driving around search for the perfect place to capture the sunset with the camera. It has been a long time since I seen Terrace bathed in the light from the golden hour of sunlight. Even the mountains looked gold in the sunset’s light. It was a beautiful time; good memories!

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Most of the evening I shot with the 28-300mm lens. The above image was taken looking at the old coop store location in down town Terrace, with Terrace Mountain in the background. It was so warm out that I was sweating, but it was worth it as then evening cooled off the sun light kept getting better.

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Even the Old Skeena Bridge looked great in the golden light. Towards the end of the evening we drove into Thornhill (to the East of Terrace) to shoot Thornhill mountain, as the light was turning the rock face into a golden colour. We even to the school grounds, where we went to school way back in Grades three to seven–and one of us got in a game of hopscotch too. LOL

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The above image was a mountain towards the South, looking from down town Terrace. No idea what the name of it is?

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These next images are shooting Thornhill mountain using my 300mm lens. These are out of the box raw image files with no post editing.

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Normally when I see the rack faces of Thornhill mountain, the colour of the rock is a black-greyish colour, but when the setting Sun lights them up, what a transformation. I always wanted to shoot the faces with my telephoto lens. For years, as a kid, I would look at the rock faces, and wonder how they got to be the way they are now. Of course, today, I know it was the glaciers from the last ice age and the mountain being pushed up from the Earth that carved them up this way.


Terrace BC Vacation Part 9: The Lava Beds In the Nass Valley

The last leg of our trip along the Lava Beds of the Nass Valley took us right to the heart of the lava flows where the molten rock came to rest. Here, from one side to the other of the valley, it is all covered with lava flows. We drove right to Gotwomksihlky, one of the Westerly villages of the Nass Peoples. Like magic, when we crossed the Nass River, the lava flows disappeared. But what a weird feeling, walking on top of the lava flows. Oh, one little bit of trivia: This is Canada’s most recent volcanic active area in the country. These lava flows are less than 300 years old.

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The above image is one of the tree casts that were created when the lava flowed around a tree, and cooled really fast, then the tree rotted away over time leaving an impression. There are bigger ones in the Nass Valley, but we did not travel that far from the road to find them. This one was good enough.

Even thought most of the lava flows were good for walking, you really had to watch out for the lava tubes, and huge cracks that appeared randomly. The lava is sharp, and the pits/cracks/holes you could easily get trapped inside them.

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One thought that came to me was how barren the lava surface was, even after nearly 300 years, large areas are void of large plant growth. Even large areas had very little moss growing on the ricks. The above image shows how diversified the growth is, yet sparse.

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Lastly, the above image shows the area that was covered by the lave (from one of the information stations posted at the Park). The area that the lava covered is really not that large, but it was enough to wipe out some settlements, and killed many people who were trapped.

Terrace BC Vacation Part 8: The Lava Beds Water Falls

Next on our tour of the Lava Beds are the water falls that dot the river that flows over the lava. First, the water, it is green in colour were there are ponds and slow flowing streams. Some of the water falls themselves are quite fast flowing, despite their size. And I should apologize about the names, I just forgot what water fall is which. I will need to consult my girlfriend when she reads this post as to what each body of water is called.

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Like I said: green. Although the water is very clear, I think becuase of all the minerals from the lava, the water tints green.

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The above falls, I think is called the Vetter Falls. Again, like I said, I much with my girl friend on these. Sadly, this was a close as we could to this water fall. The Park built a viewing platform that we could stand one to view the falls.

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The above two images are the smaller water fall, just a few kms down stream from the larger water falls. And like the previous spot we went to, there was a viewing platform also to stand on to watch the water at a safe distance. I used a telephoto (300mm) lens to capture these.

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The last image is the river flowing over the lava beds. Amazing how clear the water is here – pure mountain water.

ADDED (June 23, 2016): “Oops… guess I’ve been delinquent on reading the posts 🙂 The green waters was part of Ross Lake, the big waterfall was Beaupre Falls, and the shorter ones were Vetter Falls.”