My Old Home From 1972

Last Friday, I took a walk around the block, the one that I live on now, and for one reason and one reason only, I wanted to see my old home from 1972-73. When I was just we lad, way back, I lived here (see images). My parents were just starting out, and it was just me and my sister at the time. Thornhill and Terrace, BC were totally different then they are now today, as the populations of the towns was much smaller. There were more kids then, but it the place was not kid friendly, or at least from my point of view. But we kids made due with what we had, and somehow we made it work. But it was fun to see the old apartment buildings up close, and I was amazed that they are still standing!

A few notes of interest. The pine trees on the right, those were about a little taller than I was in 1972. I figure the building are at least fifty-five years old, built circa 1960. Back then, they were a kind white stucco, with crushed glass in it for siding, and it was not paved. In general, all the buildings are exactly the same as they were back then.

The apartment we lived was number three, about where the red mini van is parked. My parents move around quite a bit when I was young, so I really never had a “attached” home that I called my own except this one, other than our home out in Old Remo, about eight kilometres from Terrace. So when I look back at this place, this was truly one of my most memorable childhood memories growing up.

I cannot believe that these buildings are still standing!

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.

Fire Weed

If there is one plant that sticks out for me, and is just as numerous as the trees, it is the Fire Weed. All you have to do is just drive on any road, especially on the old logging roads, you will patches of Fire Weed growing everywhere. You do not need much imagination to figure out why it is called Fire Weed, but for those who have not seen it, they look like flames of a fire, as their pink and purple flowers pole up from the forest floor, in patches. When I was younger, I thought they were just a wild weed that grew anywhere. Now, I see them totally different, especially from a photographic perspective. They are quite cool looking.

In a funny way, you will not see them in flowerbed around here. After all, it is called a weed.

These two shots were taken right in down town Terrace, British Columbia. Even around my place, there is a patch growing right along side of the road.

A Little Update On the Job

A couple of things, first, it is now one month since I pulled into town, and second, today is the day I went solo at my work. But before I will go into all that, I just want to take a few moments on our weather. Terrace, British Columbia is notorious about it’s weather. It is either too warm, or too cold, and it rains here a lot, but it is known to have its dry spells as well, for the most part, it is mild year round. The one thing I can say right now, there is no danger of forest fires here. We did get up to “Medium” rating, but we were far from any “High” rating, or super hot weather to cause us any warnings of forest fires. So, that being said, it is currently raining, lightly, and is 16C according to my window thermometer. 

So, today was the day that I went solo at my work. Normally, employees who under go the training, will get at least two weeks training, with a few more weeks of guidance. Not me. I got two days of getting all my paper work done for my personal data, with employee processing. Then I got four days of training, sort of the rush-avalanche of everything I need to know, then thrown into the deep end to run an entire warehouse all by myself today. Oh sure I had my managers to call upon, and the lead supervisor to ask for help, but in general, it was just me.

The tasks I have for the job are very straight forward. Like every other warehouse I have worked in, this place is no different. The logistics are the same. Inventory is the same. And the shipping and receiving are standard. The difference with this place are, the hugely complex procedures, and multiple systems that have to be used. It is just horrendous. If it were not for my background in software, computers and online networks, the mountain may have been to steep to climb. In essence, there are six main software, and multiple procedures to follow, to get the basic job done.

To more a box from one end of the warehouse to the other, you need to run three pieces of software, and do about twenty minutes of procedural work to do that job.  On top of that, there are about ten different categories for freight earmarked for general uses. And with a small work force, this complex system is riddled with mistakes and errors. Then there are the daily, weekly and monthly reports; each with its own special flavour of needs and details. There is always something to hand in, or audit.

I will not get into the mobile equipment, but hold on for some funny tails later on.

I can say I am loving it. The job is very good, only becuase it is a low volume location. Most of the workers have been there for well over two decades, so most everyone knows their job well. And the pay is awesome. I think I will do nicely here.

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.

The Lakelse River

Today was an actioned packed day for travelling around and sightseeing. We first went over to Lakelse Lake, though this time we went to it Northern most tip, a place called Beam Station Road, where the navigation antenna sits for the airport, then over to the mouth of the Lakelse River, where it meets the Skeena River. So the mouth of the Lakelse River is where I am going to start. First, a little history from my point of view, then the sites.

Way back during my youth, about thirty years ago, (yup, I am old now) I used to come here to the mouth of the river and fish. I was a, what you would call, a hard-core fisher. Almost every opportunity, I would start here, then make my way up the river, towards the lake. Since then, today was the first time I have been back to this very spot, in over thirty years. And I must say, it had changed!

The campsite is smaller, and the river has changed its course as well. Then there is the high water level, as I never remembered the river this high. But the biggest change would be the bridge. A totally new bridge, from the old wooden one from thirty years ago.

But, part of the environmental problems of almost every river and water way in British Columbia is, low fish stocks. As of today, some of those fisheries were opened today. So for the first time since I have been here you can now fish.

The above shot is where the Lakelse empties into the Skeena River. Even this area has changed a lot since I last seen it. The sand bars and trees have shifted a lot, and made this area wide open since the last time I was here. Before, you could have not seen the other side of the valley from all the trees, but now, it is wide open from the flooding and erosion. Once, you could drive all the way to the other side on the Skeens River side without ant effort over the sand.

Then there is the Bridge. This is whole new bridge compared to what was here the last time I was here. Wow, metal. Better than the old wooden trestle type one that here from before. The old wooden bridge, we could sit above the water and fish from there.

So, the main fishing from here are the rare Steelhead and trout. Also, there are fresh water clams too. Other types of salmon are caught here to, but the Steel-heads are the sought after fish that everyone wants.

The get here, you travel along Queens Way Drive, and turn off onto the Old Remo Road, about eight kilometres, then turn left on the White Bottom Road for another eight kilometres. Be careful, right now it is a active logging road, so be mindful of the traffic, as the road is fairly narrow and gravel once you turn off of Old Remo Road.

First Full Day On the Job

Today marks my first full day on the job, and I could not be more stoked about it than any other job I worked on. It was one of those days with all training and paperwork for the first bit, but the last half of it was spent actually doing the job, so I felt like I was a head of the curve. A lot of the job I know, just names and learning new software, were different from what I use to. In fact, I was say, if it was not my previous experience, I would not be as far I as I am right now. I have lots of keys, and several passwords; oh the responsibilities I have now-gosh. Anyway, the job is a low volume location, but very steady. We will see what the future brings.

So I get up out of bed, at six, and at work for seven am, and home by three-thirty pm. Not bad, since I have no train tracks to cross, little traffic to deal with, and the distance to work from my place is seven kilometres! This morning I saw only four or five other cars on the road; is was awesome dealing little traffic. I get to work way before the rest of the regular staff do, so this makes first couple of hours quite pleasant, and when I can most of the bulky tasks done. Once the rest of the workers arrive, I am usually in the office by then, which is prefect becuase that is when the questions start. So for an hour, I deal with those.

The teams I work with are awesome too. There is a very laid-back attitude with all of the staff. There are those who are very professional, and those who want to get the job done with as little hassle as possible. But, for the most part, it is a low key atmosphere to work in. As long as you stay on top of your duties, all will go well, for me and everyone around.

Of course, learning a new system, comes dealing with minor hitches in time and an efficacies. I am slow on the scanner, but only becuase that is totally new software that I have to learn. Then there is the Inventory software that seems to be a mesh-mash of ten pieces of software welded together. It has its moments when it decides not to work. But everything else is routine and common for me to do.

The hard part will be working alone. A large part of the job is working solo. So keeping myself busy, and setting up a schedule is totally upon me to do. There are “Check Ins” and other means for head office to track me, but there will be no one to physically keep me company. They say, there will lots of days with boring times to deal with over the course of this employment. This will be a shock to deal with for me, coming from a place with over two hundred and fifty employees, and working full-out at one hundred and ten percent-none stop–flat out. Am I ready for this. LOL

Looking Back to Canada Day

Right now I am killing time becuase I am waiting for my Criminal Record’s check to complete, so I thought why not type something up real quick while I am waiting. Looking back in my photo archives (or Expansion Drive), I could not help but stop on my July 1, 2017, folder. There, inside that folder, sits 173 images that I snapped that day. There were several that are blog worthy, but with time and space, there is just not enough of them to go around. So this image stuck out for me.

It is not the best one out of the lot as far as photos go, but I remember how nice it was when we were out on the lake, laying back, watching the sail-boats sail by. So the photo invokes nice memories. It was an awesome day, even with the clouds, it was just right, and the temperature was perfect.

Here, I was shooting with 300mm telephoto lens, looking West ward, while we were on Furlong Beach, on Lakesle Lake. Surprisingly, the beach was not full.

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