Water Falls in the Mist: A Trip Along HWY16

It was overcast, sort of raining, but it was that type of “on and off” sprinklelly kind of rainy day, but it did not stop us from going out and having a great time. I wanted to get out shoot some photos of mountains and water falls, but the light was dark in some places. It was not the ideals day for photography. But oh well, we made the best of it. We also had no plans of going as far as we did, and went almost right to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, but we stopped just short of Rainbow Summit. Remember, we were out on a Sunday drive.

It was neat to see tidal water again. Basically we were looking at the Pacific Ocean in these shots. The river was dead calm as we were seeing the slack tide, and the water coming inland.

It appeared that the day before, it must have rained a lot, as every mountain along the highway had water falls rushing down them. There were so many, as I took my 300mm telephoto lens out, it was unreal. I shot about fifty photos from this one vantage point before we left to go home.

When do you call it quits when you have a 128GB card in your camera, and you are standing in front of amazing mountains with even more amazing water falls on them?

According to one of the “Information” signs I saw, the very word, “Skeena” means “River of Mist.” On a day like today, the river was living up to it’s name. I had a tonne of mist shots with water falls in them, using the 300mm lens. All that would have made this day “awesome” would have been some sunshine. But, it was fairly warm out, and we did not get soaked, so it was a good compromise.

Walking the Old Skeena Bridge

OK, I have done about three posts on the old bridge, but this time I had my 14mm lens with me, and I walked across it. The day was overcast, but not raining. I was by myself most of the day, as my girlfriend was at home with a mild case of a cold, so I decided to photograph the river to at least burn some energy with a short hike. The bridge itself was a busy place, with lots of foot traffic, as well as vehicles. I kind of laughed when I saw the time-date plate, at how old this bridge is. And just how low the river was this time of year.

So if my maths is correct, then this would make the bridge ninety-two years old. I am imaging that the steel structure is that old, not the bridge deck itself–as I know that was replaced several times over the years. However, ninety-two is a long time. And seeing the name, T.D. Pattullo, gave me a laugh as well becuase we have the Pattullo bridge between Surrey and New Minster, British Columbia, and that bridge is as old as the hills (1937 according to Wikipedia). The Old Skeena Bridge is older than the one in the Lower Mainland!

It was only when I walking across it, I could see all the wear and damage from over the years. You have to be up close. Driving, you are to busy navigating the narrow bridge deck becuase it is only single lane traffic only. Walking, you can the old scares from past years. But for ninety-two, I would say the structure is in really good shape.

Lots of foot traffic as I was shooting this with my camera. I used my 14mm lens, becuase I wanted really wide shots with as much of the surroundings as possible. I had to wait about fifteen minutes at one point before I could shoot without people in it. And I must add–people here are very polite! I was thanked every time, as I let people by me on the narrow side walk.

The ever changing sand bars. With the river level low, you can really see the sand bars, and how much they have changed and shifted. Twenty-five years ago, I remember trees not to far from the bridge on the North side. This, today, it is totally different, the trees are way back, and you can almost walk to the island in the middle.

Anyway, I did a bit of Terrace Mountain too, but that is another post for another time. This was a good hike.

First Day of Fall

If there is one time of year when no one wants to hear when the season changes takes place, it is today. As of 1:02pm this afternoon, the autumnal equinox takes place, and the fall season kicks in. So, in the office, as I greeted everyone, “I said, happy first day of fall,” and some cried, other said “Boo,” while most seem sad. Perhaps no one wants to see winter, or the cold weather, but the fact is, I am looking forward to it. As a photographer, I am itching to get out in the “bush,” as the locals call it, and shoot some photos of the trees as they change. Around here, the change is quite dramatic. So, I want to capture that. Unlike down in the Lower Mainland, in the Vancouver area, the trees are hard to find that are good to shoot with a camera with fall colours.

Anyway, the atmosphere was glum at my work, and I fear there might be some unhappy people for a while as we transition into the cooler weather. Hey, think of  ski season! Did I make it worse? Snow… Oh dear.

So, from here on in, the days are going to get shorter, until mid December, so get your winter great ready to wear. Buckle up, and brace for it. Who knows what is in store for us. I heard a rumour that we might get a carbon copy of what we had last year. So, lots of snow in Southern British Columbia, and hardly any at the Northern end, but colder than normal. It will be interesting to see what climate change will bring us this year.

Awe, I guess it is cold and flu season too. Already a few people at my work are showing the signs of sniffles and runny noses. My poor girl friend said she is feeling it yesterday when I saw her at her work, as I saw the box of tissues by here desk. I am hoping we can get out this weekend, not stuck at home tending the cold.

So, here to fall, the Autumnal Equinox, twelve hours of day, and twelve hours of night, happy first day of autumn!

The Wheel and Compass in Terrace BC

Once we filled up on ice cream, I wanted to check out the big cast iron flywheel just on the other side of the Sande Overpass from the ice cream shop. Actually, I wanted to check out the flower beds there too, but then we saw the compass, and we had to see that too. So I shot the big flywheel first, then turned around to shoot Sleeping Beauty Mountain to West after that, then off to the compass. It took a while get good shots becuase of the traffic getting in the way, I did not want any vehicles in the shot–that took a while.

According to the sign in front of the fly wheel, this is called the “Flywheel from the Little, Haugland and Kerr Sawmill,” from the 1920’s. When you drive over the overpass, this park is on the right hand side towards the North end. You cannot miss it!

All I did in this shot was turn around to face the West, and shot Sleeping Beauty Mountain with my 30mm macro lens with the A77 Sony. I thought it was great shot with the flowers in front, and the mountains in the background. Sunshine would have been nice in the shot, but you cannot have everything.

And above is the compass we saw once we got pass the flywheel. This was awesome once we got closer to the raised stone centre. We did not realizes this was compass until we had a closer look. What we found was amazing.

On the raised stone centre were makers that spoked out from the centre of the compass. These looked, at first to be random, but then a closer look, they were markers pointing to where the peaks of mountains were along the valley. Each marker had the name of the mountain it was pointing to, it’s distance in kilometres from this location, and the mountain’s elevation in the old scale, feet.

This is a photo (above) the centre plate on the compass. It says, “In recognition of the natural spender of this area.” This is a great idea, allowing people who come here to visit, to see what the names of the mountain are as they gaze from this spot. Once I got my photos, we left back to where we parked over at the ice cream shop. It was time leave.

Minty Bees!

After a good day’s hike, me and Suz. had some serious ice cream cravings, so we drove back into Terrace, BC, to take care of that. As we parked over by the Chill Soda Shop (who does not have a website) we saw some flowers along the road loaded with bees. This one plant was just loaded with bees and other types of insects. It really looked creepy if you are not fond of bees and wasps. I thought it was a great photos opportunity, since I was taking photos of the flowers anyway.

I could not count how many bees were here chomping on the pollen in these flowers. You could hear them too. Yet, they paid no attention to me as I was taking these photos.

Take a close look that the above photo. Just about every flower in the photo has a bee on it. Good thing they do not like ice cream–we be really running for the hills. We ate our ice cream, and went on our way. We left the bees to their work.

Hai Lake Trail in Mount Herman Provincial Park

After walking this trail with my girlfriend, my legs are feeling it, the BC Park’s people were not kidding around when they said this trail is rated “Moderate.” Indeed, “Moderate” is what I would assess this trail to be as well. But it was worth it. So, in the order of our trip, we did the very short walk to Herman Lake first, then did the trail to Hai Lake last. I need to add this, the main road going up to Hai like is not Mazda SR-5 friendly, so we parked an extra kilometre farther back from the start of the trail than most people–if they have trucks.

Lets see, I am not going to go into too much detail about Herman Lake, mainly becuase it is just a very short drive from the main road, and just twenty metres after that until you reach the lake. But it does have a little dock, and the water lilies were cool to photograph. There was not much room to spend near the shore, as it is very swampy, so you walk along a board walk, to a little floating dock onto the water. Very picturesque, with lots of eye-candy if you are a photographer. This is a shot of Herman Lake, in the above image. 

Since we were spoilt on the Herman Lake hike, we paid for it on the Hai Lake trail. First, we found the road to be not small car friendly. SO we parked a ways from the start of the trail. But it was worth it, as we were only a kilometre away from the trail anyway. Second, the Hai Lake trail goes over a hill, with an elevation of about twenty metres, and it took us a little longer than twenty minutes to hike it.

Do not worry, they only shoot signs, and I think they were aiming for the letter “R” anyway. We never ran into anyone while were on the trail, and there was a pick-up truck parked near the trail entrance, but we saw no one. But you do need a vehicle that is high up from the ground or one with lots of clearance, as the road gets very steep in one spot with lots of big rocks in it. So leave the happy Honda at the turn-around.

You will not be disappointed once you reach the lake. Well, it was that way for us. As we got to the lake, the Sun was coming out from the clouds, and the whole place came to life in the sunlight. The water in the lake was clear, with no sediments in it. There is an out house, and fire pit, and of course this tiny dock. The perfect place to bring the canoe if you do not mind the portage.

Hai lake is considerably larger than Herman Lake, but well worth the hike. Hai lake a about one kilometre long, and maybe around four hundred metres wide. No idea how deep it is, but surprisingly, there were no water lilies here.

The above image was shot from just off of the road. I call these Cat Tails. They look neat. I had no idea they grew in this part of the country.

This was a good hike. My legs will be feeling this for a while, but in all, we had good weather, and no mosquitoes to bite us. This was a good end of summer hike indeed.

Gaze into the Crystal

Two weeks ago, Suz., took me into the Gypsy Lady Crystals and Things Store, just down the road from me here in Thornhill, BC. I nice quiet place where you can buy things from rocks, books, jewellery, wind chimes and stuff on the metaphysical, and so on. My girlfriend is up on self healing and meditation, so she is right at home in the store. Her and the store’s owner are friends, so naturally this is a must see stop on our adventures. As I was browsing around, I came upon here collection of quarts crystals, and thought it would be awesome to have one these. So, for nine dollars, I picked out this unit.

 

She has a good verity of rocks and crystals. Sorry, there is no website to give you, you will have to search the store through other means on-line. Sadly, I wanted crystals more local, but there is not much to choose from in these hill that I have yet to find, so most of these crystals are imported. My quarts crystal came from South America. Anyway, crystals are neat. Maybe I will buy more of them, and get a collection going?

Rose Hips

When I was shooting photos of the high water on Tuesday by the Old Skeena River Bridge, I saw numerous Rose Hip bushes near the area where I parked my truck. The leaves were just changing colour, and it was very easy to see the berries–they stuck out like a sore thumb. In fact, the berries were beckoning me to photograph them, they looked to bright against the green foliage. Before I left for home, I shot a few photos for my personal files. 

I was thinking of my girlfriend, who is an artistic painter, who would love these as reference photos for her future works, and mater pieces, when she becomes a famous artist. Also, I may have found a patch that could be easy pickings for some Rose Hip Tea later on in the season. 

According to Wikipedia, Rose Hips can be used for teas, jams, and pies, and many more uses, to numerous to mention here. 

And Then There Was Rain

Being back here up in North Wet Coast, rain goes hand in hand with the mountain and lakes. I grew up with it, and I am sure I will die with it too. I think of places where the land is dry, and hot, and then I look out my window up at the mountains (where I see them). There is a reason why not many choose to make the North Coast there home, if you have choice. We had a storm over the weekend. Not so out-of-the-ordinary; we get them all the time, even down in Vancouver. But what made this weather system note worthy was its timing according to my friends. It is the beginning of September, and normally the wet season arrives nearer October and November. Today the rivers are brown, with trees floating in them. In Kitimat, the next town to the South, they had fourteen people who were camping and fishing on the Kitimat River, and they had to be rescued from the flash flooding of the Kitimat River–in hours it rose nearly three metres.

.

 For me, personally, I thought the rain was just that–normal–nothing unusual. Sure, it was heavy, and lasted the night, but then again, I left the land for over twenty years, so I am a new comer again–what do I know about the weather around here. Between my girlfriend and the weather, I was convinced to buy a winter rain coat, a wise investment for comfort during the wet winter weather. I have it now–go figure–and the Sun returns! 

The image is the Skeena River, right at the Old Bridge. You can see how brown the water is. Last week the water was a clean greenish colour. There was a lot of rain in a very short period of time.

Rainbow Over Terrace

Best way to end the day off with, a rainbow, as we left the restaurant after an awesome meal at Sondadas Steakhouse. We were just ready to hit the road to go home when we were greeted with this (see photo), a rainbow, as the Sun blasted through the clouds from the West. It was awesome. I grabbed my camera and took some shots as the clouds moved back in, hiding the Sun. The weather reports (Suz., Cell Phone Weather App.) did say we were going to get some crazy storms over the weekend–and sunshine was welcomed.

We drove to the Old Skeena River Bridge to see if I could get some shots of the rainbow over the the bridge, but the light was fading fast. Later on, it just poured buckets, as the storm kept getting worse. This shot was just leaving the restaurant, looking East. Anyway, I just thought I would add this in the Blog.