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.

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.

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

Lots of Shoes on a Street Light Pole In Terrace, BC

I would say this is a little excessive, but no doubt done by young adults who are using the near by skate park, who do not mind throwing up their shoes. When I first seen this, I wonder why there were so many becuase down in the Lower Mainland, from what I understand, shoes on a power line or street light, means you can buy illegal drugs or a gang hangout near by. This, I think, is just a bunch a shoes on a street light.

But hey, if you need a pare of plain shoes, or in need of some runners, your size might be up here.  Like I said, this is located by the skate park, up on the hill by the ice rink and arena Civic Centre of Terrace. You think they could throw more up there? LOL

Flies – Lots Of Them!

I can say one thing, “I have not been in a place in Canada that has not got any flies during the summer.” Yes, I said it, I got flies here too, and lots of them. Up until now, today, the flies have not been that bad, but today, wow. The only thing that I changed, was setting up the fan in the bedroom, on the South side of my apartment. So I am pushing out my apartment air on the North side, in the shade, and the flies love it. If it was not for the screen, there would be a hundred of them inside.

Right now, the flies sit on the screen, waiting, searching for a weakness to break in. When I set the fan up on “high,” they went berserk, and most of them flew away, only to come back in greater numbers. Before I took this photo, there were about fifty flies on the screen, but the camera scared most of them away. Now that it is getting later in the day, the flies seem more active. But some still sit on my screen, waiting.

I am Connected!

Feels great to be in touch with the world again. I am back on my PC, with all my links, bookmarks and updated files. Yes, I am connected! I think I was going through Internet withdraw too. Anyway, that is all behind now. I have so far spent the entire day updating and catching up on everything. So many emails, and just about two hours reading them, and another replying back. Also, I have the phone, which has not rang yet, but hopefully it will.

One of the first things I did was update my job search. Now that I have new phone number, I had to change everything on several job search websites. That took about an hour. I managed to send out a couple resumes too in the process. It is so nice to check whenever I want as opposed to whenever I can a hot spot, or friends.

If I have not contacted you yet, fear not, I will get to you.

Update on my Banking: Still no word on when the transfer has taken place. I think I am going in tomorrow, at least I can update my stuff now. I should of taken my money with me. LOL Hindsight is always twenty/twenty, eh?

Terrace Time

The joys of living in, once again, a small town. Now, do not get me wrong, it is a good thing, and I do love it. Small towns are, small, when compared to areas like Langley, BC or Vancouver, but the main difference, you got you where want to be in a matter of minutes. For example, I am still on the twenty dollar fill-up I did last Thursday, when I first got into town, and that is half gone—and I have made about six trips so far. Comparing that to Langley, and all the running around I have done, we are looking at a tank of gas, and maybe two trips, with half the stuff done that have now.

Terrace has a different way of doing things in general, compared to the British Columbian Lower Mainland. First Most Government offices are tied into one space. We have a Access Centre here, but they rely mostly on the Internet, and the one time I needed them, it was down. Second, Banking is a little different. In my case, I have to wait probably a whole week before I can transfer my money up from the Lower Mainland. My Bank in Fort Langley told me that would be instant. Boy, were they wrong. Lastly, the traffic moves a lot slower than it does from my Southern home. You figure with lass Police and Law Enforcement, people would talk advantage of that—nope—people follow the speed limit to the letter here.

We have real time, and what people call “Indian Time,” but then there is Terrace Time, a time altogether of it’s own. No one is in a hurry here. Now, that is not to say people rush, or are always in a state of perpetual lateness, I just mean it is different. It is all done in a very low key way. I think it has to do with how close everything is here. Also, if you plan your trips good, you can get a weeks worth of stuff done in just one hour. Also, if I get this job I want, that commute will be only seven minuets for me—Seven minutes! Comparing that to the nearly forty-five minutes going from Glenn Valley, to my job back in my old home.

By the way, I still do not have my own phone or Internet yet. I must thank my girl friend for using hers. Thanks deer.

Calculating

I decided to check how long, and how much fuel I need for the trip up to Terrace, BC from Langley, or Glen Valley were I am living right now. I got a couple of different answers. And on top of that, I am not sure how much fuel I will need for the trip. So for the mean time, I have my previous trips from Terrace to Vancouver, BC, roughly twenty hours. So I just took a couple of hours off of that, somewhere around nineteen to seventeen hours, I figure.

According to Google Maps, I am looking at roughly 1318 km to Terrace BC. Map Quest estimate I might do the trip in seventeen hours, while Google says about fourteen. I think Google has got it wrong. Again, I am leaning towards nineteen hours for the whole trip.

The last time I drove this route, I was looking at roughly $250.00 in gas cost, in a 1979 Ford 150 pick-up truck, back in 1995. Now gasoline was somewhere around fifty cents per litre, and the truck was on it’s last legs as far as it fuel economy goes. The truck went to the bone right after that trip. So, I figure it might cost me $245.00 in today’s dollars for the trip. Perhaps even $300.00, based on towing a trailer with a ten foot U Haul truck. The U Haul website was no help either. To bad fuel was included in the rental cost too?

Now I did a trip to Alberta, near Rocky Mountain House, about seven years ago, and that took me about thirteen hours, and burnt about seventy litres of gasoline, roughly about eighty dollars, in a small pick-up. Again, Google says about one thousand and four kilometres, and about ten and a half hours to drive it. Maybe Google speeds?