From Terrace, Through Hazelton, Then Smithers, British Columbia: HWY 16 West Going East.

Yay, the road trip! The time has come; the journey to the Bulkley Valley Fair, in Smithers, British Columbia. So, let me back up a bit. First, we have to get there. We left about 8:30am in the morning from Terrace, heading out along Highway Sixteen, going East. Here in Terrace, the weather is rainy. This morning, the weather sucks. We have the steady downpour, or showers, and the cloud are as thick as ever, and this has probably being going on all night here at my place. Hence, why our Forest Fire Rating is somewhere around “Low,” while in Hazelton, it sits at “Moderate.” The further inland you go, the dryer it gets, and you do not have to go far for that to happen. Just looking at the trees in Hazelton tells the story–only a one hour drive down the road, the trees are parched from having so many dry days here.

Although it was raining, what they get in Hazelton, is far less than what Terrace gets. This is the Forestry’s “Forest Fire Danger” sign in Hazelton. 

We did a little pit stop in Hazelton. Enough to buy a coffee and check the road-side tourist stop. Stopping for about fifteen minuets, we went on to our destination–Smithers. The total time on the road will be about two and a half hours. We never really kept track because of the pits stops. Our second pit stop was just before Smithers, and we did this one for my Mother. She wanted me to see if the “Igloo” was still there. Yup, it is–although closed, and looks like it is shut down, but at least it is still their. Here you go Mom:

The last time I was in the Igloo was about 1980. I first went in there about 1974, when we lived in Smithers. There are stuffed animals and other exhibits you could look at. I remember you get polished shinny rocks for a dime. For a kid, this was awesome. Sadly it looks like it is shut down for good, as it looks as no one has been in their for a long while. This pit stop was just long enough for me to get a few shots, and then we were off again. Smithers was very close now–less than ten minutes away.

This is a bill-board near the Igloo, on the side of the road. I think it was printed in USA. LOL

Sadly, even here, almost near Smthers, it was raining. Although we noticed some dry spots along the road. Two hours and a bit, we made it! A couple of more stops, then off to the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair!

Rescuing The Dead Hard-Drive

Two weeks ago, I started an upgrade on my main PC, totally redoing the operating system, and starting with a fresh machine. I wiped the hard-drive, and installed the latest version of Linux Mint. Like a good user, I backed up my data, including my web browser’s data, email and four other programs I use often. Everything was going tick-it-eey-boo, until it came time to add the data files back to my PC. I posted on this before last week about my broken four terabyte external hard-drive. 

 Today, my brand new six terabyte internal hard-drive arrived! So the work began. I knew my data was on the four terabyte expansion drive, but it had dead sectors on it, preventing it from mounting. The only way was to either fix it, or try and crudely recover what data I could get from it. I could not fix the bad sectors. Also it was not enough to extract the files; my files I wanted were to big for Testdisk/Photorec to work. On my PC, I had a one terabyte drive, so not enough to image the expansion drive. Now with the six terabyte drive, I can image four terabytes with no troubles.

Let use pause for a moment. I have tried several forensic software programs in the past. When I was in university, I had access to the same programs as the Government had, sometimes even better. I concluded that the Linux forensic programs worked just as good as what the university had as far as data extraction goes. Instead of a nice fancy GUI, in Linux you use command-line software. In the end, I found that running this sort recovery software through a terminal is way better, and being “free” does not hurt either.

So let me introduce you to Testdisk. I will not go into how the program works here, but it is good and powerful. I think it is very straight foreword, but it will be very intimidating to the first tine user–but fear not! 

Recovering four terabytes is a long…, (make that a) “very long” process. The analysis of the drive took nearly one hundred and twenty hours. So far, imaging the drive, at twenty-five percent, has taken ten hours. So this is something you let run in the background, and make sure you turn off all power saving settings on your PC when you go to bed. 

So hopefully, by Thursday, I will have my data. I will write a post after I have completed this process. I think there are not enough help files to guide people through this. So stay tuned. 

The Fish, and the Fished

Today, we went out to Williams Creek, that flows into Lakelse Lake, a short drive from Terrace, BC, to see the spawning Coho Salmon. This was something I wanted to see for quite a while. At first it was hard to see them. The Coho were there, but hard to see from shore. We walked around, closure, and then I could see them. It was hard to photograph the fish because the light was poor, and it reflected off from the water. So getting the right position over the water was harder, so this was the best I could get under these conditions.

From the day before, I shot this fisher along the Skeena River, and thought it weired that in one river they are fishing, while in another river, fish are spawning. Of course, the fisher is catching a different type of fish, I just though it was weired.

Nonetheless, on the news, they say that this is one of the worst years for fishing along the Skeena River. There is great competition for these fish, from food fish to sports fishing. Needless to say, fishing is the bread and butter of this area.

The Saturday Hike: Upon a Pile of Rocks

Me and Suz went hiking today, more or less, along the Skeena river first, and then off in town to warm up with some warm beverages, then some more hiking on Ferry Island, in Terrace. But the main hike was along the Skeena River, just off of the New Bridge, then off on the West shore before the Old Bridge. The hike was less than three kilometers, but there were some spots where we had to climb over rocks, and up and down some slippery hills. We had our workout.

This one shot caught my eye. As always, I take my camera with me, and I take lots of photos, but anyways, I took this shot, and left it. As I was going through them after the hike, this one stuck out for me. I did a little editing: bumped up the exposure; added more clarity to add more blur. These are the rocks natural colours, and I never touched the pile. I think it is a cool photo.

I shot these with a 30mm Marco lens. These rocks are almost 1:1, about 6cm in width, in this shot.

When traveling between the Old and new Bridges, we encountered several homeless/squatters camps. Some were alive with people, and we saw one place that was abandon. All these places had that smell, and everywhere you looked along the trails, garbage could be found. Well protected from the eyes of the town, once you are right in the bush, you really do not know that the homeless are there. We never actually seen anyone, but we could hear them–you know they are there. 

And just on the other side of the river, along Ferry Island, fishers abound, probably counting nearly thirty people, fifteen of them casting their fishing rods into the Skeena River. Every day, from before the Sun comes up, until way pass sunset, they fish. Standing there like solders. 

The rain held off just before got back to the car.

Like the good-old North Coast, standing out from rest, we lay in overcast skies and near one-hundred percent precipitation, while the rest of British Columbia sits in the worst forest-fire season in recorded history. It would take a lot to get a fire going around here without some dry wood to start it with. I think once the weekend is over, the Forest Fire Rating Sign will go from “Moderate,” back to “Low” once again. There is not much of a threat of our forests going up in flames around here. But then again that is climate change for you; maybe a heat-wave for us next week?

I think we are feeling this hike. Another good workout for us office people!

Uploaded The Riverboat Parade Photos!

Check out my parade photos from the Riverboat Days Parade, back on August 5, 2017, from down town Terrace, British Columbia. Enjoy!

Just hold you mouse over the images, and you should see the navigation bar. There are 165 images in this set.

Update: I just created a page, over to the right, that has better viewing options. The link is called, “North Coast Terrace, British Columbia”

The Terrace, BC Street Fair Medley Outing

The weather did not look to good, but the rain held off for most of it, but by the end, we were soaked. By seven in the evening, it did not matter, we moved under the covered tents they had set up on the street where the bleachers were, and we sat and listened to the music. We stayed almost to the very end, but were tired, so we left for home before the main act was done their set. It was awesome to see the local musicians play, and all the fun stuff at the booths for people to see and wonder around and ask questions. There were many artists and merchants, so there was plenty to see and do. But this crazy northern weather.

Yeah, the clouds did look to good. In fact, we thought that we would see some lightening along the mountains, but instead it just started getting more muggy, and you could smell the rain in the air. But, it did stay dry for most of the day.

At one point, someone put out a pan full of soapy water, and some bubble making things in it, and the kids went to town making bubble in the air. Also, there was chalk, so by the end, before the rain hit, kid everywhere were drawing on the pavement. It was quite fun to watch. I think becuase of the weather, only a small crowd showed, but they went one with the party regardless.

Turns out, one the musicians that play is a guy that work with. I was racking my brains out trying to figure out if I knew him or not. When he stepped off the stage and went behind us, he came up to me a moment later and said hi. Then I recognized him. It was funny, from my point of view–I am still the new guy in town.

My Upgrade Woes

As you probably figured out, I have been lagging behind with my posts, getting them posted almost a week late. Well, the short version of the tail, I bought a new hard drive, and it failed shortly after I did a major upgrade on my main PC. Sadly, it has taken me nearly two weeks to fix, but I still have recovered my critical data files, just mainly general content. The good news is, I have the data, and it is all there. The bad news, I bought a four terabytes hard drive, and it takes five days just to scan it. So, it is a long process.

I had to buy another hard drive, one also four terabytes, just to do the transfer of the scanned data. So it has been expensive. I followed all the precautions on this, but to no avail, this was hardware failure. It could have happened at any time, but unfortunately it happened just after an upgrade, when I was ready to transfer my files.

Later on, I will post on my process. For now all I have done is scan the drive (five days), and did a basic recovery (one day), but even that is limited with what can be recovered and the type of files saved. Unfortunately, one of the files I need is an archived file that is three-and-half gigabyte in size, and the recovery does not allow anything that size on a FAT 32 Table formatted disk. So the last step in forensic scan is to image the drive, and for that I needed the external hard drive to dump it on. So far, at nine hundred and sixty two gigabytes, it has taken ten hours to create it. I have over three terabytes to go.

The lesson here is do back-ups—twice.

Slowly, when I get access to my PC, will get these posts uploaded. But for now, hang-tight, I will get caught up.

A Wonderful Morning here In Terrace, BC

It has been over two months since my move to the small Northern town of Terrace, British Columbia. Within weeks I had landed an awesome job. Making lots of new friends, and even finding old one from years gone by, were also awesome. But best of all, I am slowing falling into my new routine, but that is the tough part. When I made the decision to move up here, I wanted to do it right, I mean, I prepared and made sure I had lots of money saved just in the event of unforeseen problems, and made sure I had everything secured up here even before I moved. Now, right now at this very time, I am sitting here at my chair in my living room, waiting, killing time, about a half hour before I go into work, writing this post to say I am still finding hard to fall into a new routine.

When I wake up in the mornings, I am in Lower Mainland Mode. I still feel the need to rush to get out the door because of the commute to work, facing possible traffic problems and trains. Today, that commute is only seven minutes, if I by-pass the coffee and muffins. It is fifteen minutes with the coffee and muffins using the drive thru. It is funny, even this morning; I have that impulse to rush when I do not have to. I guess those psychological issues have been ingrained—deep inside my mind—for so long, it might take years to get rid of them. I laugh when I rush after the alarm-clock goes off. “No—no, you have all kinds of time before work…, relax!”

“Relax” you say. Well, that is what I am doing before I leave for work–relaxing. I just ate breakfast, and shaved. I will type this post up, and then brush my teeth, then leave for work.

The morning weather reports are another thing I must get used to. Sure, we have weather reports that are up-to-minute, but they are for the Terrace Airport, not for the downtown area. Yes—there is a huge difference, thirty meters difference above sea level. Right now the Airport says 12C, while down here by my place in Thornhill, I am looking 14C. To add to that, the Airport says, “Light Showers,” while the Sun beams are shining through my window. The way I see it, what we get is only slightly cooler that when the Lower Mainland gets. But the weather is messed up here compared to the South. You do not like it, just wait five minutes, or drive to the other side of the Skeena valley for different weather. The weather here is very dynamic here, and throws surprises at you when you least expect them.

The little old lady, who lives on my right, over two doors down, told me yesterday that I should not use my key, but rather just press the little button on the door-handle, to lock it. I figured it out, what she was talking about—she does not have a dead-bolt lock on her door. I asked my land lord to install one before I moved in. But it was funny, I replied, “I like the dead-bolt better because I am from the Lower Mainland.” It is true—I have learned to lock things up, or pay for it. And yes, there are “Crack Addicts” here too. One, or two, might be living beside me. But I have had enough tuff stolen in my life to learn to keep it locked and secured–always.

The Sun’s light has moved across my computer table.

Changing my diet had been a priority too. I noticed I was feeling a bit “full” and suffering with indigestion when I kept my current diet from when I living down south. The changing work shift, and different climate, I think, has hit me hard, and with change, comes change. I am eating a whole new menu now! But I am still tweaking it. Also, eating out on weekends with the girlfriend has thrown a wrench into the whole diet thing too. The one the pleasure in my life, right now, when you are with that special person, is eating together. I am sure it hard on her too, changing meal times to accommodate eating together, but nonetheless; it is an awesome time when we are together.

Wrapping this post up, I can say that I have a ways to go before I wash the old lifestyle away, and fully adapt to the new one.

Kleanza Creek Sun Worshipers

So where do you go when the lake is filled, and the river has little options to goto when it is 34C, and you want to cool down by the water? In Terrace, British Columbia that is simple, you go to Kleansa Creek park for your relaxation in the water to beat the heat, when everywhere else is pack with people. It is like the “little secret” that everyone knows, but few venture. It had been nearly two months since me and my girlfriend came to the park, but today, we figured that this would be the logical place to go to since we knew the lake was packed.

When we first arrived at the park, we were greeted with stones piled on top of each in these little statues, kid of like what we seen before at other parks near by, but these ones were bigger. I counted about fifteen of these rock-piles along the creek. Some looked like they took a couple people to lift and carry to pile them. They were fun to photograph.

To my surprise were the number of Sun Worshipers at the falls. Not so many in the creek, but most of the gathering was at the rapids themselves.

When we got closer, we could tell that the best spots were taken. To tell you the truth, I still had not unpack my shorts and bathing suite from when I moved into town, so I was unprepared to go swimming anyway. Everywhere you looked, people were gathered in every nook-and-cranny of the rocks, but everyone looked like they were having fun in the cool waters of Kleanza no matter where they were. So we ventured up the trail, to the top part of the cliffs to have anther look, and get away from the crowds.

When we made it to the top of the trail, we could people far and wide along the falls, basking in the Sun. The best part for us was that the hike along the trail was cool too–it was hard leaving. So if you are not a lake person, or hate lots of people, and want to cool off by the water, head out to Kleanza!

The Rubber Duck Race!

It was a beautiful holiday Monday morning, and not a cloud in the sky, accept for the smog from the forest fire smoke, a perfect day for a rubber duck race. Me and my girlfriend drove over to the Skeena River, on the Terrace side, and made out way to the East side of the river’s bank. Even before we got there, people were gathering along the New Bridge to get a view of the race, but I wanted a more closer look at the race, so we ascended closer to the water to get our spot. The rocks were a little steep under the bridge, but we made it without too much troubles, and it was a short trek.

To North we could hear the helicopter readying itself for the start of the race. It was parked over by the baseball field just in town, more or less across from the Northern tip of Ferry Island. Within minutes it was up and away, with its load of cargo. I could hear the people on the bridge cheering as the rubber ducks were being lifted over top of the river.

An just as quick as snap, the rubber ducks were released, and the helicopter flew away. The race was on! …and we waited.

Finally, as the current moved them down river, they came. For the most part, they kept bunched together. With the help of the morning breeze, some of them start to separate from the main pack. At this point we were getting ready to move to the finish line to see the winner.

And there we have it, a winner. We have no idea whose duck won, but the organizers had it. People cheered, and the duck recovery boats ran and scooped up the rubber racers. Apparently, top prize was twenty thousand dollars cash, so people were really exited about that. And you have good odd of winning a prizes too. It was a lot of fun, and the weather was awesome for the race. It was a good way to start the day with.

Like all races, you have stragglers. Long after the winner we announced, you have the odd guy still floating down the river, dead last. One lady, who standing along side up at the shore said, “that is probably my duck, with my luck.” We laughed, and then we watched the last of the ducks being scooped up before we left back into town.