Posts Tagged With: mountains

All’s Well in Quesnel –August 7, 2006

Hello from the Cariboo!

Well – we aren’t in Alaska. Last night the Man spotted a White Spot Restaurant in Dawson Creek and got all drooly over the thought of a cheeseburger with Triple ‘O’ sauce (my apologies to all fellow vegetarians). He decided there are better chances of finding White Spots by going south than heading north so, phew, here we are.

We did drive a few hundred metres on the Alaska Highway heading out of town before hitting a turnoff to the south-west. Dawson Creek is the ‘Mile 0’ milepost for the 1500 mile (2,400 kilometre) Alaska Highway that was built through a joint effort with the US in 1942 to ship supplies to the US military stationed in Alaska. The Man says we’ll have to make that trip another time because it is starting to get a little crowded and noisy with another baaaing sheep.

Misinchinka Range

Misinchinka Range

Leaving Dawson Creek we drove westish towards Chetwynd through rolling ranch land with the forests getting progressively thicker and taller. From Chetwynd the highway has very few services all the way to Prince George, about 250 miles (400 kilometres). It’s a beautiful highway following the Pine River to the Pine Pass of the Misinchinka/Hart Range which is all part of the Rockies.

009-Misinchinka Range (06)_watermarked

Misinchinka Range

We had all forgotten (especially me since it was more than two days ago) how beautiful BC is! The highway followed the base of the mountain range which were tall enough to be above the tree line. The lower slopes show much evidence of winter avalanches and it must be quite scary during winter snows and winds. Quite breathtaking at this time of year though with lots of beautiful lakes, poplar and spruce forests and lovely vistas.

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

We didn’t make great time because the Lady was having Garage Sale Withdrawal again so we had to stop at two very pathetic sales. Even so, the Lady managed to find more stuff to buy. It was quite a shock to Jake as he isn’t used to such blatant consumerism and such dubious merchandise. Wait until he sees what’s in the trunk when we get home! The Man was able to divert the Lady’s attention two or three other times so she missed a few sales.

Once on the other side of Pine Pass, the land sloped gently towards Prince George. We saw more farms mixed in with the forest. In Prince George the Nechako River joins the Fraser River and heads south to Vancouver pointing our way. We went a bit further and ended up in Quesnel for the night.

Quesnel is another of the wonderfully historic towns in this area. Just bush in 1862, the town became the supply depot for the boomtown of Barkerville and the Cariboo Gold Rush when Billy Barker discovered gold on Williams Creek 56 miles (90 kilometres) east of Quesnel. In its heyday Barkerville was the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Quesnel played an important part in supplying the needs of Barkerville. Supplies came up the Cariboo Wagon Trail or up the Fraser River by steamboat when it was still navigable. The town managed to sustain itself through agriculture and forestry even after the gold rush diminished and it continues to flourish.

One thing that is kind of sad to see is the spruce budworm/pine beetle epidemic that is killing acres and acres of forest every year. Because of warmer winters, the larva of these bugs aren’t being killed and it has become a very serious problem. We could see whole hillsides of forest turned red from dead trees.

Tomorrow I’m not sure what that Man has in store for us. We’re getting closer to home but we may do a bit of exploring. I’ll let you know our plans!

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Easter Than Yesterday – June 6, 2006

Hi again,

Well . . . today started out badly with the Man moping about, feeling lower than a snake’s hip because there was no thunderstorm.  He grumbled through breakfast and then came up with the bright idea that we need an adventure to cheer us up.  Without any research he decided that we needed to ascend to the very top of Turtle Mountain to the south of us.

After telling us to unpack all our winter clothes and find some safety blankets, he ran off to the hardware store to find some mini oxygen canisters in case the going got rough.  The Lady and I were getting a little nervous about the whole project.  Finally everything was packed and we headed to the base of the mountain.  Twenty minutes later we had ascended 807 feet (245 meters) to the very summit and we were feeling really warm in the 23º C weather wearing our winter clothes.  Fortunately there was a lake on top but unfortunately it was a little too windy to go kayaking.  We decided to carry on east.  I found the 807 foot (245 meter) descent thrilling, sticking my head out the car window and allowing the wind to rush through my curls.

 

 

We thought we were well on our way until we approached Killarney, Manitoba.  Wouldn’t you know the Man would somehow spot a sewage reclamation project – now wetlands sanctuary.  You should know that during the Man’s early teen years he used to have an unusual attraction to the West Vancouver sewer plant.  Many weekends were spent touring the fetid pools of scum.  To say the least, the Lady and I were not very excited about walking around the Killarney ponds.  The problem with hooves is you can’t hold onto car seats very well and all three of us started on our walk.  It turned out to be very impressive with three ponds interconnected with streams.  The water is clean and the shoreline is covered with terns, wading birds, swifts and red winged blackbirds.

There was evidence of beaver, deer and turtles.  We spent almost an hour walking around and the Lady and I were pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps the Man does know something we don’t know.

 

We continued east and stopped for lunch in La Riviere, situated in a lovely elm-filled valley beside the Pembina River.  The countryside did a gradual transition from rolling hills to what can only be described as FLAT.  The powers that be try to trick you into thinking it isn’t FLAT by giving the towns names like Pleasant Valley or Red Bluff.  I looked very hard but it still looked FLAT.  It is still beautiful though with the very blue sky and everything very green.

This area is wheat country and planting had been done sometime in May so the seedlings are at various stages of growth.  Those fields not planted have been plowed and harrowed so the whole effect is a patchwork of colour.

15-Cartwright Health

Cartwright Health Centre & Liquor Vendor

 

We’re feeling thankful that we came through at this time of year and that we came on this particular route.  Every mile seems to come up with a new surprise.  We are in Steinbach, Manitoba tonight and tomorrow we’ll be in Ontario!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Manitoba | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braggin’ in the Creek – May 28, 2006

20-Salmo-Creston

Salmon-Creston Highway

Bet you thought I got lost in a sheep paddock, but no, the Man just couldn’t find an Internet connection for a couple of days (everyone else seems to be able to find them but . . .)  The second day out was not quite as exciting though we did see lots of beautiful countryside.

28-Fernie

Near Fernie, BC

I was quite excited when I saw a blessèd sheep warning sign after just leaving Grand Forks but we never saw any big horn sheep. Throughout the day though, we went up and down so many mountains I felt like a big horn sheep.  Three mountain passes over 1200 metres. We went through Trail, Salmo, Creston, Yahk and Cranbrook.  Since we wanted to see the old fort at Fort Steele (closed by the time we got there) we ended up staying in a very small place called Wasa.  It has one store, one motel, one pub and one cafe that closes at 6 pm.  The motel owners had chickens, horses, lovebirds, a cat, a dog and about five llamas.  They’re a goofy looking animal – like a sheep with too long legs and neck.

27-Ground Squirrel

The next day driving back to Fort Steele we saw a coyote.  I wouldn’t let the Man stop and look because coyotes make me nervous.  He grumbled a little bit but did as I said as he still has a lot to make up for after ‘the lamb dinner incident’!

Fort Steele is a historic town of sixty buildings dating back to 1890 (nobody lives there now).  I was doing well walking around and even ran into a flock of country sheep.  They aren’t quite as refined as us house sheep.  This guy was just standing there acting like a bird roost for the local birds.  You can see in his eyes that the door is open but nobody’s home (and look – no socks!)

37-Fort Steele

Then I went into the country store and saw why the sheep might have wanted to disguise himself!  They had CANNED MUTTON – THAT’S JUST A SNEAKY WAY OF SAYING CANNED SHEEP! What is the matter with humans?

38-Fort Steele

We looked around the fort for a couple of hours and it was very interesting.  You can go into the stores, blacksmith shop, school, barracks where the Mounties lived and slept, houses, etc. and they are all set up as they would have been in 1890.  The Man says that it looks like Calgary would have looked when his great-grandfather was the doctor there around the 1880’s.

We then had to hoof it towards Bragg Creek to visit the Man and Lady’s friends, Mark and Lauri.  We went though Fernie and Sparwood where the world’s biggest truck lives -that’s me sitting in the wheel rim – and then through the Crowsnest Pass, another province and another time zone.

32-Big Truck-Sparwood

That’s the Lady standing with me. The truck looks impressively high but actually the Lady is only 3 feet tall – baa, baa – just joking.

Throughout the day the scenery had changed from rolling farm valleys to evergreen forests with great granite outcrops to large man-made mountains of coal tailings (the stuff they leave behind when digging coal) to high alpine vegetation.  Once we got to the east side of the Rockies it was much drier.  We are in the foothills of Alberta with acres and acres of lush, green yummy grass.  The Man says that if I don’t stop drooling on the windows he’s going to use me as a washrag – it’s going to be a long trip!

48-Past Crows Nest

49-Past Crows Nest

Alberta Foothills

We then headed up Highway 22 and oozed over to Bragg Creek where we are taking a driving breather and having a good time visiting.  The house at Bragg Creek is surrounded by hills covered with dark green spruce trees and bright green poplar and birch making the view out the window look like a patchwork quilt.

05-Miss Ewe & View

There have been flakes of snow – good thing I’m wearing my woollies!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

p.s. The Man told me to tell you that so far I am getting far more email than the Man and the Lady!

Categories: Alberta, British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Day One – May 24, 2006

01-Waving

We started out from Chilliwack on a rainy day.  I sat on the dash (don’t worry, I had lots of bubblegum stuck to my bum) waving to the truckers. When we reached Hope, BC I lived a dream come true when I stood in Rambo’s boots.  He was here making a movie (whatever that is) long before I was born.  I had the Man take twenty or thirty pictures but I think he only kept one.

02-Rambo

From there we headed up to Manning Park. I got quite excited when I thought I saw white blessèd sheep in the woods but it turned out to be snow!  It was a beautiful trip though through the mountains.

06-Manning Park        03-Manning Park
Manning Park, BC

What a wonderful and diverse province we live in!  We started our day in the rain, had cloud, more rain and sun and ended the day under an incredible rainbow.  The landscape was as varied as the weather; valleys, rain forest, high alpine, semi arid, arid and now back to forest.  Each stop smelled different – birch, pine, sagebrush, lupine.

15-Osoyoos

Near Osoyoos, BC

13-Near Nighthawk

Near Nighthawk

If not the ocean, then a river will do.  Rivers smell different than the sea.  We saw a little flooding of the Kettle River and the Granvy River along which some of the homes are sandbagged, but the roads have not been affected.  This is a great route, slow and quieter than the Trans Canada and lots of lush greenery.  Yum!  We’ll have to decide our route in the morning, though we will go through the Rocky Mountains via the Crowsnest Pass.  We’re in Grand Forks tonight, an area known for its Doukhobor heritage so the Lady had to have borscht and perogies for dinner.

18-Grand Forks

Grand Forks Rainbow

But . . . eeeuuwww – we just got home from supper!  The Man had LAMB for dinner!  Said he just wasn’t thinking – now he’s sitting here looking sheepish which at least improves his appearance a whole bunch.  It’s enough to gag a maggot.  If I hadn’t had such a great day I would be on the bus home right now.

I hope I can sleep tonight – I’ll have to keep one eye open now watching the Man!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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