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Posts Tagged ‘rockies’

I’ve posted teasers already, but forgot to tell you that the full sets of pictures are also up. They’re broken up into categories – click on the appropriate image in the set below to be redirected to the full gallery.

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Tuesday was wonderfully clear and sunny – of course, it was also the day we had to leave! We did the touristy thing and drove up to the top of Mount Revelstoke, with amazing views both along the way and from the top.

Can you believe how cute the little fire tower is?

Unlike in many other places, the main reason for forest fires around here is from lightning strikes (and not people), so the tower was kept in operation into the late ’80s, when planes and satellite tracking took over. Still 7-8 lightning strikes per km^2 per year seems like a lot – good luck keeping it under control, Revelstoke!

We also saw the peak Dan had planned the original scramble for.

The drive back to Kamloops was very sunny and pleasant, with stops for ice cream, wine,

and a salmon run. Have you ever been?

No? Well, let me tell you – it’s exceptional! BC is having the largest salmon run in 100 years, and the viewing platforms were bus-ay. Lucky for us, we got there towards the end of the day and on a Tuesday – I can only imagine what it was like on the weekend before! What you see is pretty incredible – salmon upon salmon, in places packed almost as close as in a can.

This is the area where they come to nest, depositing the eggs and then promptly dying. To do this, they travel up shallow and fast-moving mountain rivers, hugging the shores en masse, and then making a break for it when they’ve rested enough for the next leg.

Why are the parks officials not worried about poachers, or people trying to pluck salmon out of the water, since they’re so easily accessible? Well, once they start their run up the river, the salmon stop eating, all their energy going to the production of sperm and eggs. Their bodies are actually decaying as they travel upstream, and so they die as soon as they’ve done the deed. All together now – ewwwwww.

At this point, they are inedible, and possibly poisonous. Which is why on the drive back we stopped at a little stall selling delicious smoked salmon made from fish caught very early on in the Fraser, before all this happens. Oh, the things you learn on vacation.

We’re both looking forward to visiting BC again, and hopefully not getting quite as shafted on the weather. Now, anybody want to step up to the challenge and set a wedding date? 🙂

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On Sunday morning, we got up early and skipped brunch plans so we could get to the trailhead early and start our overnight hike.

Or, at least, that was the plan. What actually happened was we got to the turn-off for the road we were supposed to take, and then spent the next hour and a half driving up and down a logging road looking for the start of the hike.

Turns out that the logging road had been reactivated since the book we had was published, and so various turnoffs had been added. When we did finally find what was supposed to be the start, we got all of 10 minutes into the hike before we came upon a collapsed bridge across a mountain stream slightly larger than that in Men in Tights. We hummed and hawed for a while, Dan explored.  We even went down to the railroad to see if we could use that bridge to cross, but this route would involve a good half-kilometer of uphill bushwhacking to get back to the trail. But eventually we decided against it and turned back (since this wasn’t the only bridge we’d have to cross, and this one was quite sketchy as it was).

Driving back to Revelstoke, completely dejected, we perked up a bit when we managed to find a good-priced suite (With a jacuzzi!) in a nice hotel.

Oh, the advantages of visiting ski resort towns in the off season. Although, their hallways were filled with pictures of heliskiing on pristine powder which took my breath away and made me quite jealous.

Our choices for dinner, in downtown Revelstoke on a Sunday night, were between Chinese, Chinese, or Chinese. The other options were two pubs (of which I was sick of by then) and a very expensive-looking restaurant in the hotel. We settled for the second Chinese option, and returned to our hotel room to nurse a bottle of local honey ale (Atilla the Honey, tee hee) while sitting in the jacuzzi. Now that’s what I call a vacation! 😉

The next morning dawned cloudy, but we decided to persevere and took to the Parks office for guidance.

We settled on going to the Glaciers National Park, a 45-minute drive away, to do a promising hike. The weather got only worse as we drove there, and a light drizzle had started by the time we left the car.

We bought our pass and chatted with the friendly ranger, who told us this was a very nice hike. Imagine our surprise when, a few minutes into a hike, we see a sign telling us that the bridges had been removed for the winter halfway through the hike. Oh-kay. Thanks, Mr. Not Helpful Ranger. We thought we’d try it anyway, since the parks often put bridges in places where they are not necessary by the end of the season.

The first half of the hike was actually very nice. It started in old-growth forest along wonderfully large trees.

We soon got more into the open, hiking through rock fields deposited by the receding glaciers and (probably) landslides. Through the clouds, we got views of the rocky river valley below and above us, with glimpses of what may have been our destination. When we got to the first bridge, it was as we expected, crossing the stream without TOO much effort.

Of course, then we had to get to the second bridge, which posed much bigger problems. This little river had carved a mini-gorge, with 10-15 foot dropoffs on each side, followed by a small waterfall downstream – definitely not a safe place to cross.

We tried going a bit downstream, but this was a fuller and faster river than the previous once, with no easy place to cross – and then we’d have to scramble up a slippery rock slope overgrown with brush. Oh, and did I mention it was really starting to rain by this point? Yeah, it didn’t sound like much fun to us, either. So we beat a retreat yet again. Stupid bridges foiling our plans!

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