Water Falls

Located about midway on Vancouver Island, and in Strathcona Provincial Park is beautiful Myra Falls.

The first photo is of the lower falls as they cascade into Buttle lake.

DSC_0155We pulled off the highway at a lookout, grabbed the long lens and got this shot from across the lake. Luckley there was a railing to steady the camera. Camera settings for this long shot were, 1/800sec, f8, 400mm, iso 200. The people you see in this pic are standing where I took the next shot.

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At this time of year the volume of water is greatly reduced so we were able to stand in areas that would normally be covered with rushing water.

I would love to visit Myra Falls during the spring runoff. I imagine the rush of water would be deafening and awesome.

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This last shot is of the Upper Myra Falls, a moderately difficult hike of about 3k through lush moss covered forests.

There are many water falls on Vancouver Island, but I rate this one at the top of my list. Cheers.

 

Dragons, Silly Boats and Bathtubs.

The city of Nanaimo B.C., is known as the harbour city. This month it more than earned that moniker.

Three events took place in the month of July. First was the Dragon Boat Festival. Started in 2003 as a means of bringing cancer survivors together to join in a common social endeavor. Today it is a fund raiser for cancer detection equipment for the Nanaimo Hospital foundation. DSC_0039

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The next event is billed as the Silly Boat Regatta. In its 34th year, its goal is to raise money for the Child Development Centre which help children with disabilities. This event is just a hoot. Silly boats, silly costumes. Actual boat construction starts at 8:00am the day of the race, to be ready to put in the water by 1:00pm. To coin a phrase, ‘build it and they will come,’ viewing room was at a premium, but I got lucky and elbowed my way to the rail.DSC_0330

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The third and final event is the International World Championship Bathtub Race and Nanaimo Marine Festival.

The first race took place in 1967, and took a course from Nanaimo to Vancouver. In the last couple of years it has been run in a loop, up the coast from Nanaimo, in the Salish sea and back. Well represented by local tubbers, it also draws competitors from around the world. Competitors, both male and female, can race in a number of different categories, from stock to super modified.

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We were blessed with perfect weather for all 3 weekend events. That is about it for water events this summer. We still have a folk festival, a blues festival and a jazz festival to look forward to. Until then, enjoy the pics. Cheers.

Here, There and Everywhere…well nearly.

As part of our travels around Vancouver Island, we decided to take in some camping at a provincial park near Port Renfrew on the west coast, about 21/2 hours from Nanaimo. As put in their glossy by the Chamber of Commerce, “Port Renfrew is where the Pacific Ocean collides with the rugged west coast of North America, and massive trees earn it the Tall Tree Capitol of Canada. Home of the West Coast Trail, and Juan De Fuca Trail”. Many trails lead to the beaches along a 50k stretch of the coast. Being open to the Pacific Ocean, some of the beaches are very popular with surfers.

I love the water, but I will leave riding the waves to the younger bunch. No sharks, just lots of rocks. We spent 4 days there, so these pictures only take in our first day, at Mystic Beach.

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Always lots of drift wood along west coast beaches.

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Mystic falls is down to a trickle at this time of year. Next year we plan to visit in the spring.

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This could be a place to spend the night… but only at low tide!

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Too many pictures to include in one blog. I will post more on our journey up the beach in a couple of days. Cheers.

 

Rainy Days and Sunshine.

The weather the other day was a mixed bag of sun one minute followed by rain followed by sun followed…. well you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, the poppies here on Vancouver Island are in full bloom. And with the raindrops clinging to the petals, the sun transformed them into tiny jewels. Luckily I noticed this. A photo op for sure.

Here are a couple of shots I got in just before it started to rain, again. Enjoy. cheers.

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Blowing Bubbles.

I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air, they fly so high, nearly reach the sky……(John Vellette & Jaan “Kenbrovin”) well, not really me but a lady down at our water front in Nanaimo. Not your average bubbles, but big, ever shape changing , bubbles.

As they came floating by us, twisting and turning, I found that due to their translucent nature, that auto focus was not going to work. So, manual focus to the rescue.DSC_0567

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And staying with our twisted theme, but nothing to do with bubbles, this creation was also at the water front park. Wood, in all shapes and sizes gets washed up on shore every year, just waiting for some creative soul to come along.

So, if you are walking around with your camera, get it out of the bag, be ready to put it to work, you never know just what will come floating by. Cheers.DSC_0556

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Wandering Vancouver Island – Kinsol Trestle.

Since the weather here has warmed up significantly, we decided to take a short, 76k road trip to view the Kinsol Trestle, located in the Cowichan valley,  and now part  of the Trans Canada Trail.

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Kinsol Trestle.

The trestle spans the Koksilah River. It is 187m long, and rises to a height of 44m, one of the largest in North America. Now for a bit of not to boring but condensed history.

Orginally built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, it was needed to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound to transport old growth timber. The actual construction was undertaken by local farmers and loggers. The CNoPR  was take over by the Canadian National Railway in 1918 who oversaw  completion of the trestle by 1920. Last train to cross the trestle was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned one year later. DSC_0110DSC_0109

The CNR gave up ownership on Vancouver Island in the 1980s, and the rail line was given over to the Ministry of Transportation. Due to the fact that the trestle sat unused , it’s deterioration  in the following years rendered it’s use prohibitive by hikers on the rail trail. It seemed unlikely at that point in time that the trestle would be able to be restored to use.

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After Much debate for and against restoration, an agreement was reached to preserve the trestle for it’s historical and tourism value. A feasibility study was conducted as to the work needed to restore it to use. It was estimated that 5.7 million would be needed. The provincial government kicked in 4.1 million and the rest was raised by local fund raising. The restoration was started in 2010, and the trestle opened to the public in 2011.DSC_0111

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Original cement piers at the base.
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Koksilah River.

DSC_0108The Kinsol Trestle has proven to be a very worthwhile addition to the Trans Canada Trail as seen by the number of people who visit it each year. Whether hiking, biking or on horseback, the trestle is available to all those who love the great outdoors. Cheers.

Unlikely

I love a Parade.

 

This song was written in 1931 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and appeared in the 1932 film of the same name.

Parades can and do take many forms. They do not always include people. Ducks and geese are sometimes seen parading about, but their faces are all the same, and they do not respond well to the music. So we will stick with people, they do it best.

Last year Puerto Vallarta hosted the Folkloric Dance Festival. Dance troupes from Mexico, Chile, Peru and Columbia competed.  But before that started, they put on a parade, and it was a dandy.

In keeping with this weeks photo challenge, the pics that follow are just a small sample of the colour and the talent that we were treated to. DSC_0279

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A Face in the Crowd

Caught in a Time Warp.

Last week we took a trip to a small town about 80k from Puerto Vallarta via taxi and bus. A town virtually untouched by time. A town rich in history. A history that goes back over 300 years. So journey along  as we discover, in words and pictures a town caught  up in time. The town of San Sebastian Del Oeste, Mexico.DSC_0992

Getting there from the coast is a steady climb on winding roads (and a detour) until you reach an elevation of 4850 feet above sea level. Shortly after we got there we took a 9k taxi ride to the top of one of the road accessible mountains outside of town. After we hiked to the top of “La Bufa”, my altimeter peaked out at 8228 feet. This picture was taken from that sight.

Founded by Spaniards in the early 1600s, it was soon to prove a rich gold and silver source for the town, and Spain. The town has gone through several name changes over the centuries. More than likely influenced by the powers in place at the moment. It was first dubbed Real San Sebastian, then just San Sebastian, and finally in 1983, its current name.

At its peak, the town boasted over 30 gold and silver mines. Declared a city in 1812, it had a population of over 20,000. After the 1910 military revolution, production was halted, though mining activity had already declined steadily during the 19th century.The last mine closed in 1921. Today the town is mainly a tourist attraction, with a population of around 1000. This is where we come in.

Enough with the words. Enjoy the pictures. If you stand in just the right part of town, you will find yourself being transported back in time.

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Thank you for letting me be your tour guide. There are hundreds more pictures, but time and space are the restriction. The town’s people, and the town itself beckons you to come.  I will be back. Cheers.
Tour Guide