Monday, May 24, 2010

Road trip for the Victoria Day long weekend...

We headed out from Cochrane in Alberta to Kimberley in the south west corner of British Columbia. As the crow flies, it should be fairly quick journey, but those big mountains get in the way, so we had to put up with a four-hour drive along some of the most beautiful highways ever. It's a tough life.

The devastation caused by the dreaded pine-beetle runs for miles and miles and is a very sobering sight.

The whole eco-system must be changing as some animals and insects move to a new neighbourhood, and yet other creatures move in to the decaying and changing forests. Maybe it's an up and coming area for some kinds of insect yuppies?!

But it's good to see the little saplings making a bid for freedom - I wonder how many decades this will take to fix? Nature is great at sorting itself out, but it will take years for these dead tree carcasses to fall and rot down and feed the ground again.

We pass some mini hoodoos on the way down Highway 93.

Fantastic ripples in the rock.

We were staying with some friends who have bought a townhouse up by the ski hills of Kimberley.

Welcome to Germany!

Kimberley is a old mining town that decided, like many small towns, that it needed to re-invent itself to avoid closure and rot. Ski-hills and associated facilities were re-vamped, the old mines and railway are now a tourist attraction and the town decided to re-launch itself on a Bavarian theme. I don't really know why, but a town offering bratwurst and schnitzel in the shadows of the Canadian Rockies certainly offers a new theme!

And the nature ain't bad either ...

In fact, I was determined to hunt out some wild-life. I need moose to complete my photo album you see. Any moose out there?

Well, no - lots of deer - more than I have ever seen actually - absolutely everywhere.

A bad, blurry picture of a large heron-type fella - don't ask me for species.

And a cute picture of a fluffy squirrel - probably not that unusual really, but he's not quite grey, and he's certainly not black - not like the squirrels I am used to seeing around my way these days.

And my piece de resistance .....

My first black bear !

Again - slightly blurry photos, but one doesn't walk up close to these beautiful creatures and disturb them from their current meal, for fear of presenting oneself as dessert.


  1. What a treat to come with you today. You sure captured some awesome sights, some sadness that is getting refreshed...slowly. The wildlife sure abounds, your very dark red squirrel is interesting, the deer shedding its winter coat and that burly bear. Quite the excitement. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Have a Grand Week

  2. Wonderful pictures! Have a great time. Jude

  3. Great pics! I love a road trip and I love BC, so I approve this blog post.

  4. Lovely trip you had. Lve the hoodoos!That was your first black bear? That's so wonderful then that you not only saw it,got in on camrea! Nice work!That is the cutest squirell too! Looks like a great time!

  5. Wooooooo! Fantastic, Ann! A bear! Love it!

    It's quite something the damage those pine beetles can do.

    Sounds like a nice long weekend. :-)

  6. Not sure what to think about the pine beetle "disaster" (lodgepole pine forests are largely gone here, too).

    On the one hand, it's "natural" in the way that fire is natural in lodgepole. In the long run, the trees will be fine, just as Yellowstone was fine after the "disastrous" fires of 1988.

    On the other hand, the beetles are greatly exacerbated by Global Warming: read fossil fuels to heat our over-sized homes, power our over-sized SUVs, ship unnecessary plastic objects to consumers around the world etc.

    It's a Pogo thing: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

  7. EcoRover - I agree that the beetle issue most definitely has two sides - nature is just doing it's thing, dealing with whatever comes its way and in the grand cycle of things. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it's like driving through some post-apocalyptic movie set!


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