Saturday, December 17, 2011

Winter Update

Okay it is now winter…well winter where I am. Weather has been crazy and by crazy I mean random windstorms, to rain, to 10inches of snow, to a city ice rink. Currently I could grab my skates and skate to my destination. The sad thing is I am NOT joking o.0

Since I live in North Central BC there are many activities to do in both winter and spring. I like to travel to new hiking/tourist spots….and winter up here doesn’t allow me to do so. Unless I catch a plane and that does not seem likely to happen.

I guess time to get to the point of this entry…

I won’t have very many new posts of discovery for the next few months. I will write on places I have been in the past 2 years to keep the blog going. But for any new discoveries for both me and the readers you may have to wait until MAY.

I know, I know it seems like a long time but this is how winter treats us. We get 6+month of winter maybe a month a spring if summer arrives close to the calendar date of season change. I will however make good use of the winter this year. I plan to learn how to ski. In a way I think I do remember how but after falling into a barrier when my ski’s crossed at the top of the hill, I have become somewhat fearful. I think if I wasn’t asked to sit off to the side, I wouldn’t have begun to fear skiing. However that was a long time ago and I plan to make it down a ski hill this winter. If you guys want to hear about my attempting skiing adventure, post in the comments below and I will keep you updated.

P.S Winter photo’s coming soon. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Teapot Mountain

Okay, it could be because I am out of shape but late September I went straight up an old volcanic plug and PHEW'. This volcanic plug is none other than Teapot Mountain, located 50km North of Prince George, BC, Canada.

The hike is only 1.4km long. The 1.4 kilometer hike is deceiving though. It has a steady incline on a slightly switchback trail. It is a trail for people that are in healthy shape. Though I was extremely unprepared for the hike, I found it rewarding. I love seeing the beauty of the earth around me and Teapot Mountain didn’t disappoint.

Once at the top of the mountain there is a 360degree trail with many view points. I recommend you go in the fall season because you are blessed with brilliant colors that the surrounding lakes, rivers, forests and wetlands hold.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fort George Park

Happy Birthday to me. Nice, start off EH. I am getting old and I guess it was inspiration for my next blog entry. Even though it’s not a travel experience for me it is defiantly a stop to make when in Prince George, BC, Canada.
What comes to mind with this single word? Parks. So many things come to my mind. A place to enjoy the weather, a place to walk around, a place to play, a place for events and a community gathering ground. Fort George Park is just that.
Fort George Park is the city's largest park covering over 65 acres. The park includes picnic tables in the sun and shade, sitting benches, a large picnic shelter, washrooms, monuments, a volleyball court, tennis courts, a playground and a band shelter. Fort George Park has pathways leading to viewing benches looking out over the Fraser River, flower gardens, a First Nation cemetery and a children's playground and water park(spray park). Fort George Park is the perfect place to spend the day with the family and friends. A perfect place to relax or see many city event gatherings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dream Travels

Well I have been a little lazy these days with my journeys. Or kind of poor to embark on new out of town ones. So I guess I will write something different for this entry.
There are so many places I want to visit around the world and the odds of seeing each and everyone one is low but I will try my best to hit as many of them. I have this book called “501 Must-take Journeys”. I have about 50 markers in the book that tell of amazing journeys. Some last anywhere to a few hours to a few months. Looking through the markers I notice many are located on waterfalls. Can you say I love hiking to fresh air and rushing waters. So back to my blog entry. This entry is going to be top 6 places I want to visit. Some are just cities and some are countrys.

1)Haida Gwaii(Queen Charlotte Island): I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by the ocean. It seems like the perfect historical getaway. Being able to camp, smell the fresh air, hike, fish and kayak. It is sad to think I have yet to visit this place since it practically in the back yard.

2)Vancouver: Again this is in my back yard. I have been to Vancouver a few times. Once when I was 8. Don’t remember much from the trip. I went again for AAA Provincial Basketball Tournament. I was only able to see “Metrotown Mall” and “Gas Town”. This being said I wish to return. There is so much to do and see. Capilano Suspension Bridge, China Town, Harbour Center Lookout, Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and so much more.

3)Avonlea Village: Most have heard of Avonlea and if not….got no words for you. Avonlea is a fiction based town from the book series “Anne of Green Gables”. Or some of you have watched the television series “Road to Avonlea”. The set is still alive and standing for anyone that wants to let their imagination run wild and go back in time.

4)South Korea: Cheonjiyeon Falls, Oedolgae, Sinyang Beach, Mt.Namsan, Puk’ansan, and Gyeongbokung are just a few places I want to see in S.Korea. I have been fascinated or obsessed with S.Korea since they day I thought I was going to watch an Anime. This Anime ended up being a Korea Drama. I want to see the places I see in the Korean dramas and go back in time to see historic building and palaces. I could keep rambling on about S.Korea but ya….

5) China: I really want to see China. Yu Garden, Mt. Huangshan, Qibao, Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Ancient City Wall and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda are some of the places. China has so much history and the culture is so different is certain aspects from western culture.

6) Russia: Ever heard the story of Anastasia? The stories and movies about the lost princess Anastasia is what started my fascination of Russia and the Russian Revolution. I don’t know about many places in Russia or know a whole bunch of tourist attractions. But, I do know I want to go to Moscow and St. Petersburg. See the forever talked about palace and church.

Where are some places you want to visit?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cottonwood Island Park

Ever have a place you love to go on an evening off or a place you feel like getting away to? I have a place, I visit this wondrous nature park at least once a week, if not more. Cottonwood Island Park or it’s official name Cottonwood Island Nature Park.

There are many beginnings to this park. The main entrance to the parking lot is located off of River Road. Where there is a nice grassy area with a gazebo, picnic tables and a trail map. The map outlines the trails including the Willow, Grove, Cottonwood, Limestone, Hazelnut and Dogwood Trails.

Some are probably wondering what ‘river road’. I guess I should tell you where it is. It is located where the Nechako and Fraser River meet in the community of Prince George, B.C., Canada. The park is 88acres and has many 300 year old Black Cottonwood Trees. (If anyone is allergic to pollen, it is widely suggested to bring allergy relievers. In my case I am allergic to ONLY cottonwood and pay for it every time.)

Summer/Autumn is one of the best times to visit the park. The river is low enough that you are able to walk over the river rock beds. Sometimes getting half way over the river. There is nothing better that taking a journey over rock beds with some friends. That isn’t the only reason Summer/Autumn is a great time to visit. You have many wild berries along the trails and the leaves are just changing color so you really experience that warm happy feeling.

The tails are both dirt and paved. It is a multi-use trail that lets joggers, bikers, runners, walkers and in-line skaters use. Some people use the trail to cross-country ski during the winter.

People can fish from the river, there is a boat launch for boaters, and many events are held at Cottonwood Island park. There is one event closing in on September 11th, 2011. It is an annual event called “Paws for Cause”. Many communities throughout the province will par take to raise funds for local animal shelters. It will begin at 11am and the funds raised in Prince George will go to the Caribou Branch of the SPCA.

Please if you have an hour or two, take the time to visit Cottonwood Island Park.
P.S - Don't try and find the sign. :-D PEACE OUT

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hixon Falls

Hixon Falls is located in the middle of British Columbia. The falls are tucked in behind the tiny town Hixon off Highway 97.
The waterfall was not hard to find but there was a lack of signage marking the way. As soon as you hit the parking area you can hear the waterfall already. The area is so breathtaking; a natural beauty for sure. The air is fresh, the creek is clear and there is music in your ear. Nice thing about this trail is you can take your shoes off and walk the creek to the waterfall or take short trail.
When I arrived I soon found out I wasn’t very prepared. I was able to walk to a certain distance along the creek because I had sandals on, but even then I had to walk the trail part ways, as it got deeper. The waterfall came in view and I realised I should have brought a swim suit because there was a pooled area for people swim in. From the trail I was disappointed to find I wasn’t able to see the full length of the waterfall unless I went straight up, hands and knees crawling up a lightly man crawled trail. And, for that I would have needed my shoes, which we at home in the boot room.
What I saw was beautiful and I would go back in a heart beat. Go back more prepared that is. Hixon falls is a nice place to stop by on your travels or visit for the day. I recommend you bring a lunch and let your feet soak in the clean clear water.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ancient Forest Trail

Did anyone know there is a rain forest in Northern British Columbia, Canada? You’re in luck; because you do now.
Recently I went with my friend to Ancient Forest Trail. It is located 112km East of Prince George. When walking the trail it feels like you are walking into a different world. It is so breathtaking until you breath the fresh mountain air. A clean strong air that makes you think again about returning home.

The forest contains ancient Western Redcedars (Thuja plicata). The trees are anywhere from 1000years old to 2000years old. These trees, cedars mostly, have massive trunks up to 16 metres in circumference, upper limbs that reach for the sun's rays, and lower limbs draped in moss. Researches say it is because of long, cold, and snowy winters. Snowmelt from adjacent valley slopes plays an important role in sustaining groundwater recharge.

Now, walking the trail I was shocked to read the map info because what laid in middle of the Ancient Forest Trails was a waterfall. The waterfall is called ‘Treebeard Falls’. The waterfall is accessible by a rocky trail or by the waterfall runoff creak.

Ancient Forest Trail was just recently discovered by a UNBC student. The trails are now accessible thanks to all the hard-working people at Dome Creek, UNBC and the Caledonia Ramblers among others.

Hearing about this trail from the paper, I had assumed that the trail was flat but it is a elevation gain of 300 ft to the falls. The falls are not huge, but still magical in a nice shady spot where you can enjoy the view and cool waters cascading down.

This is a must for hikers and wilderness lovers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wells BC - Bowron Lake

No need for a car in Wells B.C. In this little ART PAINTING everything is in walking distance. Well it is a cozy mining town. It is as friendly now as it was in the 1930’s. The reason I say that the town is an art painting is because of it’s 3 art galleries.

The art galleries are:
Amazing Space Studio and Gallery
It has unique silk screening, original painting, cards and a variety of other art for sale. The gallery used to be an old 1930’s church!
Beck’s Pottery Studio
Beck's Pottery features raku pieces, functional stoneware and earthenware pottery.
You can also take lessons in making the pottery for $25. The class is about 2.5hrs long.
Island Mountain Arts
Not only is this a gallery but a year round place to learn creative writing, beginning watercolour, drawing, singing, children's harp and more.

The reason I stopped in Wells was because of Art Rush Gallery. Ting Yuen is my favourite artist. She stopped many times in Prince George and I fell in love with her work. Every piece has a story and each piece has a family. The stories are about lessons that she has learned along the way. From the Art Rush Gallery website this is what Ting Yuen says: "I create lyrical worlds, where tribulations are perceived with inspiring humour; fetishes, embraced with open arms, thoughts are symbolic, dreams are always infinite, and an ideal world is possible. In many ways, my paintings compose a diary of my everyday life and aspiration, expressing fears and joys that are personal, but, at the same time, universal to the current consciousness."
Though she and her husband do not live in Wells anymore, she has set up her gallery in South Eastern B.C. I hope to visit her gallery again and was very sad to hear that she had left Wells.

Anyways moving on. Not only does Wells have a huge art community, there is a great outdoor adventure waiting for you. You can pan for gold and visit an operating gold mine, visit ghost towns from the 1860s, or spend a day hiking in spectacular alpine meadows. There is ‘The Williams Creek Nature Trail’ home to a wide variety of birds and flowers. Great trail to cross country ski in the winter.

A must see in the area is Bowron Lake Provincial Park. This BC Provincial Park is a wildlife sanctuary and it is not uncommon for visitors to observe and photograph deer, moose, bears, caribou and mountain goat. Waterfowl and beaver are abundant in streams. The picture above is the picture I took of the lake. Doesn’t it just make you want to go there?

Though Ting Yuen’s gallery is no longer there, I cannot wait to hop in my car and spend a weekend in this beautiful area/town. TOP NOTE: The historic town of BARKERVILLE is only 5-10min away.

Written by: Ellen Wookey
Pictures by: Ellen Wookey

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twin Falls

During my trip north-west from my current location, my friends and I stopped at Twin Falls. Twin Falls is a must see natural attraction that all should make an effort to visit when in the Smithers, British Columbia, Canada area.

We went early September when the air/weather was just turning crisp. The hiking trail follows a wide foot path to a wooden lookout platform. You are walking along a tumbling creek created by the run off water from the waterfalls. The trail, although short, is uphill and can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. There are some picnic tables here where you
can rest and enjoy the surroundings. You can walk along the creek to the waterfall as well. This is what my friend and I did.

You can see both waterfalls from the viewpoint. Though my friend and I were not able to get to close the second waterfall; we were able to walk along the rocks and rough hiking trail base of the one waterfall. If you go be careful as the trail becomes more slippery and unreliable.

The two glistening waterfalls are approximately 550 feet. Five thousand feet above you can see the receding glacier. You can reach the glacier by the gulch hiking trail. It explores the mountain all the way to the top of the falls and onto the glacier. This trail is a steep 2hour hike for experience hikers. The hike is challenging and the temperatures drop on the glacier quickly.

In all this was a beautiful place that felt like we were surround by magic. Well…okay maybe just fresh air and mist from the creek. Hope you can check out Twin Falls and experience what is hard to put into words.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hazelton, BC, CANADA

Hello there. I guess I should start out this blog. I recently visited my hometown with a couple of friends. So why not start with my hometown. Most people drive by this little spread out town but it is really beautiful. If you haven’t guess by the title already; the name of the town is “Hazelton”. Sorry let me correct myself. “Hazelton” is the cluster name.The Hazelton area is comprised of the Village of Hazelton, District of New Hazelton, South Hazelton, Two Mile and the Kispiox Valley. Also the four First Nations’ Villages Gitanmaax, Hagwilget, Glen Vowell and Kispiox.

Named after the hazel bushes that paint river-carved terraces, the Hazeltons are situated in a majestic setting dominated by the 3000’ walls of the rugged Roche de Boule Range. A ‘must see’ for those traveling Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert. The two main rivers in the area are Bulkley and Skeena River.

Hazelton is one of the oldest settlements in Northern British Columbia, its European settlement dates back to 1866 when the Collins Overland telegraph went through. The Hazeltons boast a diverse compact landscape of culture, scenery, lifestyles and local amenities. The are approximatly 6000 living in the area.

There is so much to see and do(listed below. I spent half my life living in the Hazelton Cluster. At the bottem are many photographs taken on my last trip. Also 5 years new is this cute little giftshop in old town and a human size chess board.

Places to see:
Hagwilget Suspension Bridge(My Favorite): Head down the road from the Visitor Info Centre in New Hazelton to drive or walk over the Hagwilget suspension bridge, one of the highest suspension bridges in North America. The bridge looms 81 metres (265 feet) over the scenic waters of the Bulkley River. You can also hike down to the river's edge for a closer look at the water.

Ksan Indian Village and Museum:The 'Ksan village illustrates many features of a Gitxsan village from the distant past. For example, like its predecessors, 'Ksan's houses form a single line with each building facing the river. From this position, the large decorated house fronts and totem poles of the village are visible from the water.'Ksan's museum collection consists of approximately 600 items.Items include bent boxes, ceremonial masks, button blankets, shaman's regalia, fishing gear, hunting utensils, and assorted lithic artifacts housed in a proper museum facility with environmental controls.

Things to do:
View Totem Poles: The Hazelton area contains over 50 standing totem poles located in eight scenic Native villages.

Fishing: Designated a trophy river by the province, the Kispiox River is known for its world-class steelhead trout. The river also contains an abundance of coho salmon, dolly varden, and cutthroat and rainbow trout.
Just 30 minutes away are the Babine, Bear, Bulkley, and Sceena Rivers.

Hiking: The Hazeltons appeal to hikers of all experience levels. Trails range from easy family hikes to high alpine adventures for more experienced hikers.
Stroll the boardwalk in New Hazelton. Blue Mountain Trail and Sidina Mountain Trail are longer stretches, reaching into alpine terrain. For a long day's trek, or overnight backpacking, set out for Moonlit Trail (also called the Kispiox Mountain Trail) on a steady climb through old-growth forest leading to an alpine ridge. A small campsite is set near the top of the ridge