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