Sunday, March 26, 2006

spring break

I'm back! my kids had two weeks of spring break this year so we decided, pretty much at the last minute, to head to British Columbia's Shuswap region for four days. Spring is well underway on the coast but it's just starting inland, so driving conditions can be iffy at this time of year, particularly near the summit of the Coquihalla Highway, so we headed towards Little Shuswap Lake via the Fraser Canyon and Thompson River Valley. Even though the end of winter is probably the least scenic season, when everything is tired and grey after the long winter, I was looking forward to taking a different sort of photo from the typical tourist shot and was not disappointed. I took a lot of passenger-seat photos, travelling at 130 km/h. We did come home via the Coquihalla, which is a lot faster, and were lucky to miss the weather!

We stayed at Quaaout Lodge, a First Nations resort at Little Shuswap Lake on the Shuswap (Secwepemc) Reserve and had a really great time: swimming, hiking, exploring the local culture, horseback riding (and eating, sleeping, reading...). Lots of photos here.

helicopter hovering above tunnel in the Fraser Canyon

abandoned church at Spence's Bridge

Fraser River at Lytton, British Columbia

Thompson River valley

#2 son on the trail at the reserve

Zappa in his element (who cut yer hair?)

thorns, birches and bulrushes
north of Shuswap Lake

Little Shuswap Lake


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh these photo's were beautiful! I love the yellow church pic. Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time as a family, excellent!
What happened to your dogs hair???

26/3/06 8:29 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

What happened to his hair? Me, my husband, two pairs of kitchen scissors and a huge plastic bag for the whole other dog we cut off of him. He's looked better. :) For an Australian Shepherd he somehow ended up with the coat of an Old English Sheepdog and we have to pretty much shear him twice a year.

26/3/06 8:34 a.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Wow, and welcome back...we missed you.
That sounds like the kind of vacation we are planning. We can't wait to come to your province.

26/3/06 8:39 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hi there! Good to see you back. I love the photos - my favourite of all is the thorns against birches.

Sounds like you had a good break. Hope it feels like it.

26/3/06 9:26 a.m.  
Blogger Hayden said...

Love the photos- makes me long to spend more time up in BC.

26/3/06 11:27 a.m.  
Blogger Nan said...

Nice to have you back... I missed you! It looks like you had a wonderful holiday. Great photos. Can't decide whether Zappa or the thorns/birch/bulrushes pic is my favorite. Or maybe the church. I like them all :-)

26/3/06 12:27 p.m.  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

OOOOO! Lucky you! Lots of nice pics! I like the one with feathers! :)

26/3/06 3:23 p.m.  
Anonymous krista said...

I love big dogs like that!! Awww.

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

26/3/06 6:14 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Brian & Hayden: Come on down/over/under! But make sure you get out to Vancouver and pop by for a glass of wine or cuppa tea...

Caroline: It's been hard being back actually, *sigh*...

Nan, MP, Krista: thanks for the welcome home, etc. It's funny how being away from the www for a few days makes me feel stumped for something to say. I'm out of practice, but at least I have pictures.

26/3/06 9:05 p.m.  
Blogger kyknoord said...

The photos are fantastic. Do you think any of them will find their way onto canvas?

26/3/06 10:13 p.m.  
Blogger Joyce said...

just gorgeous. I love spring because it hints of the potential beauty yet to come. love the church. I just want to go and sit in it for a bit.

27/3/06 6:07 a.m.  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

What a majestic place, Andrea -- it's places like that that sort of leave me flabbergasted and thinking simply, gosh the world is... BIG. I don't mean in the way the Earth is big -- I don't feel like the earth is that big, but in wild places like that, there's just such a sense of being a speck in the enormity of nature. It's a good perspective for a human to get and I wish more people would feel our place in the scheme of the wild world -- but then, think of people like Dick Cheney: he comes from big, wild Wyoming and all he can think of when he looks at it is how much gas he can gouge out of the ground! Anyway, your photos are great, and your kids and dog are cute!

27/3/06 8:55 a.m.  
Blogger justin said...

Great photos, Andrea, and stunning scenery. It's good to see you're back.
BTW, what camera do you use?

27/3/06 9:26 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Kyknoord: I must admit that I have a hard time taking certain kinds of photos (like all those birch photos!) without a painting in mind these days. Conditioning, y'know.

Joyce: There are a lot of fantastic little churches, in use or not, in these small towns. Towns like Spences Bridge have died a slow economic death since the Coquihalla Hwy was built and the tourist traffic disappeared, so the dilapidated ones are particularly photo-worthy. You and Brian will have to take that camera he's been saving for to as many old gold rush towns off the beaten path that you can when you take that trip to BC. You can sit in them and he can take photos!

Laini: I agree: BIG. The ever-changing landscape is another reason it makes me feel small. For example, the difference in environment from Fraser Canyon to the Thompson is amazing. Makes me feel insignificant...

Justin: I use a midrange Fuji S3100. I bought it last October when I finally gave up on the idea of trying to afford a digital SLR (sigh). Excellent value in this one.

27/3/06 9:51 a.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

WOW! The phots are amazing and such breathtaking beauty!!! Loooove the old churchs and buildings. What is that? the place you, the boys and Zappa come out of that is like a dugout? Totally cool! Your sons are beautiful and Zappa looks like he had a ball!!! The photos remind me of your paintings and I love the ones in the moutains with trees in the fore and the little town far away! Sheer Beauty!!!

27/3/06 11:55 a.m.  
Blogger albina said...

Andrea, sounds like a great trip! Birches and thorns – yes, all I could think was – I can’t wait to see it in painting form! I so need to come back to BC – I had no digital camera at the time of my last visit and I have lost all of my regular photos from the trip, so yours are a special treat. Thanks!

28/3/06 9:36 a.m.  
Blogger cream said...

Wow, Andrea! These are amazing photos! What a fantastic place!

28/3/06 10:34 a.m.  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

WOW! Beautiful photos!! Seems like you guys have a wonderful holiday!

28/3/06 10:32 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Your trip looked wonderful. I have yet to spend much quality time in BC, but would love to. I'll have to get some recommendations for the best places to see!

28/3/06 11:00 p.m.  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

It looks like you had a great break. Looking at those beautiful pictures makes me realise how much I miss out on by not having a camera.

I hope you've come back recharged and full of vim, vigour and vitality.

29/3/06 1:28 a.m.  
Blogger Nabeel said...

this is soo amazing .. i love thorns against birches and the last one .. sunny morning .. they are awesome ..

29/3/06 5:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea, even in winter the place is photogenic. I cannot remember the last time I gook 2 weeks for a vacation. I am curious where you went swimming this time of year? Living in Toronto I am surrounded by pavement and unclean air. I alway imagine how good the air would smell just being in some of those photos. My favourite (notice the Canadian spelling!) is the helicopter you catured. I wonder where it was going? A search and rescue perhaps?

That's a nice feature of Flickr to be able to display a 12 image collage like the one at the top of this post. Nice way to show multiple images at once.

2/4/06 9:18 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

I can't ever remember getting two weeks' vacation either, Teri. The boys were off school for two weeks which is different. We only spent 4 days on our road trip. As for swimming, that was only in the hotel pool. :) (Yay! with the spelling :)

2/4/06 2:55 p.m.  

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