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Janice's Blog

[with inserts by Larry]

Thursday, 1 Sep 05

NELSON

Left home by taxi, saying goodbye to several neighbours while we waited in the sun and warmth. An uneventful flight to Vancouver and the picked up a rented car [ Chrysler Sebring ]. After fighting our way way through rush hour traffic we finally reached Hwy 1 and made our way along the Fraser Valley to Hope. Lovely views of mountains and lots of very dry-looking trees.

Friday, 2 September

Today was the day we met Somerset! But first, we left Hope after a terrific pancake breakfast. Larry described Hope as a little town stuck in 1958. So true. We stopped at the site of the Hope slide, a disaster that happened in 1965. After a lovely "range" of mountain scenery we took a bit of a detour into the Okanagan Valley and visited an interesting winery near Okanagan Falls. [ClickPic: Okanagan winery & valley] We found that there have been no falls there since the early 1900s when they were dammed. [ we found a very interesting Winery ( Hawthorn ) with a tour guide who loved to talk of the history of the Okanagan. Bought 4 bottles from the winery for Somerset. ] [ClickPic: Looking Down on Okanagan]We stopped at Castlegar [ to get a Canadian Tire fix ] and then reached Nicole and Chris's around 5pm. We both got in some great snuggle time with Somer [ClickPic:Jan/Somer] and enjoyed watching the opening of the many gifts we brought with us.

Saturday, 3 September

A relaxed day with Somer, Nic and Chris, with a run into Nelson for groceries and other necessities. Lots of snuggle time. Saw a young bald eagle in flight - Nic and Chris believe these birds were hatched the same day Somer was born. Grilled some salmon and scallops to have with pasta for dinner, and retired early.

Sunday, 4 September

After a relaxed morning we all headed out for a late "breakfast" [ like 12 noon ] at the Cornerhouse Café. Then we went on across the "Orange Bridge" [over the Kootenay River].(Somer's first crossing)to Kokanee salmon spawning. It was a very interesting sight and we heard how it happens from an interesting guide. [ ClickPic: Spawning Kokonee Salmon ] After picking up some yummy cinnamon buns from Chester's, we set up on the grass of Lakeside Park to enjoy the Sunday live concert [ and the cinnamon buns ]. It was rather chilly and breezy so we left after about an hour [ when the buns were gone - met friends Tara and Nieva for a brief visit ]

Somer was happy to get home so she could stop crying

After feeding she gave us a good demo of neck strength, holding her head up and looking around [ to get good look at grandpapa Lar ]

Monday, 5 September

A very quiet at-home day, enjoying Somer's company and scrapbooking her first week. [ClickPic: Jan/Somer ] Larry and Chris completed a few of the tasks on their list. We finished off with a great BBQ'd chicken dinner.

Tuesday, 6 September

Grandma and Somer started the day reading a couple of books together.

[ClickPic: Reading to Somer ] [Somer did some talking by herself.]

[ClickPic: Somer talking ]

At lunch time Nicole and Chris's friends Marcus, Amy and Grace brought lunch and visited. In the afternoon Tara, Mike and Nieva came for a session in the hot tub. Somer had her first hot tub dip, and really enjoyed the sensation of floating.

[ ClickPic: Somerset fans ] [ ClickPic: Somer hot-tubing ]

Before they arrived, Larry and I walked a large loop down to Granite Road, and then down Fisherman Road which we followed to its end, then up a trail to Bedford and back to Chris and Nicole's. Larry made a great chilli for dinner. Then, when exiting the hot tub, he slipped on the step and nearly went over the edge of the deck [sorry about those planters which did go]. That's about a 25 ft drop so it was a heart-stopping moment.

Wednesday, 7 September

After some good Somer-Grandma snuggling, [ClickPic: Somer snuggling ] we set out to explore some more of BC. As we headed north, the bright red of the mountain ash berries really stood out against the late-summer dry grass of the forest. From Nelson we headed west and then north through Nakusp to Galena Bay. We had about 20 minutes to walk around before the ferry arrived, The scenery around Upper Arrow Lake is spectacular. We were very far back in line and not too surprised when the gate came down in front of us indicating a full ferry. However, after some jostling and juggling they got us on. More great views as we crossed to Shelter Bay,[ClickPic: The crossing ] and continued along the drive to Revelstoke. We stopped there for a walk around this very cute railway town with its amazing mountain views, and to have lunch. Then we were on through more amazing mountain scenery to the Roger's Pass. Since we decided we were too tired to walk any more we checked into the Best Western and simply took advantage of the views from the parking lot.[ClickPic: Rogers Pass ]

Thursday, 8 September

Another day for which there are not enough superlative adjectives! Before leaving Glacier Park Lodge, we took a short walk to a nearby stream, enjoying the cool shade of the forest. We then continued along admiring the variety of mountains unfolding around every bend of the road. At Golden we took a break to get gas and wander about. We had stopped earlier and hiked a distance along a fairly steep path to look down on a stumbling stream. Then at Field we took a break and picked up some information. Stopped at Spiral Tunnels site - what a feat of engineering. By the time we got to Lake Louise we were more than ready for lunch but had a bit of trouble finding an eating place at the Chateau that was not full. Eventually we discovered the Poppy Brasserie where we enjoyed a wonderful meal [ClickPic: The Poppy Brasserie ] and watched the snow start to fall outside.[ClickPic: Lake Louise ][ClickPic: J at Lk L] Since Larry was wearing shorts, our walk around the lake was somewhat "shorter" than planned. On to Moraine Lake [ClickPic: Moraine Lake ] where the snow had turned to rain. We climbed the Rock Pile trail for a great view. [ClickPic: Moraine Lk fm RockPile trail ] Leaving there we were surprised by the electronic signs warning us of heavy traffic - but it was true - we joined a long slow line until we peeled off toward Radium Hot Springs. Hwy 93 is lined with forests recovering from the 2003 fires - certainly signs of recovery, but a long way to go! Entering Radium Hot Springs is like coming through a rock funnel. The town is awash in beautiful flowers, so we chose a motel with lots of flowers. It's clean and comfortable and near a German restaurant where we're heading shortly. [ It was GOOD ...but 2 desserts in one day!? ]

Friday, 9 September

Good breakfast at Smitty's in Radium Hot Springs, then off in search of Lussier Hot Springs. Finding them was easy, but the road was challenging. Thank goodness Larry was driving! It's a narrow dirt logging road clinging precariously to the edge of a mountain. At times it's only 1 lane wide and it's full of hairpin turns and blind corners. [ Bob will remember a similar road over the Coastal range in California ] Logging trucks fly along at break-neck speeds. But oh my, the hot springs are nice! [ClickPic: Lussier Hot Springs ] [ClickPic: Lussier Hot Springs ] One thing though - unless you enjoy getting naked in the woods, change your clothes in the porta-potty at the head of the trail. We hung out in the hot water for about an hour chatting with a couple from England and another Alberta. On the road back to the highway we somehow make a wrong turn and ended up on another, longer logging road, but with less traffic and more wildlife - we saw a wolf and a small herd of deer. Otherwise the only wildlife spottings on this trip have been a couple of chipmunks and a vole. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. The closer we came to Nelson the brighter the foliage looked - hundreds of shades of green, but with significant yellows contributed by birches, some of which are already dropping their leaves. It rained off and on all afternoon and evening. When we were on the last stretch of road, coming north from Salmo, we caught up with an old yellow taxi, then in Nelson we saw many classic cars. There's a show here this weekend.  Finally home to Nicole and Chris's for family time and Somer-snugs!

Saturday, 10 September

An at-home project day. Larry & Chris calculated, measured and planned the new deck railings, then hauled a mega-load of lumber from town for that project. Nicole and I pulled all the summer's accumulation of fruit out of the freezer and turned lots of it into jam. We make huckleberry, red current and strawberry-rhubarb. Yum. Nic & Chris's friends Mel, Scot and baby Quinn came for a hot tub and dinner.

Sunday, 11 September

[ here are 2 pics taken this morning ] [ClickPic: Somer on Sunday ] [ClickPic: J & S ]More project work today. Larry and Chis made significant progress on the deck. I shortened a pair of drapes and put a button on the sweater GG Patterson made for Somer. Tara dropped in to tell us about her trip to the south of France - where she and Andrew became engaged at a nudist colony! Her ring is beautiful - Andrew's design. Nic got most of the day's food from her garden and it was all delicious![ afternoon pictures - ] [ClickPic: Somer closeup on Sunday afternoon ]

Monday, 12 September

[ Somer's 1-Month Birthday today. Here are 2 BD pictures. ] [ClickPic: Somer 1 month old ] [ClickPic: Somer 1 month old ]A rainy project day. Larry and Chris got much of the railing done on the d3eck. Nicole made a batch of plum jam and I did masses of laundry. Chris and Nicole took us for a great dinner at Max and Irma's [ in Nelson ] and Somer slept like an angel through it. [ filed 14 Sep at Sandman Hotel, Richmond, BC ]

Tuesday, 13 September

A nice breakfast and liesurely leave-taking from Nicole, Chris and Somer and we headed out in the lessening drizzle. North to Balfour then Kaslo and through Nakusp to the Farquier Ferry [ClickPic: on Farquier Ferry ] and on to Vernon. As we approached Vernon the landscape became quite bleak. I can see why my mom didn't love it during WWII. It's very desert-like with a lot of sage brush. Kamloops was the same and to add insult to injury, there were no rooms available in town. We drove on to Cache Creek where we had a nice meal and comfortable night.

Wednesday, 14 September

Last day of our BC vacation! But what a great way to end it! Leaving Cache Creek we looped north to pick up Hwy 99 which we followed all the way south to Richmond. The scenery was rugged and beautiful. [ClickPic: Rugged Valley] The highway was terrifying for the first 80 kilometers or so. I made Larry drive that bit. [ClickPic: mountain view ] [ClickPic: mountain lake view ] [ClickPic: Duffy Lake ] We stopped often to admire the Fraser Canyon ( now we've seen both ends of it ) and then bits and pieces of Cayoosh Creek and the various water falls that feed it. Lillooet was really cute, but it was too early for lunch, so after a quick tour of main street we went on our way. [spectacular cliff-side driving looking down into deep canyons that Janice didn't want to talk about ] We cruised into Whistler just before noon and wandered the village for a bit before and after lunch. [ lunch at our regular Longhorn pub ] [ClickPic: at the Longhorn,Whistler]. Then the final run down the Sea-to-Sky hwy, with amazing Howe Sound on our right, through Vancouver traffic to the Sandman Hotel in Richmond. After checking in we found our way to the Avis office, \returned the car, walked back to the hotel and jouned the group for dinner.