Friday, 20 January 2012

Two Chicks Go For a Snow Shoeing Adventure

Last week my neighbor and I thought we would go on a little snowshoe adventure to check out an abandoned chicken house that is along the river.  

It had snowed over night and the tree's were powdered in white and the snow was softly falling down.  

We passed a neighbors barn and had to stop and dream of the animals that we could fill it with, since neither of us has a barn, and can only dream at this time.

Then off we go, down the train tracks.

Leaving our tracks behind us and we continue along.

It was a real winter wonderland out there.  

It was so, so beautiful out there.  How could you not love a winters day surrounded by such splendor?

Pretty soon we were past the point where we should have turned off to go and check out the abandoned chickens house.  But it was so beautiful, that we thought, why not keep on going?  How far is the train tunnel, and canyon anyways?

Along the way there are some rock bluffs that the train tracks go through.  Small ferns dusted with snow and icicles adorned them.

We stopped here for a few seconds.

A pretty little waterfall in the snow.

I hear a train a comin'

It's rollin' 'round the bend...

And I ain't seen the sunshine...

Since I don't know when...

Peaking through the trees at the river.

There was a great big circle of ice and snow that was slowly swirling in the current of the river.  It was mesmerizing to watch it turn.

The water measuring station out in Usk.  So when you check to see what the water levels are doing in the Skeena River at Usk, this is were it is all coming from.

And then off we go on our trusty snow shoes again.

We come to the bottom of the Avalanche Slide.  By the end of winter there will be a big pile of snow here.  There are both natural avalanches and avalanches by controlled explosives knocking the snow off the mountain.

We come around a corner

The moss, plants and ferns were hanging with ice

This rock-ice wall was amazing! It had huge icicles hanging down.  It was lots of fun balancing the camera on a rock, setting the camera time and trying to run for the picture before the timer went.

Now there's determination at work to satisfy curiosity.  Up on a ledge, just out of reach was something metal showing.  If only she were a little taller!

Through the snow and a break in the tree's we catch a glimpse of  Ringbolt Island.  It's a very old area rich with history.  Ringbolt Island has 5 known petroglyphs on it.  One day I would like to be able to get across to the island and look for them.  Also along the banks there are big steel rings that had cables through them.  When the riverboats used to go up and down the river the currant was very strong and trecherous, and they would haul the boats through the canyon using these cables.  In 1907 the sternwheeler Mount Royal sunk in they canyon, and 6 lives were lost.

This is the historical site of The Village of Gitlaxdzawk.  I've read that there are 3 meanings given to the name,Gitlaxdzawk.  One being "People of the place where they steal canoe bottom boards", another as " People of the ravine" and yet another as "Fortress".  The village was thought to once have 300 people in it.  The People of Gitlaxdzawk along with the Gitsaex (across the river) operated a tole system in the kitselas canyon.  People from up river and the coast had to pay a tole to them to get through the canyon to trade.  People who refused to pay, had large boulders thrown down on their canoes (hence the name meaning "People of the place where they steal canoe bottom boards") Very interesting I think.  When the willow people (white settlers) came to the area, it contributed to the decline of the village because of the death told from small pox, they couldn't control the toll for the canyon as well as competition for natural resources.  The village was abandoned between 1866 and 1879.  

At last the train tunnel is in sight!  Yay!  We made it!

The train tunnel was completed in 1913.  By now the snow was really coming down.

Time for one last picture before we went home.  We climbed up on a ridge by the tunnel that over looks the river and Kitselas Canyon.  It is a beautiful sight to behold.  From up there you cold see the canyon, and Ringbolt Island.  There is archaeological evidence that the area has been inhabited for 5000 years.   

As I walk I like to contemplate the history of the area.  To think of the people who lived there, laughed, cried, fought, loved were born and died.  The day to day lives of people who lived here and feet walked the path so many years ago.

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