British Columbia – Canada

I returned from Canada about 4 weeks ago and promptly had to start University so I’ve been rather busy to say the least. I got off to a rather rough start, the first week i lived without lights and hot water, but it’s slowly coming together.  I don’t yet have my photo equipment here yet, but I’ve joined the university’s photo committee and was elected as treasurer so even in university i will not stop taking pictures.

My family decided, much like our Norway trip, to take a camper van across the country. This gave us slightly more flexibility when it concerned renting hotels and a little more security than a tent. In short we ended up taking the camper from Vancouver to the national parks of Banff and jasper, crossing the border to Alberta somewhere in between. Much to our regret however the weather didn’t seem to want to cooperate. The long drive to the parks yielded very nice weather and very nice views but upon reaching Banff national park we were greeted with gray sky’s and seemingly never ending rain. We spent much of the morning in the camper until at my dad and i were fed up with sitting in the camper and decided to venture out despite of the rains and take the long walk out to lake Louise. This being my first real glimpse of nature in Canada it was surprisingly similar to what i had in mind. Pine trees all over the place, a nice shallow creek in which you can just imagine the salmon swimming and the bears not far away attempting to catch these salmon. To top it off you could see the snow peaked mountains in the distance

Right outside the campground on the way to lake Louise

What struck me as being interesting on the walk to Lake Louise were the electrical fences surrounding the tent site. For those of you living in Canada this might appear to be the norm but I’m used to seeing similar fences used to keep cows in their pastures. The length we walked escapes me but the entire trip was well over 10km on a trail which was supposed to be an intermediate level. Considering i had spent 3-4 months doing none thing what so ever at home i think i didn’t do that badly.

One thing that many people who have been into photography for a while tell you is that if you have a fancy camera and a tripod you will attract attention. I found this to be especially true of lake Louise where there were plenty of tourists and just about everyone had a digital camera of one kind or another. Even a fair share of DSLRs. So having a camera doesn’t really warrant any attention, but attach a tripod to your camera and everybody will look at you or at least attempt to steal a glance.  I was also approached by people asking if i could take family pictures.

Lake Louise.

As for the lake itself, well its what you would have expected from one of Canada’s most beautiful lakes. The lake has a blueish/greenish tint to it and isn’t very transparent but that adds to the beauty of the lake i feel. Much like the rest of the area we were in, the lake was surrounded by majestic mountains on just about all sides and on the opposite side of the lake was a glacier. Despite the area being a tourist trap, if you go in the evening then the majority of the people will be gone. You’ll run into even less people if you take the short walk to the far side of the lake.

The first few days in Canada were wet, rainy and miserable, so the day after the lake Louise hike was the first day it wasnt horrible to walk around the camp site and that’s exactly what i did. In the process i discovered an animal i had never quite seen before, namely the Colombian Ground Squirrel.

Colombian Ground Squirrel

I find it most horrible that these creatures were named squirrel as for some reason or another no one quite cares for the more common red squirrel and i don’t quite like putting him in the same category,  It seems to make him a lot less exotic than i found him to be. Though in truth they were relatively common animals in Canada.

Next on our itinerary was Jasper national park but of course we had to take the road the lead us through Ice fields Parkway which is said to be one of the most stunning drives around and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. Incidentally the picture below the heading was taken in Ice fields parkway

Our next campground was Jasper and is around the point in time where i start realizing that, sure the parks in Canada are beautiful but i always feel like civilization is never far away. This would probably be one of the main drawbacks to camper vans. Our approach would have probably consisted of more than enough nature for the average human, but i think I’m the tent camping, backpacking in the wilderness type of guy. I’d at least certainly like to try that one day. Either way Jasper seemed to give us better weather and a little more time to roam around the area. This in turn led to my first sunset in Canada which color wise was nothing spectacular but certainly added to the already beautiful Canadian landscape

After the national parks of Jasper and Banff everything else seems to have blended into one big mess so i cant for the life of me remember where else we went and what we saw where.

Due to the short amount of time we had in Canada we couldn’t stay in one place for very long which was a shame and meant allot of driving. The upside to this of course is that if you go early enough in the morning you’ve got much better chances at seeing wildlife. We ended up seeing Elk and deer on the early morning drives, as well as a few dead animals but i wont go into that.

The elk you see was the first large animal we saw in the wild in Canada on one of our drives (together with its herd) so naturally we were ecstatic. Incidentally these elk which we had almost assumed where something of a rarity considering we hadnt seen them before on the trip ended up visiting us in the campground, my dad spotted them on the way back from the showers.

I was a bit of an idiot and forgot to turn off the bracketing on my camera so out of every 3 shots 1 was overexposed, 1 was underexposed and the other one was exposed properly. So out of the pictures i took only 33% out of them were properly exposed and out of that 33% only one or two of them came out nicely. A lesson for next time.

Incidentally I’ve already used two of my photos for a presentation in University.

The pictures were used to illustrate how photos only show part of a situation. Which is ironic if you think about it. Anyway using the first picture we asked the class to describe what they thought the environment of that deer was liked based on the photo. General comments suggested that the deer lived in nature relatively far from human influence. We proceeded to show them the second picture which was taken seconds after the first one and shows a truck carrying logs taken from a deforested section of the woods right around the bend.

The final place we stayed i remember the best probably because it was my favorite of the places we stayed at in Canada. This place was Telegraph Cove. Telegraph cove is situated on Vancouver island and is one of the coolest towns I’ve ever visited. The town itself is rather small and is almost entirely built out of wood. What i found interesting is that the docks were made out of wood as well and were designed to rise with the tide, which was several feet.

Above is a picture that shows the very edge of the town. to the left of the photo is a museum and the bit you see across the water is a boardwalk of sorts. The boat you see there is the Gikumi, also constructed out of wood, and takes you on whale watching tours. We took this tour one afternoon and despite the horrible weather it was a incredibly fantastic trip. The tour takes you out to see Orcas, or killer whales, but if your lucky you’ll also see all kinds of other animals. We saw, stellar sea lions, bald eagles, sea otters, 2 different kinds of porpoises, a minke whale (from really far off and we only caught a small glimpse) and of course Orcas.

These are just a few of the photos taken on the trip. Even though we got very close to the whales at one point taking good pictures of them close up was difficult. My 55-200mm lens only barely made it on many occasions. Despite that however i think i got some good shots. In telegraph cove we also took kayak tours twice. One consisted of 2 hours and the other a 4 hour trip. The first trip was by far the most spectacular but really it was just pure luck. We had the benefit of good weather and were only a few hundred meters from the town when we spotted several hundred dolphins.  There were dolphins everywhere some of them jumping a several meters into the air and passing under our boat. If we would take our kayak and go as fast as we could we would get dolphins swimming right beside us which was incredibly neat. The other kayak trip was done in pretty miserable weather so we were quite happy to get out of the kayaks after 4 hours in them

That more or less concludes our trip to Canada. After Telegraph cove we headed back to Vancouver itself where we spent a day in the City and then the next day we flew home.

If you are interested in seeing all the pictures posted online that i have in canada visit

Oh hello

3 Responses to “British Columbia – Canada”

  1. Tnelson Says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here.

  2. JimmyBean Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  3. Karen FB Says:

    Lovely site, lovely shots. Know your photos from Eva K, a friend from FaceBook.
    Bravo, continue comme ça.

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