Dead-End Detour

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: aborted adventureslakesvolcanoesWells Gray Provincial Parkstate parkspark planning • Places: Chasm Ecological Reserve Viewpoint Canim Beach Provincial Park Forest Service Road towards Flourmill Volcano/Mica Mountain

Imagine that you were in my position.

You're planning a long trip to Canada, opening with some days spent exploring parks and driving, and some days spent working. You're going to traverse a lot of mountain ranges, and there are a number of places for longer, overnight or multi-day hikes.

You already know that some of them, like the famous Berg Lake Trail are officially closed for the entire season. You hope that others will be open.

Your hopes are in vain; your plans, naive. Not long before your travel, every trail report, every scrap of information indicates that you're at least a month too early. Some of the roads to trailheads, even, are snowed in and inaccessible. (This is Canada in May after all.)

You're fine sticking to lowland, non-snowy trails, but you also were originally thinking of trying to do one of the longer hikes between Kamloops and Prince George. You have no set reservations between the two cities, since B.C. Provincial Parks prohibit campsite reservations for individual nights during holiday weekends, and Victoria Day happens to be in the middle.

Searching for longer, backpacking friendly hiking areas mainly leads you to results to the south of Kamloops -- the wrong direction.

Then, somewhere deep in a discussion thread in some untraceable corner of some social media platform or another, someone replies to a request for early season hiking suggestions nearish Prince George with a mention of "Flourmill Volcanoes."

Intriguing, eh?

It's in a corner of Wells Gray Provincial Park that is nearly inaccessible, down forest roads whose conditions are rumored to be impassable to most vehicles.

The day's first destination -- Chasm Ecological Reserve!
The day's first destination -- Chasm Ecological Reserve! open_in_full   info

But laying in a course there means stopping by a scenic canyon overlook, visiting a lake with a Turkish-looking name, and maybe having an excuse to visit the Mahood Lake section of Wells Gray Provincial Park with its less-visited Deception, Canim, and Mahood Falls.

Would you try it?

Obviously, I did, or I wouldn't have anything to write about...

The Battle Bluff Trail & A Less Frustrating Day in Kamloops

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: lakessunsetsmuseumstrainsbadlandspoliticsresidential schoolsEvery Child Matters • Places: Kamloops Indian Residential School Battle Bluff Trailhead

A derelict car along the Battle Bluff trail. 

Better, more spectacular, car-free views follow in the rest of the post.
A derelict car along the Battle Bluff trail.

Better, more spectacular, car-free views follow in the rest of the post.
open_in_full   info

My second day in Kamloops was another workday. I stayed in bed for a fair few hours, punching away at my laptop. Then, I emerged to make myself coffee.

I figured I could use the caffeine as I looked forward to the day ahead. I was going to get some good eats, hit up some local sights downtown, visit a nature preserve and do some hiking, make up my mind about my plans for the upcoming weekend and my first few days off, and pick up the supplies I'd need for my next few days camping.

In short, I was going to be busy!

Shopping Malls and Frustration in Kamloops

✍️ 🕑 May 18-19, 2022 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: riversautomotive foiblessunsetsparksborder crossingsAirbnbproselytizing • Places: Abbotsford Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC

In this post, I start my journey to Haida Gwaii. I travel from Seattle to Kamloops, and find myself not quite feelin' it, until I inevitably do. At which point, I immediately leave. I guess that's my MO.

(Though most of the actual feelin' it is reserved for the next Kamloops post. This is the frustration post.)

How did Steve end up taking a janky webcam selfie to show off this sick mall basement workspace to colleagues?

Guess ya got to read further!
How did Steve end up taking a janky webcam selfie to show off this sick mall basement workspace to colleagues?

Guess ya got to read further!

Towards the Beautiful Islands

✍️ 🕑 May-June 2022 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands

It feels like a world, and a pandemic away, but in June of 2019, I had the great pleasure of going on a road trip, camping around the Yukon with two good friends of mine. Together, we had a blast.

To fly from New York to Whitehorse, I had a few layovers. During the final stretch, from Vancouver to Whitehorse, the scenery was the most spectacular: craggly mountains meeting a stunning coastline for miles and miles.

And, though the Yukon was absolutely stunning and beautiful in its own right, when I flew over those mountain ranges for the first time, I couldn't help but feel some niggling doubt in the back of my mind. If British Columbia was so beautiful, why was I bothering going further North?

In the distance: a B.C. ferry boat, which could eventually take me from piece of land to another.
In the distance: a B.C. ferry boat, which could eventually take me from piece of land to another.

A Taste of Paradise at Mt. Rainier National Park

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: mountainssunsetsMt. Rainier National Parknational parkswildlife photographyground squirrelsmarmotsflowersmeadows • Places: Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park

Washington State's most famous and scenic mountain is, of course, Mt. Rainier. It's an active volcano covered in glaciers, a mere 60 miles or so from the city. If or when it erupts, it is likely to be catastrophic.

Besides that, it's the most prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. In other words, it's wayyy taller than its surroundings.

Given that Seattle residents can only see Mt. Rainier a little under one in four days per year, it's no wonder that Seattleites and tourists flock in droves to visit Mt. Rainier National Park, a place I skirted the edge of, but absolutely didn't otherwise visit because it's a long (~3.5 hr) drive and I'm lazy.

So, when a colleague asked about recommended hikes for wildflowers, and another colleague (V.) gave a strong recommendation the Skyline Trail, I knew I was interested. A few messages later, we overcame our mutual desire not to do the work of planning, and agreed on an afternoon hike. And on carpooling.

Mt. Rainier & Wildflowers!!!

(Or, a taste of some of the beauty that you'll find in this 'ere blog post.)
Mt. Rainier & Wildflowers!!!

(Or, a taste of some of the beauty that you'll find in this 'ere blog post.)