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1988 Motor trip to BC <)))


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Motor Trip to B.C. 1988 *** Merle and Derek with Adam to Long Beach, Vancouver Island.
* Plus, Mt. St. Helen's, Mt. Rainier, Yoho, Lake O'Hara, Dinosaur P.Park

88-08-03 - Georgian Bay, Chi-chi-maun ferry. !Looking back toward Tobermory from the deck of the Chi-chi-maun ferry. !Outward bound to Manitoulin Island. !Heading into the sunset. The "woman of mystery" stands pointing her camera at the Canadian flag.

88-08-03 - Georgian Bay, Chi-chi-maun ferry. !Merle in front of the ferry's smokestack. !Derek's own woman of mystery.

88-08-05 - Waterfall near Wawa. !A waterfall near Wawa in a park set up by a local service club. Rain and drizzle follow us across northern Ontario. !No sign yet of the prairie drought this far east.

88-08-07or08 - Winnipeg. !A huge jump out of the Ontario rainforest into the centre of Winnipeg: the sunny corner of Portage and Main -- the city's hub.

88-08-08 - Winnipeg, Assiniboine Park Zoo. The Assiniboine Park zoo has a homey feel. !Not so vast as the Metro Toronto Zoo, but a good collection, and easy to see in an afternoon.

88-08-08 - Winnipeg, zoo, flamingos. Anxiety attack: did we remember to put away the garden hose before leaving St. Catharines? Or is it hiding in the grass somewhere, waiting to trip the postman?

88-08-08 - Winnipeg. These pelicans can't seem to pick up fish in the shallow end of the pool. They might at least try pushing it into deep water so they could get their beaks under it. Instead, they thrash around getting nowhere for half an hour. Inability to solve this simple problem doesn't say much for the birds' intelligence.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. !York boats on the Red River. From this point, you can navigate unimpeded up to Lake Winnipeg. This view looks south toward the city.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. A path leads up from the river bank to the gate of Lower Fort Garry. A visitor in the old days would have seen the place from this angle first. Mind you don't leave your luggage behind in the York boat.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. Parks Canada animators dress up to impersonate typical citizens of the pioneer period. This could be Governor's lady leaving her residence for a stroll into the nearby settlement. The fort was completed in 1837.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. Merle is pulling a Red River cart. It's every bit as rickety as the descriptions you may have read. No iron is used in the contruction and no grease on the axles. You could hear them squeaking and groaning from miles away.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. The Governor's House in the middle of the compound is an island of refinement. Pleasant lawns and gardens lure the present-day visitor. Excuse us for suspecting that things weren't so gracious-looking in the days of the fur trade.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. !Bottlescape in the cellar. Or is this the remains of the Governor's liquor cabinet?

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. This storehouse inside the fort would have held bales of furs and tradegoods of the period. Parks Canada has supplied realistic imitations of pioneer tools and implements. The lofts smell of hemp, tar and grain, the way country hardware stores used to.

88-08-07 - Lower Fort Garry. Merle peers through the fortifications. Someone commented that these loopholes in the walls of Lower Fort Garry might be more dangerous to those inside than to an attacker on the outside. Because of the taper you'd get better visibility looking in.

88-08-09 - Fort La Reine, near Portage La Prairie. At Fort La Reine, near Portage La Prairie, Merle works a pump outside a relocated trapper's cabin. This local museum is well stocked, and right on the highway west from Winnipeg. The building appears to have a concrete roof.

88-08-09 - Fort La Reine. !The windjammer of the prairies. Looks considerably more high-tech than the Red River cart we saw at Fort Garry.

88-08-10 - Regina. !Regina, capital of Saskatchewan. Merle sits on a bench looking out on Lake Wascana with the provincial legislature in background. Regina is a pleasant low-rise town with lots of parks and trees.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. !The provincial legislature in Edmonton, Alberta. !Obviously the capitol of a much richer province than Saskatchewan.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. !Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day. Except for a few puffy white ones sent up for the tourists.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. These flower gardens are on the opposite side of the provincial legislature facing the North Saskatchewan River.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. The Edmonton convention centre and the pink federal building in the background are also on the bank of the Saskatchewan River. The Convention Centre entrance is that glass enclosure on the left flowing down the river bank.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. Glass towers seem to be the new standard in urban chic.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. !The federal building again. My guess is that the Feds had to put up something costly to impress the oil-patch millionaires.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. !Cloud reflections in a glass, darkly.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. Blue ice, like the kind you find at the very heart of a glacier.

88-08-11 - Edmonton. It's not a stairway to paradise. Perhaps a stepping-stone to success, or a set of rungs on the corporate ladder. Maybe even a vertical rat-race.

88-08-11 - Wabamun Lake Prov. Pk.. After Edmonton we camp at Wabamun Lake, Alberta. !A relief from the architectural overkill of the province's capital. After a stroll into the village in the cool of the evening, Derek buys licorice for Merle at Cohoon's store.

88-08-11 - Wabamun Lake Prov. Pk.. !Sunset on the shore of Wabamun Lake. It all seems peaceful and unspoiled. But in the far distance, trains carry coal to the local power-generating plant.

88-08-11 - Wabamun Lake Prov. Pk.. !The Common Fireweed [Scot/124].

88-08-12 - Hinton (?). !At Hinton, Alberta, this nostalgic tribute to the vanishing little house on the prairie. The town as named after an early railway tycoon, not my uncle Ted, who lived out here.

88-08-12 - near Jasper. Mountain sheep on the Trans-Canada Highway make up our welcoming committee to the Rocky Mountains.

88-08-12 - Jasper. Jasper's peaked roofs match the mountain backdrop. Towns like this always seem to develop a Swiss or Bavarian flavour.

88-08-12 - Jasper. Parks Canada tries hard to keep tourists interested in our own national heritage. This animator is dressed in voyageur costume. She explains that Jasper was once the depot for all trans-mountain freight. It was brought here in canoes and flat-bottom boats from the east, or by pack-train from the west.

88-08-12 - Robson Meadows campground. Mt Robson leaps 12,969 feet skyward behind Robson Meadows campground. Someone told us of a guide who'd journeyed past here 30 times in his career and had only seen the top of the mountain once. It's the highest point in the Canadian Rockies.

88-08-12 - Robson Meadows. !A view of Mt. Robson up the Robson River, a branch of the Fraser. We decide to hike to the base of the mountain.

88-08-12 - Robson Meadows. The trail passes through an area of rain-forest growing thickly with these large, thorny berry plants. They're closest in appearance to the Thimbleberry. Near here, we're nearly trampled by a moose. It suddenly breaks out of cover and gallops across the trail right behind us.

88-08-12 - Mt. Robson. At end of our hike we stand on the shore of Kinney Lake wishing we'd brought our backpacks. Berg lake is only a few miles further on. Wilderness camping is permitted. The lake gets its name from the small ice-bergs that sometimes break off the snout of a nearby glacier.

88-08-12 - Mt. Robson. !A closer view of Mt. Robson with the clouds gathering. Looks like we got our pictures just in time.

88-08-13 - Mt. Robson. Merle symbolically rinses her handkerchief in the Fraser River. Will the salt of a mother's tears reach Adam in Vancouver before she herself does? For God's sake, Adam, write a little more often.

88-08-14 - Kamloops. Kamloops lies at the junction of the Thompson and N. Thompson Rivers. The surrounding hills are covered with dry grassland and patches of forest. Seems more like the American west than eastern Canadians usually expect.

88-08-13 - Paul Lake Provincial Park near Kamloops. Paul Lake Provincial Park is a favourite picnic and swimming area for local residents. Up in the hills, the snow collects more heavily and lasts longer. The extra moisture promotes forest growth. You wouldn't know you're in the middle of a semi-desert area a few miles away.

88-08-14 - Kamloops area. Like this, for instance. The sage-brushy, arid quality of the countryside is apparent. Despite our committment to chlorophyll, we have to admit being attracted by the wide-open spaces. In earlier days, you might have ridden your horse as far as the eye could see. In northern Ontario, that would be about 30 ft.

88-08-14 - Kamloops area. When the sagebrush reaches this point, the value of the land for pasture goes way down. Overgrazing encourages sagebrush by killing off the bunch grass that normally grows here.

88-08-14 - en route from Kamloops w. on TCH.. A patch of motor trouble on the route west from Kamloops. The tow-truck arrives right after this picture is taken. Seems a couple of ladies moving west had just stepped into the nearby grocery store when their truck blew up.

88-08-14 - en route. !Kamloops Lake, looking east. !Again the desert-like landscape with a few patches of irrigated green.

88-08-14 - en route. !Looking west, with the C.P.R. tracks down below. This is just after the "lock-the-keys-in-the-car" incident. Merle is feeling a bit dissatisfied with Derek's "boulder-through-the-window" handling of the affair. A small boat skims up the lake.

88-08-14 - Thompson canyon.. !A C.P.R train in the Thompson canyon. You see more of these hopper cars out west. A lot of the rail cargo in that part of the country consists of grain and minerals.

88-08-14 - Thompson canyon. On a narrow, winding road we pull over to watch a succession of inflatable rafts bring thrill-seekers down the river. Each is powered by large outboard engines. The boats undulate like water snakes as they navigate the waves and adapt to changing water conditions.

88-08-14 - Fraser canyon. Merle overlooks the Fraser River near Hell's Gate. The road itself must be almost as exciting as any raft trip. The traffic is high-speed and impatient, and at times, that guard-rail looks none too substantial.

83-??-?? - Vancouver. !Lotus-land at last. !Vancouver's English Bay towers from a point near the Marine Museum. After a night of camping-out on the foggy top of Mt. Seymour, we begin scouting out Adam in Vancouver.

88-08-15 - Vancouver, 1855 W. 16th Ave.. The address he'd given us didn't look too promising at first. Months of junk mail had accumulated, making the building look disused. Merle does a meditation on the bust of Wandering Odysseus. Eventually we go round the back to look for another entrance. There we find Adam in the kitchen cooking porridge.

88-08-15 - Vancouver. He shows us around the old homestead ...

88-08-15 - Vancouver. This is the tent he's sharing with a friend.

88-08-15+ - Vancouver. !Chris Carliss. They both have the unshorn mountain-goat look of tree planters from the remote interior of B.C. They are now working for a landscaping contractor and camping in the backyard to avoid friction with the other inhabitants of the house. We get permission to use the wash-room and put up our own tent.


88-08-16 - Vancouver. Waiting for Adam to sort out his plans, Merle and Derek visit the U.B.C. Anthropology Museum. This is the back, facing away from the road. The galleries contain a must-see collection of Coastal Indian masks and totems.

88-08-16 - Vanc. Anth.Mus., totem.. Life is a totem pole.

88-08-16 - Vanc. Anth.Mus., totem detail.. !With the lower orders holding up scholars, politicians, lawyers and huge birds with great bloody claws.

88-08-16 - Vanc.Anth.Mus. ceremonial vessel. This ceremonial vessel may once have been used in the Potlatch Ceremony.

88-08-16 - Vanc. Anth.Mus., totems lined up. The totems convey Indian myths to those who can read the carved imges. But they also stand for wood, the forest primeval in a way that even casual visitors can appreciate. Strolling beside them is like walking through a grove of giant trees.

88-08-16 - Vanc. Anthrop.Mus, fig. w. box. Compare these to the smaller, more hand-sized pieces of the Plains and Woodland Indians, and the Inuit. The monumental carvings of the west coast are in a special category. They seem more on a par with the African and Oceanic art that started to inspire our own artists round the end of the last century.

88-08-16 - Vanc.Anth. Mus M. looking in wind.. This picture re-enacts Richard Peters' nudist adventure with a female health-food freak on Wreck Beach which is right behind the museum. He'd just returned and was peering in this window draped in a beach-towel he'd stolen from the lady when he thought he heard footsteps behind him ...

88-08-16 - Vanc. M. w. frog eating out of hand. We're not quite sure whether Merle's got the frog eating out of her hand or whether she's cheerfully stuffing the poor critter down the monster's gullet.

88-08-16 - Vanc.No.1 gun escape hatch. Not many museums have this much parking lot security. No.1 gun is located near the back of the anthropology Museum. During World War II, the bluffs overlooking Wreck Beach were fortified against invasion. Tunnels and concrete bunkers still remain.

88-08-16 - Vanc. U.B.C. bot. gdn.. We visited the U.B.C. Botanical Garden on a cloudy day in August. Late summer flowers are at their peak. We begin to make plans to move out west.

88-08-16 - Vanc. U.B.C. Bot.Gdn.. The Coneflowers are good, but ...

88-08-16 - Vanc.. The Hydrangeas are excellent. A wall of purple, 8 ft. high and about 30 ft. long.

88-08-16 - Vanc.. !Clematis.

88-08-16 - Vanc.. The Physick Garden contains edible and medicinal herbs.

88-08-16 - Vanc.. Would someone please tell us what this is? Mid August is apparently quite late in the plant's season because everything has dried to a husk. !An example of Nature imitating abstract art. (sea holly?)

88-08-16 - Vanc.. !A small, red lily alongside the path.

88-08-15 - Vanc.. This weeping juniper, larch or whatever, at the entrance has at least doubled in size since we first saw it in 1983. On that occasion we were staying on the U.B.C. campus for a Learned Societies Conference.

88-08-15 - Horseshoe Bay. Adam finally makes up his mind to come with us for a holiday. We visit the ferry dock at Horseshoe Bay to check out schedules to Vancouver Island.

88-08-17 - Vanc. Is. ferry. On board the ferry, the camera-club photographer has plenty of compositions to choose from.

88-08-17 - Vanc. Is. ferry. We pass these cloud-hung peaks as we leave the mainland and sail through the Gulf Islands.

- Vanc. Island, route N. driftwood, clouds. On the way north, up the east coast of Vancouver Island, the weather turns sunny. Back over on the mainland, cloud formations pile up against the hills.

88-08-17 - Campbell River, fish. boats and cloud. At Campbell River we turn inland.

88-08-17 - Strathcona Prov. Pk. campsite. !Back again under the clouds at Strathcona Provincial Park in the interior of the island. We make camp late in the day in a grove of huge cedar and douglas fir trees.

88-08-17 - Strathcona Pk first view of lake. Immediately behind the campsite, rain showers play up and down Buttle Lake.

88-08-18+ - Strat. Pk lake at dawn. By dawn the situation has completely changed.

88-08-18+ - Strath. Pk. clouds on mountain. We flat-landers are forever seeing clouds as something "way up there", beyond our own territory. You have to be a mountain dweller to really see how clouds interact with the terrain. These come rolling down the mountain side toward us, then evaporate.

88-08-19+ - Strathcona Pk. M. inside hollow tree. You hardly need a tent at a campsite like this. Only, who wants to sleep standing up.

88-08-19 - Strat. Pk., Myra Falls. At Myra Falls, the little mermaid from St. Catharines waits for her kayaker to come over the brink.

88-08-19 - Myra Falls Falls with rainbow..

88-08-18 - Strath. Pk.. Our one serious attempt to get above the treeline takes us up the Flower Ridge trail. Adam develops foot problems with his bargain-basement workboots and we have to settle for this view of a mining operation up the valley.

88-08-19 - Gold River. !The Satanic mills of Gold River. The workers live in a company town well back of and above the fumes. The smoke plume travels down the local bays and inlets and fumigates trees and wildlife several hundred meters up the mountainsides.


88-08-20 - Cathedral Grove. Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Prov. Park is the only know antidote to Gold River. Hordes of tourists visit this small park, but when they get beneath the shelter of these enormous trees, their voices hush like people in church.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. MandA spanning trunk. Actually we cheated a bit on this one. It's really a double tree. The trunk splits into two crowns a few feet above the top of the picture. Some of the trees here are nearly 800 years old.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. Backlit trees and plants.. No stained glass window, no altar cloth could improve on the furnishings of this cathedral.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. Giant Douglas fir.. A few Douglas Firs look big enough for mountain climbing. This one is right beside the parking lot, murmuring in a low voice: "No littering, no ghetto-blasters, and no smoking."

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. Decaying wood and ferns.. Colours you might never blend together artificially, seem rich and exciting in a natural context.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. M. between two trees.. The bulk of these trees takes them out of the category of mere vegetables. They become monuments to be put alongside tall buildings, rocky cliffs, hills and mountains.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. M. & D. in hollow tree.. This one is actually big enough to make camp in.

88-08-20 - Cath. Gr. Backlit tree-trunks. Leaning against a huge trunk, Merle is overcome with awe and wonder. Or perhaps, just resting her neck from all the goggling upward.

88-08-21 - Long Beach, Schooner C.G.. We reach our goal on Vancouver Island -- the fabled Long Beach near Tofino. The sign says "Campground Full" but we park and head down to the shore anyway. Turns out the sign always says "Campground Full". Its just a Parks Canada trick to keep the place from getting too crowded.

88-08-21 - Long Beach M. with backpack.. Using backpacks we carry tents, stove, sleeping bags, food and clothing down a trail to the beach.

88-08-21 - Long Beach campsite. Eventually, we locate a campsite with good landscaping and not too many ghetto-blasters. The protruding horse's head serves as a landmark to guide us homeward following our excursions on the sand.

88-08-21 - Long Beach. Adam finds some driftwood and we settle down beside the campfire.

88-08-21 - Long Beach M. on beach at sunset.. Everything is photogenic here, even dead seaweed.

88-08-21 - Long Beach M, beach, moon. A Haida moon looks down.

88-08-22 - Long Beach d. w. sea-onion. Next morning, Derek is up early practicing his comedy routines. This is his impersonation of a sea-elephant with a sea-onion for a proboscis. The sea-onion is the root end of a tough whip-like sea plant.

88-08-22 - Long Beach Adam sunning. The audience seems more interested in their own beachcomber chores. Adam is in intensive training for the Tanning Olympics.

88-08-22 - Long Beach M in tent. Merle is working out for the Romance Novel Marathon event.

88-08-22 - Long Beach. Derek sets off down the beach to get a view from the water. That's our vacation village at the edge of the trees. More tents lie beyond the point on the right.

88-08-22 - Long Beach sea anenomes. The sea anenomes seem to be filling up with sand. Should the conscientious nature lover find a toothpick to help them clean out their teeth? Or don't they care?

88-08-22 - Long Beach starfish. Derek wonders if the colour of starfish has something to do with sex./Dear/boy, answers a heavenly voice, everything at Long Beach has something to do with sex. Perhaps that's why these two are oblivious to the fact that the tide's gone out. How time flies while you're having fun.

88-08-22 - Long Beach. These pools in the igneous rock along the beach have the look of a miniature landscape.

88-08-22 - Long Beach waves coming in. The waves roll in like thunder out of China cross the bay. !Far across the bay. But this is the Pacific, remember. So China must be out there somewhere.

88-08-22 - Long Beach Adam. !Adam, sunning, side view. Well, not much seems to have changed while Derek's been away. Must say, the lad is looking healthier than we've ever seen him.

88-08-22 - Long Beach M cracks the whip. Derek finally convinces Merle to abandon her reading and go on a walk. Here she demonstates a neat trick. Can you crack the whip alphabetically?

88-08-22 - Long Beach. This is why Long Beach is called long.

88-08-22 - Long Beach sandcastle. Further along the sand, day trippers and car campers have a section of their own.

88-08-22 - Long Beach M. and swooping kite.. A boy with a kite demonstrates his skill so Derek can take pictures. Careful, Merle, don't want to get pollenated by mistake.

88-08-22 - Long Beach M and sand turtle. The builder of this sand-sculture has captured one of the great Indian myths. The Mandans, who lived in dome-shaped earth lodges on the banks of the Missouri, believed the earth was really the back of a giant turtle swimming in the cosmic sea. Actually, we believe it too, at least while living on Long Beach.

88-08-22 - Long Beach view from tent door. Back at camp, we assume weird poses to re-affirm our love affair with the 1960s. Back then, this place was an unorganized colony of hippies, druggies and naked sun worshippers.

88-08-22 - Long Beach A. behind log. Guess what colour swimsuit the lad is or is not wearing.

88-08-22 - Long Beach. At dusk Adam composes a picture of the alpenglow. The peaks near Ucluelet have been pretty heavily logged, so don't look too closely. Might spoil the idyllic image.

88-08-22 - Long Beach A on tree root. Adam the Red contemplates a voyage of discovery to the Orient. Remember the code of the Vikings, son, first loot, then burn. Avoid doing it the other eay round. That would be the road to poverty.

88-08-22or23 - Long Beach M. reading on beach. Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flows ... the plot.

88-08-22or23 - Long Beach alpenglow. The alpenglow finally tip-toes to bed in the west, and so do we.

88-08-24 - Long Beach blustery departure. Our departure is cold and windy. The air is filled with flying sand. We keep our cameras well covered and eat gritty porridge. Time's up anyway. We head south to Gold Stream Park near Victoria.

88-08-24 - Goldstream Prov. Pk. Niagara Falls. This trickle on Niagara Creek is called -- you guessed it, Niagara Falls.

88-08-25 - Victoria, Empress H. & waterfront. Next day we head into Victoria.

88-08-25 - Victoria. On the steps of the Empress Hotel, Adam invites us in for drinks. The bus-boys in the lounge wear safari jackets and do their best to look like holdovers from the British Empire. Gin and tonic? Thanks, several. Cheerful? Very.

88-08-25 - Victoria, Leg build. yacht basin. The Provincial Legislature building is still located opposite the yacht mooring basin.

88-08-26 - Fort Rodd Hill, c.d. gun. !A coastal defense gun at Fort Rodd Hill opposite Esquimalt Naval Base.

88-08-26 - Fort Rodd Hill old cannons. The fort was in use from the 1890s to the end of World War II. It's one of the few examples remaining in Canada from this late period. A coastal defense fort primarily, but it has landward defences as well. An early analogue computer was used for tracking enemy ships. Fortunately, none appeared.

88-08-26 - Fort Rodd Hill, lighthouse, Esquimalt. Fisgard Lighthouse has a view of Esquimalt Naval Base. The 3 ships on the horizon probably represent about 75 percent of Canada's naval effectiveness on the we't coast.

88-08-26 - Fort Rodd Hill light house w. balcony. Inside the lighthouse is a museum of nautical history. The object in the window is an essential piece of navigation, and emergency equipment for the lonely mariner on the seas of life.

88-08-26 - Butchart Gardens v. from elev walk. We visit Butchart Gardens with Adam. Looks like a helluva lot more annuals than we remember from 1983. Hope they're not going for cheap thrills at the expense of long-lasting perennials.

88-08-26 - Butchart Gardens fountain. The gardens were created out of an old quarry. The fountain varies its pattern every few minutes.

88-08-26 - Butchart Gardens. !A Monkey-puzzle tree. It's a puzzle how the monkey can get up it, since each branch is covered with sharp scales pointing outward.

88-08-26 - Butchart Gardens Adam and fushias. Our west coast philosopher smiles inscrutably. !In harmony with nature at last. The wisps of his beard seem to match the stamens of the hanging flowers.

88-08-26 - Butchart Gardens reflecting sphere. !A neat way to get a family portrait without a tripod. But, oh, if it were solid glass, the weight of that reflecting ball in the camera bag.

88-08-28 - Fort Canby, Washington. We say goodbye to Adam and head south to the mouth of the Columbia at Fort Canby, Washington. This was the last stop in James Fielding's historic journey across North america. Masquerading as an American, he took ship here for the South Pacific, accompanied by his paramour, Catherine Montague.

88-08-28 - Fort Clatsop, Oregon. !Fort Clatsop, Oregon. The Department of the Interior recreation of Lewis and Clark's wintering place in 1805-6.

88-08-28 - Fort Clatsop, park animator on bench. Park animators play the roles of Lewis and Clark's hardy frontiersmen.

88-08-28 - Fort Clatsop. And women. This would probably be Sacajawea, the heroic Indian woman who accompanied them as guide. Inside, the rooms seem dark and smokey, but a fort like this kept everyone alive till spring. Sacajawea had a baby on the trip, as well as a husband, Charbonneau, who is remembered chiefly for being a bit of a ninny.

- On our way to see Mt. Rainier we pass Mt. St. Helens. The map shows an access road, so we detour for a look. The blown-out side of crater is just visible on the upper horizon when we arrive. Morning mists still swirl over the high ridges near Spirit Lake.

88-08-29 - Later in the day, the clouds part and we get this view from a rest stop on the motor road. This gives a clearer view of the blown-out side of the crater over a devastated ridge in the foreground. !Looking roughly S.W.

88-08-29 - Even nearby ridges and valleys not in a direct line of sight were totally devastated. In places, the path of the fire-storm can be traced by noting the direction that the fallen trunks are pointing. Blown down logs cover the entire area as far as the eye can see.

88-08-29 - Mt.St. H. - M. holding giant toothpick The whole district was swept clear, leaving only upended logs like this Paul Bunyan toothpick.

88-08-29 - Mt.S.H. - cleanup and reforestation In the central area, cleanup and reforestation are slowly proceeding. Fireweed has spread. Fallen timber has been removed and replanted trees have already taken hold. In another decade, these slopes will be patchy with shoulder-high trees. In two decades, large areas should be completely swathed in green.

88-08-29 - This winding mountain road leads to a viewing area over the ridge. This devastated terrain has a fascination, perhaps even a beauty. The cause was "natural", though the result is like a clear-cut or a forest fire which I find truly ugly. Part of the beauty is in the long vistas, now unhampered by trees.

88-08-29 - Pink fireweed seems to thrive in the volcanic ash. Pebbles of pumice lie everywhere, inches or even yards deep. Megatons of it. A sign tells you not to remove any of it for souvenirs.

88-08-29 - Silhouettes of burnt trees mark the boundary of the devastation zone. A few hundred yards beyond this point, the forest looks untouched.

88-08-29 - Packwood, Wash. backlit tent We camp for the night among old-growth trees. Our tent is lit by one stray sunbeam getting through the branches.

88-08-30 - !Mt. Rainier, a first view from the highway.

88-08-30 - !Sunrise national park service centre, located on the N.E. side of the mountain at 6400' altitude. !Parking lot amid alpine meadows and late-blooming wildflowers. It's about mid-morning. The weather is perfect, the sun warm. We know we have a memorable day ahead of us and it's hardly even begun.

88-08-30 - Merle sizes up the climbing opportunities from near the trailhead at Sunshine. Here we have the same far-flung vistas as Mt. St. Helen's, plus the natural desolation of high altitude. But here the plant communities of forest and grassland are in natural balance, creating a sense of harmony and eternal peace.

88-08-30 - !Indian paintbrush. {Scot/48}

88-08-30 - !Higher up the trail now, above the last alpine pastures. !Still lots of flowers. !Clear differences between devastation and desolation. This landscape hasn't been denuded by man or by nature. Contrast this to Mt. St. Helen's, where the young trees were planted in rows. Here, each plant grows where it likes.

88-08-30 - The trail crosses a scree slope, rising steadily. It's one of those situations where the journey is as interesting as the destination. Come to think of it, what do we know about our destination? It's only shown as a series of concentric contour lines on the map.

88-08-30 - Frozen Lake is the water supply for the service area below.

88-08-30 - The snowbank is laced with red "watermelon" algae. It tastes somewhat fruity. However, I'm sceptical of my own taste buds in these situations. Water, and probably ice as well, taste sweet to my tongue whenever enjoyable outdoor exertion makes me thirsty.

88-08-30 - The trail gets more rugged. !Nothing but glacial debris now. The few plants pick their locations carefully for optimum sunshine, moisture and shelter.

88-08-30 - !Views N. and N.E. over alpine meadows and trails. A network of trails encircles Mt. Rainier. We meet a man and woman who have walked halfway round the peak. The entire circle can be done in about 10 days, so we're told.

88-08-30 - !The final leg of our chosen route, looking up Burroughs Mountain, a foothill of Mt. Rainier.

88-08-30 - View back along the trail toward Frozen Lake and the red snowbank.

88-08-30 - !Dwarf Lupins, or Silky Lupins. {Scot/146} !Cheery little things. !Heartwarming, to see that strenuous effort is sometimes rewarded. Plants like this are real individuals -- hardy adventurers of the vegetable world. A status never dreamed of by the common herd of forest trees and meadow grasses.

88-08-30 - We reach the highest summit of Burroughs Mtn, 7400', looking S.W. toward Steamboat Prow on Mt. Rainier. Behind the upper inverted "V" lies Camp Schurman, basecamp for summit climbers.

88-08-30 - !Nowhere to go but down again. We take a rest and eat lunch.

88-08-30 - The summit is marked by this round cairn. We seem to be above the level of the clouds on the horizon.

88-08-30 - !Creeping Beardtongue {Scot/140}

88-08-30 - !On the way down, a different route: lakes 3 different shades of green. A branch of White Creek emerges from a patch of ice in the upper right-hand corner.

88-08-30 - The snout of the Emmons Glacier feeds these lakes. It lies on the N.E. flank of Mt. Rainier.

88-08-30 - !A final view back toward the summit through stunted spruce. We're now decending below the treeline again.

88-08-30 - !Mountain Sorrel {Scot/126}

88-08-30 - The Sunrise service area is in the meadow at the upper left.

88-08-30 - Avalanches have cut swathes through the dark forest on the opposite side of the valley.

88-08-30 - The terrain surrounding Sunrise is a natural playground for the hiker. Years ago the valley on the left held youth camps and lodges. The "wild is beautiful" philosophy has taken hold nowadays. A good thing for us, though it restricts the numbers of people who are prepared to come up here.

88-08-30 - This man-made outlook makes a good destination for a modest hour's stroll from the parking lot. But you have to go above the tree-line, and under your own steam, to really experience the sense of liberation that altitude brings.

88-08-30 - Near the service area are a few lush Alpine meadows surounded by spruce trees. Unlike the surrounding area, this sheltered spot is well-watered and supports familiar varieties of flowers.

88-08-30 - !A staff residence for parks workers at Sunrise. On the left is the interpretive centre.

88-08-31 - Columbia R. We resume our route northward, following the valley of the Columbia. The river flows through a canyon at this point and the surrounding terrain is arid desert.

88-08-31 - Columbia R. Reflections. Taking advantage of the sunshine, apples and grapes are grown for the supermarkets of the east. Agriculture would be nearly impossible without irrigation. Public money spent on it could probably be claimed as an unfair subsidy if Niagara farmers would take their case before the Free Trade Tribunal.

88-09-01 - !At Kelowna, B.C., a waterfront monument to the history of navigation on Okanagan Lake.

88-09-01 - Kelowna, B.C. A paddle wheel steamer takes tourists for a ride. The paddle wheel is only cosmetic.

88-09-01 - !Kalamalka Lake, Coldstream valley. This is one of those rare scenic views that combine all the important elements: mountains, water, forest, valley, habitation, cultivated fields. Standing here, I have fantasies of being some wild, mountain man gazing covetously down on civilization below me.

88-09-01 - En route to Rogers Pass, loggers burn slash. This plume follows us for miles, turning the air pink. I'm not sure what the justification for slash-burning really is. Whatever forestry people say about fire prevention and the like, I suspect it's done at least partly to tidy up clear-cuts so tree-huggers like me won't complain about the look of devastation.

88-09-01 - !Illecilliwaet Campground in Glacier National Park, near Rogers Pass. Tall trees surround the kitchen shelter. We're in the Selkirk Range.

1988-09 - Rogers Pass area{#1}

88-09-02 - Abbot Ridge trail. !Rogers Pass. !A view west from the Abbot Ridge trail. We're determined to get in some real hiking this trip. Climbing up from the highway, we reach this first look-out. An excellent view for the investment in time and effort.

88-09-02 - Marion Lake Here the main trail continues upward.

88-09-02 - Looking ahead, we get a view of the mountain wall we HOPE we're going to be able to ascend. Looks a tad more formidable than I'd imagined. A sliver of moon hovers over a moonscape of smashed rock.

88-09-02 - Mt. Sir Donald Mt. Sir Donald rockets up out of the haze of distant slash-burning fires. !A true alpine peak like the Matterhorn in Switzerland, with classic pyramidal shape. Sir Donald was a director of the C.P.R and can be imagined sitting enthroned in splendour on that summit. !In his day, probably also the valedictorian for Commerce 101.

88-09-02 - Environment Canada instruments. !Meteorological instruments and a view east. Rogers Pass is under close surveillance in winter time to guard against snow build-up on that long slope to the right. Subject to the reports of weather observers, artillery fire is sometimes used to dislodge snow accumulations.

88-09-02 - Turning toward the cliff, we pick our way upward. Gravity seems to be getting stronger the higher we go. I thought it was supposed to diminish as you got further from the centre of the earth. And that green oval area in the middle is probably the result of a flying-saucer landing. But, wait, I'm getting further from the centre of my story.

88-09-02 - !Western Anenome, sometimes called Towhead Baby. {Scot/37}

88-09-02 - !The view east toward Rogers Pass, but higher up.

88-09-02 - !Mt. Sir Donald again, above the weather observers' cabin.

88-09-02 - The trail continues to rise but instead of going straight up the cliff, makes a hairpin turn to the left. This triggers one of those little revelations that hiking above the treeline can bring. Each switchback, each twist in the trail brings a new or updated discovery of the surrounding scene. !New mountain ranges in the distance, valleys not previously visible.

88-09-02 - A last switchback takes us behind the cliff face, up a ridge and back again toward a new vantage point much higher up.

88-09-02 - The last few stunted spruce lie behind us.

88-09-02 - Looking down The trail returns to the edge of the cliff with a height gain of several hundred metres. We're now beginning to feel we've accomplished something altitude-wise. Just above the brownish area below, you can see Marion Lake that we passed over an hour ago. And on the edge of the shoulder, what looks like a hut, possibly an emergency shelter. The meteorological instruments are toward the right.

88-09-02 - Coming over the top of the rise, Mt. Sir Donald again, but we are now in a position, if not of equality, at least of reasonable dignity. In absolute height, we're probably even with a point above the halfway mark.

88-09-02 - El Condor foiled El Condor spreads his wings and prepares for a quick descent. !On the right of Mt. Sir Donald, the Illecilewaet Snowfield and Glacier. This is the point where the guy in the yellow shirt poses for a somewhat cheeky picture. (mercifully not shown here.) But another hiker is sighted on the upward path, thus ending any essays into high altitude figure photography. I can easily understand why the gods of the ancient Greeks were pictured as hanging out on Mt. Olympos, and why the Hebrews also had a thing about holiness asociated with high places. The sense of vision, of inclusiveness, of revelation associated with these high places gives some of us a glimpse of eternity. A new-age illusion? Maybe, but, I'm betting, a GOOD illusion.

88-09-02 - The Illecillewaet River brawled with the rocks in its bed all night long behind our campsite. We tried bathing in it after coming back from our hike. We only succeeded in getting our feet wet. Had to wash with face towels. Good stuff for mixing cold drinks. Felt like it was coming directly out of a glacier.

88-09-04 - !Yoho Nat. Pk. The trail to Twin Falls goes up the valley of the Yoho River. The route is mostly through forest so the viewing is somewhat circumscribed. The path starts out fairly level except for patches near the end. A good hike for those who feel uneasy on the heights.

88-09-04 - This is about the only specimen of wildlife we got a good look at in Yoho National Park

88-09-04 - The last few kilometers turn out to be sweaty, but Twin Falls itself is unique. Well, actually, dual, rather than unique, but you know what I mean.

88-09-04 - Nearby is a chalet where you can stay the night (with reservations made long in advance). Here we get tea and cakes to supplement our lunch, plus a chat with the eccentric hostess who has strong feelings about boots inside the front door. Her supplies have to be brought in by pack animals.

88-09-04 - Takakkaw Falls is visible from a fair distance and easily reachable by road.

88-09-04 -

88-09-04 - The rooster-tail of flying water is a distinctive feature. At this point, the falls creates such a gale that you have to hang onto your hat. Camera lenses and eye glasses are quickly fogged up by the spray.

88-09-05 - Emerald Lake really does have an emerald colour. Unfortunately, this isn't very apparent while standing on shore.

88-09-04 - A lodge caters to well-heeled patrons. A fine hiking and jogging tail goes all round the lake.

88-09-04 - The emerald-green colour show up better when you get a bit higher up.

88-09-04 - Lake O'Hara shuttle Camping at Lake O'Hara is by permit only and no cars but service vehicles are allowed in. We arrive at the park office shortly after dawn and luckily find that a tent site is still available. The ride up to the lake by bus is a long, dusty grind in low gear.

88-09-04 - Lake O'Hara shuttle

88-09-05 - Mine, all mine! Settled onto a tent site, we ask the park interpreter for her advice on the best all-round, get-aquainted hike. She suggests the so-called Odaray-Grandview trail. From among the larches near the treeline, Lake O'Hara is clearly visible. Hallelujah!

88-09-05 - Mt. Odaray !Cliffs ahead of us. No illusions about getting up these.

88-09-05 - After much upward plodding, we reach the bottom of a small icefield and make snowballs.

88-09-05 -

88-09-05 - Looking back toward Lake O'Hara Adding one more rock to the cairn, we make our mark on the world. Walking on these stones produces a kind of musical clattering noise. The Abbot Pass bears left off that valley beyond the lake. It's a fantastic experience to have so many pieces of the geographical jigsaw fall into place. The vision encompasses whole chunks of territory. (Admiral Fisher?) Circumnavigate, my boy. See a thing from all sides and then you will have grasped it in its entirety.

88-09-05 - Rotten ice, 8800 ft The highest point we reach is at the bottom of a cliff where solid rock begins. The access road to the Lake O'Hara area threads the forest below. Lake Louise is not far away through the notch in the mountains on the centre right horizon. And Lake Louise leads back, behind those mountains, to the Abbot Pass, whose approaches are now visible behind us.

88-09-05 - This is the base of the cliff glowering down at us from above. Unfortunately, time is running out and we have to end the hike here. Out height gain above Lake O'Hara is about 2200'. It feels like more.

88-09-05 - A farewell view !A hanging wall of ice. The ridge at the top is apparently reachable by determined hikers without technical equipment. All this clambering up foothills, shoulders and approaches is simply grand, but what we really long for is to stand on a piece of CONVEX ground, where the slope is downward on EVERY side -- a real peak, however modest. !Next trip to the promised land?

88-09-05 - Alpine Club of Canada chalet !Getting a drink near the Alpine Club chalet. This open meadow was originally used as a campground by mountain climbers and hikers. Today the area is jealously guarded by Parks Canada. You are encouraged to stay on the trail and keep your great knobbly boots off the tender flora.

88-09-05 - !Entrance to the chalet. Inside, we had tea at the invitation of a gentleman from the Japanese Alpine Club.

88-09-06 - Mt Odaray !Day two at Lake O'Hara. !A view of the previous day's hike on Odaray Mt. We eventually reached a point within striking distance of the small peak in the middle. Below and to the left of it, is a hanging valley with two small ice patches showing. We got about halfway up the left side of that valley.

88-09-06 - Wiwaxy Pass Today we head for Wiwaxy Pass. The name means "windy pass". At first the map seems to be pointing us up this unlikely ravine. !But no.

88-09-06 -

88-09-06 - Almost hoodoo-like formations The climb up is extremely hot. I take off my shirt. Nearing the summit of the pass, these battlements caution mere hikers to avoid getting too far above themselves.

88-09-06 - Top of Wiwaxy pass Reaching the top of the pass, we get a shock -- gale force wind and a chill factor like early March. Our altitude is about 8900'. The contrast with the hot upward climb is cautioning. Keep your windproof, waterproof and search-and-rescue-friendly clothing handy. We've been saved several times from potentially hazardous exposure by cheap waterproof clothing.

88-09-06 - We huddle beneath the top of the rise and manufacture lunch on our portable gasoline stove. I have to contruct a windbreak of rocks and raingear just to get the thing to burn properly. The pass is guarded by twin doorposts. !This one on the left ...

88-09-06 - !And this one on the right.

88-09-06 - Standing in between, you are now looking over the top of the pass and down the opposite side. This is certainly one of the most memorable picnic sites we've ever visited. You can see the Lake O'Hara access road along the valley bottom in the distance. This leads back to the park entrance and the highway to Lake Louise.

88-09-06 - We take a circuitous route down from Wiwaxy Pass. That long streak along the side of the slope is the trail we've just come along.

88-09-06 - Lake O'Hara again, and the site of yesterday's hike in the middle background. Today's trail coming up from Lake O'Hara lies somewhere on the nearby slope.

88-09-06 - View down the so-called "trail" to Lake Oesa. Looking ahead, the route follows the Huber Ledges curving round the mountainside. This is about as close as the hiker gets to real mountain climbing. The panorama is intoxicating, the trail exciting, the day heroic. Merle is leading the way near the ridge on the left. Definitely a hiker's high at this point.

88-09-06 - !The battlements again. !A reminder to keep our pride within limits. From here it looks about as far up as down. We're at least halfway to Paradise.

88-09-06 - !Trail junction, looking toward Abbot Pass.

88-09-06 - Lake Oesa !Closer view of Lake Oesa.

88-09-06 - Catspaws or Zephirs? We continue downward. !Catspaws on Lake Oesa. This is the REAL Emerald Lake. On second thought, the colour is probably nearer to turquoise.

88-09-06 - Abbot Pass, from Lake O'Hara !A closer view up Abbot Pass. !Another ambition: to reach the Alpine Club hut at the top. This same pass is also accessible from the Valley of the Five Glaciers which lies beyond the head of Lake Louise.

- Abbot Pass, from Lake Louise 

83-08-17 - Derek doing dangerous stuff (1983)

83-08-17 - Abbot Pass hut, Alpine Club of Canada

88-09-06 - !Merle on the shore of Lake Oesa.

88-09-06 - Semi-panorama !A natural dam retaining the lake.

88-09-06 - A squint at the human condition? Figure in a landscape, on a convenient natural bridge across ... water too cold to swim. Following a clear trail back to ... a comfortable campsite. This observation, after having spent the day joyfully witnessing the hidden connections between a hundred square miles of mountains, lakes, valleys, and forests. ... A "religious" friend of mine once said that the natural world was a HOSTILE environment. Presumeably, in contrast to the spiritual world. I was speechless at what seemed ... a real impiety. Sampson, eyeless in Gaza, the religious Disneyland of the Middle East at that time, presents us with an iconic drama of national conflict. But to be willfully blind and to walk sightless among Lake O'Hara's scenic miracles would be a definite anomaly.

88-09-06 - Return to camp Taking a looping route back toward Lake O'Hara, our recent path down from Wiwaxy Pass is vsible. We now bear left up the ridge ahead. The weather shows signs of closing in.

88-09-06 - Low road or high road? !Waterfall on the stream draining Lake Oesa. Hikers descend toward Lake O'Hara on the trail at the left of the waterfall; the weather darkens; a last ray of sunshine lightens the crags. Drama in Nature. Drama for us. Is this a vindication of the Pathetic Fallacy or what?

88-09-06 - Lake O'Hara Lake O'Hara Lodge and the Alpine Club hut are again visible below. We begin our descent via the Yukness Ledges. It starts to sprinkle half-way down. Mercifully, not hard enough to make the rocks really greasy and dangerous.

88-09-06 - It's definitely raining by the time we reach the lake and we're into extra sweaters and yellow waterproofs just to keep warm. We cook supper with sleet pelting down into the macaroni and cheese. We spend the coldest night of the summer wrapped in every available stitch of clothing, heavy sleeping bags, and each other.

88-09-07 - !Next morning, snow on the peaks. A quick breakfast and then we pack up. !Not a retreat, really. Our time is up. We have to give up the campsite to other late season hikers eager to pound the Lake O'Hara trails.

88-09-07 - Waiting for the bus back down, we're a little exhausted but proud of ourselves. !Candidates for "We survived Lake O'Hara" T-shirts.

Southern Alberta.

88-09-08 - Leaping the foothills and Calgary at a single bound, we visit the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. The greenhouse contains prehistoric plants to match the dinosaurs in the museum. Actually, the plants arn't prehistoric themselves, but present day survivals of ancient types of plants.

88-09-08 - A jungle of tree ferns right inside the Museum building.

88-09-08 - The Tyrrell Museum has a very complete display, covering all aspects of antediluvian life.

88-09-08 - A cable ferry crosses the Red Deer River near Drumheller. The craft has an engine that winds up a cable on the river bottom, pulling itself across.

88-08-08 - !Our first sight of the badlands at Horse Thief Canyon.

88-09-08 - !A Closer view of the layers, including what looks like a thin coal seam.

88-09-08 - A prize collection of Hoodoos lives near Drumheller.

88-09-08 -

88-09-08 - !Two Hoodoos wearing hats.

88-09-08 - At Dinosaur Provincial Park further down the Red Deer River, we have an experience of camping in a near desert.

88-09-09 - We take a stroll with our neighbours on the next campsite through the eroded badlands.

88-09-09 - The badlands contain a mineral deposit called Bentonite according to our companion. It's a form of clay, almost rocklike when dry, easily carved by water when wet. Bentonite has industrial uses for its absorbing, filtering, sealing and other qualities. Fuller's earth is a variety of Bentonite.

88-09-08 - At dusk, we go looking for the next great fossil find that might happen to be sticking up in plain sight.

88-09-08 -

88-09-08 - The sandal wearer has to watch out for prickly pear cactus underfoot.

88-09-08 - Animals begin coming out as the sun goes down -- rabbits, deer, plus a few shy woodland creatures, far from their normal habitat.

88-09-08 - !Standing atop the Treasury of the Aztecs, worshipping the Sun God. The area did look like an eroded ruin in this light.

88-09-08 - All sorts of interesting life-forms come out of their burrows after dark.

88-09-08 - Returning to our campsite, a speck of light glints on the Red Deer River in the distance.

Back in Ontario.

88-09-12 - !At Neys Provincial Park. This mysterious gnomon marks the centre of the world. I've seen several of these in the last few years.

88-09-12 - !Another great feast of macaroni and cheese.

88-09-12 - !And a digestive stroll afterward.

88-09-13 - !The same shore the next day. Reminds us of Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park on our final day there. We've been having quite a series of blustery departures on this trip.

88-09-13 - Passing through Lake Superior Provincial Park, we decide to follow the road to Gargantua Harbour.

88-09-13 - We have to rent this truck with snowmobile tracks. It's about 15km down to the shore, but it takes us more than an hour. The one-lane dirt track has constant hair-pin turns, narrow bridges and car-nivorous rocks.

88-09-13 - Up at the tip of Gargantua Bay lies a secluded tenting site. !Probably a good spot for a base camp to explore the coastline. !Perhaps another year. (Yes, we did.)

88-09-14 - At South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island, the Chi-Chi-Maun enters harbour. This side of the water still feels like the True North, Strong and Free. Dreaded "civilization" waits for us on the other side.

88-09-14 - September 14th -- the Chi-Chi-Maun gulps down the last pitiful dregs of the tourist season for the trip south.

80-08 - Chi-chi-maun entering Tobermory Hbr.

80-08 - Chi-chi-maun ferry, Tobermory. And spits us out again on the opposite side of the water to begin the last leg of our trip home.

- Lastman: Jonah and the Whale. Oops, almost forgot my toga on the ferry.