Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's called Denver Canyon even though it's a thousand miles from Denver. Carpenter Creek heads down the mountain from Bear and Fish Lakes, past Three Forks, where it collects Cody Creek from Sandon and Kane Creek from the north, eventually emptying into the lake near the bridge from which I've been photographing it every week. Before it reaches New Denver, though, it runs through Denver Canyon, a narrow bottleneck cut deep into the rock. The original power generating station which supplied New Denver until the 1950's was built here. The Galena Trail runs right along the precipice overlooking the gorge. In typical BC fashion there's no guard-rail. Somewhere there's a tastefully understated sign warning of a steep drop-off and that's all. It's probably 60 metres or more straight down over the edge of the concrete retaining wall here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cable car

The Galena Trail runs along the old K&S Railway bed that used to connect Nakusp and New Denver to the mining town of Sandon. Trail-builders created a unique solution to the problem of bridging Carpenter Creek, the old rail bridge having long since collapsed. This self-powered cable car spans the creek. It fits two or three people at a time. First you pull it up to the platform on your side and anchor it with a metal hook. Then you clamber in, unhook it and enjoy the whoosh as gravity takes you down to the middle of the creek. Then you hand-over-hand haul yourselves to the far side, hook on, clamber out, and release the car to the middle of the rope for the next travellers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Carpenter Creek This Week

More of the gravel bar is under water, and that big rock in the main left stream is now almost submerged.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


In a very very small town anyone can be in the big annual May Day Parade. You don't need a float, you don't need a costume, although many people have both of these. Preschoolers walk with their parents or friends, or get pushed in strollers or pulled in wagons. Kindergarteners ride bikes. Bubbles are blown, balloons and banners and ribbons and flowers and flags are carried. Candy is thrown and collected. The fire truck and police car sirens make it all into a loud exciting event.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Maypole dance

Every year at May Days community kids do the Maypole dance. This year, quite unexpectedly, there were no tangles! There are five separate patterns they do, but this double weave is the most picturesque.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nikkei Centre

Hundreds of Canadian citizens and landed immigrants of Japanese heritage were interned in this area during WWII. This living museum, garden and interpretive centre was part of the government's formal apology to those affected.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Carpenter Creek This Week

Trees greener. Water deeper. The gravel bar is partly submerged now. The weather hasn't really thoroughly warmed up, so the real thaw and runoff from the mountains will be a while yet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Winter and spring together

Fresh green leaves opening on the birch tree at low elevation, but fresh snow today on the ridge up higher.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Silvery Slocan Circle Route

There's a 250 km circular route of secondary highways that connects our valley with the next one over. It has become quite famous in motorcycle touring circles. It's winding and hilly and parts of it, especially our little corner of it, have a really remote feel. And the views are fabulous, with surprises around almost every corner. Beaver dams, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, torrential creeks, shale slopes, old mine workings, sudden mountain vistas.

Monday is Victoria Day in Canada, the May long weekend, so motorcycle and RV/camper traffic is about to pick up along this route in a big way. But still today the highway is empty and the silence is blissful.

Saturday, May 9, 2009