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10 February 2011

2010 Adams River Sockeye Run

Sockeye By The Millions

An unbelievable experience! An experience of a life time! Out of this world! 


Words can not describe this spectacle of a show that nature displays. The 2010 Adam River Sockeye Run was a record run, and we had the incredible fortune to be able to be there and take it all in.






Can you imagine swimming around 400km against the current, not feeding during the whole journey and with only one purpose in mind, to make love and then die, what a way to go.


2010 Adams River Sockeye Run
Monashee Mountains, with its many creeks drains into Tumtum Lake, which drains in to Upper Adams River. Upper Adams River then drains into Adams Lake, 
Adams Lake
which dumps it's water in to the famous Adams River. Adams River in turn flows into Shuswap Lake.





View Adams River in a larger map

We stayed at a campground in Sorrento called Shuswap Lake Motel and Resort. A bit tight to get in and out with the 5th wheel and some traffic noise, but a really nice setting. Everything nice and clean. Power and water only.

Shuswap Lake Motel and Resort

Our campsite at Shuswap Lake Motel and Resort
The life cycle of the salmon is pretty incredible. Salmon are born in gravel beds in streams 20 to over 1000 km from the ocean. Eggs are laid and fertilized in the fall, the eggs then incubate over late fall and winter.


Salmon Eggs
Approximately a month after they have been laid in the gravel, eyes start to show in the eggs. This can happen as early as November - December. It is very important during this period that the water flow is not interrupted. This  period has the greatest mortality in the salmon's life cycle.


In late winter, the eggs hatch into what is called alevins. This is a tiny creatures with huge eyes attached to bright orange sacs and looks like an alien. 


View The Route Of The Sockeye Salmon in a larger map




Alevins grow rapidly under the gravel for up to four months. Apparently the orange yolk sacs contain a completely diet. The fish is completely protected being in the gravel bed.


Alevins turn into a fry in May - June sometime. At this time they are between 2-3cm long, and swim freely. Swimming freely also has its risks, larger fish now consider them good food. They then stay in the river or nearby lakes for up to a year or two. Each species behaves different. 
Anders watching the Sockeye Salmon in Adams River.


Next stage is a Smolt. Smolting is a change in their body which enables the fish to live in salt water and not absorb the salt. Once this process is finished, and the fish has turned into a smolt it is ready to begin its long swim down the river and into the ocean. 


Once in the ocean the salmon grows very fast and spend a few year here before returning to its place of birth.





Adams River and Hiuihill Creek Hike


We spent two wonderful days hiking along Adams River. The highlight was a small creek called Hiuihill Creek, just south of Adams Lake. 
Hiuihill Creek


This creek flows into Adams River. The creek was very shallow, and the fish were out of the water at times. It is a wonderful hike along the creek from both sides of the road.


At the mouth of Hiuihill Creek where it flows into Adams River we saw other species of Salmon.  From what we were told, some lake trouts come up the river feasting on Sockeye eggs. You will need at least 2-4 hours to hike the Hiuihill Creek, it is a moderate hike with incredible scenery. 





Sockeye Salmon in Adams River, just south of where Hiuihill Creek flows in.

Anders at the rapids by Adams River

Liz at the rapids by Adams River 

Our Friends Judy and Charlie
If you have a chance to take your family and friends here, please do so. It is something that is so incredible, I know this experience will stay with me forever. Not only that, I will return, just like the salmon.


More (tons of them) pictures in our Picasa Album , remember to click on slide show on the top left corner to get the big picture.
Salmon Run at Adams River, BC, Canada




Happy Traveling,


Liz and Anders

08 February 2011

Kaslo BC, Over Vernon Bc to Sorrento, BC

Kaslo to Sorrento

First part of this trip is from Schroeder Point Resort just north of Kaslo to Fauquier ferry crossing



View Kaslo to Fauquier in a larger map






Early in the morning we left our campground at Schroeder Point traveling South, back to Kaslo.


SS Moyie, the oldest intact passenger Sternwheeler in the world, Kaslo BC
 We visited the SS Moyie, the world's oldest intact passenger sternwheeler which is a proud symbol of Kaslo's heritage. It now sits on the shore of Kootenay Lake right in Kaslo.


Dining room on the SS Moyie

The Chef preparing great meals
  At the SS Moyie we are thrown back  years when this ship was the transport and the connection to the outside world traveling the inside BC lakes and rivers ( 1898 to 1957). It is amazing the luxury and the hardships one can imagine on these voyages.


In the lower level of the SS Moyie, historical photos tell stories. 
As part of the museum there is also a prospector's cabin in the yard showing the sparse living conditions of pioneers.Leg hold traps, a cast-iron pan, a simple bed, an oil lamp.....I wonder if we could survive a week in summer, never mind in a severe BC winter.


Prospector's Cabin from around 1900

The Story of an Old Cabin
We looked right away for a Latte somewhere, to jolt us back to reality. But it was a Sunday morning and Kaslo was closed. We did a lovely walk-about through the old fashioned town with its clapboard buildings and old hotels, B&Bs,and country stores. 


Anders searching for a coffee.....


Downtown Kaslo, BC
Nice old homes and Commercial  Buildings

Beautiful Old Hotel



We took Hwy. 31A out of town toward Nakusp. The roads are windy but good.






A Step Back in Time with our visit to Sandon BC


About 10km before New Denver we decide to explore the ghost town of Sandon. The gravel road is very narrow and goes up steep into the mountains.



Main Street in Sandon BC around 1890
The museum was open the last weekend for the season. Very interesting, this mining town once had over 5000 people living there. In its heydays, around 1890, Sandon was known as the Monte Carlo of North America with its 29 hotels, 28 saloons, 2 churches, a schoolhouse, theatre and Opera houses, etc. And naturally it attracted mostly men seeking a fortune in the incredible rich silver-lead ore deposits, gamblers, land speculators, ladies of the night, millionaires.......Sandon was also the first BC municipality serviced by Hydro electrical utility. The main Street was built right over the Carpenter Creek running through town because of the limited building land available. The town was twice destroyed, once by fire in 1900 and in 1955 by a wash-out.




Two railways served Sandon for a while

Today Sandon is a Ghost town

Carpenter Creek where the main street of Sandon once stood

Life was hard and short

The Sandon Historical Society is preserving the history of the old mining town

Sandon was known as the Monte Carlo of North America
Hotels, Saloons, and Brothels fleurished
 The sad history is that during WWII about a 1000 Japanese/Canadian internees were housed in the old buildings under the provisions of the War Measures' Act. One can hardly imagine how they must have felt in this cold, shady valley away from the homes on the West coast.






Sandon is now a ghost town and about 4 people live year around there. The Museum Society is working hard to keep the old history alive. It is a great place to visit to get an idea about the diverse BC history


Beautiful Slocan area
We continued our journey through New Denver and Rosebery on Slocan Lake, now following Hwy. # 6 to Nakusp. In New Denver there is the  Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. It is dedicated to the history of the 23,000 Japanese Canadians that were interned by the Canadian Government. We did not stop, maybe next time. 


Nakusp is a beautiful town of about 2000 people on Upper Arrow Lake which is part of the Columbia River system. Nakusp is famous for its hot springs. But again, maybe next time. We pick up some food and drive South on Hwy.#6 toward the ferry crossing at Fauquier.


Lunch stop on Sadis Bay on Upper Arrow Lake

Liz with the Monashee Mountain across Arrow Lake
The road winds along the narrow Arrow Lake for about 60 km, it is a beautiful drive, not much traffic. Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes are really just widened portions of the Columbia River as it travels south to the US border. The Selkirk Mountains are to the east and the Monashee Mountains to the west. Very few people live around here.This is the beautiful boonies. 


Fauquier to Sorrento




View Fauquier Ferry Crossing to Sorrento in a larger map


Again the ferry from Fauquier to Needles is free, it is a cable ferry.


Free ferry crossing from Fauquier to Needles over Lower Arrow Lake


It's a Cable Ferry

Needles is now just a ferry terminal. The town was flooded in 1960 when the water reservoir just north of Castlegar was created with the Hugh Keenleyside Dam.


Lower Arrow Lake is really the dammed Columbia River


Dutch Cheese?
From Needles to Lumby it is about a 100km drive. The countryside is beautiful, we enjoy our ride. As we approach Lumby, we feel like coming back to civilization, farms, homes, people.... Black and white cows: Anders hits the breaks, there is someone selling cheese right from the farm. Triple Island Farm with its Dutch owners were just licensed here to make cheese this year. We go in and a nice young man with a good Dutch accent serves us. The choices are Goudas. We buy $ 10.00 worth and sit in the truck and taste it. Yummy: Anders went back to get way more. Apparently the Tuijtel Family already ships all over BC.


Camping in Vernon BC




We stay overnight in Vernon BC. Next morning we head north on Hwy.# 97A Armstrong and Enderby. This area is known for its dairy farms.


From Vernon BC to Enderby BC with lots of Dairy Farms
We turn onto Hwy.# 97B toward Salmon Arm. Our goal is to meet up with Judy and Charlie at the Adams River to observe this years huge Salmon Run. We reserved a campsite at the Shuswap Lake Motel and Resort at 1185 Passchendaele Road in Sorrento, BC.

Sorrento BC campsite
It's a nice site, even though we get some highway noise. From here its about a 15 minute drive to the Adams River salmon run site. That's on the program next day.


There are more pictures in our Picasa Web Album.


Cheers,


Liz and Anders