2010 Race 2 Finish travel blog

Yellowhead Highway southeast out of Prince George

it is also Highway 16 and a part of the Trans Canadian...

 

 

the rising mist is something we have not seen on the east...

 

an inukshuk

 

 

 

I love this picture

we haven't had a day without rain in a long time

 

 

 

at a roadside rest stop we found this sign

from the looks of that tree a bear is staking out his...

 

it is a pretty graphic warning!

the cold weather is starting to turn some leaves - in August!

 

as always - weeds can be some of the best pictures

 

 

this river flowed through the rest stop

 

 

so this is what an inland temperate rainforest looks like

 

 

a rest area kiosk also furnished some good information on the Yellowhead...

if you're this close to a bear his drool is probably the...

we were the biggest rig in the rest area - until this...

back on the road the rain has stopped but the road is...

McBride, British Columbia

it doesn't take long to 'do' McBride

the drive south toward Valemount

 

construction workers working in the rain as usual

 

a mile farther and we turned left onto the road to Jasper

sign at the trailhead to Rearguard Falls

salmon come up the Fraser River to this bend

where they are faced with getting over these falls - here you...

this is a big fish but he/she looks tiny against the size...

we watched several fish trying to make it up that whitewater channel...

there may be one visible in this photo - or it may...

Madolyn went down to get a closer look

down there you have to shout if you want to talk to...

there was a lot of action in the middle of that white...

the water was so fascinating we didn't care if we saw fish...

sometimes a fish will make several jumps in quick succession - here...

he jumped again and this time I got the very tips of...

third time it worked and I got this photo of him jumping...

in this enlargement you can see the color in his tail

 

Niagara Falls was bigger but this is just as beautiful and exciting

 

 

 

the view above is not bad either

a group of fish were in this whitewater pool resting up to...

in this picture you can see the backs and dorsal fins of...

Madolyn was watching this whitewater

 

and here she got the best shot of the day - this...

in this enlargement you can really see his/her color

on the way out we stopped at this overlook and saw several...

not sure if that dark streak left of the dark rock is...

up on the road the mist was putting on a show

 

 

a beautiful way to end the day

 

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 3.17 MB)

want to see a salmon jump?


Survival of the fittest on the Fraser River

Today we left Prince George and headed southeast on Highway 16, a stretch of Trans Canadian Highway known as the Yellowhead Highway. Our destination was the upper Fraser River north of Valemount.

The Fraser River flows west out of the Canadian Rockies. It makes a giant, 800 mile loop through British Columbia, and finally reaches Vancouver where it flows through the Strait of Georgia to the Pacific Ocean. (The route of the river is shown on the Homepage of this trip journal.)

The Fraser River is famous for it’s late summer run of Chinook Salmon. It is the longest run in the world of the biggest salmon in the world. How could we come here and not try to see it?

From Prince George (which is also on the Fraser) it’s almost 200 miles to Valemount, but it's a gorgeous drive through a ‘temperate inland rainforest’. We didn’t know it was a rainforest until we stopped at a roadside turnout and read it on a sign. Then the beauty of the road made perfect sense. The most striking characteristic of the drive was white mist rising from every canyon. We attributed the mist to today’s rain, but if this is a rainforest the mist must be a normal part of the ecosystem. This was one of the most memorable drives we’ve had in Canada.

Mid afternoon we reached the little town of McBride and a nice woman at the Visitor Information Center told us where best to see the salmon run. We checked out a couple of places she mentioned but saw no salmon. Our final stop was at Rearguard Falls, and there we were rewarded with quite a show. To quote the roadside sign:

“Rearguard Falls . . . Mark the upper limit of the 800 mile migration of salmon from the Pacific Ocean. Only a few Chinook, the largest and strongest of the salmon come this far. Look for them in late summer.”

There is another falls above Rearguard but it's higher and the fish can’t make the grade. This is the last place you can see them jumping - and jump they did! An hour of watching produced many sightings but only four photos that show fish. Catching a salmon mid-jump is no easy feat. They are only out of the water for a fraction of a second, and with digital cameras reacting as slowly as they do the chances of getting a picture are slim.

In the photos we have enlarged some of the images so you can see the color, which is coral and plum and, well, salmon. It should be mentioned that Rearguard Falls is on the highway to Jasper, and at the falls we were only fifty miles from places on the Alberta side of the divide that we visited last week. It's interesting to see the west side of the Canadian Rockies for a change. The valley we’re traveling is called the Rocky Mountain Trench because it's between the Rockies on the east, and the Caribou Mountains to the west. For a ‘trench’ it's a real beauty!

We ended the day at a funky campground in Valemont, to download our photos and congratulate each other on the few fish we managed to get. Madolyn got the best shot, and she also managed to catch a fish jumping in her video clip. It is worth the wait if you want to see it. Another great day goes into the history books!



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