Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

Journey to find the Ultimate Outhouse

This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge is journey. I would like to take you on a journey… a journey to find the ultimate outhouse. This is an essential search when travelling to the northern parts of Canada, where towns are few and far between.

the endless highway... on and on and on.... not an outhouse in sight.

Sometimes the outhouse is out in the middle of a field with a small parking lot and nothing else around.  It seems all exposed and alone.

In the middle of nowhere

I wondered about the sign on the door.

WHAT?? Really? At what age can we leave them?

Do people tend to drive off leaving a child in the outhouse?

This cute little blue one was on a bit of a tilt. The bushes are growing around it. The door was left open. Is it safe? I was a little skeptical.

Is this safe to use? Maybe in a pinch. How desperate am I?

Some are doubles, Men on one side, Ladies on the other.

A family the pees together....

Is this an outhouse or and in-house? I suppose it was much preferred over going outside in the middle of a dark and cold night, but I would hate it in the morning.

I am glad I am living in the era of indoor plumbing.

Some Outhouses are super fancy, dressed up with plants and flowers, covered in vines. A treat for the weary and desperate traveler.

wonderful.. this outhouse is complete with flush toilets, a shower, laundry and books, if you are planning a longer visit.

Sometimes, there is a conveniently placed outhouse, but one has to wait for a turn. I waited and waited and waited and waited.

He looks a bit constipated... I wish he would hurry up.

After a long drive, searching for a sign, desperate for a rest stop, I was ready to give up and find a conveniently located bush when “what to my wondering eyes should appear”, but a cute little log outhouse nestled in the bush. I was so excited and about to be relieved.

Isn't this sweet.. a log outhouse...

I opened the door. Maybe…

I have waited so long... maybe...

Maybe not.

Absolutely NOT !!

It was time to find that bush.

A little way down the road..  I was caught.

outhouse relief.

I hope you enjoyed the journey. If you plan a trip to the far north, I can tell you that I have become an expert in finding relief behind a bush.

 

 

An Arctic Journey

The journey to the Arctic began at the Arctic Circle.

Crossing the Arctic Circle

The Dempster Highway starts in the Yukon, and continues into the Northwest Territories. We travelled for 734 km on the dirt highway, our destination: Inuvik.

We had to quickly shut the windows to protect us from the dust storm this transport truck kicked up.

The highway is built up above the permafrost. It is hard to see the steep drop on the side of the highway. We did not want to slide over the edge on this journey. I am glad there was not too much oncoming traffic.

The journey continued to the Mackenzie River. As we drove down the mountainside could see the community of Tsiigetchic as we descended to the river. There is no bridge. We had to catch the ferry.

The crew allowed us to climb up to the top deck, past the “no admittance” sign so that I could take some photos. I could not resist a photo of our very dirty van.

The ferry was not busy, they let us climb up to the "crew only" area

A great view of the approaching “dock”. The ferry simply runs up against the gravel, lowers the ramp and we drive on and off the ferry.

The road is built right to the edge of the river. The ferry is an extension of the Dempster Highway and is free.

We made it to the final leg of our journey to Inuvik , NWT Canada, home to the famous Igloo Church.

The Igloo Church in Inuvik

Through the Eye of the Needle.

My eyes were wide open. We drove so slowly along the winding, narrow road. We wanted to take in the beauty and wonder of the Needles Highway. Custer State Park is in the SW corner of South Dakota. This is a perfect place for this weeks challenge : Weekly Photo Challenge: Through  A brochure at a tourist center caught our attention. We knew we wanted to check this out and I am glad we did. The rock formations are unique. The highway is winds through the Black Hills.

The rock formations resembled needles

The highway is built on the edge of a cliff.

Approaching one of the tunnels

If you cannot go around it and you cannot go over it, you have to go through it.

Driving through the very narrow tunnel

The Highway has many spectacular sights yet the most famous is the Eye of the Needle. A rock formation formed by the power of the wind, the rain, the snow and ice. Mother Nature had fun making this famous spot.

We could see through the eye of the needle.

If you are ever in South Dakota, do not miss this short yet spectacular drive. Leave plenty of time. It is only 8 or so miles, but you will need lots of time because you will want to stop over and over.

Gravel Eating Sheep in the Northwest Territories

While driving on the highway toward Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories, we pulled over to photograph some sheep. They were busy on the side of the highway feasting on the gravel. I understand their real name is Thinhorn Sheep but are also called Stone Sheep (I have not confirmed this name)
The sheep were not afraid and allowed me to approach fairly close. I am sure they were actually posing. We lingered for a while watching this adorable family.

The family that eats together stays together.

Yep, that is rocks they are eating... yummy.

Is Mr. Billy inviting me to join the family dinner?

The baby is smiling, I am sure of it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

For this weeks challenge, I thought I would post a few photos I took last summer while on an extended roadtrip. These photos emphasize a contrast in size.

The largest Dump Truck in the world

We crossed the border from Alberta into BC and arrived in a beautiful little town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, in the southeast corner of the province. Sparwood is a small coal mining town on the Elk River. They have lots of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails in the area and lots of opportunities to enjoy the water. You can spend your time either fishing, kayaking or canoeing in the Elk Valley. Sparwood is also home to the largest tandem-axle dump truck in the world! Built by General Motors of Canada, the 1974 Terex Titan – all 350 tonnes, 66 feet and 3,300 Horse Power of it – lives in Sparwood, Home of the Titan. Two Greyhound buses and 2 pickups can fit into the box!

These photos of the Titan show how small we are in contrast to this Monster truck. I am 5’6″ and my husband is 6’3″ tall, yet we are dwarfed beside the wheels of this dump truck.

Can the driver see me down here?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

I don’t usually indulge in food, not often anyway. The challenge came in and I wondered what do I indulge in? I have to say I do indulge in a trip now and then. Last summer, I indulged on an Alaskan Cruise. I went with my two sisters and two of my nieces. We sailed on a rather small cruise ship, the Volendam, with Holland America.

The Volendam

I have posted about parts of the cruise previously, including the rock climbing. The dinner after the rock climbing event was a formal dinner. I shared a room with Jennifer, the youngest in the family. As we dressed in our finery, we indulged in a glass of wine…

Just one glass.... honest.

With great fanfare, the waiters, complete with bakers hats, marched into the room waiving the napkins in the air. They swooped in and ceremoniously laid a napkin on every lap.

Napkin Parade

My sister Louise received her napkin with great fanfare.

We have a lot of fun with our server, He made us laugh and helped make the evening a lot of fun

The delicious meal ended with desert, a Baked Alaska. Another grand parade.

Ceremonial paraie through the dining hall with dessert.

The week long trip was a week of indulging. everything from wonderful food to massages and manicures as well as an opportunity to see part of the world that is magnificently beautiful with its glaciers and ice.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

I love to go barefoot. The feel of the sand between my toes as I walk along a beach, always gives me a sense of freedom. I enjoy being barefoot so much, I took a few pictures looking DOWN at the beach last summer.

I was in Northern Ontario, walking along a beach in Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face and eases my stress.

Remembering the sand between my toes.

 I remember with delight the feel of the waves swirling around my bare feet. You do too.. and you love it too… don’t you?

the refreshing waves swirling across my toes.

I even still picture myself walking at the shore.

Looking down at my shadow.

The rocks at the waters edge are worn smooth by the pounding of the waves.

 Today, I took another picture looking down.

Is that salt? Are those Bubbles? Is she crazy?

 

I went outside in the snow, BAREFOOT !! It is invigorating.. and very cold. Not quite as relaxing as walking in the sand. Not as relaxing as letting the warm water of summer trickle between my toes.

Even Sidney came to check out why I was walking in the snow without my boots.

What are you doing?

Music in Mistaya Canyon

As we drove toward Banff along the Icefield Highway, we discovered a short hike to a canyon. The hike through the forest did not prepare us for the amazing sight of the Mistaya Canyon.

The slot canyon, narrow and deep is carved through limestone.

There are no fences holding back visitors from enjoying the beautiful sight. The wet rocks are dangerous, so I was cautious as I walked along the ridge. I felt drawn to the edge.

standing on the edge

I peered over the cliff to see the water far below. The water churned and crashed through the canyon. There were many potholes formed in the rocks over time, formed by smaller rocks caught in the swirling waters.

Large potholes carved in the rock

The water far below came in waves and sometimes splashed high up the canyon walls.

Far below the water is churning

the churning water splashes high once in a while

 

 

I sat amazed at the height the water splashed.

There were no other people around. I sat on the edge and listened. The music of the canyon filled my soul. It was the same song that has been heard by the trees for thousands and thousands of years. It is a song of power and might. A song that tells of the strength of the water, strength so mighty, the rock must give way.

Listen to the music of the ages.

I can feel the presence of God in the canyon. He speaks to me through the music of the canyon and I am blessed.

The music echoes from the walls of Mistaya Canyon

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

I am always ready to try new things, ready for an adventure. While in Skagway Alaska, Sarah and I decided to go rock-climbing. I had tried it once indoors. Let me just say that the indoor climbing walls are a lot different to the real thing.

We travelled to the climbing site and I got my harness on. 

I have my harness on and I am READY

 The company gave us a powder blue helmet to put on. I couldn’t help but feel relief, knowing that when I fall from the top of the cliff, my helmet will save me.
A few last-minute adjustments while I looked up… waaaay up.The first step.

Surveying the cliff

 
As I placed my fingers on the cold hard rock, I wondered how I will be able to cling to the rock. the ledges were so tiny.

The first step.

I soon got the hang of it and climbing happened.

a view from below. can you see that tiny person way up there?

I am very proud that I made it to the top, not once but twice, in two different sections. Climbing is hard work. It takes a lot of leg strength to push up each step of the way.

a cropped photo of me at the top.the second climb is higher still.

 Repelling back down is the most fun because it takes no strength.

Just lean back and jump your way down.

 I am ready to give it another go. Anyone want to come with me? This is something I want to continue as part of my healthy new lifestyle.

Hope, in the Face of Danger

Hope. A simple word to speak of our dreams, our desires.

We had a day filled with hope one day last summer. I have shared this story previously but I hope you enjoy it once again.  It started as an ordinary day. Our travels took us into the mountains between Lively and Barkerville in the BC interior. We hoped to drive to Barkerville on the scenic backroads. The old “Goldrush Trail”.

The hour was late. We found a wonderful free campsite at Ladies Lake. We had high hopes for a quiet evening in front of the campfire.

Hoping for a fire

The evening sky had cleared giving us hope of a sunny day to drive over the mountains.

Great hope for tomorrow.

The fire lit, we enjoyed a quiet evening watching the sun go down and listening to the loons.

We woke up early the next morning, anxious for the day ahead. We looked forward to each new day with great anticipation  as we travelled the country.  After breakfast, instead of hitting the road right away, we decided on a change of pace.  I tried my hand at panning for gold, hoping to strike it rich. We were in Gold rush country afterall.

Bored with sifting through the dirt, we were soon back on the road. A sign on the road scared me and I hoped we were not making a mistake.  There is a bit of confusion in the directions, still, we had hope.

74 km to where? Which way to Barkerville? and where is Grizzly Creek?

We hoped to be in Barkerville before dinner. More confusing signs. Then the rain started. What more could go wrong on this day that started with such hope, such promise

Oh no!

Deactivated? Really? Can they do that to a road?

A few kilometers along the “deactivated” road a bit of a problem blocked our way.

A tree slide?

After this, we were still hopeful. Then more trouble.

There is nothing we can't handle.

We had determination and hoped no more rocks would block our path. Troubles kept presenting themselves. Was this a sign? Should we turn around?

Hope won the day and we carried on… until…. trouble again. This time we could only hope. We were very close to our destination. We did not want to turn around now.

Half the road washed away. Was the remaining part still safe to drive on?

This time, our hope turned to prayers. Hope was not enough to keep our heavy van from causing the fragile road from crumbling beneath  our wheels. I looked over the edge. It was a very long way to the valley below.

Squeeze past the barriers.

God is good and the crumbling road held. The rain stopped and a rainbow of hope appeared in the sky.  Within a few minutes, we arrived “safe and sound”, back into civilization. Our hope renewed.

Hope renewed.

I have posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope