Friday, February 26, 2010

Kentucky Allyene PP – February 21, 2010

After traveling through the Kane Valley, turning east on the connector and then south on highway 5A, we continued on, through the little community of Aspen Grove until reaching the turn off to Kentucky Allyene Provincial Park.  You recall I did a posting about this park not too long ago…

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after passing through the area of Aspen trees with their signs reminding everyone that this is Douglas Lake Ranch property and that trespassing is not allowed….the first item of interest was the colours of the various types of willows growing in this boggy area.  The colours were even more spectacular through my tinted sunglasses!  DSLR with suitable filters definitely required!

When we had first started this days trip, highway signs had warned of dense fog on the connector and we had, before we turned off of the Coquilla, noticed that a thick fog bank appeared to hang over the town of Merritt….

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as we proceeded towards the park, hoarfrost on the trees ahead showed that this area must also have been bathed in fog….which by this time, around 1:30 or 2:00 pm, had dissipated…

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but leaving these trees ‘frosted’…..

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of course the sun was in the wrong place….

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trees up on the hillside on the other side of the road were frosted as well…..

and finally the park…

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there is Allyene Lake, if you look really close, there are two dots out there, both ice fishermen, there is even an SUV parked down close to the lake, someone much braver than us as the road looked pretty icy.  It was also cooler here than anywhere we had been although still several degrees above freezing.

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Looking towards Kentucky Lake which would be on the other side of those distance trees.  There had actually been 4 or 5 vehicles parked at the top of the gated road down to Kentucky Lake, from the looks of them, most had carried snowmobiles.

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I’m looking down onto one of the camping areas here, Ernie and Shantz are those little dots in the middle to the left of the picture…

Continuing on now we retraced our route back to Highway 5A, passing Otter Valley Road which is another means of accessing the Voight and Kane Valleys and is a drive we’ll do again some time in the future.  With the day wearing on we stuck to the paved highway…

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Stopping at this rest area about mid-way for a bit of a break….

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there are numerous little lakes along this route and we noticed first that the ice on the lakes was looking ‘rotten’ and then not much further along we found this lake with open water!  Keep in mind that the date is the 21st of February….it isn’t officially spring for another month and in this area ‘spring’ is usually not until at least April…

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but here we were with a thawed lake…

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and already the ducks were back.  This is a pretty poor picture but shows a couple of the male Hooded Merganser that were carrying on.  There were also some Common Goldeneye in this spot as well.

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as we got closer to the town of Princeton, more open water….

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this one with Mallards and some Gadwall (not pictured) on it.

With time moving on we arrived at Princeton and turned west onto the Hope Princeton Highway (Highway #3) heading to Manning Park and eventually, home.

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this picture, shot through the windshield was taken just past ‘East Gate’….sure doesn’t look much like the middle of winter!

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a stop at the lodge to use the facilities…and then we just had to run down to Lightning Lakes day use area to see what it looked like…boy did ‘Tizzy Lizzy’ throw a fit then!!! we thought she was going to explode.

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and there we are….the lake is out there somewhere…there is some snow…but not what we normally see at this time of the year….I’ll have to dig back in my pictures for some comparisons…

carrying on we passed the highest elevation point of Alison Pass where VANOC had been trucking snow to Cypress from….it didn’t look like there was all that much snow here to have spared…

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another windshield shot, taken not all that far past Alison pass and you can see a distinct lack of the white stuff….

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further along yet, but still well before the slide or the community of Sunshine Valley and the snow has virtually disappeared.

A stop in Hope for some supper while listening to the Robins calling…continuing on with one final picture of

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Mt. Cheam with the setting sun shining on it.  Hard to see in this dark shot but all the vegetation along this stretch of the highway right out to Hope had a distinct greenish cast as it is all leafing out.

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