Thursday, July 19, 2018

Better late than never…a ride from last month!

A beautiful day and a ride to Hazelton…..June 19th.

It was a hot and sunny day and Eric said he’d take me out for a ride and we could go anywhere I wanted.  I’d thought we could ride to Prince Rupert but that is always a bit of a “crapshoot!”  If it’s hot and sunny in Terrace it’s usually cooler in Prince Rupert which is okay but they routinely get sea fog and you can’t see a thing when you get there.  Another day. 

So…off in the other direction to Hazelton.  The weather had been cool and rainy but a Pacific high built up and it would be hot today …over 35C which is warm for the north.

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Just east home and you can see there is still lots of snow on the mountains.  It’s 9am and it’s cool and crisp as we head east along the Skeena River. 

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This is what we call Boychuk’s farm.  In the old days we used to buy weaner pigs here from ….Boychuk.  He moved to Alberta many years ago but you know how it is…the name just stuck.  The current owner has cut the fields hoping to get the hay crop off.  The weather is calling for thunder storms in the next day or two so it’s a bit of a risk.  That’s what we always hated about haying in this country. 

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The wide open highway and not a lot of traffic…..perfect!

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The Seven Sisters mountains. 

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We’re heading into Kitwanga now and are just crossing the Skeena River for a quick ride into the village.  We are heading north on Higway 37 which is the road that will take you to Alaska.

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We turn right and head into the old village of Gitwangak where we see the old church on the left.

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Very old totem poles.

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We continue through the village and then get back onto Higway 37, head up the hill and turn left at the north end of Kitwanga and loop back south through the town.

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The tiny town RV park in Kitwanga. 

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Back to the intersection with Highway 16 and we will go left towards Hazelton after fueling up. 

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There was a large group of motorcyclists who had just returned from the north on Highway 37 which heads to Alaska.  I noted plates from a few states in the USA. 

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Coming into Hazelton and we will turn left at the tourist bureau heading into Old Hazelton.

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First we cross the Hagwilget suspension bridge over the Bulkley river.  The current bridge was constructed in 1931 and reinforced in 1990.  It is 262 feet over the river!

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Downstream the Bulkley River joins the Skeena River at Old Hazelton. 

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One lane over the very deep Hagwilget canyon.  In the old days the natives (now First Nations) had foot bridges made from poles over the canyon.

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You can turn left and go into K’San which is a Gitxsan historical village which was founded before Hazelton was in 1866.  Here the Bulkley river joins the Skeena river. 

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We’ve come down into Old Hazelton where we’ll sit by the Skeena river and have our picnic lunch.  This is as far inland as the paddle wheelers could travel on the Skeena River.

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This is a tourist area now with lots of old buildings. 

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I just love this old craftsman style house.

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Big Red is parked and we go to sit down to have lunch.

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Next to the tourist information building they have old machinery with plaques about their history.

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I set the camera on a picnic table and ….voila….here we are! 

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Lots of history here with a paddle wheel boat on display. 

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After lunch we take a quick ride up the Kispiox Valley Road. 

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Another bridge ….this time over the Skeena River.

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Looks like it should be one lane.

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Muddy with spring run-off.

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And yet another one lane bridge this time over the Kispiox River at Kispiox Village where there are more totem poles.   As it soon as the road turned to gravel we turned around to head back.

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Back over the Hagwilget Bridge.

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Time to head home.  It was cool when we left home this morning but now it was really sizzling and we were tired and hot. 

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We turn right on Highway 16 for Terrace.

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You just can’t beat the scenery on these rides in the north.

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Straight as an arrow here and quiet as well.

We stopped for a quick break at a pull off and guzzled a bottle of water each, had a quick “bum break” and then back on the road to head home.

It was a beautiful ride on a beautiful day!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tidying up the fields and flowers in bloom.

 

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Up until about 2010 we were still cutting hay on the farm.  Now that we no longer do that Eric goes out with the brush mower pulled by his 1963, 55hp David Brown tractor.  We’ve had this tractor since 1978 and it came with a rebuilt engine and new clutches and then Eric put new tires on it after he stripped it down and painted it.   When he got the tractor Eric got rid of the lousy generator charging system and put a GMC alternator on it and it’s been great ever since.  The only repair necessary has been a bebuild of the fuel injector pump.  It has done almost all of the work on the place over the years, plowing, discing, haying, brush mowing, fertilizer spreading and snowblowing the road into the farm and it still runs like a champ!

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Isn’t it cute!  Later on we bought the Kubota which meant that Eric had a cab when he was blowing snow in the winter. 

While Eric is mowing the fields to tidy them up I’m on our 20 year old 20hp Craftsman riding lawnmower tidying up the yard.  Needless to say Eric is meticulous about maintenance so most of our equipment has never been replaced. 

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The gardens are growing like mad.

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Baptisia….tall with blue sweet pea like flowers that later become huge pods.  Not a plant that you would see very often.

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A bit blurry but you can see how much the bumble bees love it.

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Thalictrum…or Meadow Rue. Tall and it’s blooms are like a floating cotton candy puff …I have it all over the yard …even in pink.  I do have to make sure I dead head it after blooming as it’s voracious self seeder. 

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Tradescantia or Spiderwort in it’s yellow form.  Looks lovely with it’s blue flowers.  When I started flower gardening over thirty years ago (vegetables came first!) I found that I needed to learn the Latin names of plants.  I wanted to own every plant I could find and the only way to differentiate between them was by their Latin names. So…I wish I’d learned Spanish for my travels to Mexico but I also wish I’d taken Latin for my gardening addiction!  French has been of absolutely no use to me at all.  As time has passed my love of “ all “ plants has waned and my criteria for a plant to warrant space in my garden has tightened up.  Thugs are slowly being eliminated!  If a plant spreads too fast or self seeds all over the place I dig it up and toss it into the pit that Eric dug for me with the back hoe.  That way he can cover up the pit (so the plants don’t spread) and dig me a new one.    Some self seeders and spreaders are tolerated if they are exceptional and manageable such as Thalictrum and Alchemilla Mollis or Lady’s mantle.

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A lovely old white variety of peony that used to bloom beside the house where I grew up in Burnaby.  After my mother passed away at the young age of 58 I dug it up and brought it to Terrace to bloom in my garden.  I believe it is called Maxima and it has a lovely scent and is tough as nails.  Plus…it reminds me of my mother.  Funny enough it came with some red and yellow tulips around it and they never died out. 

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It will take Eric days to mow all the fields but it will look neat and tidy when he’s done.  It takes all of our effort to keep the place groomed, brushed and weeded to look it’s best.  To Eric’s left is my large day lily border that will bloom in mid summer. 

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The bearded iris’s are blooming next to the poppies.  I’m not fond of orange in the garden but it looks nice next to the purple iris’s. 

Another snippet of the Tycho’s summer life in Terrace!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Water Line To The RV Building

When we got home this year Eric decided it was time to get water to the building where the 5th wheel is stored.  He washes and waxes the 5th wheel over the summer and that has meant dragging a hose from the garden over the lawn to get water and it is not convenient at all.  We already have power and a septic tank there but…not water. 

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This is a picture from when we got home at the beginning of May and you can see not much of anything is growing.  On the left is the hosta garden and they are just poking their heads up out of the ground.  Far in the distance on the right you can see a speck of brown which is our pump house building.  In the early days before we had the gravity water system we used a shallow well.   The water line from the house goes to it and this is how Eric brought water to the garden.  There is a water line under the ground to the head of the dry stream bed and he decided to tap into that to get water to the building.

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The poly pipe has been moved and spliced in and continued down the stream bed. It was then fished under the lawn through the previously laid drainage pipe.  The dry stream bed has plastic under it and is used to drain ground water away from the front yard and channel it out into the gravel on the other side of the lawn by the RV building.  

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Here Eric is working on the box where he will have taps to shut off and drain the water line when we leave in the fall. 

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Under this box is another hole with drain rock in it so the drainage water from the pipe on the right has some where to go when it rains.

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All nice and neat and when he’s done the lawn will be replanted and the box will be level so we can mow over it. 

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Contemplation!

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Success….we have water! 

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…and lots of it.  Eric has put a pipe with taps at each end of the building and I can use the water for the front part of the garden, the lawn and Eric will have water for washing the RV.  If someone comes to stay we can now hook the RV up to water.   All good!

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It’s the first week of June and the hosta’s have put on some growth.  Behind them the rhododendron is in full bloom.  When I planned the hosta garden I ordered many different ones so they would make a varied display.  Turned out nice….don’t you think!

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To the left the dry stream bed and in the distance the RV building…now with water. 

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I missed putting pictures of the Kubota picking up the branches and small trees that Eric has been cutting down and I have helped to pile. Here he just slid under the pile and closed the grapple to pick up the brush.  The grapple on front and the logging winch on the back and he can easily switch to the bucket if he needs it.

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Up high in the air and off to the burning pile in the field.  Still lots of hand work hauling everything out of the bush and piling it but we’d be lost without the grapple to pack the brush away.  If we are out working together we just pile the brush right on the grapple.

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I decided to walk out into the field and take a picture of the burning pile that we’ve created and on the way I passed Eric’s scrap metal collection.  Whenever he needs to weld something up or do a repair this is where he comes.

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The burning pile.  It is about 12 feet high and won’t get burned until the fall. 

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A bit of sunshine and the yard looks nice!