Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18 – Hells Gate and Flood Falls

It was a grey day with a forecast of rain this afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. Monday is supposed to be OK but that means a lot to pack in the few good or so so days.

The western end of the Kettle Valley Railway is near Hope. We biked some of the more eastern sections while in the Okanogan. There are 4 tunnels, called the Othello Tunnels, that make a short picturesque hike. The tunnels normally open in April but this year were supposed to open today. For them to open the ice inside the tunnels must melt so that they can break off any rocks that the ice has loosened. Both the visitor’s center and an online article I found said that today was the day. The people at the visitor’s center also said it would be really busy this weekend.

Long story short. Nope. We actually followed a ranger truck out early this morning and she said that they were not finished but that maybe it would open at noon. We decided to walk in the short distance to the first tunnel anyway. On the way in we met two groups that confirmed that they were still closed.

This is what greeted us.

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We could see trucks parked in the tunnel. I don’t think they would be done in a few hours.

The scenery along the path was nice so it wasn’t a total bust.

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Back at the parking lot we told two other, now annoyed groups, to not bother. The ranger told us to try again late Monday, when the long weekend crowd has died down, assuming they do open.

Our next choice was to drive up the Fraser Canyon to Hell’s Gate. I think I have driven by it a couple of times on trips long ago. It was time to check it out. It is about 50 km north of Hope.

The drive up the canyon was nice but there are not a lot of place to stop for pictures and without the sun …

Down we go.

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I tried to do a panorama inside the cab. It really distorted the kid at the end.

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On the last day that they are open in the fall, they invite people to bring pumpkins for some target practise.

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Anyone that brings a carved pumpkin gets free ticket and a chance to hit the target. I forget what the prize is. The operator said that they just leave the pumpkins down there, as a huge orange pile, for the wild animals to eat. I seem to remember he said that last year there were hundreds of pumpkins.

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Out to the bridge.

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Jennie likes looking at the swirling water so much that she went out on the open grate bridge.

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A very weird photosphere.

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There were a few displays to check out.

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We hadn’t brought lunch so we tried the expensive but very good salmon chowder.

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A train passed us on the far side.

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Coming out of the tunnel opposite us.

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The trains are really long. There was still a lot to go by us but we could see the front, far down the canyon.

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One was heading up the canyon on our side as well.

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We can stare at the swirling water for a long time.

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It was fun to watch whirlpools form and disappear.

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A large tree floated by.

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After quite a while we headed back up and then to the car across the highway.

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Since it was still early we decided to do the very short 1 km hike to the bottom of the long ribbon waterfall, called Flood Falls, that we can see from our campground.

It was a slight climb up beside the creek through a mossy open forest.

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Lots of strange stumps.

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Judging by the amount of debris around, the creek must sometimes run a lot higher.

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Our first look at the falls.

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We have got to wear brighter colours, especially on these dull days. Jennie is sitting on the large rock, below.

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A wider one with her standing on the rock.

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You can actually easily see her in this one.

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The required photosphere. We took a bunch of movies but our internet is limited so I will have to add them later.

I like the detail in this one, that Jennie took with her phone.

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I had to get into at least one picture today.

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Heading back.

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The view from near the campground.

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The arrow points to where I think is the top of what we could see.

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The passenger train, The Rocky Mountaineer, roared by as we pulled into the campground.

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1 comment:

  1. We loved looking at the rushing water in Hells Gate!!!!

    ReplyDelete