“Pic of the Week”, March 20, 2020: Alpenglow on the Kootenay Rockies

03 Kootenay Rockies, February

I was passing through the Kootenay Rockies of Eastern British Columbia at dusk, just as the sun was setting.  That occurs early during the winter months, around 4 – 5 pm.  It was a clear day and I could see a bit of the alpenglow on the snow clad mountains. 

The alpenglow is a band of reddish light observed in the direction opposite of the setting sun, and occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.  It’s best appreciate on the mountain tips, as you see here. The phenomenon lasts just a minute or two, then it’s gone.  But it was a lovely scene.

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / Sri Lanka

St. Clair’s Tea Center, Sri Lanka

01 St. Clair’s Tea Center

High in the mountains of central Sri Lanka you’ll find vast plantations of tea.  Interspersed among these are tea centers, wherein you can stop, sample some of the local tea and purchase some to take with you.  Some of these stops include a free tour of a tea production factory; here you can see how the tea leaves are dried, fermented, roasted, crushed and prepared for market.

Near the city of Nuwara Eliya we stopped at St. Clair’s Tea Center, which is only a tea shop with no adjoining factory tour.  St. Clair’s was founded in the 19th century by James Ryan, who was among the first in the region to begin growing and experimenting with tea.  The plantation is named …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 7, 2020: A Winter’s Day in Idaho

02 Fresh Snow in the Rockies

While driving through the mountains in the winter can be risky, on a clear day it’s an absolute pleasure to do so, especially if there’s been some recent snow.  These photos were taken in in southern British Columbia and northern Idaho.

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

A Day at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

01 Lake Bohinj, Slovenia (4)

Slovenia is a small country that has some big beautiful scenery.  Its two most famous lakes are Lake Bled (the more popular) and Lake Bohinj.  Lake Bohinj is about an hour’s drive from Ljubljana, the nation’s largest city and capital, and a 30 minute drive from Lake Bled.

There’s a lot to recommend a visit to Lake Bohinj over Lake Bled, although by all means visit both if you have the time.  The lakes are separated by only 26 kms of lovely mountain scenery, and it’s easy to drive from one to the other. Bohinj has a more natural setting that Bled, with less development and fewer tourists.  It is surrounded by the grand Julian Alps and Triglav National Park (the only national …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory

04 Kluane NP (8)

One of the more remote regions on the North American continent is Kluane National Park, located in southwestern Yukon, 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse.  It’s minimally accessible by car and has few hiking trails, most of which are near the outskirts of the park.  The park’s backcountry is largely inaccessible except to rugged individuals who like to blaze their own trail.  The best way to see Kluane’s backcountry is by plane (on a clear day).  It’s a very beautiful but rough landscape, filled with tall peaks, roaring rivers and glaciers. 

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

The town of Haines Junction is at the convergence point of the two highways that skirt Kluane National Park and Reserve, namely the Haines Highway heading north from Haines in the …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 7, 2018: Unbearably Lake Tahoe

05 Lake Tahoe, California (19)

An art form I enjoy, which has seen growing popularity these past few decades, is chainsaw carvings.  As the name implies, the artist uses chainsaws of different size to work a piece of dried raw wood into the final carved piece.  The carvings are often large and heavy.  The wood is then generally stained or painted and sealed with varnish or polyurethane to protect the art.  

While driving around Lake Tahoe this past summer — a beautiful scenic drive that’s highly recommended — we came across several homes on the California side of the lake that had some fine examples of carved bears.  I thought they were quite good and stopped to get some photos.  Not sure if all the ones …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

A Mountain with Horns: Cuernos del Paine, Chile

Paines Massif, Torres Del Paine (132)

I’ve been a lover of mountains for as long as I can remember. I grew up on the painfully flat plains of Manitoba (and I mean f-l-a-t, like a pancake), and still vividly recall seeing my first mountains when I was a toddler of about 2 or 3 years old. These were the amazing Alberta Rocky Mountains visited on one of many family vacations to Banff.  I was fascinated by mountains then and remain so to this day. 

I have seen many beautiful and interesting mountains in my life and have a list of favorites — the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Ama Dablam, Mt. Assiniboine, Cascade mountain, Mauna Kea, and so on.  But there is no mountain formation I find more interesting than …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 22, 2018: Views of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California (1)

Lovely Lake Tahoe!  It has been described as the “gem of the Sierras” and it’s hard to argue with that.

Its statistics are impressive.  Lake Tahoe is situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at 6,225 ft (1,897 m) and straddles the California/Nevada border.  At 1,645 ft (501 m) deep, it is the second deepest lake in the United States  — only Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper at 1,945 ft (593 m).  It holds more water than any lake in the US, excluding the five Great Lakes.

And the scenery is spectacular.  As are the hiking opportunities around the lake!

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