Thursday, 15 September 2011

Arrival: Myra Falls

We drove around the lake and found the road to the Myra Falls Parking lot.  As you can see from the phot of the map, Myra Falls is not in Strathcona Provincial Park but in Strathcona Westmin Provincial Park.  There are two parks with similar names.  The government split off part of the original park, tacked the name of a mining company onto the original name and created a class B park which allows mining.  So they cheapened the park in order to dig up some rocks.

We took the less travelled, upper path and this lead us onto a rather narrow and treacherous path.  "Caution be damned" seems to be Brett's motto when it comes to potentially lethal falls off of tall rockfaces into churning water.  He's always got to get some shot of white water in some gorge sure to kill a body if a body does fall in.  Yes, he did take a bit of a slip that made me gasp.  MY CAMERA!

The falls drop several times before they get to the main pools.  This log, once a full sized tree, had been washed down to its present location.  Winter must see even stronger water flow.

The trail then lead us back away from the perilous cliffs and down this rather steep and narrow path.  Skittering all the way we managed not to fall or otherwise tumble our way down.

The path lead down to the upper of the two main pools.  Everywhere I go I run into German tourists.  True to form there was a gaggle of them at the falls.  Having talked to friends from Germany they have told me everyone there loves Canada because we have so much wild area left.

This  moth had lost its life in a very calm little side puddle.  Usually I'll check out stuff like this to see if the animal is still alive and if I can possibly help out.  Having poked it to ensure it wasn't in need of assistance I got the gamera rigged for close up shots and took this one.

Below the last pool the river starts to cut a bit of a gorge away again.  The rock layers have given way to look like steps.

The cut lets the river down into Buttle Lake.

We had an earthquake up island and off the west coast last week.  At 6.4 it wasn't strong enough to cause any damage but it was felt as far away as Vancouver.  I never feel these things.  I've also been known to sleep through houses burning to the ground across the street.  This shot shows a good illustration of how the the earth can bend things up.  Look how arched this bit of rock is!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Further Down Buttle Lake, Swimming and Myra Falls (far view).

After the stroll up to Lupin Falls we got back into the car and continued down the lake.

We stopped at a little beach with this weird sort of nurse log thing going on.  I ran up to the car and got my towel.  Ran back down to the beach, ripped off my clothes and hobbled quickly down into the water.  The rocks were big and sharp, the water was cold and numbing.

So fo course that good Brett snaps a shot of my painful and concentrated exit from the water!  I lumbered out... stepped on something very sharp... flopped down on my towel and laid back to warm up just a little.  After drying off I gathered up my clothes and go dressed.  We hopped back into the car and continued down the lake road.  Then we saw it!


Myra Falls.  This photo is taken from across the rather large Buttle lake with my rather pitiful telephoto lens.  Still, you can see what an impressive set of falls it is.  We both agreed we had to try to find a way over there.  Luckily it ended up that the road took us right to it.

More of the falls in the next post.

Gimp Foot

In 2004 I was returning home from a little bit of skinny dipping up at Salisbury Lake way out past Mission when my car was hit by an approaching car who had crossed the center line.  The other car crushed in the driver's side of my car.  My driver's side wheel was bent into the wheel well, which caved in, smashing into my ankle and busting it into many little bits.  My car spun around 2 and a half times and came to rest pointing back the way I had come.  While waiting for the ambulance to arrive some yahoo drove by and shouted out the window, "Sucks to be you!"  I was wisked off to the hospital where I waited 2.5 days for surgery to bolt, plate and screw my ankle back together.

I woke up with my leg wrapped in this nice clean white bandage.  Other than the pain of recovery all seemed peachy!

My surgeon, Dr. Tracy Hicks told me to invert my crutch and hook it under my toes and pull back.  This would increase the range of mobility I would have after healing.  Some people seem to have a problem with Dr. Hicks.  I don't.  He fixed my ankle, wrote a very good report for my lawsuit against the other driver and was always positive and joking when I had to attend the casting clink for check ups.  My theory as to why people don't like him is that he doesn't suffer whiners and many people who are injured are huge crybabies.  People also expect to come out the other side of major body trauma with no ill effects.  This simply does not happen.  People need to get over it and stop blaming doctors who do good work.

Inevitably I had to take the dressing off.  What lay underneath was truly disgusting.  The tissue was all kinds of bruised colours from black to yellow.  They'd stapled my incisions closed and the stretching had pulled some of the staples out.  I ended up with a minor skin infection that cleared up be left some extra scarring.  BLECK!

It took 8 months to heel up fully from the injury and even then I was shakey on my feet.  It took some months more to regain my strength and lose the weight I'd put on while laid up.

Lupin Falls

On the opposite side of the Buttle Lake road than the lake is a forested area with a path that leads to Lupin Falls.  This smaller waterfall is quite nice and not actually so entirely tiny.

Here the stream winds through the trees and mossy rocks.

There were lots of dead fall logs in the stream.  Of course the water just flows over and around them.

Brett's been so kind here as to illustrate the scale of things.

A little more zoomed in.

And we finally got to the falls themselves.  There was a main drop then a level bit and then another shorter drop.

 Then we crossed back over the little bridge to climb up a bit of dirt and rock to get to the higher part of the falls.

Woodpeckers had had a field day with this old, dead stump.

There's Brett at the upper area of the falls.  The scramble trail we'd climbed didn't go any further.  We looked around a little bit more, but we'd seen all the good stuff... so it was back to the car and off to see a REAL waterfall.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Campbell River, Buttle Lake, Northward and Home

Some Pictures we took on our trip up island.  This batch is all of Buttle Lake and the areas around it.