Campbell River, BC

I was lucky enough to be able to go and spend some time with my Dad around Canada Day this year. The trip wasn’t without complications… My Dad had emergency triple bypass surgery four weeks before I arrived, and then we managed to get into a car accident half way through the visit. Who says life has to be boring? Full disclosure about the pictures. I am still shooting in full automatic as I have not become familiar with the manual settings on this camera yet.

For those of you wondering about the bird at the top of the page, it’s a Stellar Jay. They’re found out on the west coast and this was the best shot I could get of one. It’s a little fuzzy because it’s an insanely small crop taken from a much larger picture with my camera on full zoom (400mm-f4-1/800-ISO125) 🙂



The trip began with an overnight stay in Nanaimo. I’d never been there before, and I figured this would stop poor Dad having the deal with an extremely overtired visitor. To get here I ended up flying 4 hours, 1 hour on a bus, 90 min wait at the ferry dock and then a 90 min ferry ride seated next to a kids play area. By the time I arrived at the hotel I was an extremely unhappy camper and did the world a favor by immediately sleeping a couple of hours. I would be the world’s worst contestant on the Amazing Race… This photo was taken from my hotel room which overlooked a beautiful marina. I went running along here the next day and it was gorgeous.



This photo was taken at the Nanaimo ferry dock as I was waiting for the bus to take me to Dad’s. I just found the mix of the blue water and blue sky contrasted against the white ferry very cool. BC is such a green place especially when coming from the urban Toronto environment.



Despite threatening the take a ton of pictures of Dad, I ended up just taking a few. To be fair, he didn’t even know I was taking this one. I just love that I managed to catch him while we were having a quiet cup of coffee at the back of his house. Dad lives on the outer edge of Campbell River, so the back yard was a great quiet place to hang out.



Tried to work a little on my technique as I am still getting used to what this camera can do. These flowers were in Dad’s backyard and I waited for full shade before I started playing with focal length. That is what causes the flowers up front to be in focus, and those behind blurred.

Due to Dad still being in recovery mode (and me as well later on in the week), I didn’t make it to the Canada Day celebrations as I had originally planned. However, I did manage one day to go out and walk trails for about 3 hours straight. The rest of the pics in the blog are from that walk.



I came across this sandy overhanging area where people have been spending their time writing their names in the wall. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of the “don’t write your name on the wall” sign a little to the left. It felt very primeval as if early man had been hanging out here.



The river that ran along one of the paths was incredibly clear. This particular shaded area caught my eye as you could have read a book in the water there it was so clear.



I believe this little guy is a towhee. I was actually lining up a shot of some cool tree bits when he flitted through. He also is a little fuzzy due to the motion and the fact that this picture was cropped down just a bit from another massive zoom shot.



In the middle of a path I came across this little run off. The water actually flows under the path and towards a river. If I am to understand the signage next to this, they are building a salmon run off, I’m guessing for the little salmon but I could be wrong. I on the other hand couldn’t help thinking about sewers and IT… needless to say, I quickly moved on.



The end destination for my trip was Elk Falls. A beautiful area with fall that plunge into a gorge. Since I was here many years ago they have now added viewing platforms and a suspension bridge. As I arrived, there were two men repairing something on the bridge so needless to say I did not check it out. It was a great way to end my journey.



This was the first time I’ve ever come across someone fly fishing. It seems so relaxing and I just had to get a picture of this guy in the middle of a beautiful river.



Finally, the thing that scared the crap out of me during this trip. Prior to taking this long meandering walk through the wood, Dad had been warning me that there had been an increase in cougar and bear sightings/attacks over the last year. He had warned me to keep an eye out while I was adventuring. I had just passed a tree and looked to my right and came practically eye to eye with this “bear”. After letting out what I am sure was a fairly high pitched squeal, I knew I had to capture this for posterity.

My trip to BC was good even if it did not quite work out the way I had planned. I can’t wait till the next time I go out there and Dad and I can explore Vancouver Island with more gusto!!



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