Saturday, 6 July 2013

Hope it doesn't take another 60 years!

We are finally home from the lake. Feels good to be home to catch up on the mail, the garden, and of course the laundry! We have 3 or 4  laundromat buildings at the resort and they are actually quite reasonable to use...but I am a wee bit OCD about how I do my laundry and I like to hang up all our good clothes to dry. No room in an RV to hang up wet clothes and the resort has a clothesline ban!

We can usually make it home in 4 hours but today's journey was a legend trip of about 11 hours...a legend in more ways than one.
We had the grandkids all week for their little mini holiday with us. On our way home, we drove them over to meet up with their Dad and all their little friends and it was their annual Dad's and kids fishing weekend!  They were so excited and chattered between themselves about what fun it would cute! They mentioned several times about the fish they would catch and most of all about the candy they would be able to buy at the "candy store".
Here is the General Store at Salmon was the only retail building for several miles...I assume there is candy inside!!! lol

Salmon Lake is part of the Douglas Lake Ranch, Canada's largest working ranch.
They have several renowned fishing lake enterprises as well. You can rent a deluxe private lodge to sleep 24 complete with boats and full service meals, or beautiful lakefront  houses complete with boats.  If your budget does not cover the huge $ for those, you can rent small cottages,

 or rent RV lots or even tent sites...a firepit, a log to use for splitting wood and a picnic table...ahhhhh...the amenities! lol

We arrived in mid afternoon and their Dad had caught several fish already. He is a catch and release fisherman as he likes to fish just for the sport of it. They were fly fishing as well as trolling depending where they fished.
Just past the camping lots, up by the cottages, there was a small pool. Little Miss C went swimming there with her friends, while DH, SIL and Little Mr P went out in the"tinny" fishing. Poor DH...he got 4 fish on the hook, reeled in and almost netted...almost is not quite good enough is it! They managed to escape just before the net entrapped them! Just in case you wonder how that could happen 4 is the answer...
With a barbless hook, they can just wriggle off!!!

We drove at least an extra 3 hours round trip to take them up there and we were blown away by the rugged beauty.  I had always heard my Dad talk about Douglas Lake Ranch with awe in his voice. My Dad was a farmer and knew the hard work it took to own and run a small farm...let alone a  half million acre farm operation. I now know why his voice always had that sense of awe in it...the ranch truly is awesome!

There were hundreds of acres of hay fields...some being baled as we drove by, others being freshly cut.

The sky was unbelievably blue, with fabulous cloud formations all day.
There were wild horses,
and a huge herd of quarter horses used by the 18 cowboys who work the ranch. Each cowboy has a string of   10 horses...each horse does not have to work more than one day a week. The ranch maintains about  300 horses...maintaining the Quarter Horse bloodlines they established in the 70's and 80's.

There were thousands of cows as they can support a herd of 10,000.  They buy cattle and then sell them on so the herd is 20,000 now.  There is a huge cattle drive each year where the cowboys go out on horseback and bring all the cows in from the grazing lands. My sister and her husband have gone out with their own horses and taken part in this drive...she said it was quite an adventure!

There were turn of the century log barns & buildings,
Here you can see how the old logs were fitted think someone cut those timbers by hand...

and a wee village for the 75 workers and their families...with miles of post and rail fencing.
They even have their own church...You can really see the semi arrid undulating hills behind it.

There were even sections of old stacked rail fences...something that is so quintessentially Canadian.

The ranch is so big that the landscape varies. In some places you are in low valleys of lush meadowlands, others areas are steep, treed rugged mountains, others have scattered  hoodoos and semi arrid scrub land.

The altitude variedsfrom 2600 feet above sea level at the home ranch and goes over 6,000 feet at the perimeter! We drove 49 kilometres in off the main highway...and most of that journey was on a gravel road. There was some pavement but for the most part it was gravel with very little to  no shoulder at all,  so it was hard to stop and get photos safely but I did mange these few. I had to take several of them out the window of the truck as it was driving.

I missed so many spectacular shots due to the windy road and the safety issues of stopping. Those vistas are forever embedded in my mind...they were so ruggedly beautiful.
Just as we turned back onto the highway, there was this delightful little log can see Nicola Lake on the other side of the highway, just behind it.

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip into the Douglas Lake we left DH remarked that he was shocked he had never been there before. He prides himself on having seen so much of B.C. and Alberta's small towns and vistas. He said he could not believe it took him almost 60 years to discover this fabulous place and hoped it would not be 60 more before he returned!

I promise to come back with some cards this weekend...don't want to completely scare off my followers by constantly flogging B.C.'s landscapes! lol


Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah simple superb thanks for sharing Maureen, must be wonderful in summer but freezing in winter :D

Redanne said...

Hi Maureen, I have thoroughly enjoyed your holiday adventure with you! I have only been to BC and Alberta a couple of times but have never heard of Douglas Lake Ranch before either (sadly). Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure! Hugs, Anne x

aussie aNNie said...

Wow, Canada is on our list of our European holiday next year. These are awesome Mo...oh and a coincidence you visited too as I was looking at some shabby chick cards which I googled and one of yours came up....hence I was about to visit you but you beat me to it...

love annie xx

Sandy said...

Isn't this beautiful countryside! thanks for the pictures, I enjoyed them!

Linda . J said...

Wow what fantastic pictures I felt like I was there with you, great scenery, thanks for sharing.
Hugs Linda

Sue said...

Awww Maureen what fabulous photo's it looks so stunning. We have always wanted to visit Canada the scenery is wonderful. I'm so glad you had a great time and I can't wait until August!!!! huggles Sue xxx

nwilliams6 said...

These pictures are wonderful and I enjoyed reading about your trip - TFS! My 6 little cows would sure love it there!

Mary H. said...

Maureen, I so enjoyed your pictures of this wonderfully cool looking place. Always delighted seeing such a vivid blue sky (looks like my Carolina Blue skies I mention from time to time). Also the barn...looked like some we saw in our Deerfield village visit. Loved the split rail fencing too. So picturesque. Your pictures were fantastic, and I hear you about stopping to get a good photo, risking your neck or shooting through the window while you're moving. Your photos all turned out very sharp & clear. Glad the little ones got to enjoy this trip with you, and what memories you have made. And yes, it is (will be) wonderful to be back home again....know how you feel, and I've only been gone a week. TFS & Hugs. Catch you later.

JoZart said...

Thanks so much, I really enjoyed the tour. So different to life and landscapes here in England.
Jo x

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the tour! What beautiful countryside!

Tracy said...

BC is beautiful. We took a family road trip there years ago.
I think that it is wonderful that the kids and fathers go on a fishing trip, such wonderful memories :)

Kathy said...

What GORGEOUS countryside! Your pics are wonderful, Mo...what wonderful memories you'll have of this trip!

Hettie said...

Wow Mo! Looks like you had a grand time and cannot wait to see your scrapbooking of these pics!

Carol said...

It looks and sounds wonderful Maureen, Canada is high up on our list of places to visit and hopefully we'll get there soon. Carol x

Asha said...

Sounds like you had a grand time! Love the pics.
xxx Asha

Mary Jo Rhoda said...

Great photos and beautiful scenery! :)

Darnell J Knauss said...

Oh, Maureen, I'm sorry to say that I am a very vivid shade of green with jealousy that you saw this amazing scenery IRL!! But, sigh, I got the next best thing with your brilliant photography and do thank you for sharing with us!! We haven't been up there for decades and it was wonderful to remember how incredibly beautiful it is ... it's well past time we went back for a visit!!

Mrs A. said...

It's impossible to get my head round the size of this farm/ranch land. It does look beautiful though and thanks for sharing your photos with us. Hugs Mrs A.

Jules said...

Hi Maureen

I have been having a little backtrack on your blog. You have been posting some fabulous photographs.

You seem to have been doing loads and loads and making lots of lovely memories!

Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog.

Love Jules xx

Connie Mercer said...

gorgeous country~thanks for sharing it with us American's:):)

Di said...

Wow, what a fabulous bunch of photos Maureen. Talk about wide open spaces and beautiful scenery.

Hugs, Di xx

DottyA Cards & Things said...

Oh Yes I so enjoyed the trip into Douglas Lake Ranch it's such a beautiful area... Thanks for sharing!