Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prairies and Ferries

The Husband and I have been on a little jaunt for the past week. Out to the prairies to celebrate an 80th birthday party with the distaff side of my family; visit the brothers; take a drive through the grasslands, Porcupine Hills and the mountains: the Columbia Range, the Rockies, the Purcell Range, the Selkirks and the Monashees. And all the way, the air is laden with light-to-heavy smoke from the multitude of wildfires ravaging this country.

Thousands of Painted Lady butterflies were feeding on the alfalfa flowers at
Brother Scott's place near Standard, AB.

Crop land ready for harvest, somewhere south of Carmangay close to Highway 23.

I get homesick for this landscape every so often; a visit is good for the soul.

And the next day was completely different landscapes.
Waiting for the ferry at Kootenay Bay to cross the lake
on our way to Nelson and points north.

We meandered our way through cropland and pasture land, passing through Claresholm and taking SR 520 through the Porcupine Hills to Highway 22; hence towards the Crowsnest Pass and points west. Spent the night at Cranbrook and as is our wont, delayed breakfast whilst travelling until we got to Creston. Up to Nelson, over to the Slocan Valley and a night at Nakusp.

The last leg was a short one, from Nakusp to Vernon and home again. Thought I'd take a minute and share some photos of the cable ferry that crosses Arrow Lakes from Fauquier to Needles.

Arrow Lakes was once two separate lakes, until it became a reservoir for a hydro dam. The Needles Ferry is cable ferry, and of all the ferries we've used in BC and Alberta, this is one of the very few cable ferries.

On the Fauquier side of Arrow Lake, looking west.

Cable anchor on the north side of the east launch.

Cable line extending down into the water and across the lake.

Ferry approaching the Fauquier side;
see the cable line beginning to rise out of the water.

You can now see that there are three lines: one to either side, and one in the middle.

As the ferry approaches, the ramp begins to lower.

The ramp and launch are mated ...

... the barrier arms are raised ...

... and the vehicles disembark.

Westbound traffic waiting to embark.

The ferry empty and waiting for its next load of vehicles.

The Husband checking out landmarks on the eastern shore.
Not the heavy smoke making the skyline hazy.

Smoky hides the view, making it mysterious.
Let's pray for lots of rain, and soon.


  1. We've been having fires here in Southern France; it happens most years. I suspect many are started deliberately by idiots.

    1. A majority of these fires are from lightning but far too many are careless people, and unfortunately arson as well.

  2. I get home sick too for the prairies too. Nothing like seeing golden wheat in the North Dakota prairies. Where we live now Millersburg, Pa) we have a small ferry that only runs in the summer months from one side of the Susquehanna River to the other. Believe me nothing as beautiful as yours.

    1. Ferries are often an integral part of the highway system here in the mountains. They can be annoying, if you miss the crossing by mere minutes or there is a long lineup, but they are also calming and beautiful.