Thursday Challenge – JOYFUL


Tulips by the thousands! (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

This week’s photo challenge is “JOYFUL—any scene that is Joyful, Happy, Hopeful)

Fields of tulips always make me happy.  These were photographed in Abbotsford, B.C. this spring.

To see more photographic interpretations of JOYFUL, visit the links on this week’s Thursday Challenge page.

Next Week: JOYFUL (week 2 of 2) (Any scene that is joyful, happy, hopeful,…)

Lovely Creston, B.C.

We left Cranbrook shortly after lunch (July 12th) and motored the 108 km. to our next stop—Creston. As we neared the town we passed more and more fruit stands. We will pick up some cherries later, we promised ourselves.

After we got settled in our motel we wandered through the town. Murals, from smallish homey paintings to entire walls were photo bait I couldn’t resist.

This 1988 series is getting a little faded but continues to tell the story of logging in the community.


Darlene MacDonald painted these murals about logging in Creston, dated 1988.


Canyoun City Lumber Co., established in 1910.


This panel depicts the relationship between the train and the horse–both essential to early logging.


Another detail of the horse section of the mural.


This panel pictures the logging arch. It eased the burden of the horses as logs were moved to the mills.


The first logging truck. The introduction of trucks was a big logging advancement. (The above photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The slide show, below, has more Creston murals and building art.

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After our walk we kept our promise to ourselves and drove to the edge of town where she stopped at the Margo’s Farm fruit stand. True to the sign, there were cherries of all the varieties listed plus more and the accommodating keeper of the stand let us sample each kind. We ended up choosing Raniers—a wonderful creamy-colored  sweet-tart variety of cherry—the best I had all year.

That evening we also drove Highway 21 to the U.S. border, which is very nearby. We didn’t have our passports on us so weren’t tempted to explore across the line.


Border crossing into the U.S. just south of Creston, B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Next morning we walked one of the trails of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA).


We climbed this viewing tower which yielded vistas from all directions.


Viewing tower – CVWA (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

What we saw from the tower.

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(All photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Other treats on this walk were:

A heron sighting:


Heron  (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

An osprey alighting on its platform nest:


Osprey nest (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Wildflowers + bugs:


Wildflowers and bug (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

This picturesque bridge:


Pretty bridge on the CVWMA walk (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The Visitor Centre. Its main room housed many lifelike stuffed animals, posed against murals of the natural landscape.

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Inside the CVWMA Visitor Center

(All photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Then it was in the car again and off to the Kootenay Ferry.


On the road again – in the beautiful Kootenay region of B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Thursday Challenge (SUN)


SUN  (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

This week’s Thursday Challenge is SUN. I don’t even remember where I found this sun hanging, but its bold lines and smug expression caught my eye.

To see more photographic interpretations of sun, visit the links on this week’s Thursday Challenge page.

Next Week: SUN (week 2 of 2) (Sunrise, Sunset, Sunset colors,…)

Kootenay Gems – Marysville Falls (Kimberley) & Cranbrook

In the afternoon of July 11th we arrived in Kimberley. We stopped at my sister’s for coffee and then she took us to Marysville where we walked the beautiful path along Mark Creek past the Marysville Falls.


Mark Creek and flowing into Marysville Falls (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Noticing some bikes inside the chain linked area, we scanned the gorge below us and sure enough, there were kids scrambling around the cliffs at the base of the falls. We watched for a bit and I even caught one mid-dive.


Cliff diver taking the plunge just below Marysville Falls (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The surrounding area is beautiful with wild flowers, like these pink mallows.


Pink mallow (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

It’s always a treat to stay with family on a vacation road trip. Sis fed us and generally looked after  us well. (Thank you so much!)


Sis, cooking up a storm. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The next morning we did a little explore of Cranbrook and surrounding area. The Elizabeth Lake Bird Sanctuary was beautiful this July morning.

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Back in town, we took in the historical murals. This town has a thing about the railroad. It is celebrated in these murals and the beautiful Railroad Museum. (Click on any photo to isolate.)


At the Railroad Museum we weren’t in time for a tour of the refurbished vintage luxury rail cars, but we did see the elaborate miniature railway display (and push the button to make the trains go round).


The elaborate miniature railroad even had this mighty trestle (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Several trains were activated by a switch to run round the track (through tunnels and over bridges) (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Also part of the museum are these artifacts (if you can call something as huge as a fireplace and a room complete with decorative pillars, arches,  and ceiling ornaments ‘artifacts’) from Canada’s golden age of railroading. The information poster read:

“The fireplace was from the main dining room—The Alexandra Room—of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s famous Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, built in 1906. The dining room was a larger room than the hotel’s Grand Cafe, that has also been fully restored here and now called Royal Alexandra Hall, located in another part of this building complex.

“When the hotel was demolished in 1971, this fireplace and the entire Grand Cafe were saved by the contractor due to their great beauty. They were placed in storage for over 25 years in a semi-trailer in Winnipeg—virtually forgotten—until the Museum purchased the items in 1999. This was just in time for them to incorporated into preliminary designs for new facilities at this new larger site, part of which were opened in 2014.”

(Click on any photo to isolate)

This beautiful quilt, made by some women in the community and on display in the museum is symbolic of the history and community spirit of Cranbrook.


Cranbrook Quilt (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Thursday Challenge: HAIR

Version 2

Little girl hair (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Little girls at an outdoor concert, waiting for the music and dancing to begin. What fascinated me about these youngsters is that they all wear their hair at a similar length and pretty much in the same style.

To see more photographic interpretations of HAIR, visit the links on this week’s Thursday Challenge page.

Next week: SUN (Sunrise, Sunset, Sunset colors,…)

Hot Springs – Radium & Fairmont, B.C.

It started raining as we drove away from Invermere (Tuesday, July 12). Even so, the views on our drive to Radium Hot Springs were spectacular, with the outlines of the distant hills softened by mist.


River view from a Highway 95 pullout (© 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Another Highway 95 vista (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Radium Hot Springs is outside of the town of Radium. It’s a Parks Canada-managed park. Maybe that’s why the grounds and the building that house the facilities look frumpy—old and in need of a facelift.

I don’t know exactly what I expected of the hot springs. Maybe some steaming sylvan pool in the cedars, bordered by ferns, outdoorsy and romantic. That’s not what this is.

A bath in the hot springs involves a soak in a turquoise pool that looks for all the world like a giant hot tub. (I didn’t take photos because I can’t imagine unsuspecting takers-of-the-waters would appreciate finding their creamy guts and thighs displayed on a stranger’s blog.)

However, this lovely mural (behind glass), in the building’s lobby, pictures Radium Hot Springs more like I had imagined them.


Aboriginal families enjoy Radium – Mural (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Thirty-six kilometres from Radium Hot Springs are the Fairmont Hot Springs. We drove there next.

These springs have been commercially developed. The hot pool is on the grounds of the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort with lots of cabins, timeshares, and camping facilities all around. Even on this cloudy day, the lineup to get into the pool was long.


Hot pool at the Fairmont Resort (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Poolside area – Fairmont Resort (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Behind the hotel hubby and I found a bridge that took us over a stream. On the other side we descended to a path that followed the watercourse.


Walking path that follows the stream behind the Fairmont Resort (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Splattering falls sprayed from the cliff-top, tumbling and dripping over the mossy rocks. At one point we noticed what looked like crude bowls someone had constructed to catch the hot spring-warmed water.


Thermally heated water fills homemade pools below the rocks (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

This detail of the above photo shows the lower pool quite clearly.


Detail shows green pool in the foreground (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

There was another pool further up (judging from this trio of  disembodied heads, visible about the rocks). It looked to us like the gents used a crude log bridge to cross the stream to get to their authentic hot spring experience.


Heads of bathers in top pool (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Log bridge crosses the stream to the natural hot pools (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

By now it was time for lunch.We walked back to the parking lot, found a table on the Fairmont grounds and ate the picnic we had brought with us in our cooler.

Before heading to my sister’s home in Kimberley, we made one more stop—at Canal Flats. We didn’t find much of stores or interesting shops in this sleepy sawmill town. But we did follow some “Beach” signs. They led us eventually to this groomed and tidy beach on Columbia Lake.  It was pretty much deserted, except for a parking lot attendant, who was there to make sure all users paid. We assured her we were “just looking” and quickly skedaddled.


Canal Flats beach on Columbia Lake (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Turtles, moose, & some history (Invermere, B.C.)

We left Red Deer Sunday morning, July 10th and headed west—destination Invermere, B.C. Soon we saw the mountains again (Rockies) and then we were in them.


Rocky Mountains in the distance (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


A magnificent mountain at close range (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Invermere is a town in the Columbia River Valley of B.C. between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges. It sits right on Windermere Lake, which has a reputation of being one of the warmest lakes in the Columbia Valley.


Invermere, on Lake Windermere, B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

After getting local maps at the Visitor Centre and checking into our downtown motel, we went to find that lake. A 15-minute or so walk took us there. On this sunny July day, lots of people were taking advantage of the warm water.


Invermere beach (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

We wandered away from the beach to another smaller body of water nearby—Dorothy Lake. It had its own population of bathers and sun-worshippers—a log full of painted turtles. Nearby we also saw some of these critters (marmots? prairie dogs?)


Turtles sunning on a log in Dorothy Lake (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Painted turtles (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


A handsome rodent of some kind (marmot? prairie dog?) (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

We sauntered back to town and down Sunday-lazy 7th Avenue (the main street), stopping along the way at a treat shop for an ice-cream in a fresh made still-warm waffle cone. Later that night we ate at Safta’s Middle Eastern Restaurant (where hubby tasted his first falafel balls) while listening to the opening act of the restaurant’s music open mic. (Later in the evening, judging by the number of cars parked around, the place filled up quite nicely.)


Safta’s Mediterranean Restaurant  (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The refreshing cool air of Monday morning invited us to explore more of the main street. Again we passed and petted “Rusty the Moose” (Sculpture by Jeff Fleming).


“Rusty the Moose” by Jeff Fleming  (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Me, patting Rusty (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Further along we came upon a strange sight—a gully right in the middle of town. “Pothole Park” the sign informed us. It turns out this is a souvenir from the ice age. The sign board read:

“Pothole Park features a unique landform called a Glacial Kettle. Kettles are created when blocks of ice break loose from glaciers (like giant ice cubes) and are left behind. When the ice blocks melt a “hole” is left and this is called a kettle. Some kettles fill with water while others stay dry, grow trees, grass, shrubs and provide an interesting place for people and animals to enjoy—such as our very own Pothole Park.”


Pothole Park, Invermere (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Mysterious rock-strewn area just above the hole of Pothole Park (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Right next to Pothole Park is Invermere’s B.C. Spirit Square. Its centerpiece is a monument to the pioneers. On each of four sides are relief sculptures illustrating scenes from B.C.’s history. On the top stands David Thompson, quadrant in hand, peering into the distance (Thompson was known as “The man who measured Canada.”) Next to him is his Aboriginal wife Charlotte Small Thompson.


Relief sculpture “Winter 1787 with the Peigans” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


“Columbia Discovered – 1807” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


“At the mouth of the Columbia – July 1811 (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


“Crossing Athabasca Pass – winter 1811” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


David Thompson and Charlotte Small Thompson – Artist: Rich Roenisch, Longview Alberta (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


“David Thompson and Charlotte Small Thompson” (2) (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Detail – David Thompson’s quadrant. He was called  “The man who measured Canada” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

At the end of 7th Ave. we found  Invermere’s museum. Though it wasn’t open when we arrived I could take interior photos of some of the buildings just fine by holding my camera up to the windows. (Click on any photo to enlarge)

Before we left, the museum lady opened up and we browsed the collection. Some of my favourite pieces were puzzle blocks (I had a set when I was little) and this lovely old Singer, along with Simplicity patterns, reminding me of my mother.


Then it was back to the motel to pack up, check out, and carry on with our Kootenay adventure which was off to a great start!




Gospel Music Celebration (Red Deer, AB)

The Gospel Music Celebration in Red Deer Alberta is a weekend of wall-to-wall music. If you enjoy the various flavours of gospel music, it’s definitely the place to be in western Canada each early July (this year July 7-9).

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Celebration.

The Pilkey Sisters
These ladies from our part of the world (Abbotsford, B.C.) know how to harmonize! We first heard them (and loved them) at the 2015/16 New Year’s Eve concert in Chilliwack.  On Friday night they didn’t disappoint. They recently released a CD!


The Pilkey Sisters (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The Freedom Singers with their rich voices and incredible story of escape via shipping container from persecution in Romania are also sort of local (Kelowna, B.C.). I recently read Simon Ivascu’s story, The Price of Freedom. Gripping! (My review is HERE.)


Freedom Singers (Stefan [L] and Simon Ivascu  [R]. Simon survived a sea crossing to Canada via container.) (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Southern Raised are four siblings, classically trained musicians from Branson, Mossouri. They play their collection of instruments (bass, banjo, mandolin, violin, and guitar) with energy, skill, and joy. I loved their get-up. They reminded me of a troupe of roving troubadours.


Southern Raised (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)



Individual members of Southern Raised (Photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


The Jim Brady Trio (Springhill Tennessee) was a new group to me, though I’ve heard Jim before when he sang with the Booth Brothers. The first night the guys came on stage wearing hockey jerseys. Apparently their luggage never arrived with them and so they picked up concert wear at one of the local sports shops.

They’re a group with a warm stage presence and a great sound. I enjoyed them a lot at the Friday morning chapel. There Mrs. Jim (Melissa) told a touching story about how her grandma came to Jesus after years and years of holding out. Love those personal touches!


The Jim Brady Trio (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

In fact, the Friday and Saturday morning chapels (where a time of audience singing and worship is followed by a mini-concert from one of the groups and then a message from Chilliwack Pastor Leon Throness) were two of my favourite segments of the weekend.

These chapels add a practical spiritual challenge and grounding to the fun musical weekend.

The Triumphant Quartet (Pigeon Forge, Georgia) were our chapel singers on Saturday morning.


Triumphant Quartet at Chapel (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

The Ball Brothers (Chickamauga, Georgia) are another favourite group of mine. They do such great harmony and can they ever rock it a-capella!


The Ball Brothers (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Hernie Haas & Signature Sound (Stow, Ohio) are a lot of fun to listen to and even more fun to watch—but impossible to photograph. They never stand still. But I tried anyway!



Ernie Haas & Signature Sound (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Another lovely group is Double Portion (the Hemmerling family) from North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Not only do they sound great but they’re so cute! And there are lots of them. Though this photo is full, we’re still missing the young man on the drums.


Double Portion (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Speaking of families (Southern Gospel is sure full of them!), we were privileged to have one of Southern Gospel’s classics—The Hoppers (Madison, North Carolina). After hearing about Connie’s recent battle with cancer and Claude’s stroke, it’s really a miracle they could all be here and seemingly in great shape!


The Hoppers (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

There were many other wonderful groups too, but I’ll stop there.

I love it when on the last concert night, things loosen up and the stage action gets casual and cooperative. In these shots, members of various groups were joining in on the stage action.



It seems like everyone just gets comfortable with each other –and it’s time to go. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Altogether, it was a wonderful weekend. We left feeling uplifted—and singing!



B.C. Travels – Fraser Valley to Golden

My husband and I love to travel close to home. Over the years some of our favourite holidays have been exploring small town (and city) B.C.

We did that again this year—focusing on the Kootenay area of the province. But first we took in a weekend of gospel music in Red Deer, Alberta.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of our summer 2016 scenes and experiences here on the photo blog.

Today we’ll start with the beginning of our journey which began way back on July 6th. This leg will take us from home (Fraser Valley) through Salmon Arm, Golden, and into Alberta.

We left early in the morning of the 6th in time to have midmorning coffee with friends in Salmon Arm. I love the homey touches they’ve added to their property—like these seats and beautiful gardens. (For coffee, we had fresh raspberries from their bountiful food garden!)


Bent twig love seat under the cedars — how romantic (Photo  © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Afghan covered swing and an innovative chair made with a milk can topped with a machine seat. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Daisies, birds and evergreen shrubs make a colorful garden centerpiece. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Our next stop was Revelstoke where we wandered into the Modern Bakeshop Cafe for a late lunch. How about this veggie sandwich on artisan bread and the massive and wonderful cookie that we shared?

The mountains between Revelstoke and Golden are majestic. There are no end of beautiful vistas.


Rocky Mountains 1 (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Rocky Mountains 2 at Rogers Pass (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Rocky Mountains 3 (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Rocky Mountains 4 (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

We had made a motel reservation for the night in Golden. There we discovered there was to be an evening concert in the town square. After dinner we wandered over to enjoy the outdoor music. The jazzy vibe of Laura Landsberg and her band had us all tapping our toes and many—young and old—up dancing.


Community entertainment in Golden B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Laura Landsberg and her band entertain in Golden B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Loved how this sweet old wheelchair dancer encouraged her little partner to move to the music. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

We began the next day with a walk along the Kicking Horse River. It was a chilly morning but so beautiful.


Kicking Horse River – Golden B.C. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


It was cool enough for jackets on our morning walk. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Fuchsia fireweed adds a burst of color to the brightening scene (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Couldn’t help but photograph this heritage storefront with its old advert “Shoes and Harness Maker To Order” staining the boards. (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Then it was into Alberta. The No. 1 highway through the Banff National Park has many of the structures pictured below–bridges that wildlife use to cross the highway.


Wildlife crossing built over the highway (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

More B.C. travels and summer memories in the days ahead





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