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Local Travel in Winter, Anywhere, B.C.

1 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, B.C. Guy and I set out to take some pictures of a nearby waterfall. I had been there too many times to keep count, but never in the winter. B.C. Guy drove on a snowy road not plowed as of late. We entered the trail, unconcerned and in anticipation of seeing the crystallized waterfall. The trail is perhaps 5 minutes long during the summer. After 5 minutes had passed on the snowy trail, we found ourselves back tracking. Everything was just so … different.  If you go on an excursion in the winter, bear in mind that the surroundings can change drastically. Once we found our way to the trail, we were climbing over trees and trail erosion where none had been earlier in the year.  The terrain was slick, too. Our time spent reaching the waterfall was more than tripled compared to other visits.

The reward, my fellow travellers, is a chance to rediscover local travel destinations. It sounded like my waterfall, for I could hear water running somewhere, but this was not the waterfall I had known.  Water, ice, and light, were caught in a striking interplay, a moment in time. The child in me wanted to break off the largest icicles and engage in a sword fight. I longed to gnaw on the end and listen to the satisfying clack an icicle of gargantuan size would make when thrown against a rock. Beautiful and dangerous, the crackling of ice served as a constant reminder that I should not venture too close. The base of the waterfall was a grave for fallen icicles from the great heights above.  At a distance, my camera was alight with photographic genius.

Late winter and early spring are perfect for visiting other local bodies of water, too.  Even once the snow is gone, all Canadians know that Mother Nature enjoys a good laugh by tossing a few random snow falls your way. Head out early after a fresh blanket of snow to a provincial campground. The end of the winter means less snow for you to trudge through, but your local campground will retain all of the glory a blanket of snow affords. A campground is rendered ghostly without campers and day trippers milling about, an episode of the History Channel’s Life After People.

The traveller is always on the hunt for ‘awestruck’ moments in other locales. This person longs for the glory days of spring, summer, and fall when weekends and holidays are filled with coolers, photographs, backpacks, and drives that just…won’t… end. Experiencing travel in your local area will come as a shock at first. But you’ll ease into it. At the very least, you’ll find yourself answering the question all travel enthusiasts crave: “Where did you take that picture?”

B.C. Girl Bites:

#1: Here is a tip for capturing all that glitters in photographs: while using flash in outdoor photographs is normally not recommended, if you are close to the falls, the light will enhance the appearance of the icicles.

  #2: Tony Greenfield’s Waterfalls of British Columbia is a useful guide to BC’s 100 best waterfalls. Consider picking up a copy or borrowing it from the library. The book was revelatory for this traveler.  Who knew that so many spectacular and unique falls existed in our own backyard?