Friday, April 15, 2011

Up and over the Yellow Lake Pass

We have been back and forth to the city these last few weeks and each time we go it is an adventure in timing our departure so that we arrive at the spot where traffic is stopped for road construction just when the Flagger is starting to wave us through.

This is a big project, - liable to last out the summer, but in case you are planning to visit the road closures are not likely to be so regular for too much longer.

Ten minutes on the hour and the half hour, to get great lines of traffic through from east and west, and a total closure from ten to eleven and from four to five.   The Green Mountain road offers an option if you want to turn off before the construction and wind your way on a narrow, twisty road through green evergreens and poplars and alders just coming into leaf - pretty, but slower, and we usually take our chance on the main highway - partly out of curiosity to see the behemoth machines perched on the side of the mountain and thundering along the road with great loads of rock and boulders, biting away at the bluffs that have towered above the road since it was opened in 1958.

There was still snow in this little valley when we came through a few weeks ago.  The road was once a trail  from Osoyoos to Penticton,  a hundred years ago, and as it nears Penticton it passes through property owned by the Penticton Indian Band, but at the other end, nearer the highway, there are the remnants of old stage coach stoppings, and this old barn that has crumbled badly since we last were through this way fishing.

We went along the Highway on Tuesday.  I have the camera, and watch for new leaves, patches of buttercups,  and any wildlife that might be traveling the woods, looking for sustenance.  As we come up the hill to where traffic is stopped at Yellow Lake I see what looks like a very large woolly dog, ambling along the roadside at the bottom of the bank, but it is, in reality, a small brown bear that has all the lady Flaggers on the road agog with  excitement.

The animals that inhabit the land around the lake must wonder at the noise and confusion - the helicopters taking out brush from high on the hillside where the new road will go, and bringing in telephone poles, and the constant to and fro of heavy machinery.  On one of our trips to Penticton we were stopped further up the road, and while we waited a Canada Goose came up from the lake to peer at the long line of cars.

The ice was not completely gone from the lake, and out in the middle an osprey sat at an ice fishing hole, waiting for lunch.  I fished out the long lens, but wasn't able to get a good picture of him. and so we continued
on our way through all the dust and enormous machinery.

Some of the rock is quite beautifully coloured.

and on our way home we came upon these lovely buttercups, and the driver slowed
down a little so that I could get a rather blurry picture!

Monday we will be going south and over the Richter Pass, so we will see if Spring is still flirting there, or if she has settled down and decided pitch her tent until Summer arrives.


Barb said...

So many new sights - including the bear! She probably just awoke and wondered what the commotion was all about. When I firs saw the pics, I thought you had gotten snow in your valley!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

My goodness! Going to town really is an adventure for you these days. It is easier to be fascinated by that big machinery when we are traveling. When it happens on a road we must pass every day (or so) it gets a bit tiring.

That bear must have wondered what had happened to her world while she was asleep!