I opened my eyes to a red sky over the peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
It took a few moments to remember where I was – I wasn’t in Kelowna anymore.
Canmore is dwarfed by jutting rocks towering kilometres over the town, raised by tectonic forces millions of years ago.
With a splash of Baileys in our coffee, we packed the cars and headed to the trailhead. The Trailhead Cafe. Then, finally, the trailhead.
Summer of ’16 Bike Trip from Nich Johansen on Vimeo.
My alarm was set for 7:00 a.m., but I woke at 6:59.
It was the first day of ski season.
I had made the two and half hour drive to Revelstoke the night before, peering through the rain-soaked windshield into the dark, giving room to the barreling semis. Thoughts of speed-addled drivers, their hands gripping the wheel in a manic frenzy, danced through my head.
But against all odds, I made it to backcountry skiing’s Mecca, and was waking on a partly sunny Sunday morning.
The seventh annual Center of Gravity festival took over City Park in Kelowna from July 24 – 26. Below are some shots I took from day two, featuring Yukon Blonde, Phantogram and Flo Rida.
For my article on Kelowna-natives, Yukon Blonde, playing back at home, check out Castanet here.
Also, Flo Rida sprayed champagne all over me and my camera, so that was pretty fun, in a sticky sort of way.
Owen Bird first got into the fishing industry during high school, working at Deep Bay Auto Court and Fishing Camp on Vancouver Island in the ‘80s. In his thirty-year career in the fishing industry, he has never witnessed a winter with such low mountain snow pack. And this concerns him.
“It does seem like climate change is upon us,” Bird, now the executive director of the Sport Fishing Institute of BC, said. “If we’re now into a regime where snowpack is down to nothing and we do that for the next 10 years well then it’s a whole different story.”
The relationship between snow pack levels in the mountains and the fishing industry may seem far removed, but they are quite closely linked. Salmon in British Columbia spawn in the late summer and fall months, and rely on rivers and streams to have an adequate flow of water that is sufficiently cold. During particularly warm, dry summers, much of this cold water supply comes from the melting snow in the surrounding mountains. If this snow pack melts away early, surrounding rivers’ and streams’ water levels could drop, while temperatures soar.
The sound of cars driving by the window fills the room, as Jahmira Lovemore sits on her bed and describes what it’s like sleeping metres away from Vancouver’s busy First Avenue every night. She’s only lived in her house on Woodland Drive and 1st Avenue for six months now, but has become used to the noticeable noise level from cars speeding down the heavily-used street.
“The noise now?” Lovemore asks. “Oh, this is really quiet compared to other times.”
A community group that has been empowered by the city to make recommendations for the neighbourhood’s future is hoping to reduce the speed of drivers travelling down 1st Avenue by drafting a recommendation to implement off-hour parking on the busy street. The Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendation is one of many that will be part of their community plan that will be presented to the city in June. The goal of this specific recommendation is to change the dynamics of the street into a neighbourhood-first road rather than a main thoroughfare.