Wood Carvings, Chemainus, British Columbia 2017

June 3, 2017 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Chemainus, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

 

It was just starting to rain as I came past these wooden carvings along the highway in Chemainus. The large, almost life size Sasquatch (assuming we know what life size is for a Sasquatch) was certainly an attention grabber. Birds, whimsical bears, and more stood along the roadside distracting passing motorists as the carver worked in the tent behind and chatted with those who stopped. The intensifying rain prevented more photography time so a more in depth look had to wait for a dryer day.Wood carvings, Chemainus, British Columbia



Ladysmith Car Care, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2017

March 4, 2017 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Vancouver Island, Vernacular architecture | Leave a Comment 

Ladysmith Car Care, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2017

The red and white paint job on this former garage and corner store always catches the eye when passing by Ladysmith on the highway. It has been shut down for a while now although there are a few vehicles inside so not sure if someone still uses the premises. It looks a little more decrepit all the time though so I really expect to go by and se the building torn down one day soon.



Firewood lot, Duncan, British Columbia 2017

February 26, 2017 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Duncan, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Firewood lot, Duncan, British Columbia 2017

A wet haul up and over the Malahat.  The Malahat Drive, a short section of highway, is dreaded by local drivers despite many recent safety upgrades. I think it’s reputation is a bit much for a 20 kilometre section of highway but it certainly has more than it’s fair share of accidents. The bigger problem I think is that an accident usually shuts down the road, stranding motorists on the highway with no real alternate routes.

This day and drive there were no issues other than the usual rain which is just a winter fact of life here.

I’d seen this firewood lot, or cutting area, from the highway often but thought I’d take a closer look this time. From the highway you couldn’t see the old bulldozer rusting away under a canopy of blackberry brambles.



Car Dealer, Clark Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

July 3, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Car Dealer, Clark Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

Waiting at dusk along Clark Drive for the bus to come along. Industrial areas have their own beauty.



BC Ferries, Green Turban, British Columbia 2016

July 1, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

 

BC Ferries, Green Turban 2016

Strictly visual, grey clouds, green turban. The view from a BC Ferries vessel.



Broken Rodeo Cowboy Statue, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

May 17, 2016 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Williams Lake | Leave a Comment 

Broken Rodeo Cowboy Statue, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

A number of rodeo heritage related wooden statues decorate the streets of Williams Lake.  This particular statue, which occupies a plot of grass at main intersection had been vandalized, leaving the cowboy with no lower arms to grasp the horse’s reins.



Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

May 15, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Swastika, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

The first time I photographed the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith on the town’s main street my attention was held by the dilapidated hotel sign over the main doors. I really didn’t look up at the higher stories and facade which at a quick glance seemed to be just fairly plain brick. A closer look on a more recent visit revealed a line of swastikas girdling the building. It seems a strange, and offensive, symbol to find on the side of a Vancouver Island building.

The building was constructed in 1912-13 and at that time the swastika was considered a symbol of  peace and prosperity, not gaining it’s Nazi connection/connotation until the Second World War. There was apparently talk during that later time of removing the symbols because of  anti-German feeling but in the end the swastikas were left as is.

The late British Columbia artist ManWoman spent his career trying to restore the original meaning of the swastika. His body was tattooed with over 200 swastikas and he used the symbol in his art. Victoria writer Tom Hawthorn wrote the obituary in the Globe and Mail for ManWoman. It details his connection with the swastika.

You’ll note the continued deterioration, if you look at the 2012 image, of the hotel sign.

 



Lowe Cost Auto Maintenance, Chemainus, British Columbia 2016

March 23, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Lowe Cost Auto Maintenance, Chemainus, BC 2016

Came across this place after a random turn off the highway. I really like the way the vines, without their summer leaves, looked wrapped around the old garage. Judging by the shrubs around the awning pillars it’s been awhile since this shop was operational.



Boat Graveyard, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 2016

March 14, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, Boat, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Ship wreck, Shipwreck, Street photography, Travel, Vancouver Island | 1 Comment 

Boat Graveyard, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 2016

This was truly a west coast nautical scene, acreage filled with broken and decaying boats, mainly smaller pleasure or fishing craft. There were no indicators why the mossy rotting boats were there, the only sign visible from the side road I was on said No Trespassing, not really an encouragement to explore more. On my way out I spotted a house, which may be connected to the yard, but I couldn’t quite figure out how a road connected to it. A task for another trip.



Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

February 28, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Food, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Williams Lake | 1 Comment 

Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

Williams Lake,  a small city in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin  was in the news last week after  the city council voted to “inject’ repeat offenders with a GPS tracker (story here). The wacky story could have come right from the pages of Mark Leiren-Young‘s memoir of his days as a rookie reporter for the Williams Lake Tribune called Never Shoot A Stampede Queen. The shooting, by the way, refers to a photographic incident.

Coincidentally I’ve just recently returned from my first visit to Williams Lake and I’d packed along Leiren-Young’s book to reread. The Starlite Dog N Suds, pictured above, features in the book as a favourite lunch stop for the new reporter in town and it was great to see it still there and busy 30 years later.

My experiences in the town of 12,000 was different and  over a much shorter period as I was in town just for a weekend and while I was reporting/photographing it was for a tourism publication not a newspaper.

I flew in with Pacific Coastal Airlines and it was a reminder of how much pleasanter airline travel used to be. You still had to undergo security screening but because the aircraft are small you were on and off the planes quickly, take off/landings were shorter and quicker and using smaller terminals meant luggage showed up quickly after you arrived. You forget how much time you waste waiting for everyone to board larger aircraft, how long they can take to get in position and take off and then luggage can take forever to be downloaded and transferred to carousels inside the airport. On my return to Victoria I saw my luggage speeding past me as I walked off the plane.

The flights weren’t direct but the stopover in Vancouver was at the small south terminal. The terminal isn’t big and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the main terminal but it does have a cafeteria where you can get a drink as well as food (I had an excellent wild salmon bagel sandwich) and a gift shop if you want reading material or a souvenir. I was off my plane there in minutes, grabbed a free Sun and Province newspaper from the PCA stand, read through them while eating my lunch. Read a bit more of the Stampede Queen book, went back through security in a few minutes and then when the call came boarded my plane in just another few minutes. It was all so fast and hassle free!

The south terminal is a hub for smaller airlines and it appeared many of the other passengers were headed for work camps or sites around BC and Alberta including Firebag. Yes, I had to look it up too. It appears to be a Suncor oilfield operation north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Williams Lake itself was small, population 12,000, with lots of logging activity. A couple of large mills are right on the edges of the town. There is mining outside of the city and there is still large ranching and agriculture operations throughout the region. You see lots of folks in cowboy hats and boots and they are the real deal.

The architecture is pretty lacklustre. I love unique local buildings and not much stood out in the downtown core.

The hamburger sculpture outside the Dog N Suds was fun and interesting. I was told it was the work of the Pioneer LogHomes, the folks featured in the TV series Timber Kings. You can see examples of the work they’re known for, larger log structures, scattered throughout the region. Their work is distinguished by the use of large logs that still retain their ‘tree” shape and/or sport unique shapes and growths.

Williams Lake is noted for it’s annual Stampede. This year is the 90th anniversary of the rodeo. It used to be known for the wildness of the event and participants but over the years has grown more family friendly but still offers pro rodeo action, beer gardens, live music and assorted associated events including the Stampede Queen.



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