I haven’t spent much time in the interior of British Columbia but I was pleasantly reminded of the beautiful and various landscapes that our province has to offer. It truly is unsurpassed and there’s something for everyone. I spent two nights camping at the Brookside Campground just outside of Cache Creek and a full day exploring Deadman Vidette Rd. In between Cache Creek and Savona, travelling east on Highway 1 Deadman Vidette Rd. heads north for approximately 70 km’s.
The scenery and the area is as majestic as it is peculiar and eerie. First Nations have held the area sacred for thousands of years and more recently in 1980 high ranking Tibetan Monks claim an area near Vidette Lake to be the center of the universe.
Deadman falls is located not far from Vidette Lake and the center of the universe. Viewing the falls is not for the faint at heart or for those that don’t like heights. The falls plunge far below some 150-200 feet into a deep canyon. A wrong step would be your last. The ground surrounding the outer edges is undermined making it very deceiving. I didn’t stay long knowing that challenging myself to find a good vantage point for photography could be fatal. Typically I don’t let this notion deter me but for reasons unknown I was fearful. Perhaps the forces at the center of the universe were with me on this day.
All along the Deadman Vidette Rd. remnants of times past can be seen. I’m a nature photographer but I appreciate the juxtaposition between nature and humanity from time to time and I certainly wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to photograph old trucks long forgotten about in a field. It was an opportunity also to further explore daytime long exposure photography with my B+W 10 stop ND filters. The images below were taken between 15-30 seconds at high noon.
Deadman Vidette Rd. is not without wildlife. There’s deer everywhere, coyotes, prairie dogs and black bears. After spending an hour or more photographing the old trucks much to my surprise a female black bear ran out in front of me while I was driving along. I watched her climb up into a wooded area before losing sight of her. I immediately pulled over, put my telephoto lens on and quietly walked up into the woods where she had went. It was at this point that I realized that she was in fact female when I startled her and the three cubs that she was protecting. She bluff charged a few meters towards me, huffing and puffing. I backed off and she proceeded to climb up the tree where her three cubs were. It was a humbling experience to say the least but rewarding as well. I didn’t stay long so as not to disturb her or the cubs.
Click on the links below for more great blogs, pictures and reading about Deadman Vidette Rd.
For anyone that has paddled a kayak deep into the wilderness only you can truly appreciate the sense of perspective and solitude that it allows. If anything I only wish that I discovered this earlier but it will be something that I will pursue for the rest of my life. The opportunities for nature photography are without limit and often one will witness those special moments, whether it be a sunset on a remote beach, the sounds of Humpback Whales coming up for air as you sleep or Pacific White sided Dolphins escorting you and your kayak to safe haven. The area surrounding Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia is said to offer some of the best sea kayaking in the World and I plan to explore as much of it as I can. Tonight I successfully completed lesson 1 of 3 towards my Paddle Canada certification and though very basic training I learned a lot about self and assisted rescues. Much thanks to the staff at Comox Valley Kayaks as always for their knowledge and expertise.
Self rescue using a paddle float. I didn’t know that these paddle floats existed prior to my lesson tonight. I’ll definitely be purchasing one at Comox Valley Kayaks.
My first attempt at a surf launch, with the training I will be receiving this is what I will be hoping to avoid. Tofino – July 2013
Okay, so I’m a nature photographer right? Yes! So what am I doing talking about video? Well, video does have it’s place. I really wish I had it when that Humpback Whale breached not 10 meters in front of my kayak when I was making the open water crossing between Bamfield and the Deer Group Islands in September of 2012. What an experience that was! Not wanting to miss out on another experience like that I started doing some more research in regards to GoPro because of course I saw all the exciting and basically marketing videos that we all love posted on YouTube and had heard all the hype. I purchased the Hero 3 and several complimentary accessories in early 2013. Once I got through all the packaging I was overwhelmed by all the finicky parts and contraptions. After grasping all of this, I was faced with a basic software package which much to my disappointment would really only offer exciting results if I were to purchase expensive software upgrades. Last but not least, the distorted fish eye lens and poor sensor would leave me with no choice but to purchase the expensive software. I quickly placed the Hero 3 and accessories on ebay hoping to recoup my losses. For the time being I had given up on video until I came across Pivothead once I became curious again. I know and expect there will be a multitude of advances within this POV and “wearable imaging” realm in the coming months considering Google Glass and so forth. In the mean time I think Pivothead is where it’s at from a photographers “POV!” I love my glasses, image and video quality and software too. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both but I know that Pivothead would have been there for me on that September day! Keep an eye on this company and the technology they offer. I strongly believe with continuing advances and marketing that they will be at the forefront.
A short video with Gitga’at Guide Marvin Robinson and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen searching for the Spirit Bear in The Great Bear Rainforest.
Thank you to Leo Jack from Voyager Water Taxi for taking me to and from Fair Harbour and Kyuquot while I was kayaking in Kyuqout Sound and camping on Spring Island last May. Given the long paddling distances between campsites, unforgiving conditions on the water and just the overall remoteness of the area, having reliable transportation and expert knowledge is welcomed.
On December 31st, 2013 Skipper Sam from Tofino Water Taxi was able to take us to Vargas Island. Tofino Water Taxi is by far the best mode of transportation in Clayoquot Sound and I look forward to their support for future expeditions. Check out their website and Youtube video below:
For anyone that enjoys kayaking the pristine waters of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, this is your resource. Whether it’s a week long expedition or a day paddle, all of the information you will ever need and more is available from BC Marine Trails.
Thank you to the team at Comox Valley Kayaks for your continued support and for sharing your knowledge and expertise.
This is an incredible documentary, one of my favorites. It really tells the story about The Great Bear Rainforest and what exactly is at stake. If you watch this you will be left wanting to find out more. Gitga’at guide Marvin Robinson who I had the pleasure of meeting and having guide me is featured in the documentary as well as Ian MacAllister. The experience that Marvin and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen shared truly was special. This is worth watching.
In September of 2011 I had the privilege and honor of touring the Great Bear Rainforest aboard “The Great Bear II” courtesy of Eric and Trish Boyum. Eric as Captain along with crew were exceptional hosts, the meals were exquisite and scenery unsurpassed. Words can’t quite express how unique of an environment the Great Bear Rainforest truly is. One can only experience it for themselves and as one of the last coastal temperate rainforests left on Earth I would suggest you visit. It’s unfortunate that so few Canadians and the rest of the World are unaware of this gem but maybe that’s a good thing too.
Ocean Adventures Charter Co. Ltd.